Archive | May 2015

How To Convince People That You Are “Insane”?

By Cheval John

Most of the people were raised to the drum of “If you want a really great and stable job, you need to gain a quality education.”

They go to high school and learn about subjects that they are not interested in.

They study really hard for the SATs and ACTs so that they can make a high enough score to get into the best universities that money can buy.

When they get over that hurdle and know that they are “college material,” they are looking through different colleges to see which ones will get them towards the goals of attaining the all illustrious degree.

If they are a five-star athlete, recruiters from major colleges are paying visits to their home to try and sell to them their school and why they should compete for them.

They are continuously counting down to the day when they are finally free from the rigors of high school and are out of their parents watchful eye.

For most, they have selected the university that they want to attend close to the day of graduation.

If they are a five-star athlete (a.k.a. football), they are making their announcement on the university of their choice in front of a large television audience dubbed as “National Signing Day” broadcasted on major national networks like ESPNU, Fox College Sports, Big Ten Network, etc.

Then that day arrives when they achieved their high school diploma and are excited about the possibilities of going to college.

Once they arrive on the college campus, reality sinks in of achieving “independence” and the opportunity to choose which major they want to study.

They put in the grueling hours of doing labs, homework, writing papers, studying for exams for the four years (six years for some) to achieve the elusive goal of a college degree.

They want to be among those who made it through the rigorous demands of the university and proclaim that they are a college graduate.

They do not want to be among the majority who failed to achieve the college degree because that would be a failure not only to themselves, but their parents who spent their hard earned money to send them to college.

If they make the 40% of people who achieve their college degrees according to this 2014 story by NPR.org, they believe they are set for life.

The day arrives when they walk across the aisle to receive their college degrees and are excited about the possibilities that are waiting for them.

When most of the college graduates achieve their first entry-level job, they are excited to start the track to promotion.

They are in the workforce earning the salary, living the “American Dream” that they grew up with.

All of a sudden, they got an epiphany that they want to strike out on their own and follow their dreams.

When they tell their family, friends, etc about the decision, they wonder if they have gone “insane.”

They are wondering why you left that great company that have the benefits to go out into the unknown world of entrepreneurship.

Most have probably tried to convince the aspiring entrepreneur that 8 out of 10 new businesses fail within the first 18 months of operation according to this Forbes article “Five Reasons 8 Out of 10 Businesses Fail” by Eric T. Wagner via Bloomblerg Businessweek.

Though they are well meaning, they try to bring you back from your “insanity” of starting a business and to reconsider your decision to become an entrepreneur.

However, you don’t relent and decide to start your very own business.

I highly suspect that Brandon Sobotka heard the same concerns from his closest friends when he started his company, “Integrity Human Performance.”

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Many might not have understand his vision of helping people who are either entrepreneurs or business leaders, to increase their productivity and profitability without overworking themselves to death.

Even if you try to explain to them why you have to follow your destiny of owning a business and the desire to make the world a better place, they still believe that you are “insane.”

In their minds, the reasons are valid because you are the one who have to figure out a way everyday to make the venture work.

It makes sense to them that you are insane because you are going into unknown territory of entrepreneurship.

So what should you do if you have a tough time in convincing your friends and family of why you decided to become an entrepreneur and leave the perks of the company that provides you a “stable” salary?

Don’t waste your time explaining to them the reason why you became an entrepreneur.

What you should do is come up with creative ways to make your company a success.

When they see the results from your hard work to build your company into a profitable business the right way, they will understand to a degree your decision to become an entrepreneur.

Maybe they will get inspired by your success and decide to become an entrepreneur themselves and hopefully realize that you were not insane after all.

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The Flexibility Of Being A Small Business

By Cheval John

Photo Courtesy of  Dream Designs

Photo Courtesy of Dream Designs


Everyone is celebrating national small business week.

It is in honor of all of the small businesses which plays a huge part in the United States economy.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2014 report, they were 28,443,856 small businesses currently in operation in the U.S.

The majority of the small businesses are non-employers (22,735,915).

Though these non-employer businesses would like to have employees, they probably enjoy being solopreneurs.

Another thing that you can factor in with these solopreneurs is the fact that their non-employer businesses could be side businesses because they are taking the small steps towards full-time entrepreneurship while they are at their current full time work.

One of the best things that small businesses have over the larger corporations is the flexibility to pivot when the market changes.

They do not have to worry too much about letting go of their workers if the economy is in a recession.

Though this is great news, you might still have the “I do not have enough money blues” to compete with the larger corporations.

That is not the mindset to have because you can still compete against the larger businesses even if you do not have the “large budget.”

Despite having “limited” resources, you have the ability to be very creative on how you market your product or services with the biggest game changer of all: SOCIAL MEDIA.

Social media is a place where anyone can interact with a person even if they are thousands of miles away.

With platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., you can be very creative in how your share your message.

My suspicion is that you are like many of the small businesses who understand that must engage with your audience on a daily basis to earn their trust and eventually a new customer.

You also realize that gaining the trust of the customer is a long term goal and that it will take time to earn their loyalty.

If a corporation want to get their message out in the world, they buy advertisements, sponsor television events like college football, basketball, etc. to get in front of the large audience that are tuning in to watch the events.

That is why the smartest companies, intuition says the majority of small businesses, are participating in group chats on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn to build their audience.

They are also blogging to showcase their expertise.

Like Stephanie Shirley, owner of Bennis Public Relations Inc.

She shares about the ups-and-downs of running a business through her company’s blog

Mrs. Shirley was very creative in building a loyal following of nearly 1,000 fans because she has been very transparent with her readers.

Because of her transparency, she has taken her business to the next level.

Another way that small businesses can market their product or services is through a podcast.

You might be thinking “Why not just a blog?”

Though blogging is very, very important, the blogosphere is over populated.

According to statista.com, there were 173 million blogs in the world in October of 2011.

That number has really increased tremendously since that report came out.

It is also possible that they are more blogs out there that are not currently active at the moment.

So the number of blogs could possibly be close to 400 million.

However, they are about 300,000 podcasts.

And with the amount of people who uses smartphones which is over a billion, that is a huge opportunity for small business owners to reach a global audience.

And iTunes reported in 2013 that they had over 1 billion subscriptions of podcast from their website.

Another thing to consider about podcasting is that Apple created the Carplay system in 2014 that allows anyone to connect their iPhone to their car’s dashboard.

The Carplay system is set to be in 50% of cars hopefully by the end of this year.

So with less competition and huge access to potential listeners, small businesses can start a podcast and build a loyal audience in addition to having a blog.

They also do not have to worry about being their true selves when they are sharing their message out to the world unlike the corporations.

So if you are a small business and are looking to take your business to the next level, consider starting a podcast and also a blog because it will allow you to grow your audience the right way and you will not have to worry too much about using a marketing budget to share your message.

That is something that larger companies will probably not be able to do because they will have to get approved from a hierarchy of executives before they can share their message.

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The Right Way To “Amplify” Your Message

By Cheval John

It seems like in every generation, there is a new buzz worth that catches fire and add a new meaning to the English language.

One of the buzz words that is really catching fire seemingly this year is “amplification.”

You might wonder what does amplification mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, amplification means “the particulars in which a statement is expanded.”

So if this definition is right, a person want to make sure that their statement or message have a wider reach and be able to stand out.

In the age of social media, it is really noisy because everyone is out there sharing valuable information and trying to stand out from their competition.

The problem is that many are using the same mechanism like posting on Facebook, Tweeting on Twitter, etc. to try and get notice.

If you are a business, you are trying to find ways to amplify your message and make a sale.

They will try to find out which social media platform to use to get their message out and gain more customers.

Many businesses and people will go into using social media as a way to only promote their products or service.

Unfortunately, they miss the boat.

What they fail to realize is that they should not use social media to self-promote and turn people off.

Instead, they should use social media to engage with their audience and build a loyal following.

And for those who do understand the use of social media, they are standing above the noise and are amplifying their message.

They also understand that blogging is overcrowded and that one of the ways to stand out on social media is having a podcast.

They see that a podcast is another way to create a loyal following and slowly, but surely build trust with their audience and gain a loyal fan base.

They also see that podcast has a much smaller competition compared to blogs.

It makes sense because they are about 300,000 podcasts in the world compared to about 450 million blogs according to Cliff Ravenscraft, longtime podcaster and host of the Podcast Answer Man.

And the listenership of podcast has been steadily growing over the last decade.

According to the Edison Research, 46 million people have listen to at least one podcast in a month this year.

So does it not make sense for anyone including small business owners and solopreneurs to have a podcast?

I think so.

Britt Michaelian think so too.

Mrs. Michaelian recently launched the Mass Amplify Show earlier this year and it is really doing well.

It has been on iTunes New and Noteworthy within the first weeks when she launched it and is continuing to do well.

She has interviewed different guests like Bryan Kramer, Ted Rubin, Porter Gale, Brian Fanzo and many others who have amplified their message.

Though Mrs. Michaelian has been a best-selling author, reported from the Red Carpet for major events like the Billboard Music Awards, and even helped launched the Ricki Lake Show Social Network, she understood the changing times and was prepared to reinvent herself.

She shared with me on “What’s The Word?” last night about how she had a successful launch with her podcast, “The Mass Amplify Show”

Hint: Mrs. Michaelian had co-hosted or hosted several podcasts before the Mass Amplify Show:

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One of the important lessons that people can carry away from this episode are:

1. You have to reinvent yourself in order to keep up with the ever-changing world of social media.

2. You must bring value to others if you want to stand out from the crowd

3. You must give, give, give

4. Your career path will change overtime and you will have to learn how to pivot.

If you follow Mrs Michaelian’s advice, you are on your way to amplify your message and stand out from the crowd.

Do you know of other ways to amplify your message? You can leave your comments below.

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