This is a guest post from Maren Kate.Â Maren Kate is a 24 year old entrepreneur pursuing her dream of living an extraordinary life by escaping the 9 to 5 grind. She currently lives in Las Vegas but does business globally by creating a completely mobile business model with telecommuting employees and a macbook as an office. Her main business is a website design & new media marketing firm www.OracleLaunch.com and she blogs at www.Escapingthe9to5.com. Maren has been an entrepreneur since college and swears she’ll never work for anyone else.
A is for Automation. Get this one down pat & your halfway to a life of luxury on a Yacht somewhere. People that learn to automate win (also see: O is for Outsourcing).
B is for Branding. One of the most important parts of your business, maybe even more important than what you sell is how you are branded. If you are branded properly you can sell a few pieces of leather for thousands of dollars (Louis Vuitton) or charge $100,000 for a screenprint of a few tomato sauce cans in various colors (Andy Warhol).
C is for Continuity products. These are things like online membership courses, seminars and everything that requires a continuation for maximum effectiveness. Continuity products lock in better profits and build a loyal fan base at the same time.
D is for Delegation. Learn this trick of the trade and you’ll never be stuck spending hours on meaningless tasks. Be it your employees, a virtual assistant or a neighborhood teenager – delegate the busy work to someone else and free up your time for the important stuff like marketing.
E is for Extreme. Go to an extreme with your product or service. We live in a world packed to the brim with stuff, don’t make just another trinket. Make yours either the most expensive, cheapest, hottest or coldest. Pick an extreme and ham it up until you have a viral brand.
F is for Finances. Try Mint.com to keep your finances in line via a fun, funky & fresh way. Keeping your books organized even when you aren’t pulling a profit is super important too.
G is for Getting up early. Yes I know its a stretch but really its important! So far getting up early is my hardest entrepreneurial challenge, but when I get up at 7am my productivity goes through the roof! Try it lazy
H is for Helping others. This may not seem like a business tip but honestly it is the most powerful life (and entrepreneurial) tip I can give. Whether this means helping a friend down on their luck by having them write copy for you or commenting on a beginner blogger’s posts. It is always best to be overly helpful than completely self absorbed, you’ll see huge benefits from it and your soul will be lighter
I is for Inspired. This is very important when it comes to the kind of ‘content’ you are putting out… please don’t be another one of those crap bloggers or make mediocre commercials and put out blah products. Nothing is more depressing than a company that can’t find inspiration. So even if you can only put out 10% of the content or products you would normally its worth it. Put out one AMAZING blog post a week or only a few products a year. Make your content shorter or package it in a different format to help with the inspiration and remember inspired content comes from the passion behind your business. So if you are living and working your passion you’ll find more than enough to inspire you onward.
J is for Juggernaut. You want your business and your life’s passion to become a true juggernaut. The definition for this funky word is: a term used to describe a literal or metaphorical force regarded as unstoppable. When you get to this point through tons of hard work and a little luck you will start to notice the real fruits of your labor, but while you are just starting keep it in mind and ask yourself daily ‘am I going to be a juggernaut or just another joe’.
K is for Know thine enemy. Create a common ‘enemy’ set yourself as the anti-whatever, this helps build a brand and build consumer loyalty. MAC is the anti-PC, Coke is the anti-Pepsi, find a common enemy and take your stand.
L is for Leverage. This term is your best friend when you are just starting out, you can use leverage in a million different ways and it can take you from one tier of success to another in seconds. Examples: when you pitch your plan to Mercedes mention you are also in talks with Lexus, when you land an interview with celebrity X mention it next time you try to get an interview with celebrity Y, if you have two sodas and a friend has two tacos leverage one beverage to get a yummy, crunchy taco… mmmm
M is for Modeling. This technique has helped me immensely in my start up and with my blog, I find people whom I look up to and ‘model’ my behaviors after them. This is ‘copying’ but instead you are seeing where you want to be and doing what it takes to get there. An example would be if you want to be the next ProBlogger and you find out that Darren Rowse comments on other people’s blog posts for exactly 2 hours every day then you do exactly that, every day. This concept is incredibly powerful and truly unstoppable if used correctly & with much discipline. It even works with things outside of entrepreneurship like “I want to look like Pamela Anderson”… answer: well drink like 5 cocktails a day and chain smoke… ooh, wait, you mean Bay Watch Pam Anderson not today’s Pammy. I get it.
N is for Never say Never. This one is an old stand by but its the truth, if you believe you can you really can. Don’t say never unless you’ve tried something and you have come to realize its time to change paths or re-group. But if you still firmly believe in it where there is a will there is always a way.
O is for Outsource. Whether this means full fledged outsourcing like I do (all of my employees for my business telecommute from across the world) or getting your kid sister to do the dirty work of editing you don’t want to, outsourcing is a good thing. It teaches you how to delegate, how to manage people and how to eliminate the useless stuff out of your busy life. Outsourcing goes hand in hand with automation.
P is for Provocative. Not only do small businesses have the room to be daring and edgy they absolutely must be provocative to survive and thrive, this goes for your business whether big or small whether corporate or just a blog. Being provocative when it is true to your brand and passion is a great thing. Look at people like Tim Ferriss, Gary Vaynerchuk & Naomi of Ittybiz.com, each is provocative in their own way and they are killing it!
Q is for Quickbooks. It sucks, it’s expensive, it’s not easy, learn it. You’ll thank me when you make your first $100k and everything is in precise order.
R is for Revolution. I have a saying I tell myself before every blog post that goes every piece of content you put out should be a revolution. I’m not saying I live up to this, I am saying that I try though. There are millions upon billions of bites of info in the world, especially in cyberspace. How can you be special? By being revolutionary that’s how.
S is for Start Up. If you are a true entrepreneur then you are probably in the midst of a start up instead of a ‘small business’ or ‘company’ which are terms most people use. The terms start up is what I like to use most when talking about my main business Oracle Launch and I find it is helpful to denote yourself as one when first starting because not only do you get more wiggle room. Also VC’s are more interested in investing in start ups than businesses or companies.
T is for Team. Building a strong team for your business is absolutely essential, read Rich Dad Poor Dad for some awesome team building suggestions. Remember there is no I in Team but there is a Tea… which is why I drink so much of it.
U is for Uber. I live by this advice and use this word a lot. In everything I do I try to be uber… which means the best or super. So in your business life be uber, when you put out your first product make sure you put out an uber product… if you sell services they better be uber!
V is for VC. Especially if you get into any kind of tech start up you’ll here this word batted around a lot. VC stands for venture capitalists, often a new entrepreneurs only hope to explode their business to the next level.
W is for Wunderkind. This word is often used when describing silicon valley darlings, it means a child prodigy or someone who is incredibly good at one thing. Try to aim for being a wunderkind in your particular field, it helps in branding and it’s fun to say.
Y is for YES! Because no is the enemy. You need to say yes 10 times more than you do no, even if you have to take chances, make crazy decisions and go out on a limb. Saying yes will help you more in entrepreneurship than anything else… I say yes as much as possible and then follow through to make a true slam dunk.
X is for Xanadu. This word means beautiful or wonderful place, I try to make sure this is how my workspace and home space is. The more beauty, comfort and solace you surround yourself with the more beautiful your life will be, also your business will run more smoothly if your mind is at ease.
Z is for Zeitgiest. Zeitgiest stands for the cultural, intellectual, ethical, spiritual, and/or political climate of a specific group. Within your business you must strive to have a certain, well defined, zeitgiest. This will drive your employees, keep your team focused and create a feeling within your organization that will shine through as your brand’s message and calling. Companies with true zeitgiests like Google, Apple & Zappos do far better than boring status quo establishments. I know my zeitgiest… what’s yours?
Comment below with your own entrepreneur’s A to Z’s!Email This Post Print This Post