Pick a problem, develop a solution, and watch as the world runs to your doorstep. Unfortunately, that’s not what happens out in the wide wild world.
You’ll pour your heart and soul into creating what you know is great. For some reason, it falls flat.
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You’ve put so much time and energy into making it that you’re sure it’ll do well, grow your brand, and let you live on your terms; but only crickets. You’re constantly in a struggle for business survival.
It’s annoying. More than that it’s damn frustrating.
You’re definitely not alone. Your journey’s following the same path as many of the greatest business minds of our age. The same people who started from nothing and built million dollar or even billion dollar brands.
They didn’t get there by hemming and hawing, they got there by dogged perseverance.
Here are the truths and the lessons they’ve shared along the way to propel you along while building your dreams.
We live in the information age. An age where people on opposite ends of the globe can find you work, interact with it, and leave an opinion.
It doesn’t really matter if they’re qualified to do it or not. That’s what accessibility brings. If you insult their sensibilities then they can give you a piece of their mind. Oh well.
I wrote a post a few days back and some people were very vocal in their criticism.
I didn’t see anything wrong with the editing.
Ouch. A least she said sorry…
Fortunately, not everyone had something bad to say. The overwhelming majority were positive and resonated with my words.
Not for the critics.
No matter how popular or unpopular you are, there will always be people there to bring you down.
No matter what the reason, don’t allow the trolls to stop you from doing what you know and love. The joy it brings you will outweigh the disappointment you feel because of their comments.
“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
This is my favorite part.
Standout companies are created from trying, failing, trying again, winning; then doing it all over.
The process never stops. They never stop trying to learn what their customers want and need. They never give up on getting to the deepest motivations of their audience and doing what they do better.
To get the most out of your life, your side projects, and your career, you must make learning your top priority. This goes beyond just reading the top industry blogs to get the hint of a strategy. Way beyond that.
It’s a lifestyle choice. You make the choice every single morning. It goes something like this.[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@Daniel_Ndukwu”]“Today, I’ll get better.” [/tweetthis]
That’s it. Well, of course, you need to follow through and actually improve yourself. The most efficient way to do this is to read.
I’m a voracious reader and currently read about 2-3 hours a day. If I find a book that hooks me beyond the first 20 pages I’ll usually finish it.
If you read only one book per month, that will put you into the top 1% of income earners in our society. But if you read one book per week, 50 books per year, that will make you one of the best educated, smartest, most capable and highest paid people in your field. Regular reading will transform your life completely.
James Altucher prescribes a pretty decent way of going about it in his book The Choose Yourself Guide to Wealth.
Just keep an open mind when reading and don’t judge a book by its cover, judge it by the first few pages.
Where to find the right books.
Amazon is one of the largest search engines in the world. You can find almost any book, in any genre, by any author. Just be wary, it’s gotten pretty easy to game Amazon.
Just type in a topic or an author’s name and explore to your hearts content. Look out for books with at least four stars and detailed reviews from people who’ve been verified by Amazon.
This is fairly simple; just type something like “person’s name” + “reading List” into Google.
The big G delivers nine times out of ten.
Boom, just like that, I’ve got dozens of books to populate my reading list.
There’s no point in having all the knowledge in the world if you don’t use it.
Let me say that again but make it tweetable[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@Daniel_Ndukwu”] There’s no point in having all the knowledge in the world if you don’t use it.[/tweetthis]
Use what you learn. There’s no way you can improve if you don’t put your insights into practice.
You may be good at what you do but there’s always room for improvement. You don’t need to double your creative output in a single day. Just adopt the habit; from there, the rest will take care of itself.
I’m very creative, it probably comes from being exposed to so many ideas while reading and interacting with other people. If I chased every idea I came up with, I wouldn’t be able to finish an article.
The secret to success is focus.
If you look at this year’s list of billionaires, you’ll realize something. The wealthiest people in the world did one thing for a very long time. They may have eventually branched out, but they started with one thing.
Focus on one goal at a time. If you think you’ll miss out on a lot of opportunities, create a document to record every idea that pops into your head.
Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.
Life is too short to live it on anyone else’s terms, eat other people’s garbage, or say what you don’t mean.
Alright, so it wouldn’t do to tell everyone they’re full of shit, but you can let them know you don’t agree with them. If you want to give a reason, that’s up to you.
Have you ever been in a situation where people knew your idea was horrible but didn’t let you know until after the fact? It sucks, it really does.
Don’t be that person, speak your mind. If you’re not comfortable telling them they’re full of shit then use some other English to get your point across.
“I don’t think that’s the best option.”
“I think there’s a different way, mind if I share?”
“Honestly? I don’t agree with you because…..”
When all else fails, you may just have to tell them the truth. They’re full of shit. You can deal with the consequences later. You’d be surprised what a large dose of honesty followed by a sincere apology can do for a relationship.
You were not put on this earth to be subservient to any man, woman, or child. It’s your life to live on your terms and you’ll never create a standout brand or live your story if you’re afraid to call people out on their nonsense.
No legacy is so rich as Honesty
I know people are always saying network. The old adage even supports this; “It’s not what you know but who you know.”
Well, that’s true to an extent. You need to know certain people to make certain deals go through. At the same time, the harder you work, the luckier you get.
I’m all for networking to create genuine connections. Real friendships that will last if I decide not to promote your latest product. Real understanding that’ll allow me to bounce ideas off you and expect your honest feedback. Real passion for building something that’ll make a change in people’s lives.
Anything less and I can’t justify the time and energy I’ll need to spend cultivating the relationship.
Another benefit of having real friends all over the world is a strong network to support you when it gets tough. Trust me, it gets tough.
Unlike the entrepreneur porn hitting us from every corner, the path you’ve chosen isn’t all roses and petals.
It comes with real challenges that go beyond what you may currently be able to handle. Don’t worry, you’ll grow to meet them, we always do.
Let me know what other strategies you’ve used to cope with the madness that comes with entrepreneurship.