Tag Archives: Entrepreneur

Episode 118: Ten Top Tips for Direct Sales | Vicki Fitch

Vicki Fitch bought her first house at 19, started her first company at the age of 20, became a serial entrepreneur and was in the Top 10 of Sales and/or Recruiting for more than 10 years consecutively in her direct sales company all while raising a family.  In Episode 118 of the Defining Success Podcast, Vicki will be sharing her ten top tips for direct sales.

Vicki Fitch 10 Top Tips for Direct Selling

Vicki Fitch

Vicki is a direct sales expert, author, speaker, and business consultant. She started her career in selling early on cold calling in her local area and then started her own bookkeeping business.

As she grew up and started a family she started designing scrapbooks for her family, really enjoyed it, and started learning about direct selling in the scrapbook industry and has been involved in direct sales ever since.

In Episode 118 of the Defining Success Podcast, Vicki Fitch shares her ten top tips for direct sales.

  1. Be Passionate
  2. Find a Leader You Respect
  3. Find a Coach
  4. Make Connections
  5. Use Social Media
  6. Create Original Content
  7. Dream Big
  8. Laser Focus
  9. Become the Expert
  10. Never Give Up
Vicki Fitch Ten Top Tips for Direct Selling

Vicki Fitch

Resources:

  • PicMonkey – PicMonkey makes creative tools for photo editing and graphic design because we want you to rock the universe. We want your images to show your creativity, your style, your spot-on brilliance.
  • Canva – Canva gives you everything you need to easily turn ideas into stunning designs. Create designs for Web or print: blog graphics, presentations, Facebook covers, flyers, posters, invitations and so much more.

Success Quotes:

  • “Everyone has the ability to do direct sales.”
  • “Do what you love and the money will follow.”
  • “Don’t give up five minutes before the miracle happens.”
  • “Don’t tell me I can’t do it until I’ve already done it.  Then feel free to let me know.
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Episode 113: The Three Ways You Can Make Money Online | Nick Loper

Nick Loper - 3 Ways to Make Money Online

Nick Loper

Nick is an author, entrepreneur, and a lifelong student in the game of business.  His latest role is as Chief Side Hustler at SideHustleNation.com, a growing community and resource for aspiring and part-time entrepreneurs.

Nick Loper joined the online world while he was working for Ford as a side hustle in the Summer of 2014 eight to nine years ago.  He started his work online by  selling shoes with a website he created as an affiliate.  The site was a data-driven site which never performed very well in the organic searches and all of his visitors were paid visitors.

Nick has initiated a multi-prongued income attack where he offers consulting, a mastermind group, affiliate marketing, Kindle publishing, book editing, and online instruction.

According to Nick, there are three ways you can make money online:

  • Advertising
  • Product
  • Service

Nick has written four books on Amazon:

  • Virtual Assistant Assistant: The Ultimate Guide to Finding, Hiring, and Working with Virtual Assistants
  • Treadmill Desk Revolution: The Easy Way to Lose Up to 50 Pounds in a Year – Without Dieting
  • The Small Business Website Checklist: A 51-Point Guide to Build Your Online Presence the Smart Way
  • Work Smarter: 350+ Online Resources Today’s Top Entrepreneurs Use To Increase Productivity and Achieve Their Goals
3 Ways to Make Money Online

Nick Loper

Shout-Outs:

  • Pat Flynn
  • John Lee Dumas
  • Chris Brogan

Success Quotes:

  • Success is freedom of time. The freedom to spend your days how you want to spend them.
Nick Loper 3 Ways to Make Money Online

Nick Loper

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Episode 112: The Entrepreneurial Work Mode | Pamela Slim

Pamela Slim, the Entrepreneurial Work Mode,

Pamela Slim

Being an entrepreneur is not for everyone according to Pamela Slim.  Entrepreneurs need to be competent in the entrepreneurial work mode.  In Episode 112, Pamela Slim and I will discuss the entrepreneurial work mode and how to become successful as an entrepreneur.

Pamela Slim is an award-winning author, speaker and leader in the new world of work. She spent the first 10 years of her solo practice as a consultant to large corporations such as Hewlett-Packard, Charles Schwab and Cisco Systems, where she worked with thousands of employees, managers and executives. In 2005, she started the Escape from Cubicle Nation blog, which is now one of the top career and business sites on the web. She has coached thousands of budding entrepreneurs, in businesses ranging from martial art studios to software start ups.

According to Pamela, not everyone can be an entrepreneur.  There are so many components that have to work together to create a great business.

A lot of people paint the picture that entrepreneurship is wonderful and fantastic, but really it’s hard work.  In reality, it’s just a work mode.

Set up business licenses, a bank account, talk to an accountant and make sure you’re setting up a viable business.

Who is your market?  What is the different ways you can connect with them?

Pamela Slim on the Defining Success Podcast with Zeb Welborn

Pamela Slim

Success Quotes:

  • Success is to enjoy my life while living it.
  • Hating your job intensely is not a business plan.
  • Define your service, choose a price, set up your payment account and boom you can test something to see if somebody’s willing to pay you for the service.
  • The act of planning is critical for a small business owner.
  • People want to feel like their life has meaning.

Shout Outs:

  • Kyle Duran – Pam’s lawyer
  • Tim Berry – Business Plan Pro
  • Jermaine Griggs – JermaineGriggs.com
  • Dr. Nick Morgan
  • Ramit Sethi – I Will Teach You To Be Rich
The Entrepreneurial Work Mode with Pamela Slim

Pamela Slim

 

 

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Episode 101: Tribal Marketing | Daryl Urbanski

In Episode 101 of the Defining Success Podcast, Daryl Urbanski shares his entrepreneurial journey and discusses the importance of tribal marketing.  Tribal marketing is a marketing strategy that attempts to create social communities centered around a product or service.

Daryl Urbanski on Tribal Marketing on the Defining Success Podcast with Zeb Welborn

Daryl Urbanski

Daryl Urbanski is a #1 Bestselling Business Author, Business Coach, Martial Artist, Tribal/Database Marketer, Entrepreneur, & Student Of Life.

Daryl focuses heavily on direct response campaigns and has experienced a lot of success.  His first endeavor was an email marketing campaign designed to get a job in Canada while he was still in High School.

He had some early experience with alternative energy, traveled to Japan to teach English, worked as a freelancer and then started experimented with passive income.

Ancient Secrets of Lead Generation is Daryl Urbanski’s best selling book

Influencers:

  • Michael Gerber
  • Jim Rohn
  • James Michener

According to Daryl, the biggest mistake many entrepreneurs make is:

  • Not Getting a Mentor
  • Not Surrounding Yourself with the Right People
  • Poor Time Management

Tribal marketing focuses on creating small groups of people and creating specific products for them to become more successful.  Working constantly to continually create value for people.

Daryl also believes in surrounding yourself with wolves instead of gazelles.

Daryl Urbanski author of The Ancient Secrets of Lead Generation

Daryl Urbanski

Success Quotes:

  • “The ultimate reason for setting goals is to entice you to become the person it takes to achieve them.” — Jim Rohn
  • “Sometimes you need to make the mistake to learn the lesson.”
  • “Do more.”
  • “Success is being able to do what you want, where you want, with who you want, with the price and terms you want.”
  • “Success is whatever it means to you.”
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Episode 82: There is No Secret to Success | Sushant Misra, Host of Trep Talks

Sushant Misra explains there is no big secret to success in this episode of The Defining Success PodcastSushant Misra is the owner of Trep Talks, and he and I are in a mastermind together. He actually interviewed me on his show about six months ago. He’s a really bright guy, has a great advice. One thing that he brought up, which I have found to be true with the interviews I’ve done with people for The Defining Success Podcast, is that there is no big secret to success. It’s a great episode, I hope you all enjoy!

Sushant Misra is the host of Trep Talks, a web-based interview show where he interviews some of the most successful digital entrepreneurs on the internet. These entrepreneurs share their stories as well as a few “secrets” – i.e. mindsets, strategies and tactics that worked really well for them in starting and growing their own online businesses. He is also the owner of yogamatstore.com.

Zeb’s Take – There is No Secret to Success

It was a lot of fun for me talking with Sushant. He and I have a conversation every week and talk about our businesses and talk about ways to improve our businesses. It’s always been a good learning experience for me and everyone else that comes and participates in that mastermind group that we’re involved in. He gave so much practical advice, and a lot of great philosophical stuff too. One of the things he said that he learned from doing his Trep Talks show, the video show on his podcast, is that there is no big secret to success.

I think when I started the Defining Success Podcast I was kind of looking for that too. I think a lot of people when they think about using social media or using the internet they think it’s kind of like a gold mine maybe, or that you just jump in and you can make money off of it. But that is absolutely not the case. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication and commitment. So maybe the secret to success is that you need to work hard, you need to be committed, you need to persevere, you need to have all those different tools in place.

I remember being approached by a friend of mine. He had, it was called, The Leather Traveller, he would sell leather goods online. I guess it was a franchise or something. He put up a website to sell his leather goods. He thought, “I’m just going to put this website up there, I’m going to sell other people’s goods, and I’m going to make money. It’s that easy.”

What he came to realize was that he had to find out how to drive traffic to his website, had to make sure his website functioned properly, he had to make sure visitors to the website can find what they want and purchase the leather goods. He just didn’t have that level of commitment and interest to go in there and dive in there and make it happen. He kept telling me about all these dreams he had to use the internet to make money, but he would never do the hard work that was necessary to do that. (If he’s listening, I apologize for bringing that up. I know he’s really active and excited about the work he’s doing now.) I will say that from all the people I’ve interviewed on The Defining Success Podcast is that there is no secret to success. The secret to success is that hard work, perseverance, getting that stuff done, and doing it in a smart efficient way.

Such a great time talking with Sushant today, a lot of great advice in the interview. Adam, Scott, Jolene, Herby, Sushant: thank you all for being a part of that mastermind group.

Go out there and find your success!

Find out more about Sushant Misra and Trep Talks

Trep Talks. Learn. Start. Grow.Go to TrepTalks.com
Trep is short for the word Entrepreneur. It’s a great place for people that are interested in learning about online marketing or online entrepreneurship. Sushant is taking this project in a new direction. He’s working to create a lot of great educational content with really successful people teaching you directly.

Quotes

  • “Entrepreneurship is a process.”
  • “You have to find an idea that is at the intersection of the skills that you have, your own interests and passions, and something that can be monetized. If you have an idea that matches those three criteria, you have an idea that you have a good shot at pursuing.”
  • “Every person has something from their own experiences, from their own knowledge, that they can share with the world.”
  • “I really try to learn from every single guest. In the hopes that by coming from that place of curiosity, I will be able to create content that will be helpful to other people as well.”
  • “One of the big things that I’ve learned is that there is no big secret.”
  • “As an entrepreneur, if you have a small vision or a mediocre vision, you’re going to spend the same amount of time and effort in trying to get that off the ground as you are going to do with a big vision. It’s much better to try to achieve something bigger.”
  • “What really matters is choosing the right idea, the idea that is right for you, and just executing properly and consistently over the long term.”
  • “Business is really about people. You have to be comfortable talking to people, networking with people, and helping people.”
  • “People are very friendly, people are helpful. If you ask them for a meeting or some help, a lot of times they say yes.”
  • “You have to become comfortable making mistakes, learning from them, and not get discouraged from making mistakes. Once you can do that it really helps you take your entrepreneurial journey to the next level. At that point you really start learning at a rapid pace. You’re not getting discouraged by mistakes and you consider that as part of the process.”

sushant-quote1      sushant-quote2

More from the Interview

Sushant had Zeb on his show, Trep Talks, about 6 months ago. He was the first to turn the tables on Zeb and make him an interviewee on a podcast. Zeb had a great experience on Trep Talks and is excited to now have Sushant on The Defining Success Podcast. Zeb and Sushant are part of the same mastermind group.

In 2010, Sushant finished his master’s degree in Health Administration mainly because his parents wanted him to be a doctor, but he wanted to learn about business. He had realized that he was very entrepreneurial. After graduation he had the decision to take the safe life, get a typical 9-to-5 type job, or to really pursue his passion. He took a leap of faith.

“Entrepreneurship involves a lot of uncertainty.”

He didn’t know much about online marketing or online entrepreneurship, but from the little he did know and from his experiences visiting wesites, he knew the internet would continue to grow. He taught himself and created his own online ecommerce store called yogamatstore.com where he sold yoga products. He did that for a few years, but he wanted his own products and lacked the investment to be able to do that. He had to go back in the industry and work for some bigger ecommerce businesses and gain more experience.

Then he found a product that did not require a lot of upfront investment, he started Trep Talks. On Trep Talks he interviews a lot of knowledgeable people in the online world and put out those interviews. Now Sushant is at a point where he wants to take that project and make it something bigger.

Entrepreneurship is a process.

Sushant says there are two kinds of people who become entrepreneurs. One kind is an accidental entrepreneurship, these are people who have worked in the corporate world for 15 – 30 years, they have an acquired set of skills, they know a lot about a certain industry. Now with all that skill and knowledge about an industry they identify an opportunity and start a business. Often they have some capital investment, partners, and things like that.

The other kind of entrepreneur, which Sushant falls into, is someone who has an entrepreneurial personality. It’s innate to them. “For me, entrepreneurship is a process. I realize that it’s something that you do, you learn through the process, then you start something again.”

YogaMatStore is a learning process for Sushant about entrepreneurship, about his own personality, about the online world. He has taken that experience and brought it with him and to new level with Trep Talks.

He hopes to create something that is useful and valuable for people in the world, and that creates a better life for people around the world.

To feed his entrepreneurial personality he says you have to find a sweet spot, “My definition of a sweet spot is you have to find an idea that is at the intersection of the skills that you have, your own interests and passions, and something that can be monetized. If you have an idea that matches those three criteria, I think, you have an idea that you have a good shot at pursuing.”

Entrepreneurship is so difficult that if you are not truly interested or passionate about it, it’s not really something that everyone should pursue.

He says, I realized that I had a passion in learning about the online world. I started approaching people, I approached you, I really started talking to people about how the online world works. I started putting videos on the website just thinking that there are other people out there just like me who want to learn more about online marketing, online entrepreneurship, how to start a business, how to find clients online, and I received a great response from people on different social media sites and people emailing me with great feedback.

It was really a project for me to learn more about online marketing because I was really passionate about it. But, it seemed that it’s something that other people are also interested in learning about. I want to take it and turn it into a big business and really take this idea and take it further.

Fun Fact: Sushant had never used Facebook before 2013.
He realized that he should remedy that, so he created a set of interviews where he interviewed a lot of great Facebook marketing experts. He dug deep and asked them questions from the perspective of a beginner trying to learn how to leverage Facebook marketing, how to leverage Facebook advertising, to find your clients online, to really generate revenue for your business.

Sushant has interviewed 60 to 65 people for Trep Talks. He says it’s already been a great journey. He is appreciative especially of the people who gave him their time and knowledge in the very beginning and who believed in him.

He says one of his best interviews was the one with Zeb, but there are several good ones.

“Every person has something from their own experiences, from their own knowledge, that they can share with the world.”

One of his first interviews was with Tim Ferriss, a very well known online marketer, and it was done in person, an experience Sushant will never forget. Another one was with a blogger named Michelle Shaeffer, she was one of those first people who believed in him. She introduced him to a lot of other people that he was able to interview on Trep Talks.

“I always come from a place of curiosity and learning. I really try to learn from every single guest. In the hopes that by coming from that place of curiosity, I would be able to create content that will be helpful to other people as well.”

“One of the big things that I’ve learned is that there is no big secret.”

“I had this secret hope that they would share something, you know this secret formula, that made them successful, or that made them wealthy. And what I realized was there wasn’t really a big secret, a lot of it was really just perseverance and hard work and having a big vision.”

“As an entrepreneur, if you have a small vision or a mediocre vision, you’re going to spend the same amount of time and effort in trying to get that off the ground as you are going to do with a big vision. It’s much better to try to achieve something bigger rather than smaller.”

He says there is no shortage of ideas or talent. “What really matters is choosing the right idea, the idea that is right for you, and just executing properly and consistently over the long term.”

Advice: Find a big vision. Start. Learn. Refine your idea. After that it’s just about pure perseverance and just not giving up.

He says, 6 or 7 months ago when he started this project, networking and meeting new people was a big challenge for him. One of his mentors pushed him to start networking when he had to go back to working at a bigger business. Sushant had an a-ha moment. Business is really about people. You have to be comfortable talking to people, networking with people, and helping people.

“I could have never, in my wildest dreams, could have imagined that I would met so many wonderful people and have this opportunity to learn from them. It has been a wild ride. For me, it’s really something out of a dream.”

“People are very friendly, people are helpful. If you ask them for a meeting or some help, a lot of times they say yes.”

“You have to become comfortable making mistakes, learning from them, and not get discouraged from making mistakes. Once you can do that it really helps you take your entrepreneurial journey to the next level. At that point you really start learning at a rapid pace. You’re not getting discouraged by mistakes and you consider that as part of the process.”

Example
Sushant was doing Trep Talks as a full time job. At one point he wasn’t getting the revenue he needed, his savings was running out and it took him to a dark place. He clearly remembers thinking, in this dark place, this is where I should start looking for opportunities. A couple weeks later he ran across a funding opportunity from the government in Ontario, Canada. They help new and young business owners with funding and training and things like that. He applied for that opportunity, it took some time, but he finally was very fortunate to receive that and now is able to pursue his dream and take his idea to the next level. He had to stop and tell himself, “this is a dark place, I really need to look for an opportunity” and he found it.

Sushant has been in Canada for about a decade, before that he lived in India. He says he was raised in a very safe environment. He was very comfortable, he never wanted to take a risk. He cared too much about what everyone else thought about him. When he went to Canada, he kinda took that as an opportunity to try a lot of new different things, because he thought, “who cares, no one here knows me.” He wonders what if he would have felt that way sooner at a younger age.

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Episode 78: Start a Small Scale Business to Test Your Idea | Ben Alexander, Founder of Balloon Distractions

Ben Alexander founder of Balloon DistractionsBen Alexander is the owner of Balloon Distractions, who appeared on an episode of the Shark Tank. He didn’t get a deal with any of the Sharks, but he gained a lot of experience through the process. He talks with us about his experience on the Shark Tank as well as with his business. His advice to start with a small scale business is something that resonates with me.

Ben Alexander started Balloon Distractions in the Fall of 2003, starting an adventure that continues to this day. Balloon Distractions has been a blessing in his life, and the lives of all those who have learned a new skill, income, confidence and poise.

 

Zeb’s Take – Start with a Small Scale Business

It was great talking to Ben today about his business, how he’s been able to grow it and get these balloons out there; get kids excited, helping out restaurants and helping get people extra income as well. He started his business on a small scale.

The thing I want to expand on is that many people when they start a business they take out a loan, or try to find investors, or take out a second mortgage, or something similar to invest all that money into an idea. All because people tell them it’s a great idea. Then when they take it to market, they don’t get the response (in terms of sales) that they’re looking for.

What you could do with a business is start on a small scale, a small scale business. If you have a product, a service or an idea or something you want to try, do it on as small a scale as possible. See if you can get sales from it, because sales is the most important thing for any business. You really need to go out and seek those sales first to know if you have a business or not.

On Shark Tank the always about sales. How many sales do you have? Some of the people who go on the show haven’t even pushed the sales side of things for their business and then they don’t really know if their business is profitable or not. It doesn’t matter what people say, it matters what people buy in business.

Keep that in mind. If you have an idea, you don’t need a grandiose business launch. Find an inexpensive way to put it out there and try to sell it with your small scale business. Sometimes you don’t even need to have the product to sell it, you can get people to buy into the idea of the product. If you can get people to put money down based on an idea then you know you are onto something. Nowadays there are crowdfunding sites (like Kickstarter and Indiegogo) that you can get people to buy your product before it’s even out there on the market. That’s an excellent way to test and see if people are legitimately  interested in the product or not.

Contact Ben Alexander at Balloon Distractions

BalloonDistractions.comballoon-distractions-logo
BenAlexander@balloondistractions.com
If you are interested in growing a region contact Ben, (813) 391-3895

Quotes

  • “It’s always a bit of a leap to go from being an employee or salesperson to being a full on entrepreneur. I haven’t regretted it.”
  • “I’m looking for that 1% that are ballsy enough to be entrepreneurial, and say ‘Hey, I want to start something.’”
  • “That’s the amazing thing about capitalism in general, the creativity it engenders.”
  • “No one else has ever done what I’ve done.”
  • “I think there are not that many people out there that are actually entrepreneurial. If people had the choice between stepping out on their own and being entrepreneurial or working for $10 an hour. I think more people are likely to work for $10 an hour even though the gain is not as good.”
  • “I made kids happy; just did some goofy stuff and it was fun. I walked out of that gig I felt good. I felt good about the universe and I felt good about myself.[…] Doing balloons for people is a pretty humble thing to do.”
  • “To play it safe is also to play it boring.”
  • “Sometimes you just have to learn. The best lessons are going to be mistakes.”

Start with a small scale business to test your business idea.More From the Interview

Background
As a college student Ben took a semester to teach English in Taiwan where he met his wife. When he returned to school he was studying Economics and working as a waiter at a restaurant. At this restaurant they had a guy come in once in a while doing balloons, he serviced a few restaurants. Ben was getting tired of serving, he asked the balloon guy to teach him in return for payment. Ben joined his team and his first week doing balloons he made $800 in tips just from balloons. Ben thought, “wow, there’s something to this.”

When he graduated he got away from doing the ballooning, but he kept it in mind. He got married, had kids, got a job at a fortune 500 insurance company. In the summer of 03 he moved to Tampa Bay, he had a sales job that he hated and that wasn’t paying enough to cover his bills. He noticed there were a ton of restaurants, so he went out and started working at a couple doing ballooning. Then he went to the nearby college and recruited some students. We were in 30 markets by the time we were on The Shark Tank. He was in Episode 514 of The Shark Tank.

Ben lost his sales job when he was fired, but that day he went out and got 4 restaurants, a chain, to work with. He took that as a sign. I remember coming home and talking to a neighbor of mine who owned his own contracting business. He said, “You know you can always get a sales job. Why don’t you go out there and try to do this thing on your own. See if you can support yourself with your balloon business.” To this day Ben remembers that advice.

Ben says, If you’re doing 100% commision sales, you’re kinda already in business for yourself. You just maybe don’t have the structure behind you. I had experience in 100% commision sales, but I had never been a full on independent business owner or entrepreneur.

“It’s always a bit of a leap to go from being an employee or salesperson to being a full on entrepreneur. I haven’t regretted it. The last 10 years of my life, I’ve had the freedom to do a lot of things that I couldn’t to do if I had a normal 9-to-5 job.

“There’s definitely more risk in running your own business, but if you structure it right and you don’t go into crazy debt, it could be a nice lifestyle.”

Shark Tank
Shark Tank put them on a national stage. There are 200 markets in the United States, Ben is trying to get regional leaders and build a crew for each of the top 150 markets. They have regional leaders that work 15 hours a week, and we have people that are full time.

“I’m looking for that 1% that are ballsy enough to be entrepreneurial, and say ‘hey, I want to start something.’”

“Everything that you’re ever going to see that’s not natural started as an idea.”

“That’s the amazing thing about capitalism in general, the creativity it engenders.”

Ben suggests that if you’re an entrepreneur and you watch Shark Tank. If you have an idea try something on a real small scale. Don’t mortgage your house just to try something. If it’s profitable on a small scale you can grow it bigger and bigger and it tends to be profitable as you get larger.

To get on the show Shark Tank, Ben applied online, months later they asked him to create a audition video. He says, “I made it real wacky and crazy kind of like a Billy Mays Infomercial type of thing. I think they liked that.”

He says, to get on Shark Tank you can be an awesome person with an awesome business, but if it’s something people have seen before, like a fishing boat charter, or house cleaning… they want something different. When you tune in you have no idea what crazy off-the-wall creative wacky businesses you’re going to see.

The show suggested he do his sales pitch and then they drop balloons on him. They filmed in the morning, he didn’t know if it would go smoothly, he had no sleep the night before and he was heavily caffeinated. “I’m normally really hyper and energetic already, so to kick it up a notch, it just makes me look like totally nuts.”

“I think my pitch was not organized enough and I didn’t have a solid enough expansion plan.”

Balloon Distractions
“No one else has ever done what I’ve done.”

Ben still goes out and does gigs. He said “I made kids happy; just did some goofy stuff and it was fun. I walked out of that gig I felt good. I felt good about the universe and I felt good about myself.[…] Doing balloons for people is a pretty humble thing to do.”

What Ben wants to do is create a machine that, for example, is able to target St. Louis and in 90 days have a team up and running. He wants to do that without spending thousands of dollars in advertising to find those people.

Ben has several people that used to do balloons at restaurants for them that come back and become regional leaders.

“I think there are not that many people out there that are actually entrepreneurial. If people had the choice between stepping out on their own and being entrepreneurial or working for $10 an hour. I think more people are likely to work for $10 an hour even though the gain is not as good.”

“To play it safe is also to play it boring.”

Shark Tank boosted his business but it didn’t double it or do anything crazy.

Advice
There are 3 skill sets that are needed to run a business:

  • You need to be able to do it
  • You need to be able to sell it
  • You need to be able to manage the money

Ben says he should have, on day one, had someone come in and make sure the money was managed correctly.
He suggests: get a good accountant, get your quickbooks, and never get behind on taxes.

“Sometimes you just have to learn. The best lessons are going to be mistakes.”

Tim Robbins said it’s action, you have to take action, you can’t sit around and just plan s*** all day. You have to take action. A lot of people have these complicated business plans and they want to get a giant loan and all this other stuff. If you want to start a business, you need to take action up front.

You may have a great idea and people are like, “Wow, that’s a great idea!” And then you go out there and no one is willing to pay you a dime for it… maybe it’s not that great of an idea.

If you have an idea try it. Don’t try it for the next 30 years, but go present it to a hundred different people and just gauge the interest. If no one has any interest then take it back to the drawing board, improve it or change it. Even better, take your idea out there and ask, how can we make it better; you’d be amazed people will give you lots of information.

What do you think of Ben’s interview?

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Episode 75: What Makes a Social Business | Michael Peshkam, Founder and CEO of Xincus

Michael Peshkam is the founder and CEO of Xincus. Xincus Michael Peshkam, founder of Xincus, a social business platform.gives businesses an opportunity to collaborate and communicate with each other on his platform and creates the opportunity to leverage social media. Michael talks about businesses and social media, noting that there is a difference between a business that uses social media and a business that is a social business.

Xincus is the first-of-its-kind online Social Marketplace for Business that makes the power of mass collaboration available to everyone by bringing together Experts, Businesses, and Enterprises to engage each other and create new business value and opportunities that they could not develop independently.

Zeb’s Take

Michael is extremely smart and knowledgeable. I really liked the correlations he made between the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries and the implications of the power structure that is involved with each century and I agree with the direction he sees things going.

One of the things he brought up, that I want to touch on, is that there are businesses today that are using social media, and they think that’s being social, but it’s not. You need to incorporate social media into your business to create a social business. For example, The Tutoring Solution. I originally got started on Facebook and I wasn’t getting a lot of engagement. I racked my brain and came up with the idea to offer a scholarship. We call it the Share Your Passion Scholarship. To enter we ask students to write an essay to explain what they are passionate about, why they are passionate about it, and how they can use their passion to help others. Then we vote and choose the winner. We give the people on our Facebook the opportunity to vote and help us pick their favorite, and we encourage each of the students to get their friends on facebook to vote. We wouldn’t have started that scholarship if we weren’t thinking of ways to interact with our potential clients. Since then we’ve leveraged that scholarship into so many different areas. We have counselors at different schools recommending us, it makes more people aware of us, helps us get the word out, and then (most importantly) we’re just doing a really good cool service for kids that are passionate and excited.

Just doing social media in and of itself is not enough. In order to leverage social media and the potential of it, you need to make your business a social busienss where you are incorporating social media into the structure of your business. Michael had some great examples with Threadless, Sirius, and Nike to explain to become a true social business.

Find Out More About Xincus

Visit www.Xincus.com.

Xincus, The platform for Social Business

Quotes

  • “Once I am in a conversation with someone I am happiest when somebody takes away something from what I have said and also when I take away something from what the other person has said.”
  • “Right person, right know-how, right time and it can be a real game changer.”
  • Goal: “To help small/medium sized businesses to grow and thrive better, faster, cheaper and smarter.”
  • “It’s an opportunity to create an entrepreneurial society.”
  • “Having vision and idea is one thing, but having commitment and determination is quite another.”
  • “People want to contribute and be a part of something.”

michael-peshkam-quote

More from the Interview

Michael graduated in Europe, lived most of his life in Europe. Got a PHD studying aerospace and software engineering aka, rocket science. He worked in the UK for a fortune ten company. He has been fortunate enough to travel the world twice. In 1996 he hopped the pond and came over to the US where he became senior business IT executive and most recently an entrepreneur. He’s also been an associate professor teaching at university.

He’s worked in technology, education, business and now he’s an entrepreneur launching Xincus.

He says, Xincus is the next generation of social media known as social business. The migration from social networking to social media and now to social business. Essentially social business, in a nut shell, is creating business advantage through social technologies. You take the social media (your likes, friends, followers and so on) throw them in an environment which is specifically designed for your business and leverage the tools and technologies to create business advantage for you, whatever that business advantage may be. We’ve designed a platform to allow small and medium sized businesses to have internal collaboration just like bigger corporations and, in addition, it also has a marketplace where they can have better integration with their partners, customers and crowd. For SMBs to do what the larger organizations can do, plus they now have a marketplace like Ebay or Amazon. You can also integrate with other business owners to bring together: collaborate, create new knowledge, new know-how, new products & services and innovate things that would be better, faster and cheaper than if you were to do it on your own.Xincus, Social Business Platform

Social Business Examples

Threadless wanted to make T-shirts. Rather than go and design the shirts themselves, they created their own internal social business platform and invited designers to come and suggest designs. They managed to bring in the crowd, give them the opportunity to design, at the same time have the crowd select their favorite designs, then Threadless goes ahead and prints and sells T-shirts with the chosen designs. They created an integration of social media tools to bring the crowd into their own social business platform to create a business advantage.

Sirius Satellite Radio is one of the first examples of a social business. One of their channels, the least popular, was brainstorming how they could get more listeners. The executive suggested allowing customers come in and program their own playlists. After a while that channel became the most popular.

Traditionally Cimex would have brought in various consultants to over 200 locations around the world, complete a study, and go on to develop their alternative energy for their plants. But through use of social technologies internally, this time they linked their engineers into communities, sort of pilot social networks, and were able to accomplish the same thing within 6 weeks rather than 2 years.

On Entreprenureship

Many people have ideas, many people have visions, but they start half way through and they just give it up. Entrepreneurship is not for the faint hearted.

Advice

You can think along two different lines: social media or social business. Social media, all the channels and tools available are fantastic and excellent for promotion, communication, advertising, and reaching out to the masses. But liking is not leading. Just because a business is on Facebook or LinkedIn does not make them a social business. You need to transform those likes and followers into leads where you can leverage them; give them something in return to help you accomplish more. Business owners these days have the entire world open to them.

Pondering Success

If they were asked to define success:
Mother Teresa, perhaps she would say, “I don’t want to see a single hungry child in the world.”
Albert Einstein‘s idea of success might be “I want to have one simple equation that would define the entire universe, the galaxies, the planetary rotations and so forth.”

To find out more about Michael Peshkam and Xincus, visit Xincus.com.

 

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Episode 52: Build a Following on Pinterest | Author Jason Miles

Jason Miles has written six books and has been very active using social media on sites like Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.  Jason shares some insights on those social media platforms and how to set up your website to build a following on Pinterest.

Jason Miles Build a Following on Pinterest

Jason Miles

Jason Miles is a best selling author, VP of  advancement at Northwest University, & Co-founder of  Liberty Jane Clothing, in this podcast he will share his  story of how him and his wife found the little niche  everyone is looking for, and how they used social media to market their successful business.

Jason began a small at home business using his wife’s sewing skills creating doll clothes in 2008. In 2010 with the introduction of Pinterest his business “Skyrocketed”, and the word quickly got out. With this new demand in his product Jason Miles found another business opportunity in helping seamstresses that used his wife’s design patterns to sell their products on websites such as Pinterest, and Etsy.

Liberty Jane Clothing Logo

Liberty Jane Clothing Logo

After starting the blog that helped his readers market and sell their products online, Jason was contacted by a author from New York that was interested in working with Jason, an expert on Pinterest, to write 3 books called Pinterest Power, Instagram Power, & Youtube Marketing Power. After his initial book contract with McGraw Hill, he launched a series of three self-publishing books 2 of which are #1 Best Sellers on the Kindle Market.

Pinterest Power & Instagram Power

Pinterest Power & Instagram Power

“Instagram is a phenomenal tool for social media marketing, its like Twitter without words.” – Jason

Can you do direct marketing on Instagram? Will it result in traffic and sales? YES! Instagram has recently been utilized by businesses to promote a strong visual marketing campaign. By effectively combining two or three pictures into one, you can quickly grab the viewers attention and then present them with an offer. According to Jason another tactic is to use Instagram for free giveaways, this will not only grow your number of followers but also allow you to see the effectiveness of how Instagram affects your business.

Jason’s visual launch strategy includes using Instagram and Pinterest to create hype and buzz about new product launches. He releases sneak peaks of the new product he is creating, and once his followers can’t wait anymore he unleashes the products to them, creating lots of sales and revenue. A normal eBay auction has roughly a 100 visitors to the auction site, Jason’s eBay auctions have between 2500-3000 visitors to his auction, which tremendously drives up the sale price.

Some final words of advice from Jason Miles on Pinterest and Instagram

1. Pinterest – Don’t start on Pinterest, audit your own site, then utilize the PinIt tool to make sure the images that are used are effectively little ads, and have Pinterest do the rest.

2. Instagram – Have an editorial mission, take eye-catching images of your products in order to cater to your target audience, if done properly the images will work for themselves.

Jason Miles is currently a Senior Vice President of Advancement at Northwest he will be retiring in the next few months in order to focus all of his attention on his business. After having a 16 year career with a NPO charity and being a part of Northwest University for the past 4 years, Jason has finally achieved his long time dream of becoming a successful Entrepreneur. Social media has played a big part in his success by utilizing it as a strong marketing tool for his business.

As with any business its important to have a strong marketing campaign, social media will allow you to create one, just as it allowed Jason Miles to develop a small doll clothing business into a large brand. So use social media to go out there and find your success!

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • How do you use Pinterest?
  • How do you use Instagram?
  • How do you use YouTube?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • Marketing on Pinterest – “We’ve built a thriving business based on my wife’s design talent. We’re working hard to dominate our categories, build long-term brand power and get insanely good at delivering our unique products.”
  • Liberty Jane Clothing – “Jason Miles is the co-founder and marketer at Liberty Jane Clothing. He has a graduate degree in Business Administration, and undergraduate degrees in both Organizational Management and Biblical Studies. By day he’s the Vice President for Advancement at Northwest University, which leaves the evenings and weekends available for all things Liberty Jane!”

Success Quotes:

  • “Instagram is a phenomenal tool for social media marketing, its like Twitter without words.”

Special Requests:

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Episode 44: Build a Buffer When Starting a New Business | Bridget Brady from TheVoiceGenius.com

Bridget Brady can help you make money online and can help you improve your voice for presentations. She discusses how to build a buffer when you’re becoming an entrepreneur and finding a realistic way to starting a new business.

Bridget Brady Starting a New Business Defining Success Podcast Zeb Welborn

Bridget Brady

Bridget Brady runs two successful companies, moreonlineincome.com and thevoicegenius.com. She is a speaker, trainer, author, singer, actor, voice expert, and a presentation and sales authority. She has also worked as an actor, singer and project manager in New York and Los Angeles.

Bridget was doing a lot of work in Corporate America.  She spent 15 years in Corporate American prison as a software developer and project manage and spent 7 years in Wall Street.  She worked in Wall Street during the day and was a theater girl at night.

Bridget left her job in Corporate America because she never felt fully-fulfilled and from 7 to 10 years it worked out really well and she like it, but after 7 or 10 years she started waking up with a pit of despair thinking about going into her cubicle for 10 hours.  She knew it was something she couldn’t do anymore and she thought to herself there must be a way to make money.

She knew she wanted to make money to live a lifestyle she loved and have the freedom to pursue what it is she wanted to do.  She stumbled upon the idea of starting a new business by owning her own Internet business and it gave her the freedom the way she thought it would.  She works from home, works when she wants to and doesn’t work when she doesn’t want to.

Bridget helps people make online incomes and she actually sets people up with affiliate websites, and helps them develop strategies to make money online.  Bridget meets a lot of people who think they can just jump into the online world and start making money right away, but that’s not the case.  It takes a lot of work to make money online.

If you talk to any of the amazing thought leaders and successful thought leaders in the market.  They will tell you that being an entrepreneur is not easy and it takes a lot of work.  The beauty of an online business is that it’s a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year way to bring in money, but it takes a lot of work.

An online business is just like a brick and mortar business and it requires a lot of work to make it happen.  The difference between an online business and an offline business is there is much more freedom with an online business than a brick and mortar business.

Bridget encourages people who are interested in starting a new business online is to get a mentor.

Bridget Brady on the Defining Success Podcast Starting a New Business

Bridget Brady

Bridget Brady also  has a voice and sales training company.  Her business grew out of a gap she saw in the sales and training business.  She learned to harness her speaking skills and there are many classes and courses that will teach you how to sing and act.  She learned how to help speakers have a more powerful voice and how to use that voice to help sell their product and services.

The biggest mistake people make vocally is speaking and using their voice from their throat and having the voice initiate from their vocal chords as opposed to using their entire body and instrument to help them speak.  She hears a lot of people speaking from their throat.  That is the biggest mistake she sees people make.

The biggest mistake Bridget made was that when she started her entrepreneurial career was that she didn’t set up herself for success as an entrepreneur.  Starting a new business is not easy, when she started her entrepreneurial career she had been let go from her job and she had no buffer to start her entrepreneurial journey.

Bridget went through some difficult years and it was a difficult time for her.  For anyone who is thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, save money so you can have some money set aside to start your entrepreneurial journey.  A lot of the people who Bridget coaches make a substantial amount of money very quickly doing things online.

She is a real life full-time entrepreneur and she’s extremely proud.

Bridget Brady More Online Income the Voice Genius Starting a New Business

Bridget Brady

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • Have you ever thought about being an entrepreneur?
  • How important do you think having a strong voice is in business?
  • Have you tried to make money online?  What are your thoughts on making money online?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • MoreOnlineIncome.com – She has helped 1000’s of people earn money online, 
    and can teach you to do the same!
  • TheVoiceGenius.com – Bridget Brady ~ aka, “The Voice and Sales Genius” is a Speaker, Trainer, Author, Singer, Actor, Voice Expert, Presentation and Sales Authority. She spent 10 years doing theatre in New York City, 12 years as an actor and singer in Los Angeles, as well as 15 years working as a Project Manager in Corporate America (including 7 years on Wall Street in New York). 

Success Quotes:

  • “My success is based on how many people I’ve helped.”
  • “Success is living a life of my choosing.”
  • “Entrepreneurs are changing the world.”
  • “Your vocal chords are about the size of a standard paper clip.”
  • “Find someone who is making money using the Internet…and have someone who knows how to make money online help you get started.”
  • “The Internet is a golf mine if you know how to extract the gold.”
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Sushant Misra from TrepTalks.com Interviewed Me!

I was recently interviewed by Sushant Misra from TrepTalks.com.

Sushant Misra Trep Talks TrepTalks.com Zeb Welborn Welborn Media Defining Success Podcast How a High School History Teacher Started a Successful Social Media Business

Sushant Misra

“Sushant Misra is an entrepreneurship evangelist, accomplished serial entrepreneur, dynamic speaker, published author, syndicated columnist, and philanthropist. Sushant is best known for founding and hosting Trep Talks, a web based video interview show featuring successful digital entrepreneurs. Sushant is also an experienced eCommerce professional. He is the founder of Yogamatstore.com and has helped Canadian retail giant Hudson’s Bay grow their eCommerce business. Sushant is a seasoned Yoga and Energy practitioner and has lived in 4 countries on 3 continents. – See more at: http://treptalks.com/about/#sthash.0lOJivHD.dpuf

I had a great time being interviewed by Sushant as he asked me how I made the decision to get into business for myself and my progression as a business owner to where I am at today.  Sushant has interviewed many successful entrepreneurs, including Tim Ferriss, author of the 4-Hour Work Week.

I’d love for you to check out the interview and leave your feedback for Sushant and share your thoughts on the article with us on the Defining Success Podcast Facebook page!

Check out TrepTalks.com, tell Sushant Zeb sent you and listen to my interview with Sushant titled, How A High School History Teacher Started A Successful Social Media Business? – Zeb Welborn 

 

Zeb Welborn is the President of Welborn Social Media and The Tutoring Solution.  He helps passionate business owners become successful by harnessing the power of the Internet to reach more potential customers and develop stronger relationships with current customers. Zeb is also the founder and host of Defining Success Podcast.

For more information about Zeb Welborn, visit Welborn Social Media, or email him directly – Zeb@WelbornSocialMedia.com

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Episode 43: New Businesses Must Set Goals | Will Mitchell from StartupBros

Will Mitchell is a serial entrepreneur.  Learn from Will why new businesses must set goals in order to become successful. Learn how Will has implemented goal setting in his businesses to build more effective, successful companies.

Will Mitchell, StartupBros, Zeb Welborn, Defining Success Podcast, Businesses Must Set Goals, Entrepreneur

Will Mitchell from StartupBros

Will Mitchell is the owner and co-founder of StartupBros.  He has been an internet entrepreneur since he started skipping school to build businesses in the 6th grade. After numerous business engagements at 22.  Will launched StartupBros, a community for aspiring entrepreneurs to learn from like-minded people.

Will started skipping school to start businesses when he was way too young.  He had a lot of failures and through his failures he has achieved some success.  Will became interested in business at 12 or 13 years old and he started skipping school because he became disenchanted with it.  He saw a lot of potential in business and he knew that was where he wanted to be.

When he was younger, Will started importing goods from China and became very successful until China banned the exporting of the product he was importing.  He then went on to start a business called FashionBidder.com, an eBay for fashion, which didn’t go very well.  He the started a clothing company which also didn’t go very well.

The realization that came to him which helped him overcome his business failures was that he realized that he needed to create value for other people which he wasn’t doing with his previous businesses.  All the business ideas he had that failed were ideas that he thought were cool, but they weren’t ideas that would help anyone.

StartupBros are trying to help as many new entrepreneurs as possible.  They are pulling in people who were successful on their own and they take their knowledge and break it down to see what they would have done if they could start all over again.

Will has some clients that they help one-on-one, a mastermind that will help students, a new book that they’re hoping to sell and they’re offering a new product on how to import services.

The #1 thing Will would tell people is to create value for people first and foremost and then learn to create ways to make money off of the value you’re giving to others.

The biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make online is because they don’t actually know where they go or what they are trying to accomplish as they are working.  Knowing where he wants to be in 5 years and 10 years helps him become more consistent.  Businesses must set goals in order to be successful.

Will has set goals at different times of his life.  He wants to get StartupBros to the point where they can continually teach entrepreneurs how to succeed.

Will works with entrepreneurs in a one-on-one scenario, but he’s hoping to convince more people to connect with the products and services he’s offering through StartupBros.

The biggest mistake Will had was losing his business focus.  He considered going into politics and it made him very cynical.  Learning to not let the world impact him as much has made him a better person.

Will was involved in a company called influence.org which went public and he was very happy about that.  StartupBros is the first business project that is connected with his personality and he’s very proud of what he built.

Will Mitchell Businesses Must Set Goals

Will Mitchell

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?  10 years?
  • What do you think it takes to be an entrepreneur?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • StartupBros – “The only way to achieve success and freedom from corporate machine is to READ OUR BLOG POSTS! Well, maybe that’s a lie… but really, you need to learn how to leverage your knowledge and the knowledge of others and turn it into value and a cash income.”
  • Affluence.org – “Affluence is a private social network where accomplished individuals connect, share information, and engage in meaningful conversations. Our members also enjoy exclusive, high-quality content and feature advice from industry experts on subjects such as art, technology and travel.”

Success Quotes:

  • “As entrepreneurs you have to force yourself to live outside of the world around you.”
  • “That’s a big disconnect is being able to connect the value you create and the money you make.”
  • “Success is accomplishing a goal.”

Special Requests:

StartupBros You Don't Need a Job, Businesses Need to Set Goals

StartupBros

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Episode 29: Relationship Marketing is Viral Marketing | Christopher Mance II from Nichevertising

Christopher Mance II is trying to get entrepreneurs to build power connections and work together to market together and give them a chance to get their products and services to go viral.  Nichevertising is attempting to use relationship marketing as a way to manufacture viral marketing by bringing businesses together to reach out to consumers.

Viral Marketing and Nichevertising with Christopher Mance II

Christopher Mance II

Christopher Mance II is the owner of Nichevertising.  Nichevertising is a product designed for entrepreneurs from all walks of life looking to get their mobile apps, books, music videos, websites, products and events to go viral.

Christopher has been involved with the Internet since 1996 when he was attending the United States Military Academy at West Point.  All freshman were given access to the Internet and while Chris attended the school he tried to build online websites.

The first website Chris built was devoted to hip-hop music.  The website he built was a hub for news about the artists Christopher was in to, like the Wu Tang Clan and Nos.  He saw himself as a curator of content and got the news from the hip hop community and people began visiting his website in more and more numbers.

Christopher tried to run many different businesses, but they were always part-time businesses.  Looking back, Christopher saw himself saw himself as more of a wantrepreneur than an entrepreneur, which helped make him decide to become an entrepreneur full-time.

In 2011, Christopher came up with the idea of trying to bring people together to help them advertise their business.  With the goal being that people could then bid on projects in order to make those businesses develop strong viral marketing campaigns. But, he decided to shift the direction to what it is today . . . nichevertising.

The concept being that Christopher is trying to connect businesses with the same demographics so they can collaborate together to help each other and each others campaigns go viral.  Multiple businesses can join a campaign together and help each other go viral.

Christopher and his wife have been business partners since they began dating.  At first, they had an online magazine that they used to sell advertising with.  The only way they could have an online magazine back in 2003 was that they had to be a coder and both Christopher and his wife were coders which meant they experienced a lot of success prior to 2006.  In 2006, blogging became a much more mainstream activity and they had lost their competitive advantage.  Many of the blogs began to reach out to Christopher and his wife to see if they could promote their blog . . . which is how the idea for Nichevertising began.

Christopher began thinking of ways that he could automate the process of connecting and collaborating businesses and blogs.  Right now they are working in a closed beta test and are slowly getting the kinks worked out, but very soon it will be an open marketplace for businesses to connect with other businesses.

In order to sign up for Nichevertising, first you have to visit their website and sign up, then self select yourself into a niche, create your marketing campaign and then connect with a who’s who of entrepreneurs who are looking for partners as well.  Looking at their database and campaigns to determine who is a good match for you and it’s up to the business if they want to accept the partnership you’re offering.

One campaign is composed of five different businesses coming together and it’s about creating a scale of partnerships.  Going viral is not the same for you as it is for say, Time Warner.  For a young entrepreneur, viral marketing is not the same as it would be for those large organizations.  Your goal as an entrepreneur is not to get a million views, but it should be your goal to bring people into your world so they will refer you.

The biggest mistake Christopher says he’s made is thinking that he could be a successful entrepreneur while he was working for somebody else.  He thought he would be able to start online businesses and make enough of an income to replace his income from his full-time job.  Christopher wishes he would have started right away building his lifestyle around being an entrepreneur.

The people who created the Harlem Shake video were people who were very passionate about dancing and the reason for its ultimate success was that they were passionate about the project.  The original Harlem Shake people were constantly making videos and eventually their Harlem Shake video went big, but it’s because they had a built in audience from their other videos.  When you get to the point where you are good at what you’re passionate about then and only then will you have developed a great viral marketing opportunity.

Hubspot is a great example of a company that went viral. They created the concept of inbound marketing and an entire industry has now sprouted up around the idea of inbound marketing.  They did it by creating great content day in and day out.  All entrepreneurs should think of how they can go viral like Hubspot went viral.

Viral Marketing with Christopher Mance II from Nichevertisting

Christopher Mance II

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • What do you think it takes to make something go viral?
  • What do you think about relationship marketing?
  • What do you think about viral marketing?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • Niche.fm – We fast-track the process of “going viral” by: providing a secure web-based software application for entrepreneurs like you to join a cooperative advertising network; providing a way for you to double, triple and even 10x the reach of your campaigns; and vastly increasing the likelihood that your campaigns goes viral!!!
  • HubSpot – “HubSpot all-in-one marketing software helps more than 8,000 companies in 56 countries attract leads and convert them into customers. A pioneer in inbound marketing, HubSpot aims to help its customers make marketing that people actually love
  • Sunny Coast Skate – Creators of the Harlem Shake.”
  • West Point – “The United States Military Academy has been educating, training, and inspiring leaders of character for our United States Army and for the nation for more than
    200 years. West Point provides a 47-month leader-development program steeped in
    academic rigor, military discipline, and physical challenges, all built upon a
    moral-ethical foundation. The academy is an internationally recognized
    institution for academic, military and physical excellence, and we are proud
    that today’s cadets will become tomorrow’s military, public and private-sector
    leaders.”

Success Quotes:

  • “Success is not defined by credentials.  It’s really defined by your mental health, physical health and the relationship you have with your family.”
  • “Focus on your authenticity and not try to fake it.”
  • “If you are not passionate about cats then do not try to create a viral cat video.”
  • “If you create great content or have great customer service and you get great referrals you’ll continually go viral.”
  • “Nichevertising is a simple idea of a business finding a partner, getting a partnership connected and getting a campaign out in the world.”

Special Requests:

  • Like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @DSuccessPodcast.
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Episode 19: The Importance of Learning from Your Mistakes | Brian Roberts from In-Store Radio

Brian Roberts, aka “The Voice,” is the announcer for the Defining Success Podcast, but he also manages his own business, In-Store Radio which are custom radio stations for retail locations. As an entrepreneur, Brian knows the value of learning from your mistakes and shares with us why making mistakes are some of the most important things you can do.

Brian Roberts - Learning From Your Mistakes

Brian Roberts

Thank you for visiting the Defining Success Podcast.  Please download, subscribe and rate our podcast on iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/defining-success-podcast/id619459909 Thanks for listening!Recap:

Recap:

Brian Roberts is the owner of In-Store Radio, which creates a customized radio station for retail and corporate locations.  He also happens to be the voice you hear at the beginning of every podcast for the Defining Success Podcast.

Brian ran Goodwill Industries in Central Florida and at 33 Brian decided to come out to L.A. to become a rock star.  His dreams as a rock star weren’t really working out and he knew that he wasn’t going to be able to keep his dreams and his family.  Someone told Brian he had a great voice and suggested he be a voice actor.

The idea to run In-Store Radio came when he visited Walmart and Walgreen’s and listened to their customized radio station.  He then began to think of the opportunity that he could create a customized radio station for smaller businesses and thus In-Store Radio began.

His association with Goodwill Industries got his business started and being somewhat of a computer geek, Brian was able to create a usable system for small businesses to have their own customized radio station inside their business locations.  His love of computers, Goodwill and entrepreneurship helped him build the foundation for his business.

Brian was then able to set up a live radio stream into their business and as long as the location has access to the Internet they can get access to their customized radio station.  Brian is trying to get into 1,000 locations by the end of the year.

A great success story Brian likes to share is that every year they had an event which never seemed to get a lot of visitors.  The first year that they had Brian create a short advertisement and for the first year ever they sold out their tickets and the next year they increased ticket sales by 300% selling out again.  For Goodwill Industries, Brian was able to encourage shoppers to donate and encouraged those who donated to become shoppers.

When talking about learning from your mistakes . . . Early on in his career, Brian offered a deal to a friend of his that was unsustainable.  Once Brian realized he couldn’t deliver on the deal he offered his friend he told him he couldn’t do it and they re-negotiated.  Brian felt awful, but he learned a valuable lesson that mistakes are acceptable and as long as you learn from your mistakes and move on that you can never fail.  Learning from your mistakes is an important skill to have as an entrepreneur and business owner.

Brian has two children and Brian thinks it’s interesting that when his kids were younger they would constantly make mistakes and they were encouraged to do so, but that as they got older he became less willing to encourage his children when they made a mistake.

Brian’s mom was a teacher and he had a complex early on about asking teachers questions.  And for his entire ninth grade year he was lost in Algebra and sometime during his junior year he finally raised his hand and said that he was completely lost and asked for help.  The teacher helped him understand the material and afterwards many of his friends came to him saying they were having the same problems.  It taught Brian a lesson that it was ok to ask questions because if you had a question, it was likely others had the same question as well.

Being an entrepreneur taught Brian that he can do pretty much anything he can put his mind to.  It taught Brian that all along he had a unique gift that he could offer the world.  Once he learned that he could make money as an entrepreneur it became very freeing.

Brian believes that he has certain talents and has developed particular skills.  His singing ability has helped him become a successful voice actor.  He was able to find the emotional connection in his writing just like he did when he was a singer.  The computer has been invaluable to Brian’s success in business as well.

Procrastination and over-thinking got Brian in a lot of trouble early on in his business.  The way Brian describes the way business should be done is “Ready, Fire, Aim.”  Meaning that as an entrepreneur, it’s important to take action first and then analyze your results.

In-Store Radio - Learning From Your Mistakes

In-Store Radio

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • What mistakes have you made?
  • What is the importance of learning from your mistakes?
  • Do you think “Ready, Fire, Aim” is a good strategy to use for entrepreneurs?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • In-Store Radio – Brian’s mission is to spread the “Good News” of not only Goodwill, but of ALL businesses throughout America and abroad through In-Store Radio.  That mission will put a custom-designed and professionally-produced radio show into every retail store and waiting room around the globe.
  • Voice123.com/BrianRoberts – Brian’s voice is varied and strong. He has the ability to do all types of work from the “Classic Announcer” to “Young punk” and anywhere in between!
  • Goodwill Industries – “Goodwill® works to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families by strengthening communities, eliminating barriers to opportunity, and helping people in need reach their full potential through learning and the power of work.”
  • Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce – “The Chino Valley Chamber offers a wide variety of opportunities for members to market their businesses, a strong legislative action committee, and a commitment to the continuing education of a diverse workforce. For additional information, check out our convenient links to city websites, selected businesses and current projects.”

Success Quotes:

  • “Success is being happy . . . Nothing matters unless you’re happy.”
  • “I really love helping people accomplish things they didn’t know they could accomplish.”
  • “I was perfectly content being an employee and letting someone else tell me what I was worth until the fire was lit.”
  • “I’m completely unemployable . . . because there is no possible way I can survive working for someone else.”
  • “There are a lot of people who are bound up by their fear of looking silly that they pay this horrible price.”
  • “The more mistakes you make the more money you make.”
  • “What business owners do better than the people that don’t own businesses is make mistakes and are ok with making mistakes.”
  • “The reason entrepreneurs succeed where other people don’t succeed is because they understand that as long as they didn’t quit, they didn’t fail.”

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Episode 17: The Flexibility and Price of Being a Business Owner | Jennifer Davis from Scrapbook Expo

Being a business owner has its perks but it also has its drawbacks. Jennifer talks about the flexibility her job has given her, but also discusses the amount of effort and time she’s spent building her business. In this episode you’ll also learn valuable tips on how to build a following on Facebook.

Thank you for visiting the Defining Success Podcast.  Please download, subscribe and rate our podcast on iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/defining-success-podcast/id619459909 Thanks for listening!
Scrapbook Expo - Business Owner Jennifer Davis

Scrapbook Expo

Recap:

Jennifer Davis is the owner of Scrapbook Expo, the premier scrapbook show; Weekly Scrapper, a blog for every day scrappers; and, Party Solutions, a party supply rental company.  She’s also extremly knowledgeable when it comes to Facebook as she has been able to amass a following of close to 110,000 likes on her Scrapbook Expo Facebook page.

Jennifer’s scrapbooking business started out as a hobby and it gave her an opportunity to get out of her job which she hated.  She started out as a vendor at a Scrapbook show she attended and saw what the owner of the conventions were able to do and she thought she could do it so she started her own Scrapbook Expo.

She was one of the first scrapbooking businesses to start a new show.  She put on her first show in San Diego and now she puts on shows in 17 locations.  In the late 1990’s it was real easy for Jennifer to get support for her Scrapbooking shows because they would choose a location and word of mouth was really the only marketing they needed.

Weekly Scrapper

Weekly Scrapper

When the economy started to go down hill it became a lot more difficult to attract customers and she resorted tto learning how to market for her business.  She started doing print advertising, email marketing and she finally turned to social media marketing and does almost all of her marketing online.

At a Scrapbook Expo scrapbookers would have access to 100 different booths related to scrapbooking to shop at.  They hold workshops all day to learn different techniques to scrapbooking.  There is also scrapbooking crops which are held at the show where scrapbookers get together to scrap all weekend long.  Ladies get an opportunity to get together, share ideas and have a great experience.  Different groups like different activities.  A lot of the people who attend the shows are groups of four or five women who make a weekend getaway of the Scrapbook Expo.  They rent a hotel room, they shop together, they sign up for workshops and they participate in one of the crops.

There are also make and takes which are very popular which is where they can visit a booth and take part in a project where they create a finished product within 5 to 10 minutes.

Jennifer was very instrumental in my success as she’s been able to help me in a variety of different ways.  We first came in contact when she put out an ad for a tutor and I helped to tutor her son, Nick.  After which, she became my first client for my Internet marketing business as I helped to build the online Twitter presence for @ScrapbookExpo.  My sister and I have been working for Scrapbook Expo ever since from social media marketing to email marketing to search engine optimization (SEO) to website design.

Jennifer also mentored me and made being an entrepreneur accessible to me.  I had never met an entrepreneur before Jennifer and her help and guidance helped encourage me to this path for which I will forever be greatful.

Jennifer doesn’t use Facebook personally and it took her a long time to figure out how to use it for her business.  She knew that Facebook fit in well for hobbies.  And she learned how Facebook was used to market her business and has found it to be very successful.  Scrapbook Expo now has almost 110,000 Facebook Likes and is growing daily.  Jennifer has really mastered the art of Facebook and has learned that Facebook should rarely be used as a sales tool, but mostly to build an online community.

Because Scrapbook Expo has such a high user engagement Scrapbook Expo uses Facebook to get access to users email addresses.  Last month they gave away 100 prize packages, but had to give them their email addresses to get an opportunity to win those prizes.  Because they were so respected through their Facebook presence it was easy for their fans to give their email addresses and during their giveaway campaign they gathered over 10,000 email addresses.  They then can use those email addresses to sell services or products to customers.

Word of mouth is a huge benefit to using social media to promote Scrapbook Expo.  Every customer who attends the show has the potential to reach dozens, and even hundreds of more people. If you can get one person to endorse you on social media you have the ability to reach more people.

Jennifer recommends not using social media to sell.  Businesses who are failing in their use of social media is that they are not asking themselves what the customer wants.  Businesses need to find out what the customer wants and they also need to be consistent.

Party Solutions

Party Solutions

Jennifer also owns a party rental company, Party Solutions, and Scrapbook Expo started buying their own decor for the Scrapbook Expo and because they weren’t using their equipment throughout the whole year they figured they could rent out the equipment they had when it was not in use.

One of Jennifer’s mistakes in business was that she was not a good sales person.  She was great at marketing and promotion but lacked in her ability to sale.  At first, sales came easy, but after the recession hit she needed to learn how to sale or how to hire others who could sale.  Now, Jennifer has hired sales people who are helping to grow her business and have more of an impact.

Currently, Jennifer has more than 100,000 emails of people who are interested in Scrapbooking and she’s currently marketing that list to advertisers.

Jennifer is very thankful for the flexibility that her business allows her.  She says she works twice as hard as her wage working friends, but the results more than make up for it.  As a single mother, being a business owner gave Jennifer the opportunity to take time off when she needed to in order to spend time with her son.

Discussion Questions:

  • What are you thankful for?
  • What is important to you?

Links to Great Stuff:

Success Quotes:

  • “Success would be finding something that you enjoy and being able to turn a profit to support yourself.”
  • “If you make yourself an expert and you market yourself there’s a lot of opportunities and I see a lot of people who lack taking that first step.”
  • “The beauty of social media is it’s viral and word of mouth . . . is the best form of advertising.”
  • “The majority of what we post is useful posts that interest them as far as learning how to scrapbook.”
  • “On Facebook, if you have a hobby related business . . . it’s very easy to find and connect with other people who have that same interest.”
  • “You don’t go into business you grow into business.”

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Episode 12: Are Entrepreneurs Born or Made? | Steven Sashen from Xero Shoes

Are Entrepreneurs Born or Made?  Steven Sashen answers this question and many more in Episode 12 of the Defining Success Podcast. If you’re passionate about running, definitely check out this interview.

Steven Sashen from Xero Shoes

Steven Sashen from Xero Shoes

Recap:

Xero Shoes are a modern spin on the traditional barefoot running sandal – durable, stylish and affordable.  Xero Shoes won the Groovie Award for Best Huaraches running Sandal and they appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank earlier this year.

Steven is not the owner of Xero Shoes, but currently works for his wife who is the owner of Xero Shoes.  Steven loves working in a woman-owned company, particularly when that woman is his wife.

Steven was actually retired as a result of some wise investment decisions he made before the recession hit and could have been happy living in retirement, but the entrepreneurial bug hit and they were back it it with the creation of Xero Shoes.

Steven has been an expert at search engine optimization and used those skills to sell things online for quite a long time.

He began having an interest in running again after a thirty year break, but experienced some injuries while running.  A friend then turned him on to barefoot running and the book, Born to Run, which he soon latched onto and shortly thereafter he created his new product.

He assumed that the running sandal would be a great product to test for his search engine optimization business and he figured that the companies who were on top of the search results were mostly there by accident and he thought he’d be able to dominate the market within three months . . . which he did.

Within in three months they realized that Xero Shoes became their full time job and within three months after that they had the former lead designers of Nike and Reebok trying to help them build their business.

The skills they had acquired in life fit perfectly for what they were doing and it all just worked out well.

Steven likes to learn how things work . . . by getting through what people are saying and what is actually true.

One thing that he’s amazed by is that these billion dollar shoe companies have been able to tell people that their shoes are better for people, when there are no studies done to support those findings yet the press and the media take these large companies word and disseminate information about the benefits of shoes when there is no factual evidence that supports that those shoes are better for people.

Steven has had many people who have told him how much using the Xero Shoes have helped to improve their health.

After Shark Tank Xero Shoes did three months worth of sales in one week and the overall sales have increased and some people have come on board to help Xero Shoes reach more customers.  They had a three or four year development plan and they rolled that out in six months as a result of the Shark Tank.

Steven had some interesting things to say about his experience on Shark Tank, about how he felt, the experience and what came out of the experience.  The most interesting thing was that they had planned extensively about what they were going to say and how they were going to react, but when the time actually came all that planning went out the window.

Kevin O’Leary offered 400,000 for 50% of the company which was unacceptable to them and they were offering 8% of the company and their valuation was devaluing their company by close to a million dollars.

Steven says that he has about 2,000 positive reviews of his Xero Shoes and that he literally gets a new one almost every day.  One example that Steven likes to share comes from an 85 year old man who tried walking around barefoot and that within a week he stopped using his walker.

Xero Shoes

Xero Shoes

There is a lot of uncertainties in business and a lot of problems come up for businesses.  Sometimes it’s the fault of the business owner for getting overextended, yet other times it can be just the circumstances of the situation.  For Steven his biggest problem is hiring people on and managing growth has been a problem for him, but he’s managing it.  Legal fees have also been a huge expense for Xero Shoes and sometimes you can never plan for the expenses that will lay out in front of you.

Steven seems to think entrepreneurs are born.  Everybody has people who will tell them what they want to hear.  It’s up to you to determine whether or not you have a viable business.

Steven goes through the same emotions as everyone else.  He realizes that his successful friends aren’t necessarily happy, but they do realize that they don’t have to worry about how much things cost.  Humans like to imagine the future and are really bad at predicting and how bad we are at predicting it.  Don’t imagine living in an imagined future.  Live in the present.

He’s living in the present and does have goals that he’s trying to accomplish.  One of the things he’s trying to do is change the industry and although he has goals he’s not attached to getting those goals.  If it happens he’s happy, if not he’s happy as well.

Engaging Discussion Questions:

  • Are entrepreneurs born or made?
  • What do you think about barefoot running?

Links to Great Stuff:

  • Xero Shoes – “Xero Shoes® are a modern spin on the traditional barefoot running sandal — durable, stylish and affordable — and so light and low-profile it’s like you’re not wearing anything. Yet, you get a strong layer of protection, your feet and legs work the way nature intended, your posture can naturally realign, and you awaken your senses and stimulate your brain as you Feel The World™.”
  • Born to Run – “Isolated by Mexico’s deadly Copper Canyons, the blissful Tarahumara Indians have honed the ability to run hundreds of miles without rest or injury. In a riveting narrative, award-winning journalist and often-injured runner Christopher
    McDougall sets out to discover their secrets. In the process, he takes his
    readers from science labs at Harvard to the sun-baked valleys and freezing peaks
    across North America, where ever-growing numbers of ultra-runners are pushing
    their bodies to the limit, and, finally, to a climactic race in the Copper
    Canyons that pits America’s best ultra-runners against the tribe. McDougall’s
    incredible story will not only engage your mind but inspire your body when you
    realize that you, indeed all of us, were born to run.”
  • Welborn Media

Success Quotes:

  • “Figure out where the money is flowing and get in front of it.”
  • “Try to figure out the fastest, easiest, cheapest way to see if you have your head up your butt.”
  • “If you’re going to go into a business, go into one where it changes lives.”
  • “There is not thought that you need in order to start a business other than . . . Why not?”
  • “That’s when all the neurons fired in the right order and it happened.”

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