Inspiration: Who Is Setting Your Rules?

On different occasions during these 12 Days of Christmas Inspiration series I’ve emphasized the importance of learning from others.

However, I have also noticed that many a time when you have respect for someone and you want to listen to them, you found yourself, most times, wanting to please them in everything. You readily accept their thinking and dictates as the rules to be followed. You believe their thinking is more enlightened than yours. And because you often allow them, they will want to convince you to move to their rhythm.

Unfortunately, I’m seeing this very rampant lately in the blogosphere. Many have set themselves up to dictate what to do and what not to do on your blog because they are not doing it.

But doing that will only leave a feeling of deep frustration and personal failure when you cannot meet up with their demands. You must understand that your inner self yearns for expression. Every human being wants to be convinced that they are somebody who is competent to set their own rules. You don’t want to be the one who simply follows while another sings, “Every body do as I do, don’t worry!”

Why your blog has to make money

How to Set Your Own Rules and Win Your Battles

1.    Know What You Want

Earlier in this series, I asked the question: “Why are you here?” What is it that you truly want online? Why did you start that online business? Providing answers to these questions is very important. Once you have the answers your next move is to choose a business model that will help you achieve your dream. Your business model will then determine your activities and strategies.

2.    Learn To Listen But Take Your Own Decisions

That, we are in an environment infested by the deadly disease called information overload is nothing new. You must be able to know how to sift through the avalanche of information and know which one will help you achieve your dream. Listen when others speak but ask yourself, how does this help in furthering my business considering the business model I have chosen. Don’t let others bamboozle you into believing you are on the wrong path. Because it is not useful according to their chosen model does not mean it is not good for you.

3.    Focus On Results

When I started blogging I equated the success of a blog with the number of comments that the blog receives. With this in mind I came up with different tactics to encourage more comments on my blog. But lately, I have become wiser. I must confess that I have seen more successful blogs that rarely have comments on their posts!

What am I saying here?  Does it mean having comments on your blog is bad? No! Of course, there is a feeling of worth when you see more comments on your posts. But truth be told, how much are those comments helping to achieve your dream?

Remember, the market does not pay for efforts, it pays for results. Are you producing results? That is the question. Are those comments helping you produce results or are they just efforts that give you some feeling of importance?

My dear friend Theodore wrote a post recently where he asked, “Do you mistake activity for achievement?” I truly think Theodore has made the point really clear.

The lesson: focus on results.

Your turn

Are you setting your own rules or are you simply following the leader? Simply following will only guarantee that you remain behind, seriously! 🙂

Will love to have your views. Please share with us in your comments below.

The 4 Things That Will Insure You against Business Failure!

Today, as part of the Christmas celebrations, my local Church is holding the traditional annual Christmas Carol of 9 lessons. This annual event is a way of reliving the birth of the Savior. Because I know most of my time today will be taken up by this and other events I have decided to quickly put up this post before leaving for the Church service.

Success traits of winnersAnd so, for our today’s dose of inspiration I want to share with you the 4 traits of people who always up as failures. The purpose is to help you flee from them as fast as you can in your journey to greatness.

The 4 Traits of Failures:

1.    Slow in taking Decisions

Taking the right decision when it is needed is one of the secret to making progress in life. Napoleon Hill in his all time classic, “Think and Grow Rich” said, “People who fail to accumulate money, without exception, have the habit of reaching decisions very slowly, if at all, and of changing these decisions quickly and often!”  Enough said. Learn and be wise!

2.    Never Learning

In our world today changes happen so fast that it is really a challenge to stay abreast of what is happening. However, if you must make progress both in life and in your business, learn to stay green. Know what is working now in your chosen field. Use every available resource and always ensure that you are learning a new thing every day.

3.    Never Focussed

There is truly power in focus. If you are scattered both in your thoughts and actions, your progress will be hampered. A plan and a little dose of discipline will help you stay the course. Do not attempt different things at the same time if you know you will not be able to finish any of them.

4.    Lacking Excitement

Do not throw away your confidence. The road may be rough and narrow. The temptations may be overwhelming. But know this: only those who endure to the end are qualified to wear the crown. Your enthusiasm and excitement will guarantee your ending well. The unexcited can never achieve anything worthwhile.

Remember you cannot light another person’s fire until you have lit the fire within you. Fertilize your dreams with knowledge and confidence and always ensure you know what you want and are focused on getting it.

Your success is sure!

Business Lessons You Can Learn from Google’s Company Philosophy!

Google business lessonsSome few weeks ago I wrote a guest post title, “6 Business Success Lessons Every Entrepreneur Can Learn From Google!” Frankly, that post is a bag full of business wisdom!

Unfortunately, since it was published I’ve felt nothing but disappointment because, what I expected of it was not what I got.  You may not believe it, but from researching through writing and corrections, I spent nothing less than 5 days, working an average of 4 hrs a day, on that post! And that is the reason for my disappointment because the exposure I dreamed of it did not really happen.

Since then I’ve been thinking of how I can redo it and publish it somewhere else and that opportunity came just a few hours ago.

I don’t know if you have read Google’s business philosophy title, “Ten things we know to be true” which you can read here.? Now, all these years I’ve never come across this page nor read anything that has to do with this philosophy.  And so, it was a WOW moment for me when read it a few hours ago.

You may not believe it but right there I saw that every point I raised in the guest post is just what has been driving the online search giant all these years!

This was a deep confirmation for me to redo the article. And so, in this post I want to pick just 4 of the lessons and present them here with Google’s “Ten things we know to be true” as a basis.

Please read carefully!

1.     Focus On the User and All Else Will Follow.

This is philosophy #1 and here is what Google has to say,

“Since the beginning, we’ve focused on providing the best user experience possible. Whether we’re designing a new Internet browser or a new tweak to the look of the homepage, we take great care to ensure that they will ultimately serve you, rather than our own internal goal or bottom line.”

And this is what I wrote,

In All That You Do, Know Your Customers – Google knows so much about the online user than any other business online. Most of the tools Google freely gives away to marketers are simply aimed at helping Google to better understand the online user. This has helped Google to tailor each of her services towards satisfying a specific need in the market.

Lesson: Implement resources that will help you know your customers better. Get close to them. Talk to them. Ask questions. Count them as partners in building new tools and services. Include them in the designing process when developing new products. If you can know your customers unmet wants and needs and then use your core competencies to solve them, you will greatly increase your success.

2.     It’s best to Do One Thing Really, Really Well.

Google’s insight on this,

“We do search. With one of the world’s largest research groups focused exclusively on solving search problems, we know what we do well, and how we could do it better. Through continued iteration on difficult problems, we’ve been able to solve complex issues and provide continuous improvements to a service that already makes finding information a fast and seamless experience for millions of people.”

And here is my own insight,

Build on Your Strengths – Working on your weaknesses in order to improve them, works great if you are in school or in paid employment; but not in business. Unfortunately, many business entrepreneurs spend a whole lot of their time trying to improve their weak areas. If only they will learn from Google.

Google Inc. definitely understands its area of strength – search technology! When Google+ launched and people were trying to compare Google+ with Facebook, Google introduced various innovative tools and services that made it clear that Google was not trying to compete with Facebook but was simply strengthening its search technology (its area of strength) with Google+ as the central hub.

Lesson: What is your area of strength? What are your core competencies? What are those things you know and have experience in?  As an entrepreneur trying to build your business in the areas where you have little skills or knowledge, is tantamount to a waste of resources. Learn from Google and use your strength to your advantage!

3.    The Need For Information Crosses All Borders.

“Our company was founded in California, but our mission is to facilitate access to information for the entire world, and in every language. To that end, we have offices in more than 60 countries, maintain more than 180 Internet domains, and serve more than half of our results to people living outside the United States. We offer Google’s search interface in more than 130 languages, offer people the ability to restrict results to content written in their own language, and aim to provide the rest of our applications and products in as many languages and accessible formats as possible. Using our translation tools, people can discover content written on the other side of the world in languages they don’t speak. With these tools and the help of volunteer translators, we have been able to greatly improve both the variety and quality of services we can offer in even the most far–flung corners of the globe.”

In this I saw Google’s desire to provide free tools across all platforms and it is not far from what I wrote:

Never Underestimate The Power Of Free – If you truly want to succeed online then you must make the word FREE your biggest ally! Google understands this very well! Think of the various tools and services they offer without any cost to the online user. Google dominance of the search engines is simply because when others like Yahoo! went for paid search listings, Google remained a free search engine. The result is that today Google is synonymous with search – you can “google” it; but never “yahoo” it!

Lesson: Look into your business. What and how much of your product/service can you give away free? And how can you turn what you’re giving away into profitable business? You must be able to work this if you’re going to succeed marketing online.

4.    Great Just Isn’t Good Enough.

Google is always on the lookout for improvements just as it clearly stated here:

“We see being great at something as a starting point, not an endpoint. We set ourselves goals we know we can’t reach yet, because we know that by stretching to meet them we can get further than we expected. Through innovation and iteration, we aim to take things that work well and improve upon them in unexpected ways.”

I think that is really insightful. And here is what I wrote,

Don’t Compete, Create – There’s no doubt about it, competition can never really be avoided in business. But Google has a big lesson for us here. Since launching Google plus, a whole lot of tools and updates have been introduced by Google aimed at strengthening its position as a leading authority in search technology, especially as it affects search and social media.

Lesson: Instead of doing or offering just what your competitors are doing and offering and hoping to outwit them in some way, use your imagination to think up new products and services that will make the existing ones obsolete! Be creative and in your creativity, innovate – ensure that your ideas are turned into profitable realities.

The above are just 4 out of the 6 lessons based on the Google’s business philosophy.

Here are two: based on my insight researching the Google brand:

5. You Are Not a Failure Until You Give Up

Google is a good example that you are a failure only if you quit. This is very clear in its doggedness in becoming a social media player. Despite the fact that her several attempts at social media failed – Open Social, Orkut and then Google Buzz – and not many gave her any chance, Google did not give up. There is no gain saying that since the launch of Google+ there have been a whole lot of changes in the social media scene!

After various failed attempts many would have given up. But not Google. Understanding the importance of social media in the new internet, Google was dogged in her attempt to play a major role.

Restrictions from Facebook and others who wouldn’t allow its search engine to crawl certain information on their sites didn’t stop Google. Like it is said, if you can’t find it then build it, Google went out to build its own social media hub – Google Plus!

Lesson: No matter what you may have experienced in the past, never be afraid to break into new grounds. Successful business is about innovation. Take a look at your target market and find a way of building on an already existing product or simply introduce a new one. Forget the past and take the bold step forward!

6. Never Stop Marketing

Another insight I’ve glimpsed from working with clients is that many business entrepreneurs who desire to create visibility online have wrong notions about the internet. Many falsely believe that building a great website and then creating profiles in various social media sites is just enough. But how far from the truth!

Marketing is the sole of every business. Your website needs marketing. Even the content you create needs marketing if it must market your product/service. The same goes for your social media profiles. They need to be marketed if they must achieve the desired result.

With its success and the position it occupies in the search engines, no one expected Google to “waste” time about marketing. But not in your life! The launch of Google+ came with a well structured marketing plan. Various tactics were employed – blog posts, articles, videos and even Google Adwords!

Lesson: No matter the position you occupy, never downplay the importance of marketing. Know your products; know your target audience and then structure your marketing language to appeal directly to them. Marketing is how your business will create new customers and ensure that the current ones are retained. Neglect marketing and your business will be strangulated!

Over to you: What do you make of these lessons? Please share your thoughts with us in your comments below.