Entrepreneurial Vision

Every Entrepreneuer Lives off Their Vision

Archive for the tag “marketing”

Urgency to Innovate

Innovators are needed more than ever. Businesses that don’t innovate will perish. It’s already happened so many times; company xyz find a successful equilibrium until start-up 123 creates a better, faster, and cheaper offering. Company xyz is then caught red handed with nothing to counter the agile start-up 123 and begins to lose market share. When xyz loses market share the budget gets cut which affects R&D who is now under extreme pressure to create a miracle product with just a fraction of the resources it needs. Unfortunately for xyz the need urgency to innovate and the ability to innovate are inversely related.  Company xyz is now in real trouble.

 Those that do invest in innovation are rewarded handsomely. Think about the most innovative companies: Apple, Google, Honda, Procter & Gamble, Amazon, Nike, Target, Coca-Cola, Samsung, Tesla, Virgin, etc. Every year they spend millions on different types of innovation and receive a generous return through incredibly loyal customers.

 Innovation is what creates new customers and keeps the old ones. The market is so crowded that it is now a requirement to standout because your competitors are doing all they can to overshadow you. If you’re not making something that’s better, faster, or cheaper there is someone else who is. Think of your modern businesses as a shark: Sharks must constantly swim to survive. They can never stop moving or they will quickly run out of oxygen and die. In the same way businesses must always keep moving forward or die.

Innovation is also needed at a personal level. No matter what industry or type of business you’re in if you are seen as an innovator you become invaluable. People pay a premium for innovative products and in the same way companies pay a premium for innovative people. We are now part of a global economy and I can almost guarantee that someone in India can do your job for a fraction of what you’re currently being paid. The one thing that can be outspurced is the capacity to innovate. Innovate peoples’ jobs don’t get out sourced because they’re the only one who can think like they do. 

What Flavor is Your Passion?

There is nothing more energizing than a good brainstorm. The thought of creating new ideas and planning them out is just absolutely invigorating. The topic doesn’t even matter, we can brainstorm about fish, paper, canyons, or the stock market. My girlfriend says I have so many ideas that she can’t even begin to keep up with me. There is something so promising about an ideation session. It’s hard for me to believe that some people don’t like brainstorming. I don’t really care because I love it. My dream is to travel the world thinking of new ideas for businesses and other organizations. My creative talents and dreams inspire me to reach for that goal everyday. 

What makes you jump out of bed in the morning? Accounting? Horseback riding perhaps? Passions coupled with goals are a powerful force. Think of it like a recipe: passion+goals=happy vocation. This combination is a common trend among happy business owners. I imagine you would like to be a happy business owner one day as well. Start finding your passion and promise yourself that you will live out that passion. No more excuses.

5 Free Ways to Get Noticed

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Andrew Sieg successfully standing out.

Your mother probably told you that you are unique. Unfortunately when customers have an ocean of suppliers to choose from they’ll think otherwise. It’s more important than ever for you stand out from the competition. Use these five innovative tactics to draw attention to your brand.

1. Provide value before your customer buys anything or even asks. When the competition is clamoring for the markets’ money you’ll be making their lives better without charging a dime. Find out what what pains your prospect has and do a little research on how it might be solved. Put the solutions up on your website. If you have a subscriber list you can send it out as a newsletter. The most impressive option though is to put it in a report form like an eBook. The solution is probably on the internet somewhere, just do a little digging to find it.

2. Think outside the box. In college there was this internship I really wanted at a marketing firm. I sent in my polished resume and waited with anticipation. After a week I heard nothing. In response I found a cheap shoe and mailed it in a box to their main office. When they received the package there was a note that read, “Now that I’ve got my foot in the door can I get an interview?” They contacted me the next day. It never hurts to be bold. Especially when you have nothing to lose. 

3. Stay positive. We live in a world of negative news. With all the sickness, war, and poverty in the media, a little bit of optimism will go a long way. Express you your positive attitude proactively. Update you twitter about some exciting news or complement someone. When interacting with others be more accepting of their ideas. Encourage them by saying “How can we do that?” rather than “That won’t work.”

4. Hold true to your values. People who live their core values regardless of what other think get respect. There is something very authentic about someone who lives consistently with their beliefs. Even when someone doesn’t agree with you they will see you are true to yourself and others. People will find you to be stable which is rare in today’s dynamic world.

5. Ask open ended questions and probe. The best salesmen do this without thinking about it. Open ended questions create an opportunity for developing last relationships. You have given the other person permission to open up to you. Probing after an open ended question let’s you find out deeper needs and desire than most people see. You might ask “what is working well at your company?” After their answer follow with “why do you think that is?” Then you might email them an article relating to the conversation afterwords.

These are just a few ways to stand out from the crowd. What ideas do you have? Be sure to share this with friends.

Turn Any Obstacle Into an Opportunity

It looks like Callie and I may not be taking a trip to the Florida Keys due to a lack of income. This was something we have both been excited about for a long time. There is no question we are disappointed. I have a couple options here. First, I could complain that I can’t get what I want and curse God for my wretched existence or I can simply do something about it. Good thing I’m always full of ideas.

I am currently looking at closer alternatives for adventure. There is a beautiful park in Kentucky called Red River Gorge and its world famous for its hiking trails and rock climbing. Here would be an excellent opportunity to better my camping skills. With all the money we save we could also afford to splurge on food (hobo dinners are my favorite).

What if we’re still looking for that beach scene? After just a bit of research I came across Myrtle Beach State Park. This beauty lets you sleep on a mile of undeveloped beach for about $20 dollars a night. From the pictures on the site, it looks far away enough to enjoy costal nature but close enough for a night on the town. This alternative is great!

For a relaxing getaway there is a quaint place in central Indiana known as Brown County. This is Indiana’s best kept secret as it is lined with boutique shops, but at the same time adjacent to Indiana’s largest state park. If we wanted to get some adrenaline going, Brown County has the 3rd best mountain bike trails in the nation. When I browsed the website they had many itineraries for all different kinds of people. This place has the best of everything.

            There is an important lesson to be learned here. The happiest of people turn obstacles into opportunities. Also, most of these people happen to be very wealthy. When it feels like you’ve hit a road block stop and think for a moment. What poor assumptions have you made? What other actions can give you reasonable results? What are you actually trying to do? For me I thought for us to have an adventure we have to go to some exotic land. That assumption is wrong. There is a world of opportunity in my back yard! These other destinations offer 90% of the same things as the Florida Keys but at a fraction of the cost. In the end all we are really trying to do is have a good time together.

            A true entrepreneur lives in the “obstacles to opportunity” mindset. They know adversity is not a matter of if but when. This mind set gives them an advantage in the market place because they prepared themselves mentally so they can react quicker. Take these three steps to give yourself the “obstacles to opportunity” mindset.

  1. Know adversity is coming and accept it.
  2. Have a plan b and plan c based off the questions above.
  3. Invest your resources so they can be reallocated to other plans if needed. In other words don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

            What obstacles have you turned into opportunities? Be sure to follow my blog via email. When I’m done with my eBook I’ll send you a free copy if you sign up in the next 6 days. Be sure to share this with your friends.

Planning to Travel the World Part 1

For the past few years the concept of lifestyle design has been something that has interested me. The idea is that you build a life that you consider fulfilling and sustainable. A popular example is world travelers. Many of them are ex-corporate employees that realized a 9-5 job was not what they wanted. You can find them anywhere in the world. If you just Google “How to travel the world” you will find an astounding number of blogs, products, and websites dedicated to these travel junkies. They create location independent forms of income, sell their junk, and off they go. As crazy as it sounds I’m also planning to travel the world. It takes quite a bit of planning but it’s not impossible. Here is what I am currently doing to travel the world.

Commitment. I know this is not going to be easy so I have to be 100% dedicated to my goal. Fortunately I’ve traveled quite a bit, for an American, so I have already tasted the benefits. I know this is something I want to do so I set a goal. First things first, I need to graduate college. I have less than two semesters left. I would be an idiot not to finish.  When I graduate I’ll have roughly $30,000-$35,000 in school debt. I will pay that off before anything else. I use the Dave Ramsey methodology which is basically live like a hobo and pay off your debt ASAP. When my debt is paid off it is time to start saving. I imagine $15,000 should be plenty.

Own less stuff. This one is fun. People who are moving from place to place generally are living out of a backpack. The closer I get to travel time the more things I give away.  My collections of books are right in front of me and they are my pride and joy but I know one day they will have a new home. One way to practice this is to buy experiences instead of things. Don’t buy a movie rent one. You don’t need a dog, just visit the animal shelter. Collect these experiences with care, they’ll last a lifetime.

Enjoy the simple things. Even though my American currency will have leverage in other countries that money will dry up quick if I’m not wise with it.  Between plane tickets and surfing lessons (just wait Callie, I’ll be a pro yet) find ways to save money. For me I am learning to cook. This will be a skill that I can take with me all over the world. Not matter where I will go eating is something everyone will do. My secret to learning to cook quickly is The 4 Hour Chef. The author Tim Ferriss got me cooking fajitas and other goodies in a week flat. Hopefully my cooking skills will be enough to pick up a little side cash around the world. Find something you enjoy that is not expensive and is location independent.

Create an alternative form of income. This is the big one. There are so many ways to create a location independent business or even to just work in other countries. I am trying my hand at ecommerce and content marketing. I am currently designing a product that will hopefully sell over the internet. I can then outsource the fulfillment and customer service issues, and just check in on things via laptop or cell phone. Realistically I know the idea may not work so other ideas for me to consider are: teaching English, SEO work, and volunteer work. I think this issue is what keeps most people from pursuing extended travel. To be honest I’m a little worried because I have not made much money in a location independent manner before. Luckily I have an enterprising mindset to keep me motivated.

Check in soon to see how my planning is coming along and see how I convince my girlfriend to go along with this! What suggestions or comments do you have regarding travel?

At 22, Andrew Sieg has started 2 businesses and 2 fraternities. He enjoys learning about and creating business models that make more money and more free time to pursue his passion, traveling. Visit his blog https://entrepreneurialvision.wordpress.com/ to get advice for building a better business and life today. 

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