Start Small, Think Big

So in the interest of sharing, helping and learning myself I thought I’d share my early morning doodle, in preparation for the week ahead. I honestly believe that if you don’t already think like this, then this will add great value to you; And if you do, well there’s no harm in being reminded, and encouraged of a good thought leadership principle.

It doesn’t matter if your Richard Branson, or Joe Blogs down the road. I am learning through experience that with everything there is a time and a season, and a process in between that no amount of wishing will take away – Nor do we really want it too.

If you follow me on Twitter you may have noticed a tweet of late which read:

“Focus is the key to progress, perseverance is the key to success; And all four are required in every endeavor.”

There is nothing quite like the feeling of accomplishment when you set yourself a goal for the day, week, and year, commit too and achieve that goal.

Best word of advice I ever got was, start from the desired end result and work back, and make the commitment to see your specific step reached.

If this was helpful to you, I’d love to hear so please feel free to share, subscribe, leave a comment below or come chat to me on Twitter!

Improve your growth strategy and business development plan with three gold nuggets

If I had to choose one word, it would be GROWTH

A business who stays the same year in year out and refused to change with the times, misses out on reaching their full potential because they never dared to step out and see what would happen if they…

So here’s a few points that I think are important when it comes to growing in an area that is of importance to you – Be it business, or life.

1. Growth requires vision – Without a vision for where you want to go, or what you want to see happen you can grow, but without a clear vision or strategy, you will grow wild and grow aimless. Think of the tomato plant, (I’m not a gardener so I could be completely off here, but my uncle has his own garden, which is where I get this analogy from). The tomato tree has to be encouraged in its growth, by inserting a vertical bamboo stick to support its growth. According to my tomato plant advisor, they also need a bigger plant pot – room to grow.

2. Growth requires pain – In addition to having the ability to see the end result first, you must also understand that growth requires pain. From the moment a baby is conceived in the mother’s womb, the baby begins to grow and grow, and grow until he/she reaches the age 21. Growing pains are a part of life, and they are also a part of any healthy growing business, project or relationship. I hear personal trainers all the time say, ‘No pain no gain’ – And they’re spot on. So in any kind of growth, be prepared for some muscle pain.

3. Growth is intentional

Growth doesn’t just happen. It’s intentional and it often requires a group of like-minded people.

When you feel stretched, your natural body wants to give up, but your mind can pull you through. Making changes in a department that has remained the same for the last twenty years will be tough, and in some cases will be too much if you are the one person in your business that has big vision – It takes a team in most cases, sharing the load means the pain is equally spread on impact, which will enable you to keep pressing through the resistance.

If you found this post useful, and you have a business, project or plan that you would like to see growth we recommend you jump on over to our sister teaching/training course Tailor Made Social, who specialize in helping small businesses grow online. Online is one of the booming areas in our economy, so if you own a business, or involved with a charity, or would even just like to invest in your own personal development, then we highly recommend that you check this site out for some great cost effective help with your online profile.

Alternatively, you can talk to one of our guys over at @TailorMSocial who will do their best to answer any questions you may have.

Experience is better than inspiration

As fresh as this lesson is I decided to share and add value to the blog that I have now been committed too for over eight months and one hundred and nineteen posts later (one hundred and twenty if you count this one) – It may not be a long time, concerning this blog, but my point is not relative to this blog – Rather to explain the progression of the following two phrases:

‘It’s better to embrace the process of your goal, than reject it. In the end, you will get there faster.”

“Experience has taught me better.”

I have come to the understanding that as much as it’s good to be inspired, and have the ability to inspire others; it’s worth far more to have the experience to back up the inspiration for a product, or service or business idea. Depending on your industry or goal this will vary; but by the same token I’m not saying that we have to be an expert in any specific field either.

People change careers all the time, so if your stuck in a job or an industry you don’t like – Great news! You can change!  You just need to position yourself for that change, and when things have the potential to overwhelm – breathe and embrace the process. I heard someone say once, if it looks bad, then it’s not the end yet. There have been many areas in my own life when things haven’t looked great – we all have them, but I have finally concluded that it’s actually better to have gone through stuff and gained the experience good or bad, (even the bad can be turned for good). It is better to be season in life, or in the market you aim to succeed in first; and then inspire others from a position of strength.

Rather than hide from what we do not know, or try to pump ourselves up, I reckon it pays more to be honest and put my hands in the air when I do not know something. At the end of the day, Steve Jobs never designed the iPhone, he just facilitated it and asked the right questions.

We make a mistake if we agree with these ideas, and then at the mention of Steve Jobs or others who have ‘accomplished’ something, and respond ‘yeah well I’m not Steve Jobs.’ For some reason our Scottish culture hasn’t always been good to us. In my own opinion and experience, my nation is filled with exceptional talented, loyal and friendly people to any other nation, but sometimes when it comes to cheering on our own, we can struggle.

I have come to appreciate that whilst there maybe certain areas, or things have not gone my way in life before, maybe it was all for a good reason and maybe if it wasn’t for those set backs – I wouldn’t be who I am today, or doing what I’m doing.

Most things in life involve process, and often that process varies in time, skill and involvement, however; I do believe that through watching the lives of those gone before me, we must not reject process, instead embrace it and we will get where we need to go faster.

By no means have I arrived yet, or do I expect to get things right 100% of the time, but I do aspire to become more and more a person of character – Someone who inspires not just with fancy and impressive words, thoughts or ideas; Rather to be known as someone who has lived, been through the highs and low’s and inspires from a place of experience, not emotion.

Like the good old saying goes, ‘we must practice what we preach.’

Don’t settle for less!

Well I am losing count of the number of cafes, and local businesses I have seen open up shop and a few months later they’re gone; and truth be told it makes me sad!

In some respects I think the marketing and technology world combined is to blame for distracting the consumer away from a trip to their local shop. Yet, in other ways I understand that we rely on the efficiencies of social media so much now that puts responsibility on small and local business owners to ensure they have a some kind of presence online – And perhaps if they had applied the right principles and know hows of online marketing, they would still be here. Who knows? It’s a shot in the dark explanation, but what I do know to be true is that small and local businesses need to rally round fast and grasp hold of what is happening online – At least in my own local area they do… I am still getting Facebook friend requests from people who have tried setting up their Facebook pages as profiles.

Despite offering to give them a hand up. I was surprised at their response:

“We had thought about setting up a public page as I have experience through my day job with this and so do a few other committee members. With over 600 friends on the current page, we felt having a public page for people to like we are less likely to reach as many people…”

My personal thoughts: I think it’s fantastic that you’ve managed to drum up 600 ‘friends’ on your current page – and I respect the fact that you may have experience within a day job. However, I do feel slightly concerned that you think by having a ‘public‘ page you will attract less people? Surely you can expect to gain more, not less? Baring in mind that to reach anyone through a normal profile page, you must invite and be accepted by the end user first – Isn’t that more hard work?

This was one of many similar responses I received back from a few local businesses, mixed in with some silent treatment from others.

I get that people are unsure of online marketing and all it’s processes. I do – But burying your head in the sand will do no good, and neither will settling for less than best. The population of the area concerning the business response I just gave, is currently in the region of 13,000. Taking their current friends of 600 and multiplying it by 21.6 equals 13,000.

There is such an opportunity out there for any business of any size, and I believe that only those prepared to take up the fight will survive the journey. There is no sense in losing a battle before it’s ever really got started. My advice to business owners reading this is to get equipped and take on the fight (figuratively speaking)  – And don’t use size or fear as an excuse.

Just some personal thoughts, views and opinions. No disrespect to any business currently hiding from the buzz online, just a gentle encouragement to think differently.