21 inspirational quotes about business

QUOTES ABOUT BUSINESSIf you want to get seriously rich, then having your own business is probably the best, if not the only, way to do it.

Certainly, that would be true for most people.

Unless you’re a Hollywood A-lister, an investment banker on Wall Street or a top player in the NFL, the English Premier League or the Indian Premier League.

Otherwise, very few jobs would provide you with the means to get seriously rich beyond your dreams.

However, business is not for the faint-hearted; that’s important to recognize.

You’ll need to think big, and you must be prepared to take calculated risks. You must also be prepared to work very hard if you’re going to succeed in business.

There is no such thing as easy money. Your business must add value to people’s lives.

Adding value means offering customers products that provide them with real solutions to their problems.

You must offer good customer service too.

Great products and exceptional customer service will certainly attract customers, but the other key ingredient for business success is to manage money carefully, particularly when it comes to costs.

Money will flow into your business, and money will flow out too. The trick is to make sure that MONEY IN always exceeds MONEY OUT. And that’s easier said than done.

Get it the other way around for too long, and your business will go bankrupt.

Business success can be yours, but you have to be serious about it, and you have to be very professional too.

That said, it can be done, and people do. And if other people can do it, so can you.

Here are 21 inspirational quotes about business to help you think about it.

Quotes About Business (1-10):

  1. A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all. ~Michael LeBoeuf
  2. If you don’t drive your business, you will be driven out of business. ~BC Forbes
  3. It’s not what you pay a man, but what he costs you that counts. ~Will Rogers
  4. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art. ~Andy Warhol
  5. The secret of business is to know something that nobody else knows. ~Aristotle Onassis
  6. An organization, no matter how well designed, is only as good as the people who live and work in it. ~Dee Hock
  7. There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. ~Colin Powell
  8. A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn a reputation by trying to do hard things well. ~Jeff Bezos
  9. If you owe the bank $100 that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem. ~ Paul Getty
  10. If you’re trying to create a company, it’s like baking a cake. You have to have all the ingredients in the right proportion. ~Elon Musk

Quotes About Business (11-21):

  1. All lasting business is built on friendship. ~Alfred A. Montapert
  2. A company is only as good as the people it keeps. ~Mary Kay Ash
  3. A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business. ~Henry Ford
  4. I like Mr. Gorbachev; we can do business together. ~Margaret Thatcher
  5. More business is lost every year through neglect than through any other cause. ~Rose Kennedy
  6. In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take the experience first; the cash will come later. ~Harold Geneen
  7. In modern business, it is not the crook who is to be feared most; it is the honest man who doesn’t know what he is doing. ~William Wordsworth
  8. It takes more than capital to swing business. You’ve got to have the A. I. D. degree to get by – Advertising, Initiative, and Dynamics. ~Isaac Asimov
  9. Business is simple. Money comes in, and money goes out. The skill is in making sure the former exceeds the latter, so you make a profit. ~Roy Sutton
  10. Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your project or service, and that bring friends with them. ~W Edwards Deming
  11. There is only one boss; the customer. And he [or she] can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his [or her] money somewhere else. ~Sam Walton

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How to stop worrying and start living

How-to-stop-worrying.webpWe all tend to worry a bit more than we should.

Worrying is natural, but it is rarely helpful. It just adds to our stress levels. And what’s the worst thing that can happen anyway?

And even if it did happen, would worrying have stopped it from happening?

Life’s too short to stress ourselves out with worry.

The question is, how do we stop ourselves from worrying? Well, consider this idea.

Dale Carnegie’s book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living is a very useful guide. This book is a great personal development text and it’s well worth reading. I can strongly recommend it to you.

How to stop worrying:

However, until you have the chance to read it this animated video provides a useful summary of the key ideas in the book.

So I can recommend you watch this video now and then read the book whenever you get the chance.

Further reading:

Readers serious about their own personal development will be keen to establish their own small library of motivational resources I’m sure.

Dale Carnegie’s book would be an essential addition to any personal development library and it can be purchased HERE.

Go on, check it out now whilst it’s fresh in your mind.

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21 inspirational quotes about life that will help you succeed

inspirational-quotes-about-lifeLooking for some inspirational quotes about life, dear reader? Then I’ve curated some of the best and most inspired observations about life from some great people.

I love these quotes and I hope you’ll like them too.

Enjoy them all and please feel free to share them.

Inspirational quotes about life (1-10):

  1. You only live once, but if you do it right once is enough. ~Mae West
  2. One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching. ~Gerard Way
  3. Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right. ~Henry Ford
  4. The man who has confidence in himself gains the confidence of others. ~Hasidic Proverb
  5. What you lack in talent can be made up with desire, hustle and giving 110% all the time. ~Don Zimmer
  6. You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. ~C.S. Lewis
  7. The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. ~Walt Disney
  8. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself. ~Harvey Fierstein
  9. Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else. ~Les Brown
  10. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Wishing is not enough; we must do. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Inspirational quotes about life (11-21):

  1. The only way it gets better is when you get better as whatever you do. ~Jim Rohn
  2. Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. ~Joshua J. Marine
  3. Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough. ~Og Mandino
  4. We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated. ~Maya Angelou
  5. For every reason it’s not possible, there are hundreds of people who have faced the same circumstances and succeeded. ~Jack Canfield
  6. Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out. ~John Wooden
  7. You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. ~Zig Ziglar
  8. There are no limits to what you can accomplish, except the limits you place on your own thinking. ~Brian Tracy
  9. We generate fears while we sit. We overcome them by action. ~Dr Henry Link
  10. If you are working on something that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you. ~Steve Jobs
  11. Today’s accomplishments were yesterday’s impossibilities. ~Robert H. Schuller

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21 inspirational quotes about health and why it matters

QUOTES ABOUT HEALTHToday I thought it would be interesting to explore some quotes about health.

We can all be a little too neglectful of our health sometimes and yet it’s so important.

Think about that next time you’re giving priority to a stressful situation at work.

There’s only ever one you and if your health is seriously damaged it can be difficult, if not impossible, to repair.

If your aim is to enjoy your life and be happy then it all starts with good health. So you have to take good care of yourself.

No amount of money will compensate for being in a poor state of health.

So eat a well-balanced diet, exercise regularly and get a good night’s sleep.

Obviously, you can’t wrap yourself in cotton wool and there’s always a balance to be struck. But you get the gist, I’m sure.

Challenge yourself occasionally and make sure you have some fun along the way.

Bad food and your drink of choice can be enjoyed occasionally and burning the candle at both ends won’t do too much harm as long as you don’t make a habit of it.

Life would be very dull without the odd guilty pleasure but never lose sight of the need to maintain good health.

Here are 21 inspirational quotes about health to help you reflect on this all-too-important subject.

Quotes About Health (1-10):

  1. The first wealth is health. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
  2. A healthy outside starts from the inside. ~Robert Urich
  3. Health is not valued till sickness comes. ~Thomas Fuller
  4. The groundwork of all happiness is health. ~Leigh Hunt Prev
  5. It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver. ~Mahatma Gandhi
  6. Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together. ~Thomas Dekker
  7. Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. ~Benjamin Franklin
  8. It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society. ~Jiddu Krishnamurti
  9. I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you. ~Joyce Meyer
  10. There’s nothing more important than our good health. That’s our principal capital asset. ~Arlen Specter

Quotes About Health (11-21):

  1. He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything. ~Thomas Carlyle
  2. The greatest of follies is to sacrifice health for any other kind of happiness. ~Arthur Schopenhauer
  3. Cheerfulness is the best promoter of health and is as friendly to the mind as to the body. ~Joseph Addison
  4. A calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health. ~Dalai Lama
  5. The ingredients of health and long life are great temperance, open air, easy labour, and little care. ~Philip Sidney
  6. When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost. ~Billy Graham
  7. Good health is not something we can buy. However, it can be an extremely valuable savings account. ~Anne Wilson Schaef
  8. Rest when you’re weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work. ~Ralph Marston
  9. I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself. ~Johnny Carson
  10. Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people. ~Fred Rogers
  11. You know, all that really matters is that the people you love are happy and healthy. Everything else is just sprinkles on the sundae. ~Paul Walker

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17 short inspirational quotes that’ll make you think

SHORT INSPIRATIONAL QUOTESToday I offer you 17 short inspirational quotes which I’m confident will get you thinking about your life and what you want out of it.

You have more potential than you realise. You can be more than you are now.

Just decide how far you want to go and then don’t stop until you get there.

Plenty of people succeed in life. You can too. Believe in yourself, work hard and focus your time and energy on the things that really matter to you.

It’s perfectly reasonable to pursue your own agenda. Never assume that someone else will be looking after your interests. They won’t! You’ve got to do that yourself.

Be the best version of yourself.

And be inspired by these 17 short inspirational quotes.

Short inspirational quotes (1-10):

  1. What we think, we become. ~Buddha
  2. Reach for the stars. ~Christa McAuliffe
  3. My mind’s my kingdom. ~Francis Quarles
  4. Think with your whole body. ~Taisen Deshimaru
  5. Each day provides its own gifts. ~Marcus Aurelius
  6. I am deliberate and afraid of nothing. ~Audre Lorde
  7. Our ideals are our better selves. ~Amos Bronson Alcott
  8. Let each man exercise the art he knows. ~Aristophanes
  9. For a gallant spirit, there can never be defeat. ~Wallis Simpson
  10. Act like you expect to get into the end zone. ~Christopher Morley

Short inspirational quotes (11-17):

  1. Your big opportunity may be right where you are now. ~Napoleon Hill
  2. You have to rule the money. Don’t let money rule you. ~Fil Adams-Mercer
  3. The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have. ~Vince Lombardi
  4. Marriage is an investment that pays dividends if you pay interest. ~Bob Monkhouse
  5. Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. ~Robert Louis Stevenson
  6. On days when I don’t work, I am working on maintaining my image, just like an athlete. ~Linda Evangelista
  7. I would perceive three years at university as a waste of time. I would have made £200,000 by then. ~Lord Sugar

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If they did then perhaps this blog post might interest others you know too.

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Like every blogger, I can only keep doing what I do if there are readers viewing my blog posts. So you really can help me, dear reader.

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8 Top Business Tips for Success Today

Top Business Tips for Success TodayBusiness tips for success:

I read an article recently about a guy with a college degree who was feeling disillusioned because he couldn’t find a job. At least not one that met his expectations relative to the type of job and income he felt his degree merited.

Well, it’s a tough world out there, as I’m sure you know only too well dear reader, and despite what some people may think, the world doesn’t owe us a living. The world owes us nothing and it’s down to us to make a life for ourselves.

Work is just doing stuff for other people in return for money and there will always be people with stuff that needs doing. So rather than seeking a job, perhaps we’d all be better off if we focused on seeking customers for the services we could provide.

That’s at the heart of what business is all about, providing people with solutions to their problems for profit, and there’s much to be said for becoming an entrepreneur.

So today let’s explore some business tips for success for entrepreneurs.

The advantages of self-employment:

There are many advantages to being self-employed.

For instance, not having to deal with office politics is a big advantage for a start.

And of course, being the beneficiary of all of the proceeds of your hard work is another good reason.

Instead of making a lot of money for other people, you could be making it all for yourself. The harder you work the more you make for yourself too.

Unless you’re a lawyer or an investment banker, the chances are the only way you’ll ever make serious money is through building your own business. Building a business that one day you’ll be able to sell for a lot of money.

However, remember this; you might think that if you’re self-employed then you’re your own boss. Well, that’s not true. The customer is the boss, always.

Serve customers badly and you won’t be serving them for very long, that’s for sure.

The first rule of business is that you must know thy customer.

You must gain a deep understanding of the products, services and marketing that will appeal to your target customer.

One size will not fit all and each market will require a different approach.

Now going into business is not for the faint-hearted. You must be prepared to work very hard, at least in the early days, when you’re trying to establish your business.

However, if you can provide your target customers with real solutions to real problems then you can make serious money.

If someone else is already offering a solution to the target problem then your solution must be better or cheaper than theirs in some way if it is to sell.

Creating great products and offering great customer service is the route to business success.

However never forget your reputation and image. These things matter too.

Make sure you create an image that will appeal to as wide an audience as possible. Running your own business will be a challenge but it can also be extremely rewarding, both financially and in terms of a sense of achievement.

Remember also that running a small business is not a whole lot different to running a large business. The only real difference is one of scale. The key issues are always the same.

So here are some top business tips for success for would-be entrepreneurs:-

Top business tips for success today:

1. Control your costs:

Of the many business tips for success I could suggest, none can be more important than keeping an eye on the money.

Money comes into your business and money goes out. It’s that simple.

However, if you fail to ensure that the former is always greater than the latter, at least for most of the time, then trouble will follow at some point, whatever the size of your business.

A bigger business might be able to weather the storm a bit longer but the consequences of expenditure consistently exceeding income will be the same. Keep losing money and eventually, your business will go bust.

Take every opportunity to maximize your revenue and always keep your costs as low as you can. And never, ever lose sight of cash flow.

Don’t spend money unless it is absolutely necessary.

Ask yourself, do I really need to spend this money? What will I get in return? Can I achieve the same result at less or even no cost?

It might surprise you to learn how frequently it is possible to avoid the cost, whilst still doing all the things big businesses do.

The key message here is that you must keep an iron grip on costs and you must manage cash flow carefully.

2. Do your own market research:

Every product should solve a problem for your customer and you should have some idea of what that problem is and how your product will solve it relative to other products offered by your competition.

Just because you think you’ve got a great product, doesn’t mean customers will see it that way. Your opinion means nothing if there are not enough people willing to buy your product at the price you’re trying to charge for it.

If your product won’t sell then potentially your business could be in trouble.

Perhaps you think you’ve spotted a gap in the market?

If it’s a genuine gap then you might be on to a winner. However, a gap in the market doesn’t always guarantee that there is a market within that gap. Maybe there’s a reason for the gap which you’ve yet to understand.

In business, the trick is to find out what people really want and then offer it to them.

How do you find that out?

One very good way is simply to ask them yourself.

I’m not referring to your family and friends here. They’ll be far too polite to give you any meaningful feedback.

You must talk to real customers, if and when you have them, and potential customers.

You can conduct some of your own market research in your local shopping mall or wherever you think your target customers might congregate. And don’t be shy. Only by actually talking to people can you confirm whether your ideas have real potential.

So, identify some basic questions, stand there with a clipboard and just start asking people, as politely as possible.

Often they’ll be far more helpful than you might expect.

And don’t forget you can always use the Internet too.

Search engines like Google have keyword search tools that are free to use. These tools allow you to get a ‘rough and ready’ measure of what people are searching for and how frequently.

And don’t forget social media. Facebook and Twitter, for instance, can be great channels for asking questions, so you can gauge what people think.

Market research doesn’t have to be expensive. As a small business entrepreneur, it is possible to do it yourself. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on this activity but it’s essential that you do it.

Your results might not be quite as scientific as those produced by professional market research people, but they will provide you with a rough guide and that’ll probably be good enough in the first instance.

3. Advertising costs money: is there a better way?

Another of the most important business tips for success has to be visibility. I cannot stress highly enough that visibility matters, both for your business and your products. It’s absolutely crucial.

Your products might be the best in the world but they won’t sell at all if potential customers have no idea they exist. Surely that much is obvious.

The question is, how does any business ensure that customers have visibility of its products? The obvious answer is advertising of course.

However, media advertising can be costly, and it’s a cost that new businesses often cannot afford.

One small advert in the back of a glossy magazine can cost you a lot of money and yet you have to ask yourself whether that would be money well spent.

How often do you notice the small advertisements on the back of a magazine? In my case, the answer is not very often.

With so many advertisements competing for my attention, I tend to filter them all out. I’m willing to bet that you do too dear reader.

So, if you’re not careful, money spent on advertising can be money wasted in my experience.

A better approach might be to use some creative thinking with a focus on public relations.

Smart entrepreneurs know that business is show business. It’s all about getting noticed.

For example, the entrepreneur Richard Branson is a brilliant exponent at getting media attention at little or no financial cost to his business.

It helps that he’s a likeable guy of course but he’s also clever and creative in his approach.

If you have an interesting back story perhaps the local press, local radio or even television might be willing to run a story on you and your business and the products you have to offer.

Social media can be a powerful medium for gaining attention for your business too.

Social media is also a useful way of driving traffic to your company’s website, particularly Pinterest which is an incredible tool.

Then there’s using search engine optimization (SEO) techniques on your website content to ensure you drive traffic to your site from the search engines.

Let’s face it, you do need to appear on the first page of a Google search if there’s to be any chance of anyone noticing you and your business through search queries. So, if you can optimize your website for SEO, then you can get enormous amounts of traffic from Google and other search engines, like Bing and Yahoo.

Make sure you offer visitors to your company website the opportunity for signing up for a regular email newsletter. And give them the incentive to sign up.

This could be a free report or perhaps a discount code for one of your products.

How about running a competition using your company’s fan page on Facebook or your company website?

The price of say a smartphone or a Kindle or other desirable electronic device as a prize would be cheaper than the cost of a small advert in a glossy magazine but it’s more likely to get noticed and it’ll probably generate a lot more excitement.

If you have a car or van; don’t forget that it can be emblazoned with your company logo, your website details and product information on the back, sides and front. Even on the roof.

It would be free advertising as you’re driving around.

Park your vehicle at a big event attended by thousands of people and you’re beginning to master the art of guerrilla marketing.

The bottom line is that creative thinking and public relations can produce powerful results in your quest for visibility at a fraction of the cost of advertising. The key message is; be creative.

4. Don’t make yourself indispensable:

The biggest mistake any entrepreneur or business manager can make is to think that every decision should be made by them.

If you’ve started a business from scratch you tend to form an emotional bond with it. It becomes your baby and you become very protective of it.

That’s natural of course but as the business grows you’ll have so many things to do that you couldn’t possibly do them all.

You could try, of course. However, if you try to do everything you’ll find yourself falling behind in key areas like product sourcing, sales and keeping your accounts up to date.

Fall behind, and it becomes very hard to catch up. Potentially it is also very damaging for the business.

So you have to learn the art of delegation.

A good start would be to document every task and process within the business and then create an Operations Manual. This can include everything from the preferred method for answering the phone to completing invoices and dealing with complaints.

It can also include the degree of flexibility which you are delegating to staff, so they can get on with basic tasks allowing you to get on with those activities which are much more important for achieving business success.

No business should be dependent solely on one person.

If it is and that person gets seriously ill or has an accident then obviously the business would be in trouble very quickly and it would struggle.

Delegate basic activities to your staff and you can be sure that the business will continue to function even when you’re not around.

It will also give you a bit more thinking time for steering the company towards bigger and better things.

The key message here is that you must delegate. Never delude yourself into thinking that only you can do a particular task.

5. Charge sensible prices:

If you’re to earn a decent income then any list of business tips for success must stress the importance of knowing the value you can add and know your worth too.

It’s easy when you’re a small business to undervalue your products and your time. The result is that you undercharge for what you have to offer.

This is particularly true when professionals are selling their expertise and time on the basis of a consultancy arrangement.

It’s common for first-timers to lack the confidence to charge what they might perceive to be a high rate for their services.

The problem is that selling things cheaply can be counter-productive because customers then think they’re getting an inferior product or service and can be put off.

It is a fact that price can often be used as a proxy measure for quality when your business is being judged.

You have to be very business-like when considering the pricing of your products and services.

So look at what your competitors are charging and then analyse where you think your products and services fit into the market.

If you struggle with that idea then you can always seek guidance from someone else, like a fellow business owner or your accountant.

However, you must always remember that you must believe in your products and services. If you don’t then why should anyone else?

You must project confidence.

If you don’t have the courage of your convictions then the chances are that your business will never succeed.

Believe in yourself and charge what you’re really worth. Sell yourself on the basis of the value you bring and the value you can add.

6. Make the best use of technology:

Sometimes small business owners think that because they are small they can only act in a small way. However, that can be a mistake.

Don’t be afraid to invest in your business. For instance, investing in up-to-date technology like the right phone system and websites do not have to be expensive but they can be the difference between a customer contacting you or not.

These days no business, large or small, can operate without a website.

And that website needs to be as user-friendly as it possibly can be.

Make sure your website provides customers and potential customers with the opportunity to sign up for a regular email newsletter. And as suggested earlier, offer them an incentive so they do sign up.

Ensure also that your telephone system allows customers to reach you at their first attempt. Certainly, customers won’t make too many attempts to call you before they’ll simply go elsewhere.

If you don’t know how to do all this yourself then go on a course or seek guidance from someone with the right expertise.

Good communications will pay handsome dividends over time.

7. Set goals:

Another in this list of business tips for success, that I want to really stress here, is the importance of goal-setting.

You have to know what it is you’re trying to achieve if you’re to have any chance of successfully achieving it.

Never set your sights too low either. Set yourself a challenge and then put all your energy into achieving it.

Once you’ve set a goal then you need to establish a plan as to how it is going to be achieved.

For instance, if your goal is to achieve a certain level of turnover over the next year, you have to break that down into the small steps you will need to take for it to be achieved.

How many sales will you need to achieve each day, each week and each month?

What implications will those sales targets have for production?

Do you have enough sales staff to generate that amount of business?

And so on.

Always create a plan and review it regularly making adjustments as and when necessary.

8. If you got a great idea then do something with it:

How many great ideas never see the light of day because the person with the idea fails to do anything about it?

And how many times does someone with an idea see someone else come along with the same idea and beat them to market?

Let me give you an example. Two years ago I thought up a great idea for a tee shirt slogan. However, I was busy and so in the end I didn’t do anything about it. Fast forward two years, and the other day I noticed one of the best-selling teeshirts on Amazon was one bearing the slogan that I’d thought up.

Someone else had the idea too, but they actually did something about it. And they’re now benefitting from the income generated. From my standpoint, a great opportunity was missed.

Procrastination stops many entrepreneurs from cashing in on a great idea. Don’t let this be you.

If you’re waiting for the perfect time to do anything you will be waiting for the rest of your life.

Now is always the perfect time to start.

Don’t wait until you think the economy will be better or your children have left home or some other arbitrary barrier.

The right time to start your business is right now.

So go for it. Yes, you’ll make mistakes. You won’t get everything right the first time. You won’t become an instant millionaire either.

However, by getting started you’ll be heading in the right direction and you’ll learn along the way.

Hard work combined with implementing good ideas will get you there eventually.

Business Tips for SuccessConcluding Remarks:

I hope these business tips for success prove useful to you dear reader.

However please note, this blog post was not intended to be a comprehensive guide for entrepreneurs.

You’ll find many excellent books on the subject and I recommend that you make a point of reading as many of them as you can because educating yourself is always a good idea. It doesn’t have to be formal education. Self-education can be just as good in practice. And then, of course, you can start creating your own list of business tips for success.

And the best form of education in my experience is to learn by doing. You will make mistakes but the lessons learned from those mistakes will be far more valuable to you than anything anyone can teach you in a classroom.

Being an entrepreneur can be a roller coaster ride but it can be a fantastic and enriching experience too. So if you fancy it, go for it.

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33 life lessons learned that are best learned early

LIFE LESSONS LEARNEDLife lessons learned for most of us are learned the hard way. Here are 33 of those lessons that are best learned at early as possible, ideally in your teens or early 20s.

Life lessons learned:

1. On experiencing life:

Wherever you are, be there. Be present and experience the moment. You’ll remember moments with friends and family all your life, whereas you’re unlikely to remember social media posts moments after you’ve read them. No experience beats having a good laugh with your friends and family.

2. On making choices:

As an adult, you’re free to make your own choices but you must accept any consequences that follow. A wise adult learns to make good choices because the choices you make will dictate the quality of the life you lead. Your choices really matter. Make too many bad ones and your life experiences won’t be very good at all.

3. On the future (1):

Where you’re going is more important than where you’ve been. The past was a series of lessons to be learned. The future is where you’ll spend the rest of your life. You can’t change the past but your future has yet to be written, and you’ve got the pen.

4. On the future (2):

The future is an endless stream of opportunities that you can choose to seize, or not. However poor your past may have been, that doesn’t mean you can’t seize new opportunities and exploit them to your own advantage. You can, with determination and hard work. And, never let anyone discourage you from having a go. Better to try and fail than to spend your life wondering what might have been

5. On asking questions:

Intelligent people ask questions. So, never be afraid to ask questions when you don’t understand something, or when you need clarification. Better to appear a fool momentarily than remain a fool permanently.

6. On attitude:

The greatest disability in life is a bad attitude. If you’ve got one you’d better change it, if you want your life to improve. Attitude matters. An average person with a positive attitude makes a much better employee than a genius with a chip on his or her shoulder.

7. On fairness:

Life isn’t fair. It never has been and it never will be. We’re all dealt a set of cards in life, and all we can do is play that hand as best as we can. We could get angry about the unfairness of it all or we can just get on and make the best of what we have. The latter approach is much easier on our nerves, in my experience.

8. On bullying:

When you’re having fun at someone else’s expense, remember it may be fun to you, and you may not mean any harm, but for the other person the impact of such an experience can be humiliating, upsetting and it can cause significant, lasting and often permanent psychological damage to that person. So remember, it isn’t fun at all if it isn’t fun for the other person. If it isn’t fun for them, it’s actually just bullying. And if you’re bullying, you’re not being cool, you’re being nasty.

9. On judging others (1):

You’re free to judge others if you’re absolutely sure that you’re perfect in every way. If your conclusion is that you’re not quite perfect then why would you expect others to be?

10. On judging others (2):

For everyone life is a struggle. No one is without problems, despite any external signs to the contrary. We just have to keep going for it’s the only way. Life goes on and we must too. If you’ve not walked two miles in someone else’s shoes, you’re not in a position to judge them. So, don’t.

11. On authenticity:

Authenticity is simply being who you are and not trying to be who you think you should be or who you think you’re expected to be. People will respect you for being who you are. An original is always better than a fake.

12. On trust:

Trust takes years to build and seconds to break. And once broken the way you’re seen by others will never be quite the same again. Trust is a valuable and precious commodity. Protect it.

13. On reputation:

Never underestimate the importance of your personal reputation. And if you wouldn’t be happy to read something about yourself on the front pages, don’t do it.

14. On communication:

If you want to tell anyone anything, speak softly and you’ll find that they’re much more likely to listen to you.

15. On success:

No one can ever be a failure but everyone can be a success. Failure is not a person it’s just an outcome you didn’t want. It’s also an opportunity to try again with greater knowledge and experience. Everyone can achieve some degree of success, if they believe in themselves, they’re determined and they’re willing to work hard.

16. On priorities:

We all have the same amount of time. 168 hours a week. It’s how we choose to use it that dictates whether we achieve anything significant or not. Time is a resource, pure and simple. So, decide on your priorities and allocate your time accordingly. And just because someone wants a piece of your time, doesn’t mean you’re obliged to give it to them. If it’s not a priority, nor an obligation, just say NO.

17. On watching television:

Few people seem to recognise this but there’s a significant cost to watching television. Not the cost of purchasing the television set or any cable or satellite subscriptions you may have. The real cost is the opportunity cost of your time. That is the time you spend watching television. Time is money and you could be doing something more profitable with your time. Learning something new perhaps or running your own little income-generating side hustle.

18. On qualifications (1):

Most of the work done by most people in life doesn’t require a college degree at all. If you have one that’s great but stay humble. A motivated individual with common sense and decent reading, writing and arithmetic skills can succeed in life without one.

19. On qualifications (2):

You may need a college degree to work for an employer but you don’t need one to work for yourself. If it’s your business, you make the rules.

20. On qualifications (3):

Plenty of people graduating from Harvard will end up working for people who didn’t. So, stay humble. Studying at a top university is no guarantee for career success, nor does it guarantee wealth. A Harvard, Oxford, or Cambridge degree may look good on your CV but five years after graduation the only thing that will really matter is what you’ve actually achieved in the workplace since.

21. On experience:

Doing is by far the best way to learn. The classroom is useful, of course, but nothing beats doing and learning from your mistakes. Making mistakes will teach you lessons that you’ll never forget. And learning from your mistakes will give you that valuable commodity known as experience. Knowing the theory is useful, whereas having experience is essential.

22. On employability:

You don’t sell who you are. You sell what you can do and the value you can add. Every job is about doing stuff for other people and delivering results. What is it you can do and what can you confidently deliver? Before you go for any job interview, make sure you have answers to these questions and make sure you can give examples of stuff you’ve actually delivered on previous occasions.

23. On work (1):

Employers can quickly replace you with someone just like you and you’ll be forgotten quickly. So be professional in carrying out your duties, of course, but not at the expense of your own interests or those of your loved ones.

24. On work (2):

Make sure you take good care of yourself. Employers will take everything you give and a bit more besides but if you died tomorrow your job would be posted online before your obituary. You’ll be replaced within days and the memory of your presence won’t last long.

25. On making money:

To make money you have to be doing stuff for other people. To make a serious amount of money you have to be doing stuff for multiple people simultaneously, even when you’re asleep. Sounds impossible but it can be done. For instance, serving the many with your own digital products, sold online, can lead to great wealth.

26. On sales:

Successful selling is not about tricking people into buying something they don’t need. The art of selling is in proactively finding customers who’ve got problems for which your products can provide the ideal solution. If you can offer solutions to problems, you’ll find customers in need of what you have to sell. Find the right customers and a good product will sell itself.

27. On change (1):

It’s easier to remain as you are than it is to change but unless you change your life will not improve. Embracing change is hard but it is well worth the effort.

28. On change (2):

For things to change, you have to change. For things to get better, you have to get better. You can become more than you are but it won’t happen by accident. It all starts with you saying, I can; I will; and I won’t stop until I get there. And you must make any changes necessary.

29. On finding a life partner:

You’ll find, as you go through life, that Mr or Miss Perfect doesn’t exist. If you’re looking for a life partner, find someone whose faults you can live with. Yes, you’ll need to enjoy each other’s company. And yes, you’ll need to have things in common. However, everyone you meet will have faults of their own, even if they’re not immediately apparent.

30. On children (1):

When you have young children they need your attention much more than your mobile phone does. Your children should be your priority, particularly in the early years. You’re their role model. Be a positive role model and give them all the attention they deserve. The years pass quickly and your children, good or bad, are your legacy to the world.  Social media can wait. Anything less is simply a disservice to your child.

31. On children (2):

Children need continuity and they need boundaries. They need to be brought up with a set of values too. Fail to give them those things and you fail as a parent. Materialism is no substitute for the things that really matter most.

32. On your social life:

You’ll never fit into every social group, nor should you try. Just focus on finding a group of people that are right for you. In other words, find your tribe. People that are welcoming to you, with interests like yours and personalities that appeal to you. It’s better to be in the company of people that appreciate your company, rather than trying to fit into groups that don’t really want you there at all.

33. On experts:

There are plenty of people referred to as experts whose ideas and recommendations can prove to be stupid beyond belief. Listen to experts by all means but then use your own judgement. Don’t be fooled by people, just because they’ve got an impressive job title. If your instinct says they’re wrong, have the courage of your own convictions and act accordingly. Just because an ‘expert’ said it, doesn’t mean you have to accept it.

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Public Speaking: The Power of the Pause

Public SpeakingToday I offer you a tip for public speaking: the power of the pause. This is a great tip from Brian Tracy.

If your aim is to be successful then mastering the art of public speaking is an essential skill you must develop.

If you’re a successful, high-profile individual you can’t avoid speaking in public, at least occasionally. However much you might try to resist it I’m afraid it’s like trying to hold back the tide. It can’t be done.

However, I recognize that public speaking can be a bit daunting even for people who are otherwise quite confident.

So if you lack confidence in this area then don’t worry. You’re not alone I promise you. Most people feel just like you do when they find themselves standing in front of a crowd faced with the expectation that they’ll be able to say something meaningful and present it in an interesting and engaging way too.

The key to being interesting is developing your public speaking technique. The more you practice and build your technique the more confident you’ll feel when you step up to the lectern.

One way to improve your public speaking technique is to learn from some of the best speakers and copy what they do. And Brian Tracy is an excellent speaker worthy of study. Personally, I find him both interesting and inspiring.

So if Brian has something to say then listening to him is worthy of your time I believe.

In the short but excellent video embedded with this post, Brian Tracy offers some useful advice on the subject of public speaking. In particular, using the power of a pause to emphasize or reinforce a point being made.

An important element of public speaking is making sure that the underlying messages resonate with your audience. If they take away three or four powerful messages then you’ll have done your job and done it well.

If you want to improve your public speaking skills, I recommend you watch this video.

You’ll learn some helpful tips, as well as one of the little-known secrets used by top public speakers.

Once again I must say, Brian’s short video is well worth a few minutes of your time.

Public Speaking: The Power of the Pause

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3 of life’s lessons learned that you really should know

Life's Lessons LearnedMany regular readers will be familiar with the three life’s lessons learned that I’ve included here today, but that won’t be true for everyone, of course. It all comes down to experience really, wouldn’t you agree?

Well dear reader, please don’t feel that you must make every mistake yourself in order to learn.

Learning directly from the mistakes of others is a perfectly valid strategy. You can also listen to and learn from lessons others have learned the hard way.

There’s no finer education than the University of Life, School of Hard Knocks.

So, allow me to offer you three of life’s lessons learned, that you’d do well to bear in mind.

1. Money can’t make you happy:

If you’re not happy without money then having money won’t change how you feel about yourself.

We experience happiness not through the things we purchase but through our personal philosophy, as well as our relationships with other people. Human beings are social animals, and we all need other people.

If you want to be happy you must never lose sight of the most important people in your life, i.e. family and friends.

Spend time with them and enjoy their company, especially your children. Make the most of every minute you have with your loved ones.

Yes, of course, go out there and make some money. I’m not suggesting money doesn’t matter because it does. It’s up there with oxygen for sustaining a life worth living.

So you must manage your money carefully and invest some of it too.

Enjoy some of your money, of course, and buy nice things occasionally too. Life’s too short not to enjoy at least some of your hard-earned cash from time to time.

However never focus on money and work, to the exclusion of your family and friends. Without them you have nothing. Money is important but the people in your life are far more important.

You could have all the money in the world but without your friends and loved ones you’d have nothing at all.

2. Life is too short to do a job you hate:

You should never do anything for money alone.

Yes, you need an income and yes, it’s nice to have plenty of money in your pocket. Let’s face it we’d all like to have plenty of money, wouldn’t we? That’s human nature.

However, no amount of money will compensate you for the drudgery of doing a job you really hate.

If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you won’t do it well. And if you don’t do it well eventually you’ll come unstuck. It will all end in tears. Now is that really what you want, dear reader?

Remember this also; one day, you will die. You’re not going to live forever, nor would you want to.

What a shame it would be if on your deathbed you felt you’d completely wasted your life. Now, how bad would that be?

So find a job you enjoy.

That really is important. You’ll spend one-third of your life at work and that’s a long time to be doing something you really hate.

Yes, there will be aspects of every job that you might find tedious or frustrating. However, it’s important to find something that you mostly enjoy.

And if you haven’t found that job you love yet? Then just keep looking, until you find something you’d do for free if you couldn’t earn a living at it.

When it comes to a job, money shouldn’t be your primary focus. Find the right job; do it well; add real value, and the money will follow, all in good time.

3. Greed can lead to expensive mistakes:

There’s a classic telephone scam, which never fails to catch some people out.

The way it works is a salesman or woman working in a ‘boiler room’ somewhere offshore calls you with an offer for you to purchase an asset at a price which they’ll tell you will guarantee you an enormous profit.

It might be stocks and shares or it might be plots of land in some faraway place but the underlying message is always the same.

Essentially they’ll tell you that next to no one knows about the availability of this asset just yet but when they do the price of the asset will go through the roof and just keep on heading in an upward direction.

They’ll tell you that whatever they have to offer is a steal and that you have the opportunity to get in on the ground floor and make an absolute killing but you have to buy today or you’ll miss out.

The salespeople always sound friendly, and very plausible and they’ll make it all sound very professional. They’ll even take a little time to make you feel that really they’re trustworthy.

This scam plays on our greed and our gullibility.

We believe what we’re being told because we want to believe it. We just love the idea that we might get something for nothing too.

However, if you part with your money, when presented with such an offer, that‘s the last you’ll see of it.

The asset will be worthless or even non-existent. You’ll have been scammed.

Furthermore, if you’re foolish enough to buy, you’ll also be put on a ‘sucker list’ which means you’ll get inundated with similar calls from other high-pressure salespeople offering similar ‘deals‘.

In reality, any deal that sounds too good to be true will always prove to be too good to be true.

There’s no easy money to be had anywhere. Take that from someone who’s spent a lot of time looking.

And anyway, think about it, if it was that good a deal why would they be telling you?

If there really was a killing to be made, they’d simply invest their own money and bag the ‘profit’ for themselves, surely?

Never allow yourself to fall for it.

And never, ever allow yourself to be bounced into buying anything just because they tell you that this deal is only available today.

In sales language that’s known as a ‘call to action‘. It’s the oldest sales trick in the sales handbook.

The idea is to bounce you into making a purchasing decision before you have time to think it all through properly.

Don’t be a mug and don’t be foolish enough to line other peoples’ pockets at your own expense. As the old saying goes, invest in haste, repent at leisure.

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Why an investment in knowledge pays dividends

Why an investment in knowledge pays dividendsAn investment in knowledge pays the best interest. ~Benjamin Franklin

You don’t get paid for the hour; you get paid for the value you put into the hour. It’s important everyone understands that important distinction dear reader.

You get paid for the value you add.

The more value you can add the more you’ll get paid.

It’s really that simple.

If you can solve problems for people with the skills you’ve got, then you can earn an excellent living.

The question is what underpins your skills and your ability to add value? The answer to that question would be knowledge, of course.

Knowledge comes from learning and learning is a lifelong process.

Learning is an investment:

The quote at the top of this post from the venerable Benjamin Franklin reminds us of the importance of learning. Learning is an investment in ourselves.

We all have an enormous capacity to consume and retain knowledge in our heads and that knowledge is then a currency with which we can trade. The more knowledge we have the more value we can add.

When it comes to investing, nothing will pay you a better dividend than making sure you have a good education. And I stress, it’s a lifelong process. It doesn’t end when you leave school or college.

And it’s not about whether or not you went to college or university. Important as they may be, learning can be achieved in many ways.

Self-education is the best education:

Knowledge can be gained through reading books; listening to audio and video tutorials, and challenging yourself to master anything that appeals to you. Learning from hands-on experience, making mistakes and learning the lessons you can take from any mistakes you’ve made.

In particular, if you want to master the game of money and all matters financial then you need to become a seeker of financial knowledge and know-how.

You need to become a reader and a keen student of finance. To be successful in investing, of course, you really need to know what you’re doing. You need financial education.

The price of ignorance:

If you think that education is expensive, then think again. The price of ignorance is far greater.

Ignorance can prove to be very costly indeed. And that’s true in every aspect of your life.

Getting an education may seem expensive but it’s nowhere near as expensive as ignorance.

So, if you’re not already, become a reader.

The investment in yourself is well worth the effort and it’ll pay you a handsome dividend.

As the late, great Jim Rohn once said, Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.”

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