business

How to start your own business?

Starting your own business means giving more of what you can offer and receive more of what you can get.

Well, unless you make the first step, nothing is going to change. That’s for sure. There are risks involved, that’s for sure. But the reward is fantastic. It’s not the only freedom you get, although it feels very nice. It’s not only the money, although it does count. It’s the ability to control the throughput of your generated value. You can give as much as you want. If you’re looking for excitement, for creativity, for joyful effort, for big rewards, then this lifestyle is for you.

It requires discipline, hard work and clarity. All these abilities can be trained, you know. And, if I would choose only one out of these three, I think discipline would be the most important.

So, how to start your own business?

First of all, plan ahead: Be sure you have at least one year covered when it comes to self-sustenance. Risk is good, but too much risk is extremely bad. If you don’t have at least one year covered, you will start to feel the pressure of day to day living. While some may advocate that this pressure is good for your entrepreneurial approach, by making you strive even harder, I’m not following this path. I found that too much financial pressure will adversely affect your creativity. You may strive harder, but your output may be of a lower quality, if money is your only goal.

Second, find a real problem: I saw too many times entrepreneurs claiming their idea was so awesome, because it was solving a very important problem. Their problem. But they didn’t reach out to see if there were at least one other person with that problem too. In other words, they didn’t have a market. I call this business “one client businesses”. Their problem is real, the solution to the problem is, very often, brilliant, but, alas, there is only one person with that problem: the entrepreneur. It will never work like this. If you really want to have customers, reach out. Ask around. Test. Identify a real problem to solve.

Third, stick to it: Don’t give up. But only if you’re sure you won’t have to compromise your work quality and only if you’re sure you found a real problem. If you have the first two points listed above, then all you have to do is to stay there. Because it will be difficult. No matter if it’s your first business or your tenth, each one is different. You simply don’t know everything there is to know about each specific business and a lot of difficulty will come from not knowing exactly your market or your clients. You will also have to work with people and people are also different. And, most of the time, difficult. I’m talking about your own team here. Depending on your situation you may have to inspire, to support, to teach, to motivate them. Oh, and you will have to pay them, one way or another.

excellent customer care

Exceeding Expectations

In a hotel, a maintenance engineer was replacing a light bulb in the lobby ceiling. Out of the corner of his eye he notices a woman and her two sons coming from the pool, wrapped in towels but still dripping wet. The woman has her hands full with bags. She fumbles with the door that leads into the lobby, looking exasperated. The man on the ladder becomes alert to her predicament, puts down his tools, climbs down, crosses the lobby, smiles, and opens the door for her.

“Welcome back to the hotel, ma’am,” he says. “Let me help you with your bags. How was the pool? Did your two little guys have a good time? What floor are you going to?” He presses the button, exits the elevator, and heads back toward his ladder.

Learn to recognize and respond to the needs of your customers before they are expressed – sometimes before your customers even realize they have a need.

The customer expressed a need, and the employee responded energetically. He got off the ladder rather than saying ‘That’s not my job’. Reactive service is a pretty ineffective way to create loyal customers. To get on the fast track to customer loyalty, your company needs something better.

The magic happens when you, your systems, and the employees throughout the ranks of your business anticipate the needs of your customer, learning to recognize and respond to the needs of your customers before they are expressed – sometimes before your customers even realize they have a need. That is the difference between providing a normal service by merely reacting to customer requests and building loyalty through true anticipatory service.

Reference: Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit: The Secrets of Building a Five-Star Customer Service Organization

habits

Change and reshape your habits

Learn to change and reshape your habits for the better by following these steps…

  • Identify the routines you follow – look at your CUEs, ROUTINEs & REWARDs.
  • Experiment with different rewards – isolate what you are actually craving when you do something habitually – alternatives – look for a better, safer, healthier reward.
  • Isolate the CUE that triggers your habit – what it is that signals that it’s time to do that thing.
  • Develop a new plan – what you will do differently the next time that CUE arises.

First, there is a cue , a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use. Then there is the routine , which can be physical or mental or emotional. Finally, there is a reward , which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future.

Reference: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business is a book

66 Days To Change Your Life

Scientists say it only takes 66 days to change your life, If you’re strong enough

There’s no denying that we are, indeed, creatures of habit. Our minds and bodies are dependent on stimulants, actions and patterns that come to define who we are. Our habits are our security blankets, enveloping us in their consistent presence and comfort of familiarity.

We do them unconsciously, sticking fingers and cigarettes in our mouths and cracking our knuckles only to find that we can’t remember when this habit began.

According to Charles Duhigg, author of “The Power of Habit,” habits are not born, but created. Every bad, good or insignificant habit starts with a psychological pattern called a “habit loop.”

Duhigg reported to NPR, the “habit loop” is a three-part process.

The first step is the trigger that tells your brain to let a certain behavior unfold.

The second step is the behavior itself, or the routine it creates.

The third step is the reward, or “something that your brain likes that helps it remember the ‘habit loop’ in the future.”

Once we’ve formed habits, they are hard to break because, many times, we forget we’re doing them. Because of the habit loop, we are able to do other things without thinking about our habit.

We will be working on something else while simultaneously biting our nails, not realizing the moment we put them in our mouths.

We become slaves to our habits. They become inhibitors and some have the power to control our lives.

Though some substances we use have addictive qualities that make the habits almost impossible to break, there are ways to replace those bad habits with good ones… and all it takes is 66 days.

In a study released in the European Journal of Social Psychology, Phillippa Lally and her team of researchers surveyed 96 people over a 12-week period to find exactly how long it takes to start a new habit.

Over the 12 weeks, the participants chose a new habit and reported each day how automatic the behavior felt. At the end of the period, Lally analyzed the results and found the average time it took for the participants to pick up a new habit was 66 days.

While her results were focused on the time it takes to create a habit, we can look at it inversely, and the time it takes to kick an old one and pick up a better one.

If a habit does not include addictive additives or stimulants, which make the withdrawal and brain processes different, who’s to say it won’t take you 66 days to cut out all those nasty habits that have been overtaking your life?

If you take the habit out of your life, the same way you put one into your life, you will find yourself free of the unconscious and, many times, detrimental patterns that habits cause. You could replace those old bad ones with new good ones.

Instead of watching Netflix before bed, you make yourself read a book. Maybe instead of soda with dinner, you make yourself drink water for 66 days.

Whatever your motives, this research should be the catalyst you need to kick those bad habits and start picking up some good ones.

Because there is no better time to turn over a new leaf (or habit) than in the fall.

Be Obnoxious (Days 1- 22)

Shout about it. Tell your friends, family and coworkers you are on a mission. Enlist them as officers to patrol when you’re slipping back into your old ways or not keeping up on your new ones. Tell them you want them to yell at you, bother you and constantly remind you.

Add extra pressure on yourself. The pressure of disappointing other people and going back on your word will make it that much harder to go back to your old ways.

Because sometimes it’s easier to disappoint ourselves than it is other people.

Self-Analyze (Days 22- 44)

Take a good look at your life. This is the time to really dig deep and do some soul-searching. What do you want in life? Why are you doing this? How do you want to represent yourself?

Whether you’re quitting a bad habit or picking up a healthier one, get to the core of why you’re doing this and how it’s going to affect your life.

If you can find that reason buried deep in your unconscious, you will be able to carry out these 66 days much easier. You will have an internal force pushing you.

Find The Light (Days 44- 66)

The third stage is the final push. As far as you’ve come, you still have to make it these last 22 days. It’s easy to burn out, get tired and forget why you are doing this. It’s easy to revert to your old ways because, up to this point, you have yet to rid yourself of the habit.

At this stage, you must find something to hold on to. Something that will that push you to that final goal. It’s the last 22 days that prove how strong and willing you really are.

At this point, it’s about seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s about realizing that though you can’t see the other end, you can still see glimpses of it.

Treat Yo’ Self (66 +)

The only way to solidify the end of an old habit or the birth of a new one is to celebrate it. Throw a party, have some champagne, shout it from your Brooklyn rooftop. Make a day of it or call up your friends and have a swanky dinner party.

If it’s a habit people have been hoping you would break they will be more than willing to celebrate with you. Who knows, you can even make it a yearly tradition.

Try these 4 habits for next one week and experience the difference in yourself.

Habit #1 – Create your own thoughts and opinions. Your OWN: Every day, you likely to hear lots of ideas, suggestions, thoughts and viewpoints of others. But, it is not necessary that what worked for them, probably work for you. So, create your customized thoughts, viewpoints and opinions. By customized I mean that it shouldn’t be influenced by crowd opinion. Have your OWN!. Here’s how you can practice it: Collect ideas. You never know which idea can work when. So, always welcome others’ thoughts and ideas. Collect them. It’ll allow you to have a pool of ideas to create own. Have your why. When you think about an idea to consider, connect why with it. Figure out how it can help you and could be better than others. This is called critical thinking. It’ll help you to get own ideas.

Habit #2 – Do intense physical workout: To train your brain to be strong, start with doing intense exercise. By intense here means going beyond comfort zone. Lets say if you comfortably do 150 push ups daily, make it 155–160. It’ll allow your mind to feel strength when you hit that mark. You’ll gain confidence and a sense of accomplishment. You’ll get a sense of “I can”. In the words of -Bob Miglani, “A strong mind can will a complacent body to action.”

Habit #3 – Boost your knowledge and understanding: Why do elders say that experience makes your mind strong. Because with the amount of experience, you gain better insights, knowledge and understanding about things. You feel less nervous about the consequences of anything. The better your knowledge will be, the stronger your mind will be. Here’s how you can practice it: Read books. A great source of knowledge. It allows you to expand your ability to understand things and situations. And, allow you to deal with it in effectively manner. Interact and listen others. Whenever you interact with someone, they share a great piece of knowledge and experience with you. If you listen attentively, you’ll grab it easily. And, it’ll be a great addition to your knowledge and understanding.

Habit #4 – Develop Self discipline and control on yourself: What if Bill Gates scared of initial failures and didn’t put efforts to make Microsoft a grand success. Probably, we wouldn’t know him today. So, delaying the regret and stay focused to make consistent efforts in whatever we do, allow us to stay disciplined and control ourselves. It is your self-discipline and control that you reached school or workplace daily on time regardless of what challenges you faced. Try one or all of these habits to develop and practice daily to boost the strength of your mindset.

By having a strong mindset, you can achieve anything, accomplish something daily, overcome your fears and deal with the troubles effectively.

og-mandino

Greatest Salesman in the World

  1. Habits are the difference between success and failure.
  2. Love can be developed by always looking for the best in people.
  3. Every failure moves a man closer to success.
  4. We must concentrate on the task at hand.
  5. Live each day as if it were your last.
  6. We are masters over our emotions.
  7. This too shall pass.
  8. Seek out opportunities and experiences that will multiply in value. We must set goals, short-term as well as long-term.
  9. It is better to act now and risk failure. Fireflies give light only when they fly.
  10. A true believer will pray for guidance, not only for help.

Reference: The Greatest Salesman in the World

Hafid is a master salesman and a trader; a very wealthy man. He lives in an elegant palace equipped with every possible comfort. One day towards the end of his life, he requests a meeting with Erasmus, his trusted servant and friend. He asks Erasmus how much money is in the treasury and tells him to estimate the worth of his property. It is a large sum. Hafid then directs Erasmus to sell all his possessions in exchange for gold, and suggests to his long practice of distributing half his annual profit to the poor. Now, says the salesman, he wishes to divide all his riches with the most needy, keeping only enough to live out his remaining days in peace. He requests that Erasmus turn over each of his emporiums to the person who manages it, together with a reward of 5,000 talents and bequeaths upon him his palace and warehouse. Though Erasmus can hardly comprehend this , Hafid again orders him to do as he has asked, assuring the servant that on his return he will share with Erasmus a long-kept secret he has imparted to no one except his wife.

When Erasmus arrives back at the palace after distributing Hafid’s property, he is led to a room kept boiled for a long as anyone can remember. The only object within the room is an old chest. Hafid unlocks the chest – empty, except for some tattered scrolls. Hafid then speaks: “All the success, happiness, love , peace of mind, and wealth that I have enjoyed is directly traceable to what is contained in these few scrolls. My debt to them, and to the wise one who entrusted them to my care, can never be repaid.”

Hafid explains that each of the ten scrolls contains a principle, or law, that together will enable their possessor to accumulate all the wealth he desires. Long ago he was commissioned by the one who gave him the scrolls to share them only with one person, and was told he would be given a sign to know who that person was. He petitions Erasmus to stay with him until he receives this sign. The faithful servant agrees to do so.

The story then shift back in time:

Young Hafid, a camel boy traveling with a caravan, beseeched the leader of the caravan, Pathros, to grant him the chance to be a merchant. After some argument, Pathros gave him approval and agreed to allow Hafid to sell a finely woven robe. However, he warned the boy that he would be confronted with temptations, and that his handling of these temptations would determine his success, both in life and as a salesman. Pathros then dispatched that would-be merchant to a poor settlement – Bethlehem – to sell the garment.

For three days Hafid worked to peddle the robe, but without success. On the night before he was to rejoin the caravan, Hafid sought out a stable to tend to his donkey. There he discovered a young couple with a shivering newborn baby. Both husband and wife had wrapped their own cloaks around the infant, trying to warm him, but to little avail. Hafid gave the worried parents back their cloaks and wrapped Pathros’s fine robe around the beautiful child. The boy then commenced his trek back to the caravan, considering himself a failure and trying to find an excuse, some story to cover up what had done.

When Hafid reached the caravan, Pathros was waiting outside his tent. He had observed a bright star that followed Hafid back to the camp. Something extraordinary had taken place. Hafid, in tears, blurted out the story of the robe; but instead of chiding the boy, Pathros assured Hafid that he had not failed. He would explain everything, said the merchant, once they returned to their headquarters.

There, the dying Pathros summoned the lad to him. He told how he once had rescued a traveler, and how this grateful traveler had insisted that Pathros come to live with him and his family. During this stay, the traveler conferred upon Pathros a chest containing ten scrolls, some money and a letter. For a year Pathros memorized the scrolls, incorporating their wisdom into his life. After leaving the traveler’s home, the opened the letter, which instructed him to forever share with the poor half of his wealth, but never to divulge the information in the scrolls, except when he received a sign telling him of the person who would next guard the scrolls. As he watched the star following Hafid home that night, Pathros had come to realize that his was indeed the awaited sign.

Pathros’s story ended, whereupon he instructed Hafid to go to Damascus and purchase a small supply of rugs. Hafid was to open the scroll, study it until he fully understood its contents, and begin selling the rugs. He must proceed to study each scroll thoroughly in the same way, applying the principles one by one as he learned them. Finally, he was not to share with others the knowledge contained in the scrolls, nor show the scrolls to anyone, until he himself was given a sign.

Hafid set out to inquire of the scrolls as he sold the rugs, and was taught the keys to prosperous and triumphant living:

Scroll I: Everyday a person is reborn – he can forget the failures of the past. Habits are the difference between success and failure. Therefore in order to achieve success, it is necessary to form good habits and become their slave. This first scroll teaches the best way to learn the meaning of the others. Each successive scroll will contain a principle enabling the reader to replace a bad habit with a good one. Each scroll must be read three times a day – the last time a loud – for thirty consecutive days. This way, the scrolls’ wisdom becomes both a part of the active and subconscious mind.

Scroll II: Love can be the salesman’s greatest weapon, for even if people reject many particulars concerning the salesman’s wares, love will soften them. Love can be developed by always looking for the best in people. Each time we meet someone we should state silently, “I Love You.” But in order to love others, we must love ourselves, treat ourselves with respect, and not be satisfied with anything but our finest efforts.

Scroll III: “I will persist until I succeed.” People are born to succeed, not to fail. Defeat will not be considered, and word such as quit, cannot, unable, and impossible are not part of the growing disciple’s vocabulary. Every failure moves a man closer to success. When the day ends and the salesman wants to quit, he must force himself to make one more sale; to end the day with success.

Scroll IV: People are nature’s greatest miracle. Each person is different in appearance as well as ability, and we should capitalize on, rather than despise, these differences. We must concentrate on the task at hand, not allowing ourselves to be preoccupied with problems of home while in the marketplace, or of the marketplace while we are at home. We each have eyes to see, ears to hear, and a mind with which to think. This is everything we need to thrive.

Scroll VLive each day as if it were your last. Dwelling on the failures or misfortunes of the past is useless, for we cannot change them. Nor should we think about tomorrow. The present hours and minutes, pass too quickly and are gone forever, and so, they must be traded only for things of value. We should always treat our family and our friends as if today were our last day together.

Scroll VIWe are masters over our emotions. Although we daily pass through different moods, each of us has the power to control them; to “create our own weather.” If we bring joy and enthusiasm and brightness to all that we do, others will react in a similar manner. “Strong is he who forces his actions to control his thoughts.” No matter how we feel when we arise in the morning, we can sing or laugh and make ourselves feel better. No matter what other people do or how they react, we can decide to be positive and understanding.

Scroll VII: ” … Cultivate the habit of laughter.” Man is the only creature who can laugh, and the best thing to laugh at is ourselves. Whenever things seem to serious or dismal, repeat the word, “This too shall pass, ” and all troublesome thoughts will seem lighter. Laughers puts events – successes as well as failures – into perspective. Only with laughter and gratitude can we enjoy the fruits of prosperity.

Scroll VIIISeek out opportunities and experiences that will multiply in value. A grain of wheat has not choice as to what it will become – whether it will be ground into bread or planted in the earth to multiply – but each human being has a choice – to grow or to perish. In order to “multiply in value,” we must set goals, short-term as well as long-term. We must not worry if we experience initial failure in reaching our goals; we compete only with ourselves. Upon reaching goal, we multiply again by setting another, and by striving to constantly make the next hour better than the present one.

Scroll IX: Our dream and plans are of no value without action. Procrastination comes from fear, and we overcome fear only through action. It is better to act now and risk failure, than to refrain from action and certainly struggle. Fireflies give light only when they fly. Through doing, we become like them, giving off light amid the darkness. Only action gives life significance. If success is offered now, we must act now.

Scroll X: Almost everyone, in a moment of terror or anguish, will turn to God for help. But a true believer will pray for guidance, not only for help. He calls on God not for material things, but for the knowledge to understand the way to acquire what is needed. Nevertheless, we must realize that sometimes we will not be given the sort of guidance we ask for – this, too, is an answer to prayer. Pray for ability equal to the opportunity, for good habits, for love, to use words well, to humbly forge through all obstacles, to reach worthwhile goals.

It is now three years since Hafid has sold all his goods. Together with his wife and Erasmus, he lives a simple life. One day on unkempt traveler comes to see him. It is Paul, follower of Jesus. Paul relates to Hafid his conversion to Christ, tells about Jesus’ life, and declare that Jesus has sent him to find the greatest salesman in the world and ask him to share his miraculous secrets for converting others. At last the man to whom Hafid can confer the sacred instructive scrolls, has arrived.

The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino

balloons

Serve others and find your purpose

Some people were attending a seminar. The speaker, wanting to wake up the group into full consciousness, decided to start with a group activity. He gave each participant a colourful balloon. He continued by asking everyone to take some time to blow up the balloon and to write their name on it using the few indelible marker pens scattered around. Then all the balloons were gathered in an adjacent room.

The participants, now in the adjacent room with the balloons, were challenged to find the balloon bearing their name within 5 minutes. Everyone was frantically searching for their name, colliding with each other and pushing around others. There was utter chaos.

At the end of the 5 minutes hardly anyone had found the balloon.

The speaker now asked the participants to randomly pick any balloon and give it to the the person whose name was written on it.

Within minutes everyone had their own balloon. 🎈🎈🎈

bridge

A Beautiful Story of Forgiveness

The Bridge: A Beautiful and Heart-Warming Story!

This is a story of two brothers who lived side by side in their own farms for many years, until one day, a foolish argument caused a rift between them. This was the first serious disagreement the brothers had in all of their 50 years.

The fight began over a small misunderstanding, which can sometimes happen, but the dispute dragged on and became an angry exchange of words, followed by weeks of silence.

One day, there was a knock on the older brother’s door. When he opened it, he was facing an old, bearded carpenter, holding a toolbox. “I could sure do some work for you, sir” said the stranger. “Do you need any repairs in your farm?” “Yes”, replied the farmer. “I’ve got a job for you”.

“Across the creek, there’s a farm that happens to belong to my younger brother. Until recently, the whole area between our homes was green, but then he changed the creek’s path, making it into a border between us. I’m sure he did that for spite, but I’ll show him…” said the older brother.

“You see those trees by the barn? I want you to turn them into a 10-foot tall fence. I never want to see his face again.”

The old carpenter thought quietly to himself for a few minutes and eventually said: “I see”.

The farmer helped the carpenter carry his tools and the wood, and then drove off to the city on some errands. When he came back in the evening, the carpenter had finished his work. Upon arriving at the creek, the older brother was stunned. His eyes were bulging out, and he couldn’t utter a single word.

Where a fence should have been standing, a bridge stood now. A quaint and special bridge, truly a work of art, with an intricately carved banister.

bridge

At the same time, the younger brother happened to come to the same spot. He rushed over the bridge and embraced his older brother, and said:

“You’re something special… building a bridge, after all I’ve said and done!” While both brothers were hugging, the old carpenter collected his tools and started walking away. The brothers turned to him and said “Please, stay for a few more days – we have more things that need fixing.” “I would have loved to stay, kind sirs,” said the carpenter. “But I have many more bridges to build and things to fix in other places…”

The moral of this story is a simple one: We often let anger push us away from our loved ones, and allow pride to come before our love. Don’t let it happen to you. Learn to forgive and appreciate what you have. Remember: The past cannot be changed, but the future can be. No quarrel can spoil a true connection. Build your bridges when you have to, and always cross them with a smile.

Help-People

Serve people in front of you now!

The thought came to a certain king that he would never fail if he knew three things. These three things were

What is the best time to do each thing?
Who are the most important people to work with?
What is the most important thing to do at all times?
And this thought having occurred to him, he had it proclaimed throughout his kingdom that he would give a great reward to any one who would teach him what was the right time for every action, and who were the most necessary people, and how he might know what was the most important thing to do.

Many educated men attempted to answer the king’s questions, but they all came up with different answers. The king decided that he needed to ask a wise hermit in a nearby village. The hermit would only see common folk, however, so the king disguised himself as a peasant and left his guards behind to see the hermit. The hermit was digging flower beds when the king arrived. The king asked his questions, but the hermit went on digging rather laboriously. The king offered to dig for him for a while. After digging for some time, the king again asked his questions. Before the hermit could answer, a man emerged from the woods. He was bleeding from a terrible stomach wound. The king tended to him, and they stayed the night in the hermit’s hut.

By the next day the wounded man was doing better, but was incredulous at the help he had received. The man confessed that he knew who the king was, and that the king had executed his brother and seized his property. He had come to kill the king, but the guards wounded him in the stomach. The man pledged allegiance to the king, and he went on his way.

The King approached him, and said: “For the last time, I pray you to answer my questions, wise man.” “You have already been answered!” said the hermit, still crouching on his thin legs, and looking up at the King, who stood before him. “How answered? What do you mean?” asked the King.

“Do you not see,” replied the hermit. “If you had not pitied my weakness yesterday, and had not dug those beds for me, but had gone your way, that man would have attacked you, and you would have repented of not having stayed with me. So the most important time was when you were digging the beds; and I was the most important man; and to do me good was your most important business. Afterwards when that man ran to us, the most important time was when you were attending to him, for if you had not bound up his wounds he would have died without having made peace with you. So he was the most important man, and what you did for him was your most important business.

Remember then: there is only one time that is important–Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power. The most necessary man is he with whom you are, for no man knows whether he will ever have dealings with any one else; and the most important affair is, to do him good, because for that purpose alone was man sent into this life!”

“Remember that there is only one important time and it is Now. The present moment is the only time over which we have dominion. The most important person is always the person with whom you are, who is right before you, for who knows if you will have dealings with any other person in the future? The most important pursuit is making that person, the one standing at you side, happy, for that alone is the pursuit of life.” -Leo Tolstoy

“The Three Questions” is a short story by Russian author Leo Tolstoy first published in 1885 as part of the collection What Men Live By, and Other Tales. The story takes the form of a parable, and it concerns a king who wants to find the answers to what he considers the three most important questions in life.