How to Become a Better Entrepreneur in the Next 30 Minutes

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Do you want to be a better entrepreneur?

Do you want to make more money?

Here’s how you can do it in 6 steps.

1. Take a break

Just for a moment, sit back and relax. Before you dive back into your work you need to figure out where you are financially in life. One of the main reasons you are going into business is because you want to make more money. So the main question that should come to your mind is:

How much money do you want to make?

You don’t need a billion dollars and the odds of you making anywhere near that are slim to none. So what’s your number?

Chances are the amount you want to make is far more than you’ll actually need. Sit down and take a moment to write down everything you want to buy and how much money you’ll need to make to buy it all. Maybe a fancy house, some exotic cars, and enough cash where you don’t have to worry about working. If you add up the total of everything you want, it shouldn’t run you more than a few million dollars and if you break it down into yearly income it probably won’t be more than a few hundred thousand dollars.

If this isn’t the case, then you are smoking crack. You don’t need tons of toys to be happy. If you think you do, you will have a tough time making all of that money because it is really unlikely that you will make a few million dollars a year or sell your company for a hundred million dollars if you haven’t even made a few hundred grand first.

So stop swinging for the fences, especially if you haven’t hit a single yet!

2. Stop innovating and start copying

Now that you know that you don’t have to make millions of dollars a year, you have to come up with a business that will help you make a decent amount of money. It doesn’t have to be an innovative business that solves a pain in the market place; it just has to be a business that can turn a healthy profit every year.

A good way to find one of these businesses is by talking to friends and family. You’ll be amazed on how many basic businesses like plumbing (I am not saying you should be a plumber) make a decent amount of money. Find something that you’ll enjoy and start the business. Just don’t pick something that requires millions of dollars to start.

If you already have a business analyze how you are currently doing and see what tweaks you can make to it, so that it fits your financial objectives.

3. Time isn’t on your side

Nothing has to be perfect. What you may see as faulty might look perfect to your customers. It doesn’t matter what you want, it matters what your customers want.

This is why you don’t want to make any big decisions because if something goes wrong you’ll end up wasting a lot of time. Break that big decision into a few small decisions. Then survey your customers or potential customers to get their opinion; this should help you determine what route to take.

Even after you talk to your customers you are still going to make mistakes. Just make sure you are agile enough to adapt quickly. It is all about testing small things instead of taking months to roll out changes in your business.

4. Work hard, play hard

If you work 12-hour days, you are going to get burned out. It doesn’t matter if you love what you are doing you need to take breaks.

  • Don’t work longer than a few hours without taking a break. Taking small breaks throughout your day will make you more efficient and cause you to accomplish more.
  • Every week you should do something that is out of the ordinary. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it could be as simple as going to the park and having a picnic with your family. Just do something that will take your mind away from work and reduce your stress level.
  • Create a work environment that you want to be in. Small things like having plants in your workspace, putting up motivational posters, and having a window to look out of can do wonders for you. If your work environment is dark and boring you’ll be forcing yourself to work everyday.

5. Stop deviating

New business opportunities are going to come your way and you will want to jump on them. But all of these things are going to be distractions. They’ll cause you to deviate from your path to success and it will take longer for you to reach your ultimate goal.

You to have to resist the temptation.

If you happen to take any of these opportunities you’ll soon find out that you will be increasing your risk intake. The more things you do, especially ones outside of your skill set, the higher the chance that something is going to fail.

Plus, the more things you do, the more spread out you will be. Once you spread yourself too thin you won’t be able to spend enough time on any of your businesses and you’ll notice that they will all suffer.

6. Never stop learning

The most important and last thing you should know is that you should never stop learning. No matter how successful you are, there is going to be someone out there who has accomplished more than you.

So instead of being arrogant, take every opportunity you get to learn new things. Whether it is from an experienced entrepreneur who has been around the block, or a 16-year-old kid, everyone can teach you something. You just have to learn what to take away from a conversation because there are going to be some things that are going to benefit you and others that won’t.

Conclusion

As an entrepreneur you have learned a few other things that I didn’t include in this blog post. Would you mind leaving a comment with some tips that would help others become a better entrepreneur in the next 30 minutes?

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Comments

  1. You forgot to mention me as a role model :-)

    • You are a good role model. Thanks for the WordPress help.

      • I am in this position that I can no longer see the forest for the trees. How do I get out of it?

        • Christi Pemberton :

          Hi Ric. Tell me exactly what is going on…I would like to help.

          Christi

          • Thanks a million

            Its like I am in a cyclone of trying to build my business (retail)and revamp my website and something has happened with Google. We lost our positioning on Google, trying to get our name out,etc. I just need a break. Not the least of which it is very difficult to market and advertise when you have EXTREMELY limited funds………..and there are no bridges tall enough to make the jump worth it.

            Ric

            • Christi Pemberton :

              Okay. What kind of retail are you selling? Is this website from a web designer that you hired, or from a template that you found online? Do you have a cushion of funds that you can live off of for a little time until you get your business running with a little more strength? Is this business something that you have a passion for, or is it something that will allow you to pursue your passion that may be elsewhere because it has the potential of taking care of your financial goals?

              • I am in the Piano business. Our web designer was hired. Its a good website I guess, We are definitely in hard lines. We have a 15,000 sq ft showroom in San Diego and YES<YES<YES I have a gigantic passion for pianos. I dont allow it to get in the way of business but I do love pianos.

              • Christi Pemberton :

                Well, it is always a great idea to do something that you have a passion for. I love music as well, and I have taken a few piano lessons when I was a kid. My company partially deals with promoting world music and organizing upcoming events, so music is a great passion for what I do and who I am. Definitely keep doing your passion, but if something does not work in your marketing, don’t feel that you are married to that strategy…there are many other ways to market your service without having to spend so much money. I understand that California is going through a more rough time with the economy there…more so than many other states in the U.S., so many are probably going through what you are going through at this time. Do you see any particular demographics that are more open to purchase a piano at this time (i.e., any particular areas in California that may have a stronger music/arts support and people are doing better in the economy?…..San Francisco?)? Are you doing greater internet marketing (more economical in price) to capture a global customer base? How many pianos do you need to sell in order for you to be in a good situation.

              • Hi Ric, I’m based in LA and indeed the market here in SoCal is a tough one for the brick & mortar folks.

                I checked out your site to get a sense of what you are offering. In addition to selling pianos, it appears you are also offering music education. Through your blog posts, I discovered that you host recitals and concerts, as well. These activities make sense in light of your mission statement, but it differs from a business like Keyboard Concepts (down the street from me) which is more focused on moving product and some sheet music, as well as equipment rental.

                I’m thinking about your initial post: That you can’t see the forest for the trees…and tying that to Christi’s question regarding your bottom line. Is it possible that some aspects of your business are less sustainable than others (for the time being)? (This question is linked to Neil’s point about being careful not to deviate too much.)

                I looked at your product lines. (I’m a singer, songwriter/composer & pianist with a couple of Yamaha keyboards and one Yamaha piano, but I’m familiar with a number of other brands.) Why do people come to you in the first place? What is the draw? Is it possible to focus on the best-selling lines/products for your target market? How is each part of your business contributing to the bottom line? Is it possible to carry fewer items and reduce the size of your showroom temporarily?

                Since you are already blogging, I think that Twitter would be a great tool for micro-blogging for you, if you are not already on it. Today I met a pianist on Twitter who is also based in San Diego. If you have a Twitter handle, please let me know what it is and I’ll put you in touch.

                It seems to me that you are overwhelmed and I can appreciate how that must feel. My opinion is that your positioning on Google is a small thing in comparison to the relationships and reputation you’ve built up in your community. Think about what is most important for you to achieve through your business and let all the other things find their spot in the “not-to-worry-about” bin. By asking you these questions, I don’t mean to presume to know more about your business than you do – I’m just sharing what comes to mind. I truly wish you all the best.

              • Christi Pemberton :

                Your points are exactly right. I have not visited his website yet, but it is very interesting that he offers music education and recitals. Do you think that the service part of his business could be less risk and more profitable (music education/recitals)? I keep thinking that his knowledge of music and counseling could be a lower cost alternative and be seen as a social value to the community and also to others who seek information on perfecting one’s skill in music performance. The arts are always casualties in a hard economy, but I think information/services are less risky due to the small cost (not responsible for so many products) and very few people can do an exact copy of what is in your life experience, talent, and mind.

                Can I ask you a favor as well. I am going through a snag in my 2 year old company as well. It is a company that offers news, business information, and entertainment to the young professional who desires to be successful in a global market (a lot of global news, business, world music ,and start up counseling). My original purpose for my business was to organize benefit music concerts to promote world music, use part of ticket sales money to donate to four social causes, and also to give me the chance to live my passion of performing on stage. Plus, I love to travel and be involved in social events, supporting causes for children, and being current events savvy. I expanded the company to fulfill my sometimes passion of reporting on current events that are often global in nature. I feel that I need to make some changes myself. Could you look at my website at http://www.globalcrestmusic.com, and tell me what you think?

              • Hi Christi, I apologize for my delayed response to you on this string. I looked at your site before I responded to Ric. Just now I took a second look.
                We appear to share some common interests – I have a background in economics, business, foreign affairs, with an interest in sustainable development. My musical artistry is rooted in folk, jazz, and Indian traditions. My focus is on performing and writing …everything else revolves around that…in a nutshell.

                The Global Crest site is clean; easy to navigate. Regular music podcasts are a great idea to drive traffic to your site. The news section seems really diverse; it is hard to get a handle on what to expect from Global Crest in that arena.

                One thing I don’t see on your site is a written story or bio about what led to your creating this company and why we may be interested specifically in your perspective, although I did find something close to that on one of your music podcasts. (There is something brief on your blog where you are selling your book, but it doesn’t provide me with the “why” that I’m seeking.)

                The description you offer of yourself in your post above is personal and tells me a lot more about where you are coming from. You don’t need to put everything about yourself out there, but when you share tidbits about yourself with which people can connect, I think that’s how you work toward creating the peace about which you are speaking : ) You share your faith-based journey, which is great. How about letting folks know that you love to travel, and some other things about yourself (in writing)? Sharing the issues that are important to you will help people connect with you as the founder of this company.

                I get the impression that you are offering to be a filter for people – I perceive you will scour the mountains of information and offer them golden nuggets that you perceive will help them be “successful in a global market”. In this way, I can see how the global news and world music might fit together.

                I’m not sure about where the business and start-up advice comes in. These two items are not mentioned on the About Global Crest Page either. What experience do you have that would enable you to offer consulting services to start-ups or business strategy/management consulting? If this is something you want to do, it strikes me as being quite different from offering your perspective on things.

                When you offer a perspective and a filter you are like a Keith Oberman, Rachel Maddow, Oprah Winfrey, Larry King Live meets a Radio DJ….all of whom are essentially filters and some of whome introduce their own opinions on the filtered material. When you write, you are establishing a reputation…like a columnist. Which of these things resonates more with you?

                More questions: In the course of offering this information to people, what do you get in return? How much time does it take for you to create and post all the content and do you feel the efforts are seen in your revenue streams? If not now, by when do you expect the revenue streams to start coming in? What metrics are you using to measure which content is working and what is not? What overall business metrics are you using? What are your revenue streams from the purpose for which this company was set up… specifically? I see that you mention ticket sales…how many concerts have you organized in the last two years? Have you been able to meet your revenue goals? Ultimately, what is the symptom (or group of symptoms) that you identify as a “snag”?

                If you are still passionate about your original purpose, I would suggest giving the company a focus on production and performance of “world music”…and be clear about the social causes you are supporting and why – and put them in writing on the About Global Crest Page.

                If you want to report on “current events”, make sure they are relevant to concert go-ers – they are the ones who are going to buy the tickets, so you want to do whatever you can to make them happy and buy tickets and tell their friends about it and so on and so forth. They are coming to you for good productions and – as a bonus – they get your two cents on what is happening in the world. This helps build a community around your productions and that’s really what sustains these types of endeavors.

                I would suggest having a separate blog for your current events passion.

                Your website does not have a calendar (that I could see) of events that you have organized or will be putting on. I do see that you are about to launch a new performance series, though. I don’t see a place for people to purchase tickets online…maybe this aspect is still in development? You also speak of your own desire to perform…where is your calendar of events? Have you performed at these productions? Have you been able to realize that part of your vision through this company’s activities?

                It is great that you want to use music as a platform to do some good in the world, but it will be difficult to do that if the organization is not run in a sustainable manner. Back when I was in Boston, I learned about this organization – you may want to check out what they are doing and see what their model is…you’ll notice that they are organized as a 501(c)(3)…http://www.worldmusic.org/ I used to know someone who worked there, but I think he’s moved on.

                Although I’m based in LA, I will be in Virginia later this month (not too far from where you are in Greensboro!) performing at a private event in Roanoke. One reason I waited so long to respond is because I knew I might go on and on…I hope some of what I’ve said here will make some sense. If I missed anything or didn’t quite get something right in terms of what I saw on your site…then just know that I did my best in the time I could allot.

                Peace,
                Manisha

            • Christi Pemberton :

              Hi Ric…I responded to a post from Manisha that offered assistance as well….Here was my response to Manisha…..

              “Your points are exactly right. I have not visited his website yet, but it is very interesting that he offers music education and recitals. Do you think that the service part of his business could be less risk and more profitable (music education/recitals)? I keep thinking that his knowledge of music and counseling could be a lower cost alternative and be seen as a social value to the community and also to others who seek information on perfecting one’s skill in music performance. The arts are always casualties in a hard economy, but I think information/services are less risky due to the small cost (not responsible for so many products) and very few people can do an exact copy of what is in your life experience, talent, and mind.

              Can I ask you a favor as well. I am going through a snag in my 2 year old company as well. It is a company that offers news, business information, and entertainment to the young professional who desires to be successful in a global market (a lot of global news, business, world music ,and start up counseling). My original purpose for my business was to organize benefit music concerts to promote world music, use part of ticket sales money to donate to four social causes, and also to give me the chance to live my passion of performing on stage. Plus, I love to travel and be involved in social events, supporting causes for children, and being current events savvy. I expanded the company to fulfill my sometimes passion of reporting on current events that are often global in nature. I feel that I need to make some changes myself. Could you look at my website at http://www.globalcrestmusic.com, and tell me what you think?”

            • Are you using an SEO?

            • Do you see any particular demographics that are more open to purchase a piano at this time (i.e., any particular areas in California that may have a stronger music/arts support and people are doing better in the economy?…..San Francisco?)?

          • Thanks for helping out Ric!

        • Start surrounding yourself with people who see the forest and trees and you too will see them. Just start hanging around with positive people that can help you succeed.

        • Talha Siddiqi :

          Another suggestion to becoming an entrepreneur :

          If you can’t take criticism and mockery by the many envious souls , you are doomed to fail.

          If you do plan to succeed , take it up your chin , ignore and march forward!

        • Me too!!!

          I’m on the bones of my backside financially, Thanks to a major error of judgement with a lifepartner. I fully agree with ALL your points abovE and have been networking and signing to many programs but, seem to be going round in circles and getting swamped by e mails and offers to signup with various this, that and the other. So where’s the best place to start with the net?

          Looking forward to hearing your advice

          Best regards

          Catherine

        • @ Ric – I have found walking meditations to classical music very helpful – round the clock, even during sleep.

  2. First off, this is a awesome post Neil. Another way to become a better entrepreneur is to be organized meaning clean up around yourself. I know this can be frustrating due to all the work in your workspace, but optimizing your space is important because it gives off a more positive environment in your office or workspace.

    • Very true….they say your mind is as cluttered as your workspace/office. If you have too much shit on your desk, you probably have too much shit in your mind. If that’s the case, you probably won’t get much stuff as you want done. Everyday, you should literally clear your area to start fresh the next morning.

    • I am cleaning up my desk as we speak and its already making a difference!

    • I like that idea. My work space is a bit messy. I’ll try cleaning it.

    • Indeed! Your points are exactly right. I have not visited his website yet, but it is very interesting that he offers music education and recitals. Do you think that the service part of his business could be less risk and more profitable (music education/recitals)? I keep thinking that his knowledge of music and counseling could be a lower cost alternative and be seen as a social value to the community and also to others who seek information on perfecting one’s skill in music performance. The arts are always casualties in a hard economy, but I think information/services are less risky due to the small cost (not responsible for so many products) and very few people can do an exact copy of what is in your life experience, talent, and mind.

  3. I agree with most of what you said. However, I differ on two points.

    1. Happiness: Actually you do not have to have anything to “be happy”. Being happy is just an emotional state that you are in. We have a certain degree of control over how we feel. Most of us don’t realize this most of the time. I am no buddha but placing your happiness mortgage to your financial objectives is kind of stupid.

    2. Motivational Posters: Motivation is something that has to be intrinsic. As an entrepreneur, you have to be fountainhead of energy and motivation for all the people working around you. If you do not believe that you are making something great that can change the world even for a tiny bit, that motivation has to be sought externally. But once you are the source of motivation for a lot of people around you, then you can happily do away with those motivational posters.

    • Good point about the motivational posters. Let me clarify something that most people should look into.

      The challenge that most people have is they sought after motivation which unfortunately isn’t there when you need it most. The way a person is motivated is by pain -losing everything or pleasure- goals/attaining.

      http://www.persuasive.net/leverage-with-pain-pleasure/

      If you can figure out what you are (which is pretty simple) you won’t have to literally depend on others/things

    • You make a good point about happiness.

      As for motivational posters, I do agree, but they help make your work place a better environment.

  4. I think it is definitely important to stop innovating, and to start copying others. I mean… it has always been said, “if you hang with a coconut, you become a coconut, if you hang with losers, you become a loser, if you hang with winners, you become a winner.” That kind of philosophy really applies in my opinion if you want to make it in this world. You have to hang out with people who are already succeeding, and learn their ways.

    • Innovation is still needed, but it isn’t something that most of us need to do. You don’t need a billion dollar company, a multi million dollar company is fine.

      • Especially in today’s economic environment, where people are starting small businesses to provide jobs just for themselves, when you talk about revenue, remember that a few million dollars is a huge goal for these kinds of entrepreneurs. Let’s be realistic here! A couple of hundred thousand dollars of revenue might start to do the trick . Setting realistic goals is one of the basics of being a successful entrepreneur.

  5. Tackle everything that needs to get done for your business (the revenue producing activities) right away! Once those tasks are done, you can give yourself the freedom to brainstorm and develop new ideas. Personally, I’m a wonderer; my mind tends to go all over the place from one thing to the next. This was something I needed to fix immediately especially if I wanted to be successful.

    Then, whilst you’re working hard, absolutely remember to take breaks! Schedule time to get out of the office (especially if you have a home office). Go work at the coffee house or something. Do something to get out of the office and stimulate yourself. Get some sun. Trust me, it’s motivating!

    • I think the revenue portion is very important. Too many companies wait too long to tackle the revenue producing activities.

    • Christi Pemberton :

      Great points: My mind is forever coming up with great ideas for the company, and it is easy to get sidetrack. I agree that getting out to take breaks is essential. Your mind needs to breathe.

  6. Quite interesting post Neil..I agree with you that in order to be a better entrepreneur, we should sit down and decide what are our goals. Moreover the lat point which you mentioned is applicable everywhere: Work Hard. With hard work we can achieve almost anything.

  7. Great post Neil! I like the one about not deviating. This one I needed to work on big time last few years and still need reminders.

    Btw, UniversityTutor.com is still evolving and growing. I’m (slowly) getting closer to that magical income number. Thanks for your tips on this.

    • Awesome! Let me know if you need anymore help.

      • Maria Campbell :

        Hello Neil, I’m trying to source a sound website marketing firm for my website and I’m astounded at how expensive these firms are ! I’m trying to launch a job board for the derivatives market and don’t want to waste my budget (small) on costly mistakes – do you have any advice ?

        Thanks so much for any help.

  8. I like what you wrote about “how much money do you want to make” People shouldn’t just say an exaggerated # because one won’t instantly get exaggerated success. Set up a CLEAR goal and go after it.

    • You have to set realistic expectations or things won’t work out.

    • A good way to find out how much money you really want to make, is to do the Target Monthly Income and Dreamlining calculation. It’s pretty simple, but it does get you to really look at what you really want to do as far as what you want to accomplish (short and long term) and your dreams. You do not have to try to think of everything at one time, because you can always adjust your TMI, when you change course. I learned about this in the Tim Ferris book, “Four Hour Work Week”. You would be surprised how much of your dream life you can have without having to make millions or billions of dollars. Many of our dreams for the life we want to live are very doable. To see the TMI calculation and learn more about dreamlining to see how much money you need to make to live the life you want to live now or in the near future: Go to: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/lifestyle-costing/

      Christi

  9. I agree with AJ Kumar.. There is no need to exaggerate anything. We should have concrete goals and should work very hard to achieve as per the points you told.

  10. Great article and goes along well with Andy’s don’t quit article, it think both of those combined offer a great tool to anyone in these times.

    While in real estate location, location, location is everything; in business being realistic gives you the best location.

    http://twitter.com/malkady
    http://www.agencyceo.com

  11. Great post. My favorite one is work hard and play hard. In other words, whatever you going to do, put 100% into it and you will get results.

  12. i wanted to make a post like this, so now i don’t have to. I’ll just share this.

    I agree the most with never stop learning.

  13. 7) “Finish what you start” – One of the most important things I have learned. Many times it happens when we encounter the first hurdle we abandon the goal and start looking for something else. That’s a sheer waste of time and energy. If you have the courage and determination to go through that “Dip” you will be able to enjoy pt.4) much better.

    • I like that tip, but in some cases it isn’t worth finishing what you started. I am assuming you have read The Dip?

      • Looks like I didn’t subscribed to your comments , replying late.

        but in some cases it isn’t worth finishing what you started I am assuming you have read The Dip?Yes, I read the book and have read almost all books from Seth I could get in India. [The Dip wasn’t available had to get it ‘imported’ from US] Answering your point, ability to see-through will help us.

  14. Good post. I think this outlook appeals to entrepreneurs starting a ‘lifestyle business’. Those looking for more balance.

  15. Great post Neil. I like #2 — Google wasn’t the first search engine. They did the same thing, but did it better, faster, stronger.

    Same with Maps — MapQuest was already out there for a number of years. Google took the same use case and made it better.

    We’re trying to do the same with RateBrain.com — the other sites that show CD and savings rates to consumers just don’t have an appealing user experience in our opinion :)

  16. Awesome points :)… but I strongly disagree with your 2nd point.

  17. Good post, and a good thing to keep in mind for life as well.

    I’d like to add a few things…

    * Don’t procrastinate. You won’t get anywhere if you just think about things and don’t act. All the best plans will fail if we don’t act on it.

    * Take one step at a time. A mountain can be moved, but it seems so incredible scary and dangerous and huge. One stone at a time, and we will move it.

    * Positive thinking. It’s important to keep an open and positive mind, to see the good in everything, no matter how bad they look. There’s no failures, only lessons to be learned on how not to do it next time.

    Much more, but these are important I think.

    Cheers
    Pia

  18. mark harrison :

    Agree totally with the bit about getting something out there without delay. Far more important to launch rather than wait until every singel tiny error or design fault is fixed.

    • If you don’t launch, sooner or later someone is going to beat you to the punch. It is better to launch and be the first in the space than to be perfect.

  19. Your second point, Stop innovating and start copying, took me by surprise. But I see your point. A smart business model doesn’t have to be a complicated business model or even one that you think up on your own (innovation!). #5 is a good rule too – Stop Deviating. I find myself having that problem and needing to refocus. Good article Neil!

  20. Excellent points Neil!

    I wish I heard these when I was first trying to become an entrepreneur.

    I would add, finding a “good” mentor would also be very helpful.

  21. Great article, Neil! So many helpful points to help us entrepreneurs stay balanced and fresh.

    I’d also add that working with a coach can be a huge help in ramping up your business, whether in helping you set goals and stick to them, or just in providing an objective perspective to see patterns and blind spots you may be missing. I’ve personally gotten a great deal of value from working with my coach (and I am a coach myself)!

  22. Neil one thing that i would like to add, is once an individual is clear about his/her interest area and had identified risk linked to that areas, plan and overcome those risk ASAP. Don’t take too much time to implement your idea just planned your level best and start working. Never wait for any good or bad time, otherwise you would become one of those who had never ever able to start in their life!

    Once you have decided firmly just go ahead and start and decide whether you are capable of continue doing the same or not, but what is first needed is start.

  23. I don’t think the title has anything to do with the content of this post as none of your suggestions will actually make you a better entrepreneur in the next half hour.

  24. Nice article, I generally agree with you on all the counts, whilst my site does concentrate on innovation I think that to duplicate existing successfull ideas saves a lot of trial and error.

  25. I think taking a break is the key. So many times all of us get caught up in “the industry” and forget that it is really the customers who dictate everything. I think sometimes we need to just sit back, relax, and act like a customer for awhile.

  26. Colin Winter :

    Great post for new entrepreneurs. I’ll expand on 5 and 6.

    5. Nurse your deviations with a logical amount of time.

    When you come up with a new idea, WRITE IT DOWN and GET IT OUT. Build a very brief document describing the idea and start doing some light research. Spend the appropriate amount of time for YOU. This could be a half hour or up to 3 hours; I think it depends on how many ideas you have and how pressed your current venture is making your time.

    After getting these ideas down, your brain will no longer have to mull them over and worry that your missing something better. When you have the time, constantly revisit your ideas, organize and update, and even delete/give up on some. Your brain will thank you, especially if you get an idea everyday. Just always remember to NOT spread yourself thin- having an experience like this early on, such as in high school, will be a great life lesson.

    6. Life is a giant learning experience. The more you learn, the better person you will become.

    As mentioned earlier, trying new things is very good and it gives you a bigger perspective from which you can pull from when thinking objectively. These new experiences will also help you learn what you really want to do. No cash, no problem! The Internet is here for you, and your first stop should be watching some TED talks a few times a week.
    http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks
    Watching a TED talk or two can be a great break from work, and they might even inspire you further.

    • Great post!

      I agree with you too Colin on the expansion of point 5. Getting the ideas out on paper/word doc is really important, especially if like me you have so many ideas floating around in your head all the time. They can end up conflicting or getting muddled unless you take the time to clearly express them.

    • Thanks for taking the time to expand on points 5 and 6.

  27. Have specific goals, in writing with a deadline.

  28. Build a team. Develop or follow a system that will recruit, train and develop managers or outlets! Duplicate this over and over until you have a multi-million dollar distribution network. Just take a look at Ray Kroc’s McDonald’s business model!

  29. Taking a break is key. Yet I have two bosses that can’t seem to slow down take a break and actually get some rest. Then they expect all of us to burn our selves out because they do. How does one try and help their boss and company break the bad habits?

  30. #7. Define a reason for doing what you are doing. If your only reason for being in business is to earn money you’ll find yourself pretty unfulfilled. Figure out why you should be earning the kind of money you want doing what you love then figure out how to earn that much doing it.

    Everyone who is successful at anything is successful because on some level they are passionate about it.

    • Exactly. “Figure out why you should be earning the kind of money you want doing what you love…”

      Just because you think you should be earning x doesn’t mean you provide x worth of value. An administrative assistant that goes to night school to get a degree and then an MBA but suddenly expects to be paid more just because he/she has those degrees should re-evaluate the value he/she is providing. Those degrees don’t enhance his/her ability to answer phones.

      If you want the $, you have to provide an applicable amount of value or perceived value.

    • You have to be passionate or else you won’t last too long.

  31. That pretty much sums it up Neil. Nice tips.

  32. The second question is quite a silly one. Do you want to make money? Who doesn’t want to, LOL. Anyways nice little tips there, being practical is important, we say we want to make million dollars to buy a Ferrari, trust me when we get the money to buy one, we wont coz we realise how hard it was to earn that much and how easy it is to buy the car then and depreciate all that money down.

  33. This idea in music comes to mind: If you want to play a passage faster, then see if you can play the same passage slowly and steadily. Similarly, as you point out, taking breaks will yield a more productive day! Bravo! Glad to see this idea being championed! (Easier said, than done.)

    This post is so timely for me, Neil. My goal was to begin working on some of these things right after the Memorial Day Weekend. I had so much going on in the last six months or so…and then there was a huge climax in mid-April with a resolution in the last several weeks that brought me right back to the basics.

    The ongoing learning is something I believe in, no matter what. Of course, if you are your own boss and, especially if you are an “expert” to whom people come for advice or guidance, then there might be a tendency to stagnate and you may have to make more of an effort to stay on top of things and reach out to others for lifelong learning – so your point is well taken.

    A few of the other items that you mentioned above resonate with me greatly at the moment. They include taking care of my health (and making it a point to keep it in mind daily), trying to focus my efforts and avoid the distractions, and getting my workspace(s) back into the kind of space that makes me happy.

  34. You done it again Neil ;) This is exactly what we want to learn from you, great tips and great insight.

    On the top of what you said I want to add one word – FLEXIBILITY. If you’ll become stuborn at something and won’t change your tactics or strategies, you’ll fail. Focusing your attention on what is right is vital, but learning to adapt to changes is essential to your success. You must always know when to step in and when to step out. Become aware of what goes around you.

  35. Exercising regularly in the morning will help boost overall energy and allow you to work better and harder while being energized throughout the day. I’m trying to think of some overweight or unhealthy looking entrepreneurs. Can anyone think of some?

  36. Thank’s for this great post. I think there is one point missing: be aware of who you are dealing with.
    Big companies don’t necessarily pay their bills earlier or more reliable then no-names. Don’t get blinded by big company-names.

  37. One of the best posts on your blog in a while. That deviating point is something I really have to work on (I’m getting there).

  38. Deviation is the most important thing i guess to control and manage. people start working on a things and if its not going the way they want they immediately switch to another thing. Concentrating on three or more things at a time is also not advisable.

    again a great Post Neil.

    -Shanker Bakshi

  39. Good post, Neil. I agree with doing something out of the ordinary at least once a week. Even getting out of the office and working in a new location, whether it be a new Starbucks or cafe, or going hiking in a new spot, helps. Just getting out of your comfort zone and taking a break from work can spike creativity.

  40. Anti Matter :

    BS post, Total disagree. This post is not for the high aspiring entrepreneur but a what we call here a hustler. However one can hustle one’s way to the funding you require for your big idea.

    You know just doing a little here and there to make a few extra buck. Sure it is the best advice in such harsh times so maybe I am reading into it wrong.

    What I may understand is the 1 in a million chance of any of us making that 100USD or IPO etc. But what I do not agree is having the brains to try and pull it off. All one needs is to find the right contacts.

    How many VCs can take 5 billion USD and see 10 billion USD back in 7-10 years with almost 100% certainty based on variables that are next to impossible to replace.

    If you are a big thinker and do not have the funds for your project, find a job and simple wait for the chance to implement it via opportunities. But waiting around after spending your life savings will not work so I guess this post couldn’t hurt in respect to such a situation.

    The way I see it the people with the funds do not have the brains to generate the new ideas to make it happen. So they wait and wait until they see a few good opportunities to pimp.

    Problem with that it is a hit and miss. The real opportunities are never obvious to the naked eye, they are never present all in one piece, they are virtually invisible except to the eye that can see beyond the regular spectrum.

    • I disagree. I think a lot of people will get value from the content. I know it will please everyone…

      I guess that’s life.

    • Anti Matter :

      Plus USD1.2 billion in rev for the next 25 years. Unless you discover massive quantities of helium3

      • Most people will never hit those numbers.

        • Most people will also never hit your numbers or success. You forget, you are not talking about most people. You are talking about a genius. But even as genius in the wrong place at the wrong time could fail to realize his potential.

          Th numbers I quoted you were conservative. There are at least three markets globally that could reach those numbers with ease. In fact the bigger markets you are looking at US$100 billion per year minimum. But such is life.

  41. cash loans uk :

    A too good post.. very practical and right on the spot. The start copying part is so true. Most people I know spend years in coming up with innovative business plans while starting a known business would be so easy. Will refer them to this post.

  42. Christi Pemberton :

    Actually, My workspace is not all that clean, and I work amazingly well regardless. It is when I think and stress about too many things at once that bring clutter to my mind…not really the messy desk. The best way to un-clutter your mind is to do as Neil said, take breaks from your work..go outside and do something out of the ordinary. I do a little thing called a “mental spa”. I take a ride to a nearby park or maybe a gourmet-style grocery store and just enjoy the scenery. I also daydream of some of the places I want to travel to, how I see my self in being successful, and a lot of relaxing mental visions. Playing music helps too.

  43. I alos agree with the copying part. It is really true. Also we should get out of our comfort zone and spit out creativity.Its more about focus.

  44. I’ve been guilty of at least a couple of the above entrepreneurial “sins” – I waste too much time in things not relevant to my online business (the internet is such a gigantic distraction), and two, I don’t cut myself any slack – its either a home run, or bust.

    For those of you working online or starting web startups, beware of the distractions (stay MILES away from Digg or Reddit)!

  45. This was a great post that I found very inspiring with lots of things that we can all do to accomplish our dream. I also found that like one of your other readers wrote that the internet can be such a distraction that I find myself doing mindless work and not paying attention to the big picture… “me as an entrepreneur”! Thanks for the “how to” and things to “watch out for” in our quest to be an entrepreneur or just a great business person.

  46. Great post! I can especially relate to number 5:Don’t Deviate. For the past three years I’ve toyed around with hundreds of ideas, starting online business ventures, 3 a month, and never getting anywhere with them. About six months ago I changed my strategy and am only working on two projects since. The results are amazing and all because of focus. I’m a firm believer in the zen philosophy of Less is More. So don’t spread yourself too thin or you’ll accomplish nothing.

    • Deviating can be very expensive. Not only can you risk your revenue, but you can waste a lot of time.

    • I honed in on number 5. Stop Deviating – because I am so guilty of “shiny object syndrome.” I think that mostly pertains to the social media craze (I’m over-subscribed and trying to learn too many things at once.) On the other hand, that’s a large part of what Pink Passporty Society is built around – multi-preneurs – women who own multiple businesses. No apologies, but more an opportunity to be more aware of the potential for overwhelm.
      Also #6. Never Stop Learning. Our other focus is personal development (Kaizen) so I always advocate for lifelong learning. You need it to keep growing.
      Great article Neil.

      • Thank you for such an insightful comment. Too many people end up spreading themselves too thin, which is why it’s important for you to have a laser-like focus. And yes, never stop learning because if you’re not learning, your falling behind.

  47. Fantastic post on many levels. It’s key to have focus – as you mentioned in point 5, and also essential to never stop learning. Even if you are in a field with a much slower pace of change, there are always learning opportunities.

    Point #4 I think is one of the hardest for driven entrepreneurs to overcome, yet one of the most important. Everyone has the potential for burnout, and having the discipline to pace yourself is key. Everyone of course has different tolerance, but being honest with yourself and creating balance for the long term is essential.

    Great post!

  48. Neil,

    Another great article my friend. I’m sure you’ll catch a lot of flack for “Copy don’t innovate” point but it resonated the most for me.

    I feel like too many people reinvent the wheel or feel they have to do that.

    However, most products out there are just “new and improved” (not always so but marketed that way) versions.

    If something is completely new (few things ever are) then odds are it hasn’t been tested, improved, and marketed right yet. This can guarantee failure unless a company has checklists, teams, and resources in place to test this.

    Reinvent or reimagining are the keys to success these days. If you improve the best product by 10% then you’ll be set. That is the benchmark to beat.

    Moral of the story…just beat the benchmark!

    Cheers,

    Brad Spencer

    • Christi Pemberton :

      Yes, it is better to find a better way to do an older/more established idea. You can make something look very new and innovative if you take an older idea/product and transform it for a different purpose, or you create a new and easier way of getting the same outcome. I personally love fresh new ideas, but it is safer to start out taking an older idea/product and totally innovating it to make it easier, more exciting, and/or deliver better services to your customers or supporters.

    • Yea, I already got a few bad emails about the “don’t innovate”. What can you do. :(

  49. Hi Neil,

    Brilliant post. I do agree it can be a huge waste of time trying to re-invent the wheel.

    The quickest way to success is to find a process or role model you admire and respect and follow his or her steps. As you say, time is not on our side.

    Thanks again.

  50. One way to become a better entrepreneur (which counters slightly #2 and #5):

    Change your approach. There are only so many times that you can bash your head against a wall looking for a solution to a problem. Sometimes you need to create a workaround, or realize that you’re looking at it the wrong way. By taking a few seconds to look at the bigger picture and to realize what your goal (for a product/idea/line of code) is and how you want to get there, you might just realize that you’re taking the wrong approach.

  51. Love Reading Your Blog Neil, totally awesome post and you have always been inspiring! :)

    Dinono.com

  52. first of all, Neil, thanks for this tips.

    second: i start working when i was 12 years old. now i’m 26 and im the owner of sites network that have more than 3.5 millions of visitors per day. So i have experience how to work hard, how to make money. And i add 1 little item, without him you will never be successful in this life…it sounds like:”If you want to be happy, be”. I dont remember who said that. Try to be in good mood EVERY day!, and success will come. i guarantee. thanks

  53. So true. I am good for deviating! You will never get anything done if you never give a project 100% of you.

  54. 1. When you run out of ideas, sleep well, this really helps clearing the mind fr me and a rush of new ideas come in.

    2. If you think you have found the concept you want to work on, write, draw a small flow chart out of it. Then forget about it. Revisit it in about weeks time and you wil be able to spot the weakness in the plan.

  55. ma halim chy :

    money and happiness two different way.if you got more money you have happiness it is wrong theory.All the people not like that to get happy because of more money.But money you need for better life.Others you have to have set up by your way.without money you also happy but you have to run your life necessary need.

  56. Apart from what you said there is one word that we can add – Flexibility. If you’ll become stubborn at something and not changing, your tactics or strategies are most probably bound to fail.We should concentrate on the right things and always looking to learn and adapt the right things.

  57. Another cracking post from Neil. I agree with the taking breaks throughout the day part & doing something out of the ordinary every week. I think this is crucial in allowing you to think creatively and outside of your work zone. Daydreaming is in my mind the best thing you can do as an entrepreneur. You get punished for this at school but I think as an entrepreneur, the ability to be able to switch off and think of things you haven’t yet achieved is an integral part of the journey.
    David
    twitter.com/davidjlowe

  58. Really great advice! I feel more humble just reading into it! I will look everywhere for inspiration!

  59. His advice is good! But I disagree with stop innovation start copying part. It’s good to innovate and I hope if one is copying, just copy wt a strategy….sometimes the only good strategy is differentiation and that comes wt innovation small or big…

    • For most people, they won’t make money if they innovate. Innovation is great if you want to become wealthy, but you don’t have to innovate to make a few hundred grand a year.

      • If you just want to make a few dollars, you can do some copying and not worry too much on innovation. If a competitor, however, does something to innovate their product or service just a little, then that can hurt your bottom line. That is why I would say, don’t try to be the next Einstein, but don’t be a copycat either. That could be the difference between someone getting a few dollars, or getting a just few pennies. With the internet being so open, everyone is on there, and everyone is trying to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge. What makes this salesperson different from another salesperson….one of them has to do something different or show a better way for me to get what I want. Innovate. We should not copy too much…that will actually prevent intellectual growth and creativity.

        There will be leaders, and there will be followers. Leaders will most likely have a strong sense of innovation, or know it and can capture it when they see it. There will be successful followers or strong copiers, who just wait for a leader to do it first. For the copiers who actually achieve success in their copying, then I have to say this…..success is easier to achieve, but harder to keep for a long term….because someone more brilliant, more creative, and faster than you will steal your crown in the blink of the eye. If you totally copy someone, then all a person has to do is to try a little innovation in how they present this copy product for them to take dollars that could have been yours. The internet has made it open season.

        Innovation does not just mean creating a totally new thing. It can be a new way to doing something, or it can be mixing up a variety of the right products and services, and creating a totally new thing. Innovation can take on many forms, but it involves using your brain, your passion, knowledge of the market, and creativity to think of something different…something that your competitors do not have the courage or opportunities to do.

        In order for this 21st century world to keep getting better, we need innovation and progression, we have to grow. If we did not innovate, then we would still be in the using gas lamps and have no electricity. For me personally, I can’t be a total copy professional….I have to put a little “kick” in what I do….sometimes I have to create.

        • You can also innovate on people’s inventions. You don’t have to keep on copying what they are doing, you can try and make it better if you are willing to take the risk.

  60. The idea is not to stop innovation and start copying, per se. Innovation is great and should be encouraged. The key thing here is to copy a successful strategy to get you up to speed quicker than you would by starting all on your own and learning from your mistakes.

    Avoid your delay. Avoid trial and error, and save time by copying someone else’s strategy. Many even sell you their strategies and some give them away for free.

    When you are there, or even on the journey there, to success, you can bring in and include your innovative ideas. You don’t need to copy a strategy as is and that’s it. No, bring in your own uniqueness.

    Hope that clarifies the thoughts behind this.

    • Good point. For example I know that the way 37signals lays out a lot of their designs is effective for conversion. This is one of the main reasons I copy some of their stuff.

  61. Rueben Carter :

    Thank you for posting this advice. One thing I would add is to utilize the 80-20 rule. Identify that “20%” that affects your bottom-line the most, and try to improve it by just a fraction.

    • Christi Pemberton :

      I agree. Identifying the 20% that affects your bottom-line and trying to improve it. I also remember in the 4 Hour Work Week, the author Timothy Ferris spoke about looking at the percentage of clients that have been the most beneficial and the ones who were the most trouble. If I am not mistaken, He made his life easier by “firing” his troublesome customers, and he gave more attention to his most active customers. Don’t try to overextend yourself to customers who are dragging your energy down, where it hurts your ability to run your company. Trim off the excess waste in a polite manner, but make sure that your active and genuine clients are getting the gold standard of your attention and treatment.

      Christi
      Global Crest
      Global Affairs News and World Music For Young Professionals

    • I love that rule. Thanks for chiming in!

  62. I absolutely agree with the 20% theory. It has worked for me, too.

    Curious to learn more from Timothy Ferris’s 4 Hour Work Week. Is that the title of the book, Christi?

  63. I find that it’s usually more than 80-20, more like 90-10.

    Tim Ferriss’ book does a good job explaining how to identify the 10% or 20% and how to deal with cleaning it up.

  64. Thank you very much for this excellent tutorial. I’m aware of a lot of issues you describe and really recognize them. But it’s very good to really read them and mark them in my brain.

  65. I would suggest perseverence as a tip to be a better entrepreneur in the next 30 minutes.

  66. The 20% theory is perfectly fine. It will surely work I believe. However I feel that stop the innovation and start copying is a better idea.

  67. Neil you bring out some great points. I especially with agree with Neil with pacing yourself and giving yourself some time to renew and restore yourself along the way. It’s far too easy in your pusuit of maintaining your dream, to neglect your health in the process. You can achieve wonderful things online, but you do need to pace yourself.

    • You do have to slow down sometimes because moving quickly can cause you to make more mistakes. But for some reason I hate pacing myself and I prefer running.

  68. I especially agree with the keep learning philosophy. Not only are there always people out there better than you at something, you also have to keep up with the changing views of your target market. Once you’ve established a business, you still have to maintain continuity with the constant changing world or else you will lose customers. I believe it doesn’t matter what field you’re in either.

  69. I do agree that we should not always worry about innovating all the time, but someone has to innovate. Also, we should not copy too much…that will actually prevent intellectual growth and creativity.

    There will be leaders, and there will be followers. Leaders will most likely have a strong sense of innovation, or know it and can capture it when they see it. Followers will be the total copiers who can not or do not use the creative side of their brain to innovate a portion of their company’s identity, strategy, a product’s usage, a sales technique, or whatever to separate themselves from everyone else. For the copiers who actually achieve success in their copying, then I have this to say…..success is easier to get but harder to keep for a long term….because someone more brilliant, more creative, and faster than you will steal your crown in the blink of the eye. The internet has made it open season.

    It is easier to first get success, but it is harder to keep it. If you want to keep your success, know how to innovate. Innovation does not just mean creating a totally new thing. It can be a new way to doing something, or it can be mixing up a variety of the right products and services, and creating a totally new thing. Innovation can take on many forms, but it involves using your brain, your passion, knowledge of the market, and creativity to think of something different…something that your competitors do not have the courage or opportunities to do.

    In order for this 21st century world to keep getting better, we need innovation and progression, we have to grow. If we did not innovate, then we would still be in the using gas lamps and have no electricity. For me personally, I can’t be a total copy professional….I have to put a little “kick” in what I do….sometimes I have to create.

  70. Hi Niel,

    Your blogs are always inspiring, however I never found some guidance I always look for. I would appreciate your inputs. I am a fulltime working professional, but I am an entrepreneur at heart. I am not able to focus on what I want to do as an entrepreneur, multitasking is somehow like ??? for me..
    I did have some hands on with business in my early years during college, was successful to for couple years later turned to a job..

    Cheers!

    CJ

    • You should follow your heart and do what it says. If you really love being an entrepreneur, then do that full time. Whatever path you decide to take, make sure you are putting 100% into it and focus.

  71. The first part of your article is crap – you can make a billion dollars if you play it right. If you don’t have the right vision to make it there, you won’t make a penny. Aim for the moon, if you miss you’ll land somewhere among the stars.

  72. I think in these tough times it is absolutely important to have a network with powerful people. then can poen doors you would never be able to open

    • Yep, it is in those tough times that your network will be most useful.

      • Tough times open up opportunities too. If you can spot areas that do better in the bad times (there are some!) then you can still do well. Otherwise, you can still make a viable business but during these tough times make sure you keep working hard ready to hit the ground running when the good time eventually return.

  73. Hey Neil,

    I am struggling for the last many years to become an entrepreneur, and you showed a quick remedy. Is it so easy dude?

  74. Nice tips – especially #4. The perceived productivity boost of working 12+ hr days is exactly that – perceived. Especially over the long run.

    All I ever need to do to realize this is think back to middle school – I knew that if I got my finite amount of homework done, I’d be able to go have fun. So I blazed through work, fast. In the world of startups, there’s always (a lot) more to do, and getting too wrapped up in it all will kill your productivity. So set mini-deadlines, give yourself some reward for finishing a well-defined tasks, and take frequent 15-minute breaks. You’ll get more done, be healthier and have way more fun in the process.

    Very glad to have come across this blog – thanks a ton.

  75. Great post! I have found a great way to work that much more… Break up your day into two parts. Hit the ground running in the morning and then around 5, take a few hours to eat, exercise, watch TV etc. and then get back to the office and crush it till the wee hours.

  76. Really I’m very happy and satisfied form this article,great post.I’m daily watch-out quicksprout.com Thank u.I hope that u ll be continue…..!

  77. I think it takes all sorts of things to get one through another 14-hour day keeping the mood upbeat and hopeful:

    Thinking about how much you are trying to help humankind

    Being a little angry at the competition for doing such a poor job

    Being thankful that you are not having to work for someone else for a living for one more day

    Thinking about the latest happy customer/user

    and finally:

    Entrepreneurs are at the top of the pyramid baby! Doesn’t get any more fun, more artistic, more imaginative, more challenging than this.

  78. “instead of being arrogant, take every opportunity you get to learn new things.”

    I really like this words. Great post!

  79. Just took a quick break to read this post. My favorite topic is “Never stop learning”…the second you stop learning, you are dead in the water.

    • I agree with never stop learning, especially if you are doing business on a global scale, which is easy if your business uses the internet/social networks heavily. I am posting a series of podcasts that I did that has sections of an interview I did with the President of SinoBiz Online about China’s business culture, to learn and get more info out there about how small businesses can expand their reach to China’s businesses and clients. Understanding the world around you is very crucial in building your business on a global platform such as the internet, but can be very prosperous if you know what you are doing.

    • You are a good case of that Ryan. Every time I meetup with you, you always are open to learning more.

  80. Enjoyed your post Neil; thank you.

    There is one essential skill an entrepreneur needs (that I learned the hard way) – learn to evaluate the viability of an idea (or even an entire business) with as cold and detached a mind as possible. It’s impossible to do 100% with anything you care about, but I think one can get close with practice. And if the idea doesn’t make sense, ditch it and move one (also needs practice!) – let it go.

  81. Great post! Being an entrepreneur takes a lot of learning process but one important thing is that we should have the courage to take calculated risks.

  82. It is quite an undertaking to manufacture, market, advertise, and distribute your own invention or intellectual property. Ask yourself, “do you have the spirit necessary to become an entrepreneur? If the answer is yes – here are the resources to self-educate yourself in the art of becoming a successful entrepreneur.Thanks Neil

  83. A great list of tips. Most are common sense, really, but still need pointing out. E.g. I spend too much time deviating from my main work trying new things or reading up on new techniques, rather than getting on with the job at hand. Speaking of which – I’m doing it again! Better do some work!

  84. This advice seems to take the entrepreneur down a notch, to suggest more practical tips than you might normally see.
    Now that you know that you don’t have to make millions of dollars a year, you have to come up with a business that will help you make a decent amount of money. It doesn’t have to be an innovative business that solves a pain in the market place; it just has to be a business that can turn a healthy profit every year.

  85. Hi,everyone

    Hi,Neil,thank you for a good post.But I think,even if I read thousands of such posts,it will not help me to succeed online.Becase,successful people like you hides their mysteries,how to be really successful enterpreneur.And it is obvious,because people like you have spend years to gain all these results,

    I am working about 14 hours a day,because I really need money,and I guess I dont work in real life indeed,I want to generate my income online,but still I am unsuccessful,and the fears came to mind,I think maybe I am one of the losers of the world,last times,I think only about whether to quit or struggle.

    Thanks

    • christi pemberton :

      Kamilion:

      The first question is “What do you really want to do”? Doing business online does give you a major advantage of reaching your audience…but it does take a little time sometime. You are not a loser, but don’t quit right now. I will tell you a little secret…no one has a monopoly on how to achieve business success…everyone has a slightly different or a very different answer to achieving business success. Every successful entrepreneur had his/her own way of achieving success. We may have tried similar ways of achieving success, but all of us did something different too. You have to look at what you really want to do as your career….don’t look at what make you money quickly, look at what is your passion and what are you good at doing….when you build a business from your passion and what you are good at doing, then you will get the customers.

    • The statement, “You can do anything you put your mind to,” leads us to believe that all you must do is imagine what you’d like to accomplish, set your mind to the task, and wait for success.
      To a certain degree this is true. Focused intention combined with action is a powerful force. But the statement is misleading because it fails to mention the difficulty and necessity of focusing your mind on a specific goal.

      • The quote actually means that anything is possible. It doesn’t necessarily mean “law of attraction”, because obviously any goal takes hard work.

    • Making money online is VERY hard work. It took me a lot of debt, a lot of struggle, and hours and hours of work. It took many years before I saw any result.

  86. I think you have way more chances at being successful by copying something that already exist and being a competitor, than creating something totally new and trying to persuade people that it will fix their problems.

  87. Hi Patel,

    I loved this article. This is something I personally learned recently. We don’t all have to aspire to be the next Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft or Google. We can just be the next popular Mom & Pop store for the next 5 blocks. We can just be Piscataway, NJ’s most popular coffeeshop. By keeping expectations reasonably low, we can achieve. When we make more money, then I believe that’s when we should start thinking about the big picture.

    Glenn

  88. Chances are the amount you want to make is far more than you’ll actually need. Sit down and take a moment to write down everything you want to buy and how much money you’ll need to make to buy it all. Maybe a fancy house, some exotic cars, and enough cash where you don’t have to worry about working. If you add up the total of everything you want, it shouldn’t run you more than a few million dollars and if you break it down into yearly income it probably won’t be more than a few hundred thousand dollars.

  89. Thanks for the great article and all of the tips! I am a list maker and goal setter. It is important to set both short term and long term goals relating to business achievements and personal development. And what is more satisfying than crossing items off a list?

    Loving what you do is absolutely key–I am a wedding and portrait photographer located near Seattle and LOVE LOVE LOVE what I do! The one thing about working for yourself is that you are never really “off”–you always have one gear cranking in work mode, even when you are “playing” But refueling creativity is truly important–don’t forget to fill that vessel up!

    Cheers to success!

  90. The suggestion about stopping trying to innovate has a lot to do with how I started actually doing things instead of just planning to do them.

    • christi pemberton :

      Tell me more about what you started to just do, but not plan to do it? What were those things? I have this urge to teach something, but don’t know how much planning I should put in it, or if I should just turn the podcast feature on, teach about global business and the arts and sell them as a series for young professionals.

      Christi

    • Its the best way to move forward, so good job on already taking action.

  91. I like the effort here, in terms of trying to find a strategy to move us towards something like victory.

  92. Sarkar Sayed :

    First I would like to thank Neil and others for great advice, I have learned so much already. I was wondering if I can get some help. I own a taxi business, it seems like my bills are more than my profit and im just getting by every month, What can I do to improve my profit and reduce my bills?

  93. Truly Professional post Neil. I have learned many things from this post, specially your views on innovation is not compulsory. One should keep looking at options in order to start the journey as online entrepreneur.

  94. Now that you know that you don’t have to make millions of dollars a year, you have to come up with a business that will help you make a decent amount of money.

  95. Entrepreneurs are at the top of the pyramid baby! Doesn’t get any more fun, more artistic, more imaginative, more challenging than this.

  96. I read your article carefully because a lot of very useful information that I get.

  97. I dont work in real life indeed,I want to generate my income online,but still I am unsuccessful,and the fears came to mind,I think maybe I am one of the losers of the world,last times

    • Most people are unsuccessful, but most people are not persistent enough. Hopefully you aren’t one of those people that quit even when times are tough.

  98. There are some really good points in this article. The most relevant one for me (and the most difficult at the same time) would be to finally “stop innovating and start copying”.

  99. I agree with cheapdvds, sometimes it is better to improve something that already exists than waste so much time trying to come up with something innovative. There are many people out there that are innovative and can come up with ideas all the time, but my skills revolve around improvement.

    Great read!

    • Creating something from scratch is obviously more rewarding, but it’s a path that take many many many more years. Copy someone else’s success ride their coat tales.

  100. very good information for newbie …..

    • Its actually information for both newbies and veterans. I can bet you that even though many entrepreneurs know about this, hearing it again as a refreshes is worth the time in reading it.

  101. Its a good website I guess, We are definitely in hard lines. We have a 15,000 sq ft showroom in San Diego and YES<YES<YES I have a gigantic passion for pianos. I dont allow it to get in the way of business but I do love pianos.

  102. Hi Neil, first of all your six tips are definitely great on how everyone can become a better entrepreneur in the next 30 minutes. What I would I would personally add to tip #2 though is to be friends with those who are successful, and to forget those who are going nowhere, It’s tough thing to do, but the reality is, if you hang out with successful people, you will most likely be successful yourself. I think most millionaires will agree on this. I am not yet a millionaire… but I will be!

    Till then,

    Jean

    • christi pemberton :

      I disagree on that comment to a certain extent. A very proven method is to be around successful people, but be open to help others believe that they can accomplish something greater…often those are the people who seem to be ogng nowhere.

      Although it is good to hang out with “successful people”..how do you measure success? Money is a double-edged sword that has been known to be either be a helper or a curse to a millionaire, or others with a large bank account. Plus, “people who are going nowhere” sometime need just someone to believe that they can be successful. If we say “don’t hang out with people who are going nowhere” then that excludes young people who may not have had the parenting, the mentors, or others that have demonstrated a belief that they can rise to the top. If we give encouragement to a person who is having this , then we get it back.

      Often the most miserable people are those with a lot of money, but thought of themselves as too high to reach down and help someone else realize their potential. Since you are not a millionaire yet, there will be people who are millionaires who think that you are not a person to hang out with due to their own prejudice in how they measure who is worthwhile to be around…..you may have great ambition and a plan to become a millionaire.. many people do, but each person measures others worthiness differently, and it is never a good feeling when we are judged based on where we are in life at a certain time.

      Christi

      • You make some very good points Christi, Thanks for your feedback. I would say yes, there are alot good people in this world that aren’t successful financially, and I would never shut them away from me as being a friend.

        Till then,

        Jean

        • The first thing to realize is that your financial success depends on today, not tomorrow. This means you need to set a goal to become a financial success right away. Tomorrow will come soon enough, and if you don’t start today, there never will be a tomorrow.

    • christi pemberton :

      But, I will agree that one should break away from a person who would rather drag you down with their own negativity, instead of wanting to become better themselves….that is a good time to just separate yourself from that person, and love them from a distance.

      Christi

    • You should definitely surround yourself with other people who are successful at what you do. I agree with you on that.

  103. Having success in life can be achieved by anyone who knows how to make the Law of Attraction work. Since this law is a fact of nature, then every one of us can be assured that it can work for us as long as we believe it and as long as we continue attracting what we want.

  104. Another point I would make is that it is easy to find inspiration in the least likely of places. I have just met a young guy of 21 who I have known for a while as he has been asking me internet related stuff for years and yet I have just seen (we logged into his paypal account) proof of his adsense earnings and it averages approx.$170 a day – not millionaire status but pretty good. His secret? He binned every other site and project he was working on and concentrates on this one site and has done for 2 years.
    So basically his advice would be…keep on keeping on and focus on one project at at time until it starts working.

    Mark

  105. These few points are really great.

    Having been an entrepreneur for nearly all my life, taking a break from what I do is so very important to me. it helps me get a touch of reality in my life.

    I actually go to the beach two weeks every month just to get away from life and refresh my head and I make enough money in the other two weeks to more than support my life style.

    And while I am away I have a team of people to run things for me as well.

    Some great points here and I will be back.

    Tim

  106. yea taking breaks and re questioning yourself specially when alone helps a great deals… sometimes it sets you on the path from which you are deviating from.

    I have benefited ample amount of time by doing this.

    one more question to neil… i am following your post… but are you busy these days?? i dont see very frequesnt updates.

  107. Number 4 is very important. Too often you can become too entrenched in your work and forget to have fun.

    Not only is going out and having a good time a great stress reliever but it can also help clear your head and see any problems your having with your business in a new light.

  108. Yoga Mat Review :

    Neil, I’m Bookmarking your site now. Spending 10 mins, reading these tips, wasn’t a waste of time, after all. These are really helpful. Thanks. Seems like, by the end of the day, I’m gonna become a better entrepreneur! :)

  109. Great article, Printed it and stuck it on the wall in my line of sight. All seems so obvious when you read it in black and white.

    As an Entrepreneur i find that the more passionate i am about a business plan or idea, the more mistakes and bad choices i make.

    I’ve found that positioning your bussiness between your head and your heart is crucial. Love it just enough to do it everyday, but not so much that it owns you.

  110. hey, stop deviating is a good one. There’s a million ways to make money but you need to focus on one at a time up to a point that they are self sufficiently running and then move on to the next… if you want to move on at all.

  111. If you can find a good role model to follow and will help teach you REAL information on success then you will be a better entrepreneur in no time.

  112. In response to Chopsticks comment:

    It has been a problem of mine to constantly change directions which is why I have not had much success. I would encourage any new marketer to stick to one thing before moving on to something else.

  113. Sahdev Thakur :

    In my experience Patience plays a very important role for any entrepreneur. Being patience and continuously interacting with customers to keep improving is very key to success.

    • Patience is a virtue is a saying that you should take to the bank. Having patience allows you to have a positive mindset too because you’re not stressing over potential negative results.

  114. Great tips Neil especially #4 Work Hard Play Hard. People need to learn how to reward themselves for their hard work

  115. Avoiding the distractions and focusing on the business is required even if you are not innovating and just copying.

    It is true that copying does not make you millions but gives you a starting point. Later you can use your own experience to innovate.

  116. Definitely pays to remember that you are working hard for a reason and that is usually family/security. People forget to then spend time with their family or enjoy some of the fruits of their labor and get burned out. #4 is a good tip and something not taken lightly.

    Thanks for the nice list.

  117. We have been taught to have a business plan before launching a new initiative. That may be correct
    BUT
    Economics on paper is different to that one in reality. Sometimes it is worth jumping on a good idea that is “what people needs” even if it does not returns you money.
    Example: HOTMAIL, GOOGLE,

  118. Hey Neil,

    Lovely post, comes at absolutely the right time. I run 4 ventures.. all successful though however of late I have been seeing a cash crunch situation worsened by the slowdown in the Indian economy. My friends know that I have been very demotivated since the last few days and have tried everything to cheer me up but to no avail.
    I also was contemplating quitting and looking for a job.
    Last night I had a chat with an old friend and she said that unless I don’t clear my mind, I will never be able to see the silver lining, following which I happened to come across an article that listed a few things to do before you retire for bed. One of them was to make a list of things to do. I started on a list last night and have been working on it till now, the list just doesn’t seen to finish.
    My friend just mailed me the link to your article and honestly there couldn’t be a better timing.
    Though the situation hasn’t improved much but I stand more confident to go ahead and fight it.
    I also am looking for advice on how I can make my business more active online?

    My websites:
    http://www.thinkpeople.in
    http://www.teamforceasia.com
    http://www.campusyield.com
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/hbhatia

    • Have a conversation with yourself and find out what you really want to do. This isn’t something you should ask others. Close the door to your room and just down for 20-30 minutes and THINK!

  119. Evergreen tips, but it works. Most of them I use and their effects reflects in my work. Another trick to keep yourself motivated is to take a top-down approach and divide harder projects to smaller, simpler, cleaner ones until they get relatively fast to finish with ones.

  120. From a personal standpoint, my biggest problem isn’t making decisions, focus, etc. It’s distractions like e-mail, phones, etc. In order to become more effective I first had to change some habits. For starters, I always opened my e-mail as soon as a new e-mail arrived. I now force myself not to check e-mail more than 3 times a day and only during certain times. Other than that, my e-mail client stays closed. My personal cell phone was another big distraction that I had to overcome. I have lots of friends and family who love to talk. I finally had to learn how to ignore the phone during certain blocks of time unless my wife or parents called used a certain code. I found myself becoming so much more efficient, it was unbelievable. Tasks that use to take 4 hours, now take one. I firmly believe that a key to success is time management and focus.

  121. London IT Support :

    From a personal stand point my biggest problem has always been letting my social life get in the way off my working life. I know in your post Neil you said that you should take time out now and then, take short breaks every few hours and once a week do something out of the ordinary but I have always found it hard to draw the line there. I guess I’ve always enjoyed going out with friends for meals and drinks more than I enjoy working. I also suspect that’s why I am far from being where I want to be financially.

    I guess the point to take from this is to be prepared to sacrifice a little now if you want to be successful in the long run.

    • In order to become successful in anything, your life will be UNBALANCED in other areas. It’s inevitable. Your business may go up, your social life may go down, it’s just the way it works. Even with that said, it’s always good to throw in a break here and there.

  122. Thanks my friend,I really appreciate your posts and I like them.Whenever I read your post,I change some my opinions.For example,I want to set up my own company.

  123. Hi Neil. This is a factual and post. I can relate on what you say that “stop deviating”. You are right, aside from troubles that we face everyday, there are also many opportunities that come in our way. Some of them are thought to be positive, but the fact is that they are really distractions that we must resist.

  124. Thanks Neil. I am doing the first suggestion right now (or I wouldn’t be here). I read your post and read it again trying to come up with something that I’m currently not doing. I couldn’t. All are top notch suggestions and the only additional one I could suggest would be to never quit; always keep your eyen on the prize and stay focused (which would probably be #5).

    I personally think #5 and #6 are the most important of them all. Thanks again and I’ll be back! :)

  125. Hi Neil,

    From my experience, also, the fact that when it takes a long time to take off and the way if full obstacles of all sorts – most of them rather banal (admin) and stupid (culture-specific) – it takes more than a normal doze of patience and perseverance to get anywhere.

    I am still on that curve btw…

    Also, one thing is what potential clients say they need or will do (in case your solution is offered to them) while you are in the consulting stage of pre-opening your org/company/initiative and another thing is what they will do once you deliver as you said… i know it sounds somewhat not realistic but this is what I am facing currently as well..

    Thanks again for the great post!

    cheers,
    Hayk

  126. vry nice post here thanks for that.

    Created a good conversation…at the end it’s all about goal setting, time management, knowingwhat you really want in life and following your hearts desire.

    great stuff
    Cisco

  127. “take a break”. i like this. its like beginning with the end in mind. you really need to figure out where you want to go in order to know how you are going to get there.

  128. sometimes we make mistake, avoid it next time and get some good advice from those expert will for sure get you success in near future.

  129. I certainly deviate from what I originally set out to do! I’m always taking the new opportunities that people offer me and think about the consequences later. Maybe I should stop this and concentrate in the task in hand but i get so tempted!!

  130. I think it is definitely important to stop innovating, and to start copying others.

    • Well don’t take what I say that literally. You don’t necessarily have to stop innovating altogether, but just doing ignore the idea of copy something other people do.

  131. Copy…. that will definitely work. Don’t try to invent the wheel as people say. Nice post Neil.

  132. Great tips, Being entrepreneur is not that easy but copying might help but it will be great if you still innovate things. Doing and succeeding on your own is a great pleasure right?

    • Right… why start from scratch when someone’s already created the path for you. Either way, you are the one creating success so yes of course it’s great pleasure :).

  133. Hi Neil, Thanks for sharing your great ideas. Its very much motivative for young Entrepreneurs ! Thanks a lot.

  134. Successful entrepreneurs possess an attitude of openness and faith that you can have what you want if you can simply envision it as the first step on the path of action to acquiring it. Management gurus have taught us the power of visualization – seeing yourself in your mind as having accomplished your dreams. If you want to be a successful writer, envision yourself signing books for a throng of people who have lined up to have your autograph. If you want to be rich, picture yourself in luxurious surroundings holding a fat bank account. And the process of envisioning success for you should be a constant activity! You need to think that you are successful (or will be one) every single waking hour. A personal development coach shared me her secret to help her continuously visualize her goals for the moment: when climbing stairs, recite your goal with every step you take. So if you want more money, say “I will have money” in every step of the stairs. This technique will reinforce your goal and keep it fresh in your consciousness.

    • You need to not only act as if you have already made it, but you must constantly visualize it. Don’t HOPE for something to happen, but expect it to happen. Thanks for all your feedback, I think it’s great!

  135. I definitely agree with “never stop learning” because nowadays, we are in the information world. If you stop learning, it means you may be behind others one step or more.

  136. That’s interesting and it does work but the business is VERY VERY difficult and competitive.

  137. For the longest time I was trying to re-invent the wheel with everything I was doing. Now I am just copying and pasting my way to profits!

  138. i think taking a deep breath and really seeing what you want and most importantly “why” is very important, it may sound a little out of place but material things are not so important, im not saying become buda and abandon the material world , but at the point you let objects rule your life you are utterly sc#$&

    • I agree… people just get wrapped up in so much materialistic stuff that they forget about what really is important. That’s also one aspect of being a an entrepreneur, managing your mindset and emotions.

  139. Great post! I certainly tend to get burnt out a lot and I have to take breaks during the day like you suggested.

    I also am not aiming to make a boatload of cash. Just enough so I can live comfortably!

  140. Thanks for the resource. I hadn’t heard of many of these, but forums are a valuable networking and informational tool for entrepreneurs.
    Regards/-
    Jason Webb

  141. Marcello Lisi :

    Neil, I love the way you put it. I always been a believer in asking how others have done it and repeating it. The great thing is that success always leaves footsteps for others to follow. Reinventing the wheel can be fun but in most cases it’s a waste of valuable time.

    Great tips Neil, thanks for sharing.

  142. I really like your advice under item 4.

    From my experience, however, when people use the phrase “Work hard Play Hard” they sometimes are living out the exact opposite of what you are advocating.

    It’s important to distinguish between hard work and long hours. Often, the days when I really work hardest are the days I work the shortest hours…one day recently I only worked 5 hours, but the stuff I got done is unbelievable…I had planned on taking a full two workdays to complete it all.

    I think the rest of your advice is good too. There’s something to be said for point 2. I think innovation is a bit of a “zen thing”…in that in order to do it well you need to stop trying to do it. I’ve often found that when I just sit down and start to get the most routine stuff in line, methods for innovation start to naturally present themselves. Many of the innovations are very mundane, things that people don’t even notice, but that still make a difference. I sometimes think the best innovations are behind-the-scenes one…changes in your business process or the way you approach a certain kind of problem, or automating certain tasks..turning 8 hour tasks into 30 minute ones, that sort of thing.

  143. Great article and really hits close to home. I love articles like this – good job of producing a nice inspiring post.
    Probably the best is to know your strengths and partner with others on weakness

    The role of the venture capitalist is to partner the entrepreneur in the journey. Despite frequent misconceptions that make it seem more hostile. The start-up ecosystem has been termed a zoo (or in certain geographies, a jungle) where vulture capitalists pounce on innocent entrepreneurs as their hapless prey. By and large, however, a star VC can provide the missing expertise a start-up needs for winning the marathon. The best VCs don’t just hand over cash; they help the companies in their portfolio plan and pace themselves like marathon runners, and they also help the companies make sound decisions and build teamwork, and they tap their own networks to strengthen each entrepreneur’s team.

    Tan Yinglan

    The Way Of The VC – Top Venture Capitalists On Your Board (Amazon: http://www.tinyurl.com/wayofthevc)
    Read more at: http://www.wayofthevc.com
    Follow me on http://www.twitter.com/yinglantan

  144. sell textbooks :

    It is hard to pick an avenue and stick it out with out overloading yourself at times. It is important to set goals and realistic ones at that. You are tight when saying you should copy someone first to get to know what people want then find a way to make it happen. It doesn’t have to be next best thing, just something that will turn a decent profit.

  145. Good article. Have to say “work hard. play hard” is a great bit of advice. Its so easy to overwork yourself and run out of juice.

  146. It seems everyone could be good entrepreneur after reading these tips

  147. Yeah, that’s a good idea! This article and comments should be printed ’cause I’ve found lots of great advice from so many positive thinker here and I should read it over and over again anytime and anywhere. Thanks for the post Neil, it helps me a lot!

  148. I simply want to say I am very new to blogging and site-building and certainly loved you’re blog site. Very likely I’m going to bookmark your site . You surely come with terrific articles and reviews. Appreciate it for revealing your blog.

  149. Still a really relevant article. Thanks Neil, very inspiring stuff. Also love your crazyegg software and use it often.

  150. Listen to people and never be afraid to stop learning. Learn from other peoples pitfalls

  151. I know this can be frustrating due to all the work in your workspace, but optimizing your space is important because it gives off a more positive environment in your office or workspace.

  152. Christi Pemberton :

    Hi. I don’t have a total ebook on becoming an entrepreneur, but I can perhaps answer any questions that you have, or at least refer you to people/online sources that can give you good answers. My website is dedicated to providing news, information, and tools for developing young global entrepreneur, many of through podcast that I produce or gather from other media sources. Maybe that can provide some good information.

  153. Hi Christi, that was very nice of you… yes sure I would like to get in touch with you and take your advice… well for starters can you tell me a good guide to authoring a blog that is so good that wihtout resorting to shameless traffic promotion, it will succeed to earn money… actually a few examples of them would be nice, so that I can at least see what has kidn of content achieved this.
    Regards, Sanjeev
    http://www.sanjeevsaikiaart.blogspot.com

  154. Christi Pemberton :

    Hey….go to this website. It is by Seth Godin (Squidoo). It gives really good advice on blogging.

    http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2006/06/how_to_get_traf.html

    If you have any questions about that guide, please let me know. My email is christi3014@gmail.com. I will try to find additional blog guides.

  155. christi pemberton :

    Stop Innovating? No. There are the innovators, and then there are the copies. If we had no innovation, there would be no computers/no technologies..and how many of us would have the fairly large chance we have now to become successful entrepreneurs or professionals…not many of us. We need the innovators, but not everyone has the level of creativity or courage to innovate..so the rest have to just do the best they can. Plus, if you believe in never stop learning, then not believing that people should innovate is against the first belief. Innovators are those people who never stop learning, because you got to be able to have a flexible and curious mind to be an innovator..you can’t let yourself become stuck in one place. Plus, it is always a great boost to the economy when we have people who are brave enough to push the limit..that is what makes being a leader fun….a true leader is an innovator who can push the limit and not be afraid to do so. So, not all of us can be innovators, but we need innovators. So, don’t stop innovating if you have the creativity and courage to do it.

  156. The idea of becoming “rich” is so nebulous. Concrete goals that you set for yourself to reach are so much more attainable. You need to be able to keep yourself motivated.

  157. yes he made valid point. So, just jump in and go for it. You’ll learn new things from others for free that can help you as well.

  158. Rich can mean different things for different people. It all depends on what your definition of rich is.

  159. All that hard work will eventually pay off, trust me ;)

  160. Exactly, the perfect time to take your career to the next level.

  161. Yes, hopefully you take action on what I said.

  162. It is possible for anyone, just make sure you never give up.

  163. I’m glad you were satisfied with my post. Let me know what you apply and what the results are.

  164. Thanks Martin, I will ;)

  165. Thanks, I’m glad you guys agree with it. Take information from whom ever you can as long as they are more successful than you at what you do. You get what I mean?

  166. A great way to remember your goals is by writing them down and carrying them every where you go!

  167. christi pemberton :

    I saw your post…wow, you are an art collector? That is cool. How did you open up your art gallery? What kind of paintings? I used to be an art curator for a museum/gallery.

    Christi

  168. Well, you do learn from trial and error, but learning from others is quite efficient.

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