8 Top Business Tips for Success Today

Business Tips for SuccessBusiness 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 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 the 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 in 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 an 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 teeshirt 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, great opportunity 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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Why an investment in knowledge pays dividends

KnowledgeAn 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 will 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.

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 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.

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.

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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Warren Buffett’s Top 10 Rules For Success to Inspire You

Warren Buffett Top 10 Rules for SuccessToday I offer you Warren Buffett’s Top 10 Rules For Success dear reader.

If you want success then you would be wise to listen to people who have already achieved some success.

Identify what they did to achieve their success and copy it.

If it worked for them then it will probably work for you.

Now there are few people more successful in their chosen field than Warren Buffett.

He offers you his ‘Top 10 Rules For Success’ in the video, embedded here, and it’s definitely worth your time to listen to him.

They are his top tips and I recommend them to you.

Warren Buffett’s Top 10 Rules For Success:

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Steve Jobs’ Top 10 Rules For Success to inspire you

Top 10 Rules for SuccessIf you’re looking for the Top 10 Rules for Success, then there are many people who will give you a list.

However, no two lists will ever be exactly the same and very few people have real experience of success anyway. And surely the only people really worth listening to are those who’ve been there and done it? People who are genuinely successful by any measure.

And so to today’s underlying message. My point today is that if you want success then you’d be wise to look for successful people and copy what they do.

The late Steve Jobs is not only an icon but he was also a great role model to use as your template for achieving real success.

So, in the embedded video, Steve Jobs‘ offers his Top 10 Rules For Success. I recommend that you watch this video, it is inspirational and well worth a few minutes of your time.

Top 10 Rules for Success:

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25 inspirational stories of people going from rags to riches

Inspirational StoriesInspirational stories can be so uplifting. Their message always says, if other people can be successful then you can too.

Did you have a tough start in life?

Then perhaps you feel that your difficult past will prevent you from enjoying a successful future?

Well let me tell you, a tough past doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a tough future.

A friend of mine had a very difficult start in life and yet he’s now a millionaire. People do succeed and so can you.

The past is the past, of course, and it can’t be changed. It serves only as a series of lessons to be learned. Remember, the past was simply part of your education and it was not a life sentence.

The future is different. The future has yet to be written and the good news is, you’ve got the pen.

You can create any future you want, as long as you’re determined, focused and prepared to put in plenty of hard work. You won’t get anywhere without those ingredients, I’m afraid.

Nevertheless, in the future there will be a constant stream of opportunities to be seized, just waiting for the fleet-footed and enterprising to grab and exploit them.

Success can be yours, if you’re prepared to make the effort and take a few calculated risks.

Don’t just accept my word, look around for people who’ve actually done it.

There are plenty of inspirational stories if you’ll just look for them. Today I offer you a video with 25 inspirational stories. It’s well-worth a few minutes of your time.

Inspirational Stories25 Inspirational Stories:

In the video included here, there are 25 excellent examples of people who had a tough start in life but went on to enjoy considerable financial success.

These are all inspirational stories of people going from rags to riches. And if they can do it, why not you?

And remember this; you’re never too old.

Colonel Sanders started KFC at the grand old age of 65.

And Ray Kroc began building the business empire we now know as McDonald’s at 52.

Believe you can and you will.

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How to build confidence and self-esteem

How to build confidence and self-esteemRealizing your full potential would be an excellent definition for success, wouldn’t you agree dear reader?

Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done, of course.

For many, if not most, people what’s going on in their head can be the greatest barrier to achieving their full potential. Could you be one of those people?

You want to achieve success but you’re full of self-doubt?

You don’t believe you’re worthy enough, perhaps?

Perhaps, you just don’t believe you can do it and generally you find it hard to believe in yourself.

And then there’s that old chestnut from which we all suffer occasionally, namely the fear of being found out. The fear we’ll be rumbled.

Build confidence and self-esteem:

It all boils down to lacking self-belief, a lack of confidence and low levels of self-esteem.

Ultimately all those negative thoughts prevent you from achieving your full potential and they’re a drain on your confidence and self-esteem too.

Negative self-talk not only drains your confidence, but it also drains your emotions and it can rob you of the energy you need to work towards achieving your goals and becoming the person you’d like to be.

And, let’s face it, becoming the incredible person you really could be too, surely?

Within us, we all have enormous potential.

That’s a fact that many people fail to appreciate.

We have so much to offer but for many people that potential goes unrealized.

Essentially many of us just waste so much of the potential we have to offer.

How to build confidence and self-esteemSo how do we become more confident and increase our self-esteem? Now there’s an important question.

The late, great Jim Rohn used to say, “Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.” And he was right, in my opinion.

The more you work on yourself, the more confident you’ll become and the greater will be your sense of self-esteem. It really can be that simple.

In the embedded video included below, Oprah Winfrey gives us her views on why it’s important to work on yourself.

And let’s face it, Oprah Winfrey is extremely successful by any measure, so she’s one person to which we should all be listening, or at least those people for whom success is a goal.

If success is your aim, then listening to successful people on a regular basis is a very good idea. Find out a few of their secrets and copy them and you’ll be well on your way to achieving and sustaining success yourself.

This is an excellent video and I can recommend it.

Working on yourself:

If this video has ignited your curiosity about Oprah Winfrey’s ideas then she’s written many books and they’re all worth reading. You’ll find them all on Amazon. JUST CLICK HERE

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How to find the right job for you: Simply Explained

Do you enjoy your work? Do you have a job you love? Do you wake-up each morning filled with enthusiasm for the day ahead? Alternatively maybe you just feel your job allows you to earn an income but beyond that you can’t wait until 5 pm when the working day is over? Perhaps you’re constantly asking how to find the right job for you?

If that’s you then you’re not alone.

The acid test when you’re not sure is to ask yourself the lottery question.

What does that mean? If means you ask yourself this, “If I won the lottery and money ceased to be an issue; would I continue to do the work I’m doing now or would I try something else?

Yes of course if you won the lottery you’d have a little fun with the money first, but eventually your life would need a sense of purpose and routine again.

So how would you fill your time then?

If you enjoy what you do, and you are recognized as being very good at it, then you’ll do your job well and you’ll be successful at what you do. And if you enjoy what you do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. Now, how good would that be?

So if you’re not happy with your job right now, the next question to ask yourself is, “What do I really want to be?

To answer that question, you really need to consider two things:-

  1. What are you good at?
  2. What do you enjoy doing?

These are quite different things but if you can find the sweet spot between them then you have the basis for finding a job you’ll love. So the steps to job heaven are as follows:-

STEP 1: What are you good at?

Not merely competent but really good at?

Think about that question carefully and be honest with yourself.

What activities are intuitive to you? Things you can do easily and readily without having to give them too much thought?

Ask friends and colleagues for their views, and ask them to be really honest with you. Ask people you work with about the tasks for which they consider you to be the absolutely, first choice ‘go-to’ person?

Gather together this information and make a list.

STEP 2: What do you enjoy doing?

Then make a list of all the things you really enjoy doing.

Which activities really give you a buzz?

What activities get you so absorbed that you really lose track of time?

What activities would you do for free or as a hobby, if you couldn’t make a living at them?

Paul McCartney once said that if he couldn’t have made a living out of writing songs and playing music, he’d have done it as a hobby, simply because he loved it so much. In fact, it was his hobby before it was his living.

What activities make you feel the same way? Make that list and don’t be reasonable.

All this requires time for reflection and careful thought, as well as feedback from other people. So do give it the time it deserves.

Don’t jump to conclusions. You do want to ensure you get it right, don’t you?

STEP 3: Where is the common ground between your lists?

When you have your two lists ready, the final step is to identify the common ground between them, the point at which the two lists intersect.

How to find the right job for youIf you find an item that is contained on both lists then you have found the Holy Grail.

Finding something you’re genuinely good at and have a real talent for, and which is also something you really enjoy, will give you the greatest chance of success in life.

It is essential you find the common ground between your lists because:-

  1. If you really enjoy it, you’ll stick with it.
  2. If you’re really good at it, someone will notice

And if you get it right, sometimes people will sprinkle fairy dust on you too. And then a magical career beckons.

Finding job heaven is never about luck.

If you’re doing something you enjoy doing and you’re doing it well, you’ll stick with it long enough to get someone’s attention. And when you get their attention, you’ll dazzle them because you’re doing it well.

That’s not luck; it’s hard work, perseverance and timing.

Once you’ve identified what you want, the next question is, “How do you get it?” That’s another challenge, entirely.

Have you managed to find job heaven? If so, you’re lucky indeed. Enjoy every moment.

If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking;

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How to build wealth from nothing – 5 Top Tips

How to build wealth from nothingThere’s nothing you can do about being born poor. If that was the case, then it was just unfortunate. However, you don’t have to go through life poor.

It is possible to build wealth over time and plenty of people do, frequently from absolutely nothing.

Many people born poor become very wealthy through their own efforts and you can too dear reader.

Here are five tips to help you build wealth from nothing.

How to build wealth from nothing:

1. Pay yourself first:

You may well appreciate that making money can be relatively easy, whilst holding on to it is very, very hard.

We’re all constantly bombarded with reasons why we should spend our money in return for some fleeting sense of gratification. Would that be an experience you recognise dear reader?

It doesn’t have to be that way of course and rich people know that only too well.

So what do rich people do that’s different to everyone else? Simple! They always pay themselves first.

And what do I mean by paying yourself first?

I mean the moment you’re paid, you take a slice off the top of your income immediately and you put it away somewhere safe. And by a slice I mean say 10%, or more if you can afford it.

And what do I mean by somewhere safe?

Well initially that would be depositing your money in an interest-bearing account.

However, once your money starts building into a larger sum then you can start thinking about other forms of investment that’ll give you greater returns potentially. Stocks and bonds for instance.

Building a capital sum is important because as your money grows it starts to generate a second income stream for you. That may not seem important to you now but it will be as you get older.

So paying yourself first is a discipline to which you must adhere until it becomes a habit you do without thinking.

You must always put some money away and you must make that money work hard for you. You must grow and protect your investment portfolio with careful diversification and over time you’ll find yourself building a sizeable fortune.

So here’s today’s mantra for you: Pay Yourself First. Never forget that please dear reader.

2. Be an investor, not a speculator:

You must understand that there’s a big difference between investing and speculation. They’re not the same thing at all.

I don’t wish to imply that there’s something wrong with speculation though. There isn’t.

In the world of finance, speculation brings liquidity to the market and therefore it does have its place.

However, speculation tends to operate on the ‘greater fool’ principle.

By that I mean someone is prepared to buy an asset for a given price in the hope that it can then be sold quickly to someone else, the greater fool, for a greater price.

This is what professional speculators do and they can make money this way because they know what they’re doing and they have sophisticated systems to support them.

However, for ordinary people speculation is like gambling in a casino. And you should never invest your money as though you’re gambling in a casino.

You might get lucky occasionally of course but over time your losses will outstrip any gains you might make, and almost certainly by a significant margin.

So my recommendation to you dear reader is you should never speculate. Instead, you should focus on becoming an investor.

By investing I mean buying stocks and shares in solid, well managed, cash-generative businesses which have the ability to pay good dividends on a sustained basis.

Buy stocks worth holding for the long term. This will provide you with a steady income stream from the dividends regardless of any short to medium term volatility in the market. And spread your risk by building a diversified portfolio.

If you reinvest your dividends then over time you will find that this approach should give you a good return on your money.

If you want to make money and build capital, then my advice to you dear reader is to be an investor, not a speculator.

3. Focus on value not price:

The legendary investor Warren Buffett once said, “Price is what you pay; value is what you get.

With this observation, he’s making a very important point. There’s a distinction between price and value.

A low price for an asset doesn’t necessarily mean you’d be getting value.

And a high price doesn’t automatically mean you would not be getting value.

Price in itself is not a measure of value. You must consider other factors to judge value.

When you’re buying any financial asset, says stocks and shares, you should always focus on value and you must establish metrics by which you can adequately judge the intrinsic value within that asset.

Judged in isolation price is just a number, nothing more.

A lower price means absolutely nothing if you’re getting little or no value in return for your money.

Never, ever forget that it’s the intrinsic value that will determine whether something is really worth buying or not.

Get real value at the right price and then you can get a decent return over time from an investment.

4. Create a personal private income:

Much as we all aspire to do work we love, you must never forget dear reader that ultimately work is simply a means to an end.

Essentially work is just doing stuff for other people in exchange for money. In turn, that money is then the fuel on which we run our lives.

Money provides us with the means to put bread on the table, a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs and those of our loved ones of course.

If you work hard enough you can earn a lot of money.

Manage that money wisely and you can build capital. Invest that capital intelligently and you can create your own personal private income streams.

When you have a decent private income in your own right then you can truly pick and choose the work you do.

Then you only have to do what you enjoy doing; that thing that gives you a genuine sense of purpose.

Creating a personal private income is a worthy goal and it’s well worth the effort.

That way you’re in control of your own life and no one else can dictate what you should and shouldn’t do.

You’ll be in control of the good ship ‘Me’ and only you then decide where it goes.

The message here is, work hard now, so one day you don’t have to work hard.

5. Never forget what matters most:

It would be very easy to believe that a life filled with lots of money and materiality will make you blissfully happy. Well let me tell you, dear reader, in isolation, it won’t.

I’m not suggesting that these things are not important but you must get your priorities right.

Yes, of course, go out there and make money. Manage it carefully. Buy nice things and enjoy some of that money too.

However, to be truly happy you must never lose sight of the most important thing in your life and that is family and friends. People are social animals; we’re not solitary animals like cats. We need other people and most of all we need our loved ones.

So make time for your loved ones, especially your children. Enjoy their company and make the most of every minute with them.

Never focus on work to the exclusion of your family and friends. Without them you have nothing. Money is important of course but people are much more important.

Never lose sight of the people in your life.

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How to turn enterprise into money and riches

Turn enterprise into moneyBeing poor is shit. ~Bob Geldof

The media personality and former rock star Bob Geldof’s communication style tends to be blunt and to the point. He’s not a man to sugarcoat his words, or so it seems. However, he does make an important point here.

People may tell you that money isn’t important but next to oxygen it’s essential for a life worth living. In fact you couldn’t live long without it today.

Exactly how much money you need depends on your preferred lifestyle of course. However even for a fairly basic lifestyle a reasonable income is necessary.

None of us want to be poor or destitute of course. And fortunately we don’t have to be. It’s possible to turn enterprise into money, and money into wealth and riches.

And what do I mean by enterprise? I mean your energy, your resourcefulness, your imagination, your knowhow and skills, your ambition, and your determination to make life better for you and your loved ones.

Essentially, you can make your life better simply by making life better for other people.

What is work?

In essence, work is just doing stuff for other people in exchange for money, surely?

However, the key message here is that you don’t need to be employed by a commercial enterprise or corporation to earn money.

Whilst being employed is one way to earn money, it’s also perfectly feasible to establish your own business and earn your living by being self-employed.

And in the age of the Internet, it’s never been easier to start a business, even if you have very little money to invest.

Remember also, you can start a business initially as a part-time side-hustle, whilst being employed, until it’s generating enough income for that business to become your primary means for making a living.

And never forget, for most people, the only way you’ll ever get seriously rich is through your own business.

Certainly, unless you’re a Wall Street investment banker or a lawyer, you’re unlikely to get seriously rich being someone’s employee, trading your time for money.

The key to success in business:

The key to success in your own business is to find a way to solve problems for people for profit. That’s the way to turn your own enterprise into money. And it’s a lot easier than you might imagine.

Let’s face it, there’ll always be plenty of customers for products and services, some yet to be invented.

People will always have problems and they’ll always have a need for solutions to those problems.

And every product sold by a company is a solution to a problem, or at least it should be.

Turn enterprise into money:

If you continually educate yourself for skills and know-how, then you can create wealth by seeking out customers for whom you can deliver solutions to their problems and/or provide them with services for which they have a need.

If you can satisfy those customers then you’ll make money, and quite possibly a lot of money, if you can scale-up that business as your customer base grows.

Manage your money wisely and you can build your own personal wealth too.

Determination, hard work and an eye for problems to be solved are the main ingredients for success in business. Your enterprise really can lead you to great wealth.

You don’t have to be poor:

You don’t have to be poor unless you’ve given up and you’re just accepting that being poor is your lot in life. It’s not, and nor should it be.

You’re perfectly capable of generating your own income dear reader.

You just need to do stuff for other people and find a way to add value to their lives. In this case adding value means solving problems or making their lives easier and/or better in some way.

Help yourself by helping others get what they need:

It all comes down to your willingness to find a way to serve others. Simple!

There are opportunities there for the taking every single day of the week, if you’re enterprising and ready to solve problems for other people. However you do need to be fleet-footed.

The best time to start a business might have been last year but the next best time is right now.

And age is no barrier to starting a business either. Remember, Colonel Sanders was 65 years old when he started KFC, and Ray Kroc was 52 when he started building the business we know as McDonald’s.

It can be done and people do. Why not you? Go on, just go for it! Real riches can be yours.

Good luck!

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Why you should make a difference in life

Make A DifferenceWhere are you going? What is it you want to achieve in life? Would you like to make a difference whilst you’re still here on Planet Earth?

If you’re anything like me, dear reader, you’ll be asking yourself questions like these, quite frequently.

However, any vision you have for your life should not just involve some notion of what you want to achieve, surely?

In looking to the future, your vision should also include something you would like to leave behind, don’t you think?

I’m talking about your legacy.

In other words, what will you leave behind for future generations?

Fundamental question:

If you’re to leave a lasting legacy, there’s a more fundamental question you should be asking yourself and that is, For what do I want to be remembered?

Developing a clear idea of what you want your legacy to be will focus your attention on what you need to do to achieve it.

This will involve more than just establishing priorities. It requires you to consider what really matters to you.

Once you know what truly matters to you, then you’ll know where to focus all your energy.

If you can connect with your highest values, then this will have a profound effect on your behaviour.

That in turn should provide you with the motivation and the drive to pursue your life’s purpose. Your raison d’etre.

A price must be paid:

However, you should recognise this fact too. If your life’s purpose is to be achieved then there’s a price to be paid. There’s nothing for free in this life, that’s for sure. And that’s why you’ll need to be driven.

Which leads us to the next question; how do you turn your vision into reality?

Like every journey, it starts with the first step.

You think about what needs to be done, but not for too long, and then you start doing and you keep going until you get to where you want to be.

The best time is now:

Like many people, you may be thinking that you have to have everything ‘just right’ before you can begin to achieve your aims. That’s not so, dear reader.

If you wait for everything to be perfect, then it’ll never happen. So the best time to start is right now. A year ago may have been better, of course, but failing that, right now is best.

The danger with waiting for everything to be perfect is that you delay and delay and never get any traction on moving things closer to where you want to be.

Your life’s purpose will only become clearer as you experience life, and gradually adjust your direction based on your experiences.

Every successful person goes through many experiences before they find that thing that will allow them to truly make a difference.

Make A DifferenceThe importance of incremental change:

This is a process of incremental change that gradually takes you in a direction which is most appropriate for you.  And if you’re heading in that direction, you’re almost certainly reinforcing what works for you.

If you just keep moving in the right direction you will achieve your aims. It may take longer than you’d like, and it may not be as dramatic as you thought it would be, but you will get there.

The keyword is perseverance.

Keep going until you achieve what you want to achieve.

Achievement is a confidence builder.

The more you achieve, the more you believe you can achieve. With confidence and self-belief, you can achieve anything you want to achieve.

You’ll find dear reader, if you haven’t already, that achievement and success changes your experience of being alive.

Not only does it make you feel good about yourself, as a natural consequence it also produces what will become your legacy and that will have made your life a life worth living and a life well-lived.

So make a difference, whilst you still have the energy and the desire.

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