It’s hard to believe that I’ve now written over fifty blog posts since I launched the kickassentrepreneur.com website and blog.
Over the many months, I’ve received hundreds of positive comments and feedback from fellow entrepreneurs and investors and have often been surprised by the people that read my blogs. Not only do I enjoy sharing my entrepreneurial and investment journey with other like-minded individuals, but before I started, I would have been pleased at the thought of positively impacting even one person.
Now, here we are over six months later, and of the fifty blog posts I’ve written, there are a few that stand out as my personal favorites. I’ve listed the top six below, starting with my personal favorite:
Blog Post #1 and My Personal Favorite:
Here’s a snippet of what I wrote in this post:
So, how do you sell the pen?
You sell the pen by not selling the pen.
Literally, the last thing you do when trying to sell the pen is start by explaining how fantastic the pen is.
So what is the first step to selling the pen?
You first need to understand who your customer, as a person, is. What are their likes and dislikes? What fascinates them? How did they get to the position they are in?
Then, you need to understand their needs, how often they use a pen, what kind of pens they use, whether they use a pen every day or occasionally.
In a sales call, you need to spend more time listening than speaking. That’s why it’s so hard to master the art of sales … because most people like the sound of their own voice, and they feel compelled to sell the customer something. They feel compelled to begin the sale right away.
What you’re selling when you sell the customer the pen isn’t the pen, you’re selling yourself. And you sell yourself by making yourself likable.
You ask questions, and you listen. You let the customer speak, and you listen some more.
It’s a lot easier to be interested than interesting.
Most people don’t get that.
The ones that do, the people that understand that you don’t just “sell the pen,” but rather you get to know your customer by being interested in who they are—their wants and desires—those are the ones that master the art of sales.
As an aside, I reposted this blog post on Quora and received over 370,000 views and over 7,300 upvotes.
Blog Post #2:
This blog post was one of my earlier posts, written in early July: How I Overcame My Biggest Oh F*CK Moment in Business, and How It Made Me and Our Business Stronger
I found out while I was on vacation in 2005 that one of our major suppliers had cut us off. Here’s what I wrote:
As difficult as it was to recognize the possible moments of opportunity when I got the email while on vacation in Greece, I later came to realize that you can either let adversity define you, or you can define adversity
Successfully battling this issue empowered me and helped make me a stronger person, better equipped to deal with other battles as they arose. And the bigger our company grew, the more shit our competitors threw at us, the more staff and customer issues we had, and the more battles I had to fight.
There will be more adversities I will face in my life, and what matters most is what I will learn from it, and how I will turn it into a triumph.
Blog Post #3:
After I wrote this post, I got a few emails from some people who didn’t quite agree with me regarding how to grow their business to profitability: Profit Isn’t a Disease. It’s the By-Product of a Well-Run Company. If You’re Not Yet Profitable, Fix It or Get a Job.
Here’s what I wrote:
You are in business to make a profit. You are in business to maximize profit. Remember that. It’s at the heart of entrepreneurship, and the MOST important part of being in business.
It’s not acceptable to:
– Reinvest all of your profits back into the business year after year to fuel growth (unless you’re Amazon).
– Take on so much debt to expand the business and ultimately choke the growth and operations on debt and interest payments.
– Spend your business’s cash frivolously.
And it’s not acceptable NOT to pay yourself a salary commensurate with the work and responsibilities of a business owner.
I’ve heard countless reasons from different business owners as to why they’re not yet making a profit, or for that matter, why they aren’t paying themselves a salary commensurate with the scope of work they’re doing for the business.
Fact is, if your business isn’t making a profit after a few years in business, there is no reasonable excuse. Fix it or get a job.
Blog Post #4:
There are so many entrepreneurs that run their business with the thought of “If I build it, they will come.” Reality check, no they won’t.
Why do so many entrepreneurs believe they should open their business first, then figure out how to sell and market their product well after the business is open?
That’s analogous to getting up to a golf ball and then learning to swing at that time.
You wouldn’t do that, would you?
Here’s the thing: If you’re trying to figure out how marketing and sales work well after you’ve opened your business, it’s no wonder that your business is struggling, your sales are stagnant, your business isn’t profitable, and you’re having a problem keeping the lights on.
And just as a golfer needs constant practice to perfect their game, an entrepreneur needs to study, for countless hours, in order to perfect the art of marketing.
If you’re running a small business without being educated about the specifics, you shouldn’t be too surprised when the business doesn’t grow as much as you want it to.
Blog Post #5:
Peter can kill your business. I was referring specifically to The Peter Principle in this post:
Every business and every person eventually reaches a ceiling. They grow just so far, and beyond that point, they need to pivot to reach the next level. It’s often difficult to tell when you’ve reached that ceiling. It’s not like there’s a little birdie up there telling you what to do next. Nor do you have your life plan written in a book that you can just flip to the next chapter.
You need to be self-reflective enough to notice when it’s happening. Sometimes, something happens to make you realize it’s time for a change.
There’s a term for the concept of reaching your ceiling, and it’s called the “Peter Principle.”
The Peter Principle is a management concept developed by Laurence Peter. Peter made an observation that people in an organization rise to the “level of incompetence.”
In many cases, you don’t realize you’ve hit your Peter Principle moment. It often takes an event or person to make you realize that either you or one of your staff have hit their ceiling. From what I’ve observed in running my business and working with other entrepreneurs, there are often multiple Peter Principle issues battling inside an organization.
Blog Post #6:
5 steps to launch your startup:
- Create a detailed business plan
- Find funding for your startup
- Establish your team
- Marketing, branding, and web design
- Never forget who your boss is
I enjoy hearing from all of you, so please reach out and send me an email to: jeff at jeffwiener.com. Let me know what you think of some of the above posts, whether you agree or disagree, and what you would like to hear more about. I’m looking forward to writing many more inspiring posts and encouraging you to be a kickass entrepreneur and wealth creator.
Before you go, I think you might be interested in reading this post: Do you Have the Most Important Trait Required to Become a Millionaire?
Are you a younger entrepreneur? Here’s another interesting article I wrote:
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