…is because you do not know your customers and what they really want.
Many startups burning through venture capital just keep on using bruteforce methods to try to win some more market share, however, I am convinced that they do not really know their customers and what those customers really want.
If you do not know your customers, what drives them, their likes, dislikes and all, you are more then likely to completely misunderstand them and miss the mark in all your marketing.
It is not about how much money you have to spend on marketing, it is about how well do you know the target audience?
This is why many find success when they build businesses around pain-points they personally had. In this scenario, you really understand the customers and hence, how to get them in.
How well do I know my customers?
Get up close and personal with your customer base, what do they really want? Cut the wastage!
Some Facebook Shareholders want Mark Zuckerberg replaced with an independent person as Chairman of Facebook (Mark should just be CEO).
Have you completed your application for TEEP? The closing date is fast approaching. If you need help completing your application, holla me.
My most unproductive year was 2012. That year, I simply did not get anything done or ship anything at all, when I look back and reflect on that time period, I am thankful for how far I have come.
2012 was unproductive because that was the year I went out in full force, trying to land an investor for my company. I really needed an injection of some serious cash into my business so that the picture I had for my business in my mind could finally start matching the reality outside.
What I got instead was an interesting and emotional cycle of raised hopes, empty promises and hopes getting dashed, over and over again.
I am grateful I learnt my lessons early and moved on. I adopted a new mantra: work hard on the business until it becomes big enough that investors would seek me out. I want to work and build my business up to the point that if you asking for a business plan and profile, it is for formality and not because you really need to study it and make a decision.
These days, people spend more time chasing after investors than paying customers, they invest so much energy into writing business plans and honing their elevator pitch and they invest no energy into actually growing the business through the good old way of acquiring customers and retaining as many as you can.
The most important thing for the first time Entrepreneur is not investment, it is applying the common-sense principles of businesses towards building a profitable business first.
Are you working hard on the business or running around and wasting time?
Channel your energy into growing the business, not into writing business plan and pitching investors.
…is when a person cannot accurately estimate himself, his abilities and true strength.
If you cannot accurately access your standing, you fall into self-deceit and you cannot grow.
We now live in a polite society where nobody is willing to tell you their real assessment of you, more than ever before you need to be able to criticize yourself and look for all the things you are doing wrong and how you can get better.
If you keep singing praises to yourself everyday and proclaiming that all is well, when it obviously isn’t. You have yourself to blame in the long.
When the world deceives you,
When your family members shy away from the truth,
When your friends lead you on,
Do yourself a favour: do not deceive yourself.
Do I have an accurate sense of my true capabilities or am I overhyping myself?
A little humility and honesty is key. What is my real level? How much more do I need to learn and do?
Watching The World
There are some age-old arguments about what the word Entrepreneur means and those qualified to be called Entrepreneurs. There is endless debate on whether everybody can become an Entrepreneur; Some experts have even gone ahead to suggest that Entrepreneur can be considered to be a job title.
I want to steer clear of all that and simply state that: everybody needs entrepreneurial training.
Learning to think and work as an Entrepreneur is incredibly empowering and it gives you an edge in any position you find yourself. One of the best things that happened to me was that I was able to (accidentally) learn entrepreneurship as a student in the university trying to convince people to sign up for the social media site I had built.
My entrepreneurial skills really transformed everything I do, even outside conventional business settings.
Entrepreneurial thinking forces you to take the initiative and get things done. Deciding on a bigger picture and getting the resources needed to make it all happen.
The global trend is that jobs are disappearing as software is becoming smarter, in that job-less future, the Entrepreneurs and their business systems will be one model that will continue to work.
Yes, in the future, everyone will have to be an Entrepreneur.
Do I apply entrepreneurial thinking and methods in my daily business processes?
Learn and practice entrepreneurial skills, develop yourself to become an Entrepreneur.
I was on Facebook the other day and saw a friend creating a group to sell her wares. I kept an eye on her project, weeks and months went by, nothing of significant economic value was happening in her group.
Like most people, you might have heard that it is possible to use social media platforms like Facebook groups for example to grow your business, but what you failed to notice is just how much effort, thought and planning goes into such endeavors.
There are people that use Facebook groups to sell products and services in range of 5 – 6 figures or more, consistently, every month.
If you aspire to join their ranks, move closer and learn. They must have a method, a playbook they follow that guarantees them success week after week.
Things are not usually as easy as they seem.
Am I underestimating how hard it is to use social media to grow my business and influence?
Do some research, learn how it really works. You can seek out expert guidance.
As I laid down to sleep, I had an epiphany a few weeks ago… it dawned on me that my business should not also go to sleep.
Even if my laptop is powered off and all my human team members are also taking a well deserved night rest, our businesses should remain active, seeking out new customers and generating leads.
This was not a fantasy… using technology that already exists, this can be done. So, I jumped out of bed and grabbed my laptop, was my business going to sleep?? No way!
It took me a few hours, and I identified exactly how I would keep things going while I went to sleep. So… let’s just say I sleep better at night now.
You see, in the near future, all business support services, non-core business work will be completely handled by automated systems and now is a great time to get a head start.
If you are willing to see your business website as a staff member that is awake 24 hours everyday, then perhaps you can also set goals and resources towards making it a more efficient member of the team.
Does my business go to sleep every night as soon as I close my eyes?
Look for how you can build automated systems that work in the business round the clock. You can talk to me about it.
It is the soft skills we have that gets us ahead and not necessarily the hard skills we pursue night and day. Soft skills like strong work ethic, positive attitude, good communication skills, time management, ability to handle criticism well.
Hard skills are very important – no doubt. But we also have to pay attention to the soft skills, they get us ahead.
Do I pay enough attention towards developing my soft skills?
Pay attention and develop your soft skills, they get us ahead
In this fast, all connected world, it is a real irony that the number of people moving around without any real knowledge about things is also increasing.
Information overload and yet basic knowledge is lacking. All we have now is fast media, high on noise and low on quality and depth.
My advice: do not fall for it. Having real knowledge is always going to get you ahead and give you a real edge over everyone else. You need sound information, not cheap thrills.
You do not need a quick fix or a cool gimmick that will give you an edge for a while, only for it to be a passing fad.
Let us be honest, real and useful information is not likely to be gotten from all those messages circulating on Whatsapp and Facebook, you will have to do some digging and research. You need to commit to educating your mind with real knowledge and becoming a bit smarter everyday.
You read #TMP already, that is a good start, but you need to do more.
Seek understanding and clarity on the critical issues of your life, career and purpose.
Am I really educating my mind daily with the kind of info I consume?
Seek and ye shall find. Look for good materials that are high in quality and depth, learn the basic fundamentals and educate your mind.
In real life, there is no first position or even any finish line. Take your time to get proper training and then enter your closet to build something amazing…. There is always room at the top for excellent work that people find meaningful and relevant!
The craze to rush to the market without having something amazing is fruitless in the long run. The era of building average, mediocre products is long gone. If you fail to bring a certain premium to the market, it is failure.
This is why I think rushing and seeking media attention without having anything serious ongoing is a fruitless exercise; a race to nowhere.
Am I ready for the market or do I need to develop a little bit more?
They said slow and steady wins the race. True words.
Watching The World
You have to start with the basics. Starting from the roots of what you are doing, from there it is always easier to build on top. Strip down to the bare essentials, learn the nitty-gritty, understand how it really works.
Before we learn frameworks or hacks or shortcuts, we should try to understand how it all fits together. As much as possible, you to ensure that your destiny is in your own hands.
I did not learn CodeIgniter or any of the dozen or so PHP frameworks peddled back in the days, rather I learnt the underlying programming language; PHP first, then the frameworks. PHP will always be relevant, the frameworks come and go just like fashion trends.
How have I skimped on learning the core of what I do? What amends can be made?
Learn the basics.
Watching The World