Sep 262011
 
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be bold

Be Bold.  Rise Above The Noise.

As an entrepreneur, it is important to be bold.  We live in a world where there is so much “noise” of all sorts, that if you’re not willing to be bold, it’s likely that you will get “lost in the shuffle”.  Think about it; how many TV ads, radio ads, emails, billboards, print ads, and other marketing messages do you receive in a day?  What percentage do you think you pay attention to?

The bold are not always loved, but typically they are respected and in a lot better position to be remembered and ultimately, to be successful.  Particularly as a relatively new venture, but also true for more mature businesses, one of the biggest challenges you will face is making yourself and your company stand out from the rest of the pack.  Without being bold and trumpeting your strengths and differentiating factors, it is unlikely that you will stand out and succeed.

I realize that this concept of being bold will not appeal to everyone.  In fact, a lot of the time, I’d rather “fly under the radar” as well.  Unfortunately though, as an entrepreneur, you typically need to find a way to be noticed, in order to be successful.  This is not to say that you should be obnoxious, but it is to say that you will probably have to do some things that you’re not entirely comfortable with, in order to become known.  Use your imagination.  The wilder, the better.  Stay within the law, of course, but with those guidelines, the sky is the limit.

Take for example mega successful billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson – he used to do all sorts of death defying daredevil stunts to promote his early and very successful company, Virgin Records.  I’m not advocating necessarily that you risk your life, but the more different and exciting that you and your company can be (within reason, given the industry you’re in, of course), the more known and successful you are likely to become.  Be creative in your boldness.

If it makes your stomach turn just thinking that you need to be bold, try looking at it a bit differently.  Don’t think of it necessarily as the peacock, strutting its beautiful, loudly colored feathers in an effort to be noticed.  Rather, think of it as “finding your voice”.  I hear this phrase used quite a bit in the online, blogging and social media space, and being more of an auditory person, it has a visceral appeal for me.  In essence, it says that you don’t necessarily need to make yourself stand out by being “loud and obnoxious”.  Instead, you can do so by finding “your voice,” or unique and distinctive way that you communicate with your target market and other constituencies.

As long as the “voice” that you choose resonates with your constituencies, you can establish yourself as someone (or some company and brand) adding value with a unique perspective and approach, which makes you someone worth listening to.  I think Apple, one of the most recognized brands in the world, with one of the most loyal groups of followers and customers, does a great job of getting its “voice” across to its markets.  It does such a clever job of doing so, in the way its products are designed and in all of its communications, that the target market actually believes that it’s “their voice”.  And as you know, most people love the sound of their own voice.

So, if you’re sitting there thinking, “I don’t want to be bold and obnoxious,” well, you really don’t need to be in order to establish your “voice” in the marketplace.  You must, however, be unique and most importantly, be adding value, from the perspective of your target market and other key constituencies.  Remember, if you don’t find a way to rise above the “noise,” no one will ever know about the great products, services and solutions you provide.

I look forward to your thoughts and questions.  Please leave a comment (“response”) below or in the upper right corner of this post.

Paul Morin

paul@companyfounder.com

www.companyfounder.com

 

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Jun 022011
 
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If You Want Success, Learn To Navigate For Yourself

We’ve all heard the expression “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else”. Let’s take that to the next level: If you don’t know where you’re going and you don’t take charge of charting your own course, you probably won’t end up going anywhere.

Take a look around at the successful entrepreneurs, CEOs and other people that you know or know of. How many of them are current or former pilots or avid sailors? Ted Turner, Richard Branson, and Michael Bloomberg come to mind, but the list is much longer. What does one have to do with the other?

In all my time as an entrepreneur and now increasingly as I have started doing more coaching, research and writing on the topic of human “greatness” and peak performance, one trend I have noticed in those who succeed in all sorts of endeavors is that they take control of their own destiny. They leave the “employee mentality” behind, they determine and describe in a detailed way all that they are trying to accomplish, and then they chart a course to get there. When they chart that course, they know that there will be obstacles and they know that they will likely be off-course a good portion of the time, but they also know that it is far better to have an imperfect path charted than to have nothing at all and just hope for the best.

At its essence, this mentality boils down to taking control and taking ownership of your life, your ventures and your future. You must become the “pilot” of your life – even if you don’t literally become a pilot, you must take the leadership, responsibility and control of where you take all aspects of your life. And like those mentioned above, you must do so realizing that life hardly ever goes exactly according to plan; you will need to monitor your progress and course-adjust on a regular basis. You must also learn to react calmly in the face of changes and danger – only by overcoming your fears will you be able to reach your goals. The knowledge and confidence inherent in having a course charted and having developed contingency plans will help considerably in maintaining calm and “pressing on”.

Be bold. Take charge. Overcome your fears and other limitations. Become the “pilot” of your life and all your ventures and watch how the results you achieve improve markedly.

Oh, and by the way, punching coordinates or a street addresss into a GPS is not navigating – it does not teach you to think through the route you want to take, consider alternatives, take note of the landmarks you should expect to see, react with calmness to changes in the roads, etc. While GPS is a wonderful technology and, like any other technology, should be used to support you as you chart your course and embark on your journey in business and in other aspects of life, you should not become so reliant on it that you learn not to plan, think for yourself and stay aware en route. It’s like my father said to me back in the day, when he saw me using a calculator for my homework – it looks like a nice toy, but make sure it doesn’t keep you from learning the basics of math, the foundation upon which you will build all your other learning.

I look forward to your thoughts and comments.

Paul Morin
paul@CompanyFounder.com
www.CompanyFounder.com
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Mar 282011
 
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When you are asked if you can do a job, tell ‘em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.
________________
Theodore Roosevelt

Here, Teddy Roosevelt, one of the greatest “can do” personalities of history, provides much needed instruction to entrepreneurs. A recurring theme I have seen in my businesses and in those of successful friends of mine, is that often times the best opportunities arrive in the form of projects and subject matter that you don’t yet have a ton of experience with. You must learn to be a quick study, so that you can take on projects that may be a bit of a stretch for you and your business. Simultaneously, you must learn to embody and display a high level of confidence that, regardless of what the challenge is, you will surmount it and reach your objectives.
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Feb 092011
 
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This is no time for ease and comfort. It is time to dare and endure.
_______________
Winston Churchill

Complacency is among the biggest enemies of accomplishment in entrepreneurship or any other undertaking in life. I’ve seen in my own life and those of other entrepreneurs that the moment you get comfortable, almost without fail, you get thrown a curve ball, a wakeup call. I’m not sure why, but that’s how it works. So the lesson is to not become complacent. Always be striving to learn and improve. It’s not to say that you shouldn’t enjoy your accomplishments – you absolutely should – but in so doing, don’t get too comfortable.

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Dec 032010
 
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The bold are not always loved, but typically they are respected and in a lot better position to be remembered and ultimately, to be successful.  Particularly as a relatively new venture, one of the biggest challenges you will face is making yourself and your company stand out from the rest of the pack.  Without being bold and trumpeting your strengths and differentiating factors, it is unlikely that you will stand out and succeed.  This is not to say that you should be obnoxious, but it is to say that you will probably have to do some things that you’re not entirely comfortable with, in order to become known.  Use your imagination.  The wilder, the better.  Stay within the law, of course, but with those guidelines, the sky is the limit.  Take for example mega successful entrepreneur Richard Branson – he used to do all sorts of death defying daredevil stunts to promote his early and very successful company, Virgin Records.  I’m not advocating necessarily that you risk your life, but the more different and exciting that you and your company can be (within reason, given the industry you’re in, of course), the more known and successful you are likely to become.  Be creative in your boldness.

.

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