The secret to being a successful entrepreneur

How often do you hear people say that they’d love to be an entrepreneur? They’ll tell you that they’d love to be a success in business, making a difference to peoples’ lives with great products and services. Then they’ll add the caveat that unfortunately the time’s not right for them at this moment. One day they’ll have a go but their circumstances won’t allow it at present. However very few of those who say they’ll have a go, will ever actually have a go. They don’t really have the desire and they don’t understand the secret to being a successful entrepreneur.

Starting your own business can be a fantastic thing to do and, for most people, it is the only way you’ll ever have the chance to make some serious money. Certainly you’re unlikely to get rich working for someone else.

However to succeed in business you have to get started. The critical ingredient to success in business is you getting off your butt and actually doing something about it. And the best time to do it is always now. It’s simple really.

And the secret to being a successful entrepreneur is to solve problems for people. Every product you sell must solve a problem for the customer. If you can identify problems for which people need a solution and if you can offer those solutions, otherwise known as products, at value for money prices then you can be a success.

Remember this too; you don’t necessarily have to be the first with a solution. If you can improve on an existing solution in some way then you can still make some serious money. For instance, Steve Jobs and Apple were not the first to offer cellular mobile phone handsets, and nor were Samsung. Yet these two companies currently dominate the market for such handsets.

Has your appetite for business been whetted? Do you have any ideas you think might make a difference? You do? Then you have to be prepared to take action. Having ideas means nothing unless you decide to take action.

Plenty of people have ideas which never see the light of day. Occasionally they’ll have ideas but just leave it all too long and then someone else comes along with the same idea and beats them to the draw.

Having ideas is easy. Implementation is the tough bit and there are too few people with the drive and determination to turn a good idea into a business opportunity and then make money from it. So you must take action.

Not tomorrow; not next week; not next year; but right now. True entrepreneurs are doers, they’re not dreamers. So go on, get started right now. Solve peoples’ problems and you’ll be on your way down the road to riches. Good luck.

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2018. All Rights Reserved.

Job Interview Tips: How to make an impression

As the old saying goes, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. These days hiring managers are spoilt for choice when interviewing for any job regarded as a decent opportunity. In fact unless the job is a real stinker, they’ll usually get hundreds of applicants. True they won’t interview them all but they’ll interview enough for it to be important for you to make a memorable impression on them, if you’re to have any chance at all. Good candidates will know this and make sure they’ve researched job interview tips beforehand.

So dear reader, if you’ve found this page via a search engine, are you looking for some job interview tips? If you’ve got a job interview anytime soon then naturally you’ll want a few pointers in how to perform to the best of your ability. You’ll not only want to showcase your skills but also leave an impression on the interviewer that lasts long after you’ve left the interview room.

Don’t forget though, the impression you leave can be a good one but it can also be a bad one. And leaving a bad one is the last thing you want to do, assuming you really want the job.

The embedded video offers some useful job interview tips, making its points with irony. The video made me smile and I hope it brightens your day too.

Did this blog post help to you? Did you learn anything new? Perhaps it just made you smile? If for whatever reason you enjoyed it, please share it with your friends on social media. When you share, everyone wins.

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Rules for Business Success Simply Explained

Anyone can start their own business. You don’t need any special qualifications. You just need the desire and determination to succeed and a little appreciation of the basic rules for business success.

There are many attractions of running your own business too. When you make a profit it’s all yours. You will be building your own dream rather than helping someone else build their dream. And you will be calling the shots, rather than having to work with someone for whom you have little or no respect.

Now running your own business is not easy of course. However it’s the best chance you’re ever going to have to make some serious money. Look at any self-made millionaire and in all probably they’ve made their money by starting their own company. The chances of you getting rich as a salaried employee are slim to non-existent, unless you work on Wall Street perhaps.

Let me be honest here. There’s no easy formula for success in business; there’s no magic bullet. Business involves some risk and it also involves a lot hard work. You have to be prepared to work hard that’s for sure. Anyone suggesting there are easy ways to make money in business is either dishonest or deluded.

Nevertheless plenty of people do succeed in business, so why not you? If they can succeed then you can too with a little self-belief, surely? Believe you can and you will.

However there are some basic rules you should bear in mind. Here are 12 rules for business success that you must always bear in mind:-

  1. Always have target customers and their problems in mind
  2. Solve a problem for your customer
  3. Create a product around the solution to that problem
  4. You don’t have to be first, just build a ‘better mousetrap’
  5. Remember: Your customer is your boss
  6. Until money is coming in, spend as little as possible
  7. Money in must exceed money out to make a profit
  8. Success depends on making a profit consistently
  9. Your profit margin should be worth the risks you’re taking
  10. Use the skills and resources you’ve got
  11. Be flexible and adapt when necessary
  12. Go for activities where you can add the highest value

With self-belief and determination you can be as successful in business as anyone else. Don’t let negative talk by others put you off. Just go for it, if you think you have what it takes.

Even if you’re not quite sure whether you’ve got what it takes, it’s better to have a go and fail than to spend your life wondering what might have been. Life is too short to look back with regrets.

Business success can be achieved; people do and you can too.

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Employee Morale: Why employees leave organizations

New job concept.As a business owner or CEO there will be occasions when, despite the business doing well, you discover you’re losing good people. Business performance is good but the same cannot be said for employee morale. So people are leaving your business as a result. In these circumstances, what can you do? Start by taking a close look at their immediate line manager.

Happy and fulfilled employees within a good team will work well and deliver results. Even people of mediocre talent will raise their game in a good team. Line managers play an essential role in creating good, well-bonded teams. So good line managers are the reason why people will stay and thrive within your business or organisation.

However poor line managers are the reason people will leave. If employees are not happy they don’t tend to hang around for long. Employees can feel their performance is being constrained by a poor line manager. They may feel their line manager’s style is preventing them from giving their best.

The problem is when people leave your organization they take knowledge, experience and a network of contacts with them, straight to a competitor. Leavers often take customers with them too. That’s not good for any business, obviously.

People don’t leave companies, they leave teams and it’s usually a bad manager who’s driven them away. Perhaps the line manager has poor people-management skills. Perhaps he or she has a personality that is challenging for employees to deal with. There could be many reasons but, regardless of the reason, that’s no less of a problem for you.

Of all the abuses an employee might experience in the workplace, humiliation is the one which they will find most intolerable. The first time it happens, the employee may not leave but a thought has been planted. The second time it happens that thought gets stronger. When it happens a third time, the employee actively starts to look for another job.

However the problem for you is not just the danger of losing a good employee or the time that could be lost whilst an employee has a job-search mindset. A bad line manager can have a serious impact on the employee’s attitude to his or her work. When people cannot respond openly in anger to a given situation, then they do so by passive aggression. By digging in their heels and being difficult or slowing down. Not going that extra mile to achieve a result, when otherwise they might have done so.

They might just be doing only what they are told to do and no more, when otherwise they might have shown some initiative. They might just conveniently forget to give the boss some crucial information. If you work for a jerk then basically you’ll be happy to see him or her get into trouble with higher management.

Different line managers can stress out employees in different ways. For instance this could be by being too controlling, too suspicious, too pushy, or too critical. Line managers can forget that workers are not fixed assets, they are human beings and they are free agents who can move on if they choose. Often when employees do quit it will be over a trivial issue but the damage has been done over a longer period usually.

As the business owner or CEO you would be wise to remember this saying – talent leaves; dead wood doesn’t. And that’s the problem. Dead wood is just a drain on your business. It will be by having a pool of talent within your business that will allow you to succeed over time.

When people leave your business, don’t ignore it. Ask yourself why.

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Why you should consider becoming self-employed

There are many ways to make money and they all have their merits. Get a job with a big corporation and potentially you’ll earn a decent income and enjoy a few fringe benefits too. Get a job in the public sector and the pay may not be quite so good but the pension scheme is usually the best you’ll find anywhere. The job will be fairly secure too. Become a wage slave in any sector and you’ll make a living. However unless you work on Wall Street or in the City of London, you’re unlikely to make a fortune. If your aim is to make serious money then you should consider becoming self-employed.

We live in an age in which becoming self-employed has never been easier or cheaper. As a result of the Internet there are so many opportunities that were simply not available to previous generations.

And initially you don’t even have to give up your day job. You can start your own business as a part-time venture and keep it that way until the income your business is generating for you is sufficient for you to live on. You can even start one business to generate extra cash and as it makes money you can invest that cash into bigger and potentially more profitable opportunities.

As an employee you’re trading your time for money and that’s fine. However if your firm does well, you’re unlikely to benefit significantly from any extra profit they make. You might get a bonus but regardless of personal contribution, it’s more likely to be an incidental sum rather than life-changing money.

With your own business you can be making money whilst you’re sleeping. In fact it you want to get rich you have to start making money whilst you sleep. I can now hear you asking, but how do you make money whilst you sleep?

Let me give you some examples of online businesses that you could start with little or no money and start making money whilst you sleep:-

Selling Products Online:

Through the Internet potentially you can reach most of the people on the planet. Now think about that for a second. If you create a website or an online store then billions of people around the world will have access to it. And those people can access it whilst you’re asleep. So the potential is there for you to create something that can be generating money for you 24 hours a day 365 days every year.

Still not convinced? Let me give you some examples of businesses you could start to achieve this goal:-


If you’ve ever bought anything from Amazon you’ll probably have noticed that they are not always the actually seller of the item you’re seeking to purchase. Other suppliers sell their own products through Amazon via what is known as Amazon Marketplace.

And when third party suppliers sell products via Amazon they can also use a service known as Fulfillment by Amazon or FBA.

This means if you’re the seller, you simply deliver your stock of products to Amazon and they’ll handle all the logistics associated with product delivery to the buyer.

Fulfillment by Amazon:

So if you don’t want to handle your own packing, postage and delivery you can get Amazon to handle it for you. You can do it yourself of course but the point is that you don’t have to. You can just focus on finding products for your customers and Amazon will do the rest.

And remember this; those products don’t have to be new. They can be second hand items too. If you can find a suitable niche in second hand products there’s money to be made.

Consider this example. Each year graduating students have textbooks to sell. Essentially they just want to get some cash back for books they’re unlikely to read ever again. Shrewd entrepreneurs recognize that there’ll be a ready market for those very textbooks at the start of the next academic year. So they offer selling students a quick way to turn their textbooks into a little cash. And then buying students will be sold those same textbooks at a rate which will save them money on the price for the same book had it been bought new.

You can set up a website to attract book sellers and then through Amazon Marketplace the books you’ve bought cheap  can be sold at a profit. In that way you can create a profitable second hand book business.

You could repeat the same trick with music such as vinyl records and CDs, as well as films on DVD. Second-hand smartphones and other technology items could be another possibility.

Alternatively you could source your own products, e.g. skin care products, cosmetics, household products, et cetera, and then sell those via Amazon.

Plenty of people have created successful businesses with that approach. 


When people sell stuff at a boot sale or a yard sale, they usually sell at very low prices simply because they price items for a quick sale. This is stuff they need to get rid of as quickly as possible for whatever reason. And in that there is a potential opportunity for you dear reader.

You buy these items on the cheap and you then resell them on eBay for a profit. More importantly people sometimes sell valuable stuff at boot sales and yard sales for silly prices because they didn’t realise the true value of the item.

On the British television programme Flog It, I saw a woman sell an antique item at auction for £800 having originally bought that item at a boot sale for just £1. That is a very nice profit. Yes such examples would be the exception but shrewd people can make money this way and eBay is a great vehicle for doing so.

Affiliate Marketing:

Essentially affiliate marketing is commission only selling.

Linked with the idea of Content Marketing, what this means is that if you can direct traffic to a product seller’s website which results in a sale then you will get paid a commission for that sale.

The amount of commission can be as low as 4% from the Amazon Affiliate Program to as much as 75% from some items offered through programs like Clickbank and Commission Junction.

How do you achieve this in practice?

Well despite its relatively low commission rates Amazon offers the easiest opportunity for the beginner. You sign up for the Amazon Affiliate Program and then identify a suitable niche which interests you.

Let’s say that niche is sports shoes for women. The niche does need to be focused and quite narrow. The category Shoes would be a bit too wide. You need to think about categories for which people will be searching via Google and other search engines.

So once you have a niche, you then create your own website publishing reviews of a variety of those sports shoes for women. And those reviews don’t have to be your own necessarily. They could be a summary of various reviews you’ve read elsewhere with an overall rating based on what others have been saying.

Creating a review summary by curating input from other sources is legitimate as long as you acknowledge the different sources which form the basis of your article. Essentially you’re doing the hard work for your readers and providing them with a summary and most importantly links to Amazon to make their purchase.

Why review sites are a good idea:

Review sites work with affiliate marketing because they capture buying intent and that’s important. If someone searches for a review for an item on Google then the chances are they will buy if the reviews prove to be favourable.

When producing your review articles the crucial action is to embed affiliate links within the text. Getting readers to click on those links and taking them to Amazon is how you’ll make money. If they buy within 24 hours of clicking on a link then you will get paid a commission.

Amazon commissions vary from 4% to around 10% depending on the number and type of sales for which you are credited each month. So in choosing a niche you must think about product value too. Generate low value sales and you won’t make much. However sales for items with a bigger price tag can prove very lucrative.

That said generating some low value sales can be a way of pushing subsequent bigger ticket sales into a higher commission rate. So don’t ignore them completely.

Content Marketing:

Essentially content marketing is the idea of publishing web content in order to provide the means for promoting products and services. Content marketing is closely linked with affiliate marketing but not exclusively linked to so. There are two types of content you can consider, as follows:-

(1) Written Content:

For instance, if you’re producing regular content and publishing it on your own blog then there’s the potential to generate an income through advertising.

Now selling advertising space on your blog or website is only possible if you have substantial amounts of traffic. If you’re just starting out you will not reach those levels for quite some time. However what is known as pay per click (CPC) advertising could generate money for you right from the start.

Perhaps the best known CPC program is one offered by Google Adsense. You sign up for this program, then embed Google’s links in your blog and they will insert advertising on your blog that is relevant to your content.

Every time a reader clicks on an Adsense advertisement you will get paid and it’s not purchase dependent. Readers only have to click for you to get paid.

The trick with Adsense is to have a very narrow focus for your blog. Let’s say your blog is about how to keep chickens and deal with blights like red mite. You’ll attract search engine generated traffic from people desperate to deal with the problem of red mite. Google will insert ads from companies offering products that will help with this problem and desperate people are likely to click on those ads to see what’s on offer. They click you get paid.

As long as your subject matter is focused and narrow, and ideally based on a highly searched keyword or phrase, then this can be a way to generate decent money.

(2) Video Content:

Another way to benefit from Google Adsense is to create your own YouTube channel, produce videos and again insert links from Google so that relevant pay per click advertising will appear on and around the video. Again if people click then you get paid.

Write eBooks:

Devices such as the iPad, the Kindle and other eReaders, provide you with the opportunity to self-publish your own eBooks and sell them through Amazon.

You may not be able to come up with the next Harry Potter work of fiction but there is good money to be made writing ‘How To’ books on just about any subject.

They don’t even need to be that long either. As little as 50 pages or 8,000 – 10,000 words covering a topic of general interest can be enough to produce something that will sell for one dollar or one pound sterling. That might not seem like a lot but sell 1,000 of them and you’ve made a decent sum of money.

Write something on an evergreen topic and it could sell for years. If you then write several eBooks like this, again on evergreen topics, that could become a decent income stream.

And what do I mean by evergreen? These are topics for which people have always looked for solutions. That might be something like tips for good time management or how to lose weight, et cetera.

And even if you’re not an expert you can research the necessary information and pull it together for people. Essentially you will be doing the work for them.

Develop Apps:

If you can learn to write code, and you can learn to write code, then you can also learn how to develop apps. If you can develop a killer app and sell it through the App Store then you can make serious money.

You’d love to but you don’t know where to start, right? Well there are endless videos and tutorials on YouTube and from these you can learn how to code and develop apps. Yes there’s some work to be done upfront of course. However a good app will generate money for years to come. Just think about apps like Candy Crush Saga. Produce something which becomes a real fad and there’s serious money to be made.

11 things to bear in mind:

If becoming self-employed appeals to you and you fancy making money as an online entrepreneur then here are 11 things you should bear in mind:-

  1. Know your target customers.
  2. Know your target niche or niches
  3. Know your strengths and interests?
  4. Apply your strengths and interests to serve customers
  5. Recognise that different markets need different strategies.
  6. Make sure you’re capturing buying intent.
  7. Create an image that will appeal to your target audience.
  8. With a website, traffic matters.
  9. Search engine optimization (SEO) will bring traffic.
  10. Getting back links from other websites will help with SEO.
  11. Be determined, work hard and learn as you go.

6 things you must do when you’re self-employed:

(1) Register with the tax authorities: Make money by all means but pay your taxes too. Upsetting the taxman is not a good idea dear reader wherever you live. In some countries tax regimes are more benign than in others but it’s always better to keep the tax authorities happy.

(2) Register for sales taxes and VAT: Again it’s all about paying your dues. If you do well financially then you have an obligation to share some of your wealth with the rest of society. Taxes are the price we pay to live in society and you can’t have a successful business without the society in which you live.

(3) Get a separate business bank account: Keep your business activities completely separate from your personal life. This is very important.

(4) Keep accurate and up-to-date records: You’ll need these in any dialogue with the tax authorities. You don’t want to end up paying more in tax than was necessary. Paying your dues is one thing; overpaying your dues is careless.

(5) Insure your business: When you’re in business, you’re required by law to have certain insurance policies in place. Exactly which policies you need depends on the nature of your business activities. Make sure you know your obligations and act accordingly.

(6) Keep it simple: In the early days you don’t want to be spending money you don’t have on things that are initially unnecessary. So keep everything as simple as possible for as long as possible.


Self-employment can be an attractive proposition and for most people it is the only way you will ever make a fortune. It’s not easy of course but it can be done and you don’t have to ditch your day job to get started.

With an online business you can start small and build it up over time. And you can mix and match options. For instance you can start a website for making money with both Amazon affiliate marketing and Google Adsense.

A good review website can become quite profitable and once it’s generating revenues on ‘autopilot’ it can become an asset which you can sell for serious money. There are plenty of examples where such sites have sold for 6 and even 7 figure sums.

Don’t underestimate the challenges of course but it can be done and people do. Why not you? Think carefully about how best you can exploit the opportunities before you and then have a go.

Good luck and may you be the next Richard Branson.

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© Roy J Sutton and Mann Island Media Limited 2017. All Rights Reserved.

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