Does prosperity begat success or does success begat prosperity?
That’s a tricky question, I know. The answer is yes.
For today, I thought I’d share my thoughts on 7 Ways to Prosperity or How to Really Succeed This year.
You could sub-title this post, “How to take your big idea to the bank.”
Get serious about your desire.
Too often we have a big idea and sit down, right then and there, to work it out. What needs to happen next? What will I call the business - will I name it after the big idea or invent a new name and put the big idea in the ‘about’?
Truth is, getting serious means fully committing. And fully committing means not only answering those questions, but a boatload more. I have a new ebook coming out soon about this. “10 Questions for Making it Happen” outlines the 10 Pre-launch questions you should be asking and answering, before you act on your big idea. That’s when you really get serious. (and don’t forget to stay humble and be kind)
Not just any books. Read books that will help you on your path to prosperity. Business books are a dime a dozen, and many are just a lot of fluff. I’ve read many a fluffy ‘feel good’ business book. I would like you not to read those. This is not about daily affirmations (though you should have one). It’s not about wishing and hoping, like that old 60’s song. It’s about doing. It’s about learning what you need to know to move forward.
Take your big idea and find accomplished authors who have written guides on how to move your idea from “I wish I could do this” to “I can really do this.”
Here are some suggestions: Get Big Things Done by Erica Dhawan and Saj-Nicole Joni; Master Content Strategy by Pamela Wilson; Stand Out by Dorie Clark; The Girl’s Guide to Starting Your Own Business by Caitlin Friedman and Kimberly Yorio.
Study Your Competition
We talk about this a good bit at Nurturing Big Ideas. it’s among the most important things you can do to build prosperity and succeed.
Here’s how it works - I’ll create an example to help you visualize what I mean. Your big idea is handbags. You create the most amazing, useful, colorful, desirable handbags out of nothing (could be cloth or leather or crochet, could be old raggedy towels) and your immediate circle of friends and family think you should sell them. So, you do. You sell a few. You begin to feel this could be an actual business, and you decide to launch.
Before doing anything else, look at your competition. Look at the top 3 or 4 companies who do what you do. Look at where they sell. Look at who they sell to. Look at their pricing. Look at everything.
Now, look at what you are building. Can you compete? If the answer is yes, the next question is, how? How will you compete?
Make a Plan
You will compete by making a business plan. There are dozens of places online to walk you through the business plan process. What I want you to know is that all business plans are flexible and what you plan today may change drastically tomorrow.
But you must at least make an attempt. The plan includes things like:
Executive Summary (in a solopreneur world, like mine, the only summary is about me; you may be the same or you may be partnered with one or more other people; you need written info about them)
Market (this is another way looking closely at your competition helps - they can easily show you more details about your market, if you study them and how they do what they do- which is what you want to do, after all)
Team (people who are not in the executive summary)
Marketing (involves more than just building a website (just because you build it, they will not come)
I recommend searching our friend Google for templates and advice. I found this template on Inc.com useful, if you want to start here.
Get Out of Your Own Way
Oh my. What does that mean? In essence, it means get dressed, grab your coat, or sweater, or not, depending on the weather, and get out in public. Go to networking events. Join a woman’s group. Meet people.
We have all been swayed by the internet into believing an online store is the be-all and end-all of our lives. Get yourself into an online platform, build a website, do social media, and you never have to leave your house again!
Ah, if only that were true! I would love to just stay home and sell my stuff. But, the people who buy the stuff are often … not sitting at their computer. Yes, they Ebuy online. We wouldn’t have Black Monday if they didn’t. But, a boatload of them do get out. They go to events and workshops and places they can mingle with like-minded women.
Included in this piece of advice is to be proud of yourself and leave Goodie Two Shoes at the door, when you get out and about. She never thought of herself and the story is that it propelled her to great riches and success. But, she married money. End of that story. You need to be prepared to talk about yourself and your products, without going on and on and on. Make sure you listen as much as you speak.
That’s right. Learn what you need to do to be mobile-friendly to your buyers.
On SmallBizDaily, Ryan Ayers says,
According to a 2016 Nielsen report, 72% of mobile shoppers research on their devices before buying—and 60% use store locator features to purchase those items. That’s huge for small business. These days, smartphone users check their devices about 150 times a day. That’s a huge amount of attention small business owners can tap into!
Start a Podcast
This is something we are exploring, here at Nurturing Big Ideas.
A podcast can be a first line of content development for you. You create the podcast, get your community to sign up for it (and test drive it to give you feedback on voice modulation, topic choices, guest interviews, and timing), and use the podcast to add content to your blog and your website.
We didn’t talk about websites/blogs here, in this 7 Ways to Prosperity, because they are part of your marketing plan. That’s all part of #4. You do need those things. They’re your home base online. Adding a podcast allows you to do content creation in one channel, and share it in all the others.
My husband, Tom, from Old Dog Learning, believes in the concept of multiplying your voice by multiplying your content. His Content Multiplier System works, if you do what it advises. He advises starting with video, as you can see, and we approve of that. But, if you’re shy about video (some say, get over it, but I will let you take your time on that, as long as you do get over it), start with a podcast and develop the system that works for you.
My advice on how to start a podcast is to just do it. The tools are readily available online. You can practice all you want before you go live. I think a podcast first, leading into video, might be easier for some. It’s somewhat easier to accept the sound of your voice, than to accept the way you look. I don’t like saying that, but it’s true.
This I promise you - you will come to love your voice and as you do video, you will come to love how you look. Your voice and your appearance are just small parts of who you are, after all.
You are strong, confident, determined. You can do it.
Help is always here at Nurturing Big Ideas. Watch for our series of ebooks on how to get started on your new fantastic business this year. Sign up for our newsletter today. (you get our check list when you do!)