I am deeply moved by some feelings a friend of mine shared with me this morning at a men's group I attend on a regular basis. He shared with me that he has always wanted to be an author and that he has in the past spent considerable amounts of time thinking about titles and book covers as well as topics. But then he said something disconcerting to me. His comment questioned weather or not that is what God wanted him to do. I have seen my friend write before and let me tell you he has definitely been gifted with the ability to write. After spending some time with him I realized we all have gifts and we need to use them to build others up. We have been called to purpose in this world through unique gifts and skills that we have developed but nothing we can have developed will ever replace the seed that God plants in our hearts. My friends comments were, does the world need another book on... I resonated with him in spirit but what came out of my mouth was unexpected. I immediately replied Yes. Even though in the same breath I could find reasons to agree with him. I mean here I am sitting, thinking, does the world need another Entrepreneur? 2 things come into play here. One is the people he will reach regarding the topic he chooses to write on may never be reached by anyone else's writing style ever, and two we cannot or should not deny the desire of the heart. This is a tricky thing I write because we have to be careful of living on feelings. Often our feelings can mislead us to do things we really should not do. However what I am talking about here is not a fleeting strong feeling we get that makes us feel good about ourselves, but one of the culmination of a seed that was planted years ago and has given birth to a great many solid ideas. A friend (really a mentor) showed me years ago a bible text that sums this up. Psalms 37:4 says "Take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your Heart." I had heard this text many times before but what my mentor told me next really hit it home. If you study this text you will see that If we really seek after Jesus because of a relationship we want to have with God He will actually place these desires in your heart. I can tell you this, my friend has an absolute craving to be closer to God every day and this book he has inside of him is definitely from God. His concern is that he doesn't want to do something that he claims and is proud of, but that is exactly where I think God wants us sometimes, because it promotes growth. I know as an entrepreneur, there have been times where I have done some really great things and there have been some times where I have miserably failed. However when I have stayed in alignment with God I have seen some really wonderful things happen. The point Is living your best life isn't just about all the great thing that will happen but more about the person you become when go through the good times but more so the bad times. Character is built by hard times Romans 5:3-5 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. My end point is this. We all have gifts that were poured into us at the creation of us. Those gifts were meant to be used to serve others. Sometimes we loose our way however and do things out of selfish ambition while this is not ok it is what will cause the growth of a person. So get out there today and muck it up but be sure to evaluate yourself often so you will grow to be the person you were created to be.
Websites, Blogs, Vlogs, Social media... There is so much to marketing your business nowadays. It's hard not to get overwhelmed by the time and effort that go into all these avenues. So how do you know which one(s) you should use? Sometimes a little sound judgement goes a long way. I actually own two businesses that are quite different from one another. My consulting business's goal is to get myself in front of people in the form of public speaking for that Youtube is my best option. Here people get to see the real me and how well I perform. My technical business however is about sales and service of tangible items. The best way for me to market this is to build a trust on line which is best suited by testimonials that you can find on my website or Facebook business page. I hope you are getting the picture. Neither one of my businesses would succeed though if I only designed a partial site.
Now there is a saying less is more and while that is true you don't want to be to literal about it. There are a few things every site should have. Purpose, Attraction, & Promotion.
Lets start with Purpose. You should already know the purpose of your company so now you should be asking yourself what exactly is the purpose of the avenue of your site. Are you trying to appear professional via a website or are you trying to give away pertinent information to build trust that you could do in a blog etc... Once you decide what the purpose is this should help immensely on the medium you should use. Next is Attraction. This is where I see so many fail. They launch some sort of site but there is nothing that makes anyone want to visit it or stay on it once they are there. If your site has your name or your business name and a contact number you probably won't get any calls. Why? Because no one knows what you do or who you are. Nowadays it is not just enough to know about the company but about the people behind the company. This is what the largest portion of our population (the Millennials) wants and if you are not going to give it to them they will find it somewhere else.
Finally Promotion. If Purpose is your understanding of what kind of site to build Promotion would be the understanding of why people will visit and come back. This takes two steps. Step 1. You have to let people know your site exists. This is easy to do in today's social media just broadcast it to all your friends or boost a post on Facebook or any other creative way you can think of. Step 2. Once they are there what is going to keep them coming back? Offer words of wisdom or some other content that brings them back. I have a friend that is a writer and consistently posts words of affirmations by just typing them into a general Facebook post almost every day. She has thousands of followers because of just this one thing she does. So it doesn't matter what you do (generally speaking) just make sure you do something.
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So in a recent seminar I hosted I was asked a terrific question by an eager young lady as to how you should respond to a non response from someone you had followed up with after a networking meeting. Of course the usual answers while not always acceptable were understood and deeper concern became evident. Chemistry! When networking your sole purpose is to create a new relationship or friendship and no matter how hard you try sometimes it simply isn't in the cards because of that great word called chemistry. Now Chemistry isn't really what we think it is, You know a chemical in the brain that tells us weather we should be excited or down about a newfound friendship. Or is it? For the sake of argument we are not going to delve into this question that deep. As many of us know that when it comes to relationships, usually deep intimate relationships we sense a chemistry that draws us together. It usually makes no rhyme or reason but is powerful enough to draw or repel us toward another person. Are we so vain as to think this chemistry only exists in deep relationships. It doesn't! It exists in all relationships. This is just the thing that will cause someone to not respond to a follow up. You are going to have to accept that in life. Sometimes there is something inside of us that tells us not to be friends with someone and I think it is more important to listen to those still small voices than to sacrifice your integrity. I personally have had this happen plenty of time only to find out later that I was glad I listened. Besides some time that voice isn't saying not to never have that realtionship but rather not right now!