Saturday, January 21, 2012

Asking Questions – Key to Business Success

“We never stop investigating. We are never satisfied that we know enough to get by. Every question we answer leads on to another question. This has become the greatest survival trick of our species.” - Desmond Morris (b. 1928), British anthropologist.

Ask and you shall receive says the Bible. Ask, and every human being has been conditioned to do what they are asked to do, say the psychologists. Ask, and according to the law of averages, you'll get enough "yes’s" to guarantee your success, say the sales managers.

Ask people any sensible, relevant question, for their opinion, advice, for a favor or anything that will enable you to meet them; then make sure they know who you are, and maintain your contact so they remember you. Ask "How can we do this better?" Ask "How can we do more?" Ask "How can we serve our clients better?" If you don't have answers to these questions, find someone who does and ask them.

Asking is the quickest, easiest and surest ways to get people to do what you want them to do.
Why does this work? Why do people tend to do what you ask them to do? Why is it that people who have no interest in you use their time and energy to furnish you with information just because you asked them for it? Because people are conditioned from childhood to respond to polite questions. If you ask intelligent questions with impact, almost everyone will answer you.

The other significant reason to ask good questions is to help the person you are asking. Asking well-crafted, intelligent questions causes people to think profoundly. When someone thinks more deeply than before, new ideas, new answers and new possibilities emerge.

Asking appropriate questions of people is like holding up a mirror to theiractions and decisions so they can see for themselves whether it is the right thing to do.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Managing Stress Begins with Knowing Its Source

Did you vow to tackle stress this year? Stress has long been known as a common curse of the entrepreneur. While there is no easy prescription for this problem, a helpful remedy is for entrepreneurs to get together and share their problems and frustrations.

When entrepreneurs get together, here are some of the factors they identify that increase stress.

When the initial vision of success gives way to disappointing sales. As one example, a business venture began based upon a single product that the owner really believed in -- a product that often drew praise when demonstrated ... but wouldn't sell. The owner heard over and over from prospective customers that the product was "a clever idea but I can't use it in my business." Stress was the by-product as this entrepreneur had to tear himself away from this single product, look at the facts, and begin again -- this time producing for the market, not for himself. A new product was the solution.

Partnership conflicts and coordination. When you start a business, friendships as well as investments are on the line. The backgrounds and talents of partners can make a difference. For instance, one partnership's co-entrepreneurs had very similar backgrounds, making the division of labor problematic.

Abandonment of reliable careers. The pressure to succeed is multiplied when new entrepreneurs find themselves taking a severe cut in their personal incomes in order to pursue their own business.

Overcoming bureaucratic barriers to small business marketing efforts. The difficulty a small company often has in dealing with layers of big-business bureaucracies can cause a great deal of strain. Reaching the CEO of a larger corporation may require a level of aggressiveness unnatural and, therefore, stressful to a small business owner. This frustration had been so great for one owner that he decided to direct his marketing efforts exclusively at other small companies.

Being too dependent on one company. Another business mentioned that his company had to swallow a very large loss on a major project when the single large firm his company had depended upon for its market suddenly ended the relationship.

Check out more great tips for success AND fulfillment in your business in the OED Community!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Why do people start a small business?

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Chinese proverb

Most times, for one of the following four reasons:

They are tired of working for someone else.

Small business ownership requires a great deal of responsibility. Some people thrive on that.

Small business ownership offers community recognition. First as a successful
business operator, and later as a contributor to the economic and social welfare
of the entire community.

No Restrictions
There are no restrictions and few prerequisites for small business ownership.

Race is not a factor in small business. Neither is gender. As a matter of fact, women are starting small businesses at 6 times the rate of men.

Monday, January 9, 2012


Leadership is the ability of a person to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organizations of which they are members and/or to achieve certain goals.

Leadership is the ability of an individual to set an
example for others and lead from the front. It is an attitude that influences the environment around us.

Leadership does not involve changing the mindset of a group, but the cultivation of an environment that brings out the best (inspires) the individuals in that group.

The Major Traits of Leadership
- Unwavering Courage
- Self Control
- Optimism - very few pessimists become leaders
- A Keen Sense of Justice
- Definiteness of Decision
- Definiteness of Plans and Purpose
- The Habit of Doing More Than Expected
- A Pleasing Personality
- Sympathy and Understanding
- Mastery of Detail
- Willingness to Assume Full Responsibility
- Cooperation

Saturday, January 7, 2012


In close to 7 million U.S. households, someone is trying to launch a new business. That means approximately 7.2% of Americans are hoping to get into business for themselves.

According to the Entrepreneurial Research Consortium that trend dovetails with another: more MBA's as well as college graduates are starting business ventures after graduating from school.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

You Will Never Reach Financial Independence Working For Someone Else

“It is more admirable to be in business for yourself then to work for someone else.” – HL Mencken – American editor

It is a fact of life that it is becoming increasingly difficult for families to make ends meet. Most Americans are working harder, even taking on two jobs, and have less to show for it then previous generations. Americans are living in debt and almost every household has two adults working outside the home.

Surveys have shown that the average person will work 900,000 hours in their lives (1,800,000 hours in a two-job household) and when they retire will live on an income only 1/3 of what they were earning prior to retirement. In reality, many people may work all their lives and never be able to retire.

Adding insult to injury, during their working careers most people must endure having their boss control their income, their daily schedule and even when they can take vacation. They will also risk layoffs, downsizing and termination… regardless of performance.

How can (and do) people break this scenario? By owning their own businesses… and thousands of people are entering the world of entrepreneurship every day.

People who never thought they had an option are learning that they can own their own businesses (and their futures) and working part-time or full-time can earn substantial secondary or primary income to their families as well as realizing the meaningful tax benefits that accompany business ownership.