What Could Have Been….

It can be easy to sit around and feel bad about mistakes you made in the past while daydreaming about what your life would be like if you had made better decisions. I prefer learning from those mistakes and moving forward one day at a time. Acknowledging wise decisions made in the past and integrating them into my life today is nice, too.

The Forces of Life

“We are the creation of the forces of life,

an eternal blend of ecstasy and strife,

living as long as the universe stays,

which is forever, through our galaxies’ nights and days.

From the big bang’s beginning

to the black hole’s destruction

is but a day in the life of our cosmic construction.

We’ll live forever, we’re the stuff of stars,

ever growing, ever changing,

born into this life, born into that,

changing this form for the one that comes next,

an eternal part of an eternal creation,

a quintessential piece of divine revelation!”

-Marc Allen

A Few Quotes From My Favorite Business Author

“We all achieve what we believe deep down inside.”

“You can’t do anything unless you have the beliefs to back it up.”

“Until we take a leap of faith, none of us know if we can fly.”

“Schools are always behind, and if you rely on traditional education alone you’ll always be behind, too. Believe that inexperience is an asset, allowing you to think outside the box in ways your competition can’t even imagine.”

“Be true to yourself, and the right people and opportunities will filter to you.”

“Your success is completely determined by your ability to break free from the one and only approach everyone else is following.”

“Early entrepreneurial success is often defined by survival. But my bet is that once you get started, you will naturally get your feet under you and not just survive but thrive.”

-All quotes by Mike Michalowicz  

To learn more check out his books — The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur & The Pumpkin Plan

 

 

Automation Domination!

Are you growing your business? Automating areas of your business is one of the smartest steps you can take. It’s similar to paying your bills. You can set your bills such as your electric, rent, mortgage, and internet on auto-pay and not worry about late payments, or you can physically go to each location and pay your bills in person. Setting your bills on auto-pay will save you several hours each month and enable you to spend more time on other important tasks.

The same is true for your business. You can automate much of your work, or you can keep doing things the old way. For example, you can market yourself in the local newspaper and hang up flyers, or you can focus on getting a high ranking with Google and placing advertisements on classifieds websites. Pursuing both actions will be beneficial, but not marketing online is a big mistake.

Much of your online marketing can be automated. Godaddy has all kinds of automation features when it comes to your Google rankings with their search engine visibility plans. You can also hire a couple of people to handle your classifieds ads online. Taking these steps will enable you to work on your business rather than in the business. Successful entrepreneurs oversee everything; they make sure every facet of their business is incredible rather than attempting to be an expert at everything themselves. They hire experts and automate everything they can.

Forced Learning Versus Natural Learning

Think of a time you learned something without really thinking about it or forcing yourself to learn it. You probably just did it without really worrying about it. That’s how many of us learn our native languages as children. Sure, your parents may have been disciplined enough to  sit down with you to teach you new words each day, but from your perspective it was natural. You weren’t worried about the consequences of not learning how to speak – you just did it without thinking twice.

As an adult learning isn’t always that easy, so we often force ourselves to learn new skills. That approach is better than not even trying to learn new skills, but natural learning is more fun and enables us to learn so much faster.

Natural learning is when you’re not really cognizant of the fact that you’re learning. It’s like playing a video game; you’re doing it for fun and learning is secondary. You learn how to play the game in order to have fun. Learning new skills won’t always necessarily lead to fun, but the majority of our skills will lead to some kind of reward whether it’s a higher paycheck, helping your community, becoming a doctor and saving lives, or changing the world.

The challenge is to obviously turn forced learning into natural learning. An important first step for me has been to integrate learning into my environment. Rather than turning the spare bedroom into an arcade, it’s an office. The arcade would be sweet, but in the long run the office will lead to much higher rewards. Doing work and studying in my office is just a part of my day. I don’t think twice about it because that’s where I need to go to make sure I’m taking care of my business, the bills, and learning.

I’ll admit, learning new skills still needs to be forced from time to time. It helps get me started. But once I get started, it just becomes a part of my day. Having a clear purpose in mind also helps me keep going. I need to know why I’m learning a new skill. Once I determine why I want to learn a skill, I do my best to make it happen naturally. It’s been helping me with my business tremendously.

Acquire Depth

Many people want their businesses to become very popular and make them rich. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but I’ve noticed that so many popular businesses don’t have substance or a personal relationship with their customers. Though I run a few microbusinesses that aren’t nationally or internationally known, I still experience so much meaning with my work each week. I work one on one and in small groups with my clients, and my wife also helps run the businesses.

On our walk this morning, we discussed how important it is for us to maintain businesses with substance. We want our businesses to be important to people, we want to have close relationships with our clients, and we want to improve their lives. We’ve both noticed that it’s easier to do this at the microbusiness level. As we grow, it will be one of our top priorities to maintain this value. We will separate our employees into small groups and in different office locations in order meet our goal.

Popularity and financial success are both nice, but those achievements are much sweeter when you keep your values and substance a primary objective. It’s like a lame pop band that’s popular for a few years versus the band who accomplishes popularity by staying true to their art. Bands like Wilco and Radiohead are excellent examples of musicians who stayed true to themselves. Staying true to yourself might not always make you rich, but you will be happy. The goal is to acquire depth, financial success, and your other most important goals.

If you make it big in business with a product or service that has no substance for you personally, you can still experience depth with your business. You can support charities with your business, and you can educate people about business with your success. There are many ways for you to create more meaning in your life. My wife told me Bill Gates was depressed for awhile before he started his charities. Money and popularity are sometimes apart of the puzzle, but that doesn’t mean they are the most important parts. Go add value.

Read for Fresh Ideas

fresh-ideas1

Image courtesy of alphacanada.org

Thinking of fresh ideas becomes much easier when you’re reading and learning every day. When I was writing my book, I spent a large portion of my day reading. Since I learned how to speed read in college, I read plenty of material when I was doing research for Make Money with a Microbusiness.

I had my wedding on May 25, 2013, so during the month of May I prioritized helping my wife with our wedding. This cut into my reading time, and I’ve recognized that ideas for new business approaches aren’t coming as effortlessly. At the same time, taking a break has also been helpful. It’s as if I needed a short amount of time off from the high volume of reading to digest what I learned.

Taking a short break from reading is helpful as long as it’s not too long of a break. One month off is more than enough time to digest what you have learned. I was doing a high volume of reading from February 2012 to April 2013. Taking time to reflect on what I’ve learned has been beneficial, but now I’m noticing that I need more fresh ideas.

It’s important to take action on what you learn. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.” Many of you business owners out there don’t make much time to read because you’re busy taking action. That’s better than never taking action while spending the majority of your time reading. But a small percentage of your day dedicated to reading 20 pages or learning something new will help you take smarter actions.