Connect with us

Business Entrepreneur

How your business can stand out, 2013 style

It isn’t easy for businesses to stand out, whether online or offline, but 2013 could be the year of your breakthrough, but it will get uncomfortable…

Published

on

stand out

stand out

Stand out, 2013 style

Standing out from the crowd and being different may not be the only marker in the route to success, but it’s certainly not a typical indicator of impending doom., and there are other reasons you want your business to stand out. Maybe you’re in a competitive market and want to get noticed. Perhaps you’re hoping to get funding, and don’t want to be lumped in to the other countless groups that also need startup cash.

It could be as simple as wanting yours to be the email your time-pressed customer opens. In short, there are many ways being different can make a positive impact on the future of your company. In part one of this series, I shared with you that you can stand out by reducing your friend counts, and in part two, I showed you how to stand out by bringing people together and being the connector.

In part three below, you’ll learn the hardest lesson of all – standing out is usually achieved by busting out of your comfort zone:

How to stand out by getting uncomfortable

Fear stop us from doing things that are risky. That can be good for us – in the case of one woman whose fear center no longer works, she continues to find herself in dangerous situations that fear could have kept her safe from, ulltimately.

And yet overcoming fear, specifically being comfortable with calculated risk, is so often the answer to growth, whether in our personal lives or in business.

We often avoid risk out of fear, even when we know that the risk we want to take isn’t dangerous. We all have that thing we should be doing but can’t bring ourselves to do, out of fear. You probably have the resolution you made around this time last year that you gave up on, because you were too afraid to see it through.

How do we get around the fear so that we may stand out?

Since the feeling of being afraid is so powerful, how do we get around it, or at least get to a place where we can tell whether our fear is irrational, and if so, power through?

By getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.

To start with, make a list of 30 things you’d like to do to make progress in your personal or professional life. Order the list from things that are just a little bit out of your comfort zone, to things that are the most harrowing to think about.

Start with the thing that cause you the least discomfort, and do your best to achieve it. When you get as far as you can, take a week off. Then do the next thing on the list.

The point here isn’t being able to reach the goal – maybe riding roller coasters just isn’t for you.

Rather, the idea is to make yourself attempt things that give you that feeling of discomfort, so you can desensitize yourself to your more irrational fears.

Attempting to break out of your comfort zone

A few things to try, if you have trouble thinking of any on your own:

  1. Do some public speaking
  2. Approach someone you admire but are afraid to talk to
  3. Take a trip to a country where you don’t speak the language
  4. Use that social media site you hate, and try and create a new audience there for a month
  5. Call instead of texting
  6. Visit in person instead of calling
  7. Test a different advertising method
  8. Write the book you’ve been daydreaming about, then give the first draft to someone whose opinion you really respect
  9. Ask a favor from someone who you’d never dream would help in a million years

Some of these may not frighten you at all, but the next person you talk to may find them terrifying. Even if nothing on that list scares you, just think for five minutes, what you’d do if you weren’t afraid. Pick from the list things that won’t endanger your life, those things that, if successful, would certainly enrich it, and do them.

The greatest risk of all sometimes, is not to take a risk at all.

The takeaway

2013 could be just another year, one you could exit having basically the same problems you had this year. But if you’re willing to focus on the best connections, bring people together, and overcome the fear that paralyzes your progress, it could be the year that you have your breakthrough.

Tinu Abayomi-Paul is the CEO of Leveraged Promotion and a member of Network Solutions Social web Advisory Board. Her website promotion company specializes in reputation management, and engineering demand generation system for businesses, integrating search, expertise marketing and social media.

Business Entrepreneur

Google makes it easier to identify veteran-owned businesses

(BUSINESS) Finding veteran-owned businesses just got easier thanks to a new feature from Google (one that veteran business owners can easily take advantage of).

Published

on

Google My Business (GMB) is the main database for search engines. It’s a powerful tool used by consumers and businesses. To help customers and business-owners, GMB added a very important category last fall. Businesses can now be identified as veteran owned.

The U.S. Small Business Administration estimates that there are 2.5 million businesses majority-owned by veterans in the United States. In one report, these veteran-owned businesses employ over 5 million people and have an annual payroll of $195 billion. Texas ranks #2 in having the most veteran-owned businesses, following California.

The support that Americans give vets is inspiring. The cool thing about this feature from GMB is that it helps consumers find businesses to support. The men and women who gave service to our country deserve support once they’re civilians. Look for veteran-led businesses when you use Google.

Customers aren’t the only ones who will take advantage of knowing whether a business is owned by a former service member not. Fellow vets often go out of their way to support each other. Who better to provide information about resources and opportunities than someone whose been there?

If you’re a business using GMB, it’s easy to add this attribute to your listing. It’s under the About category. The instructions for mobile and desktop can be found here. The only other attributes currently available are family-led and woman-owned.

It’s unknown how many people actually seek this information out or will actually use it. It’s estimated that about 10 percent of small businesses in the U.S. are veteran-led. These businesses aren’t just providing an economic impact on communities. Veteran-owned businesses hire fellow vets in higher volume than non-veteran-owned companies. USA Today reported that vets thrive in the small business world, attributing success to their core values, such as discipline and organization that make vets able to commit to a business and serve customers.

We applaud Google for adding this attribute to their database of information.

Continue Reading

Business Entrepreneur

How to know when it’s time to go freelance full time

(ENTREPRENEUR) There may come a point when traditional work becomes burdensome. Know how to spot when it is time to go full freelance.

Published

on

freelance productivity

Freelancing is often thought of as a mythical concept, something that is almost too good to be true. While it isn’t all about hanging out at home in your pajamas all day, being a freelance is something that is completely possible to be successful – assuming you do your homework.

Recently, a friend of mine who is a licensed esthetician was no longer happy with her position at the salon and spa she worked for. The set hours were becoming a burden, as was having to divvy up appointments between another esthetician within the salon.

She noticed an increasing number of people asking her if she could perform services (eyebrow and lip waxing) from her home, as they preferred not to go into the hectic salon. My friend also found an increase in requests for her to travel to bridal parties for their makeup, rather than the parties coming into the salon.

It was around this time that my friend began to seriously consider becoming a freelance esthetician, rather than a salon employee. After about six months of research and consideration, she decided that this was the best route for her.

Below are the reasons she felt ready to pursue this option, and if they resonate with you, you may be ready for a full time freelance career.

1. She had a number of built-in clients and a list of people she could contact to announce her at-home services. Doing this at the start of one’s career would be very difficult without a contact list and word-of-mouth references, so it’s important to have…

2. …experience! My friend had worked for a number of salons over the years, and had the experience of working with all different types of clients. She also learned what she liked and didn’t like about each salon, which were pieces that factored into her own work-from-home space.

3. Since she had years of experience and had done all of the necessary aforementioned research, she knew what was expected of her and knew that getting a freelance career off the ground wouldn’t be a walk in the park. Operating a freelance career is completely on you, so you have to be 100 percent dedicated to making it work – it won’t just happen for you.

4. Once she began thinking about this idea nonstop and became more excited, she knew it was time to move forward. At first, the “what ifs” were daunting, but became more positive as time went on. If the idea of being a freelancer elicits more smiles than frowns, definitely take the time to consider this option.

5. In addition to the clients she already had, she also had an amazing support system who helped her develop her freelance brand and get her at-home business up and running. Having a solid group of people in your life that will help you is crucial, and any offer for help should be appreciated.

Other things to consider are: do you have enough money saved in case the freelance venture takes longer than planned to take off? If not, maybe stick with the day job until you feel more financially secure.

Jumping into something too quickly can cause you to become overwhelmed and drown in the stress. Make sure you’ve covered every single base before making this leap. Good luck, freelancers!

Continue Reading

Business Entrepreneur

Teach kids music and they’ll learn entrepreneurship

(ENTREPRENEUR) Sowing the seed of music education and appreciation in your child when they’re young is a great way to produce the fruit of entrepreneurship when they’re older.

Published

on

entrepreneurship

With all the focus sports gets as the petri dish for producing driven adults, I’d like to offer up a different extracurricular activity for your consideration: music. Supporting your child as they learn how to harmonize with others will help set them up for success later in life, as music cultivates many of the characteristics that entrepreneurs rely on every day.

Iteration

Anybody who’s played an instrument or been a part of a choir can tell you that the number one thing you’ll learn in a musical group is that you won’t make it unless you practice, practice, practice. Although in the moment it’s not that great to hear little Timmy or Ginny run through their C-scale a hundred times, a few years down the line when all those hours of iterating result in the lilt of Beethoven through your household, you can be sure that your kid has learned that repeating the little steps helps them achieve large goals.

Showmanship

A large part of being a successful entrepreneur is knowing your markets, or your audience, and able to keep their attention so that they come back to you when they need your business. Being a part of an ensemble not only teaches children to be comfortable in the spotlight but to crave putting on a show.

Teamwork

When young musicians come together to play in a band or raise their voices in a choir, they’re learning a lot about how to collaborate with others in order to achieve a goal. When a young alto sings alone, her notes may sound strange without the soprano tones filling out the melody. The duet that comes from them learning to work together and complement each other builds a strong foundation for any team venture your child will encounter later in their careers.

Competiveness

Although music provides a solid foundation in harmony, it also contains just as much grit and competition as the football field. Music groups compete in regional and national championships just as athletes do, and solos offer opportunities to self-select and advocate. Hell hath no fire like a second seat musician who dreams of being first chair.

Self Confidence

Unlike sports, music is accessible to those who might struggle with finding confidence. There are no “best” requirements to play—regardless of height, weight, and other characteristics that nobody has any control over—nearly anyone can pick up an instrument or find their voice. This perhaps may be the greatest gift that you can give your child, the confidence that no matter what they look like they can excel.

As your child begins to consider the different activities that will help them build toward their future, don’t discourage them from pursuing a musical path. When they have to stand in front of an audience of their peers and deliver a presentation with an unwavering voice, they’ll thank you for the years they spent getting comfortable in the spotlight. Especially if they pursue entrepreneurship!

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Our Great Partners

The
American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!