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Before starting your own business: 10 questions to ask yourself

On the other hand, assessing the risks before launching yourself and preparing for the worst are two attitudes to favour when you want to create your company and take it as far as possible.

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Starting your own business

Starting your own business is very different from running or working for a company. The entrepreneur is the one who has the intention, the means, the idea and creates the company. An entrepreneur’s objective is, from an initial idea, to have the initiative and the decision to undertake a business project that allows them to enter the market either by manufacturing a product or by providing a service.

Starting with an initial idea, the entrepreneur must have the decision to make his idea come true. For this, you must have the necessary information and tools to facilitate the process.

Entrepreneurship means facing challenges and risks, but it is also an act of thought planned and conceived to be driven towards clear objectives. It is an act of functional and creative action of human genius.

However, in order to carry out the task of your undertaking, it takes a lot of planning and reflection. In terms of business creation, zero risk does not exist. On the other hand, assessing the risks before launching yourself and preparing for the worst are two attitudes to favour when you want to create your company and take it as far as possible.

After all the planning required, you should follow the reflections. To help you adopt the right strategy and make the right choices, ask yourself these essential questions.

We present 10 questions that you should ask yourself in order to reflect on the adventure of starting your own business, before launching it.

1. Why starting your own business now?

If the answer to this question seems obvious to you, go to the second. But a little introspection is not reserved only for the field of psychoanalysis. Is this desire for starting your own business is a choice, a need, or even a makeshift for lack of something better? Are you fundamentally rebellious of wage earners and their hierarchical, organized and reassuring world? Or are you tired of the life you lead?

It is better to know your true motivation, and what pushes you to take the plunge. This early reflection is necessary and will allow you to anchor yourself in your choice or, on the contrary, to consider other solutions. Remember that starting a business is a long-distance race that requires great endurance.

2. What problem do I want to solve?

The project, the idea, the patent … are the engine of the offer that you will make to your target customers. Your market research, either superficial or deep, convinced you that the offer of goods or services that you are going to offer would find a market need and allow you to start a new life.

Whether it’s an online business, a ball rolling, baking or a travel agency, the process remains the same and if feasible as simple as possible. Have you validated your project, alone and if possible accompanied, in order to ensure as much as possible that your offer was interesting for your customers, manageable in front of your competitors, and viable over time?

If you feel unsure, short evaluation sessions of your project exist, the Chambers of Commerce and Industry can help you, and if you are unemployed, or have a training approach to business creation.

3. What are my financial means?

These are very different depending on whether you set up a workshop, a factory, or you freelance in hairdressing at home. The main thing is already to identify your needs, based on your age and your situation so that you can devote yourself fully to your new start.

No way will you realize after six months that the restrictions imposed are too difficult to bear for you and/or those around you. Likewise, do not forget that the facilities granted by the various administrations during the creation or resumption of activity quickly caught up with you. The support of your bank and your partners is one of the foundations through which you can plan for the future.

Investments and savings can be of all kinds but do not underestimate them in the hope of a better future or a stroke of luck.

4. What human resources do I need?

You of course. It is not that bad already. Okay, when starting your own business you can count on the partners and the team you have chosen to support you during the launch of this project and who will be able to advise you. After all, they are there to do what you cannot do alone. Not to mention your friends and family who will be there to surround you.

5. What organization will I set up?

The organization of your business must be clarified before it even gets started. Who does what? Who can I count on to be supported or not? Everyone’s mission should be defined and if possible written in your project. And if you are thinking of going freelance, know that this question also concerns you. Man or woman, have you properly assessed the organization of your professional life, but also of your private life?

Perhaps there is ultimately a reason why most women entrepreneurs are created after the age of 45? In short, blossoming in a new professional adventure yes, feel guilty by coming home every night, no.

6. What are the risks?

No new project is without risk and we can even say that it is part of the pleasure of entrepreneurship. What interests to overcome without risk?

This essential assessment will also help you measure your level of motivation. The risks involved in starting your own business are of all kinds: financial, of course, this is the easiest risk to (under) assess; your personal risk obviously. Whether you are over 40 years old, can benefit from a layoff or have to resign from a lucrative position, the situation is different.

Finally, the risks inherent in projects: clearly identifying the possible causes of possible failure will allow you to avoid it. You are the captain of the ship, studying the map and the weather before leaving the harbour is part of your duty.

7. What skills are required for my creation?

Checking the adequacy of the objective skills that you would expect from Mr. or Mrs. X for such a project and those that you have is the most beneficial exercise.

Perhaps you have experience in the profession in which you are embarking on? But being a business manager, whatever its size, also requires organizational qualities, negotiation with your banking or administrative partners, a rigour which perhaps is not your strength? Having a partner, or taking training can be a solution.

Are you going to have to manage? Do you feel comfortable in this role? Talking to your colleagues, friends, former bosses, can undoubtedly help you to detect qualities and defects. Otherwise, coaching companies and other business advisers can be consulted to finish reassuring you.

8. Where will I create my company?

A leap towards independence can also be accompanied by a change of life at all levels, including the place of residence. By desire or by necessity. Control your desires and instead make sure of the merits of your choice.

This goes from the location and the catchment area of ​​your trade to the free zone for the installation of your bonded warehouse, or why not abroad for the processing of raw materials.

9. Is my timing correct?

The correct launch schedule for your creation is essential. When buying a house, it is better to make sure that the city’s new street development will not go through your garden next year. The same applies to your future company.

What are the new regulations in its field, what are the new competitors, the technical or technological developments that will transform this activity? So many questions that can lead to new opportunities and new successes.

10. Do I have a (good) network?

Without speaking of technology watch on a planetary scale, it is important to be always well informed and to have around you a network of relationships in your field of activity. Setting up a real estate agent will require you to work in-depth with your local city or your neighbourhood as well as with the town hall.

Attending trade shows, fairs, websites, your accountant, lawyer or tax collector can be the source of a new business or new savings. Do not disperse, but especially do not isolate yourself, if you start alone. Associations, free consultations with specialists are now available for those who want to take the trouble.

If you’ve been able to answer these ten questions and find new motivations for starting your own business, you’re on the right track! But beware, this is just the start of a long journey and a new life. Hence the interest in finding the right idea and above all, as reassuring as possible.

A word of advice, I don’t want you to waste your time, entrepreneurship is not for everyone, that’s why I wanted to collect for you these questions that are sure to help you to know if entrepreneurship is your thing or not.

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The Crucial Role of Social Proof: 4 Reasons It’s Vital for Brand Development

In today’s digital age, where information is readily accessible and opinions are easily shared online, social proof has become more influential than ever.

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Social proof plays a crucial role in shaping consumer behavior and brand perception. It refers to the psychological phenomenon where people rely on the actions and opinions of others to guide their own decisions, especially in uncertain or ambiguous situations.  In today’s digital age, where information is readily accessible, and opinions are easily shared online, social proof has become more influential than ever.

Brand awareness, social clout, online presence, and offline networking are fundamental concepts in entrepreneurship, each playing a pivotal role in enhancing visibility and overall business success.

  • Brand awareness refers to the extent to which potential customers recognize and recall a brand. It involves creating a solid identity and consistently communicating brand values to target audiences.
  • Social clout pertains to influence and reputation within online communities and social media platforms. Building social clout involves engaging with followers, sharing valuable content, and positioning oneself as a credible authority in the industry.
  • An online presence encompasses all digital touchpoints where a brand interacts with customers, including websites, social media profiles, blogs, and online reviews. A robust online presence helps increase brand visibility, credibility, and customer engagement.
  • Offline networking involves connecting with industry professionals, potential partners, and customers through in-person networking events, conferences, and local business gatherings. These offline connections complement digital efforts and foster valuable relationships.

Visibility is not just a cornerstone of success for entrepreneurs but also a catalyst for personal growth and professional success. It attracts customers, opens doors to opportunities, and establishes credibility in the marketplace. By strategically leveraging these concepts, entrepreneurs cannot only enhance their visibility and accelerate business growth but also embark on a journey of self-improvement and achievement.

Strategies to Maintain Focus and Leverage Social Proof for Entrepreneurial Success”

Being an entrepreneur demands a keen awareness of your brand’s pulse, allowing you to prioritize where attention is most needed. However, one common mistake entrepreneurs need to be aware of is becoming consumed by their business’s day-to-day operations, which can hinder opportunities for improvement. To avoid this, it’s important to delegate tasks and set aside dedicated time for strategic planning and brand development. This way, you can ensure that you’re not just working in your business, but also on your business. 

This imbalance in focus during the building phase can limit the reach necessary to impact the bottom line significantly. However, implementing a social proof strategy can help mitigate this seesaw effect of building and balancing.

Social proof is not just a conversation that validates your brand, but a powerful tool in building trust and credibility. It encompasses various forms of validation, such as customer and client testimonials, media interviews, and contributed content. Every interaction made on behalf of your brand contributes to building your social proof, reassuring potential customers and clients of your expertise and reliability. 

Whether you are just starting or transitioning into a new market, prioritizing developing and maintaining solid social proof should be a primary focus. Think of it as a way to nurture relationships with those interested in doing business with you.

 

Boosting Brand Awareness and Revenue: Four Ways to Leverage Social Proof

Discover how your social proof can elevate brand awareness and bolster your bottom line with these four impactful strategies.

 

01. Your social proof is a powerful tool for establishing credibility as an industry authority.

Potential clients and customers prefer to work with established experts rather than novices. They seek out businesses and individuals known for delivering desired results. To position your brand as a top recommendation in your industry, focus on building credibility as an industry authority.

One effective way to establish credibility is by engaging with other industry leaders. Collaborating with respected figures and participating in industry events or forums can enhance your reputation and visibility within your niche.

 

“It takes two to do the trust tango–the one who risks (the trustor) and the one who is trustworthy (the trustee); each must play their role. – Warren Buffett.

 

Additionally, sharing valuable insights on trends relevant to your industry demonstrates your knowledge and expertise. You can showcase your authority and attract a loyal following by consistently providing helpful content through blogs, social media, or webinars.

Moreover, every interaction with your audience is an opportunity to provide value and strengthen your reputation. Whether it’s responding to inquiries, offering helpful tips, or delivering exceptional customer service, prioritize delivering a positive experience.

Social proof plays a vital role in building credibility and trust. Incorporate client testimonials, case studies, and endorsements from industry peers into your marketing strategy to showcase successful outcomes and validate your expertise. These forms of social proof reinforce your authority and reassure potential clients that you can deliver results.

By effectively focusing on these strategies and leveraging social proof, you can solidify your position as an industry authority and ensure that your brand remains at the forefront of industry recommendations.

 

02. Your social proof is a spotlight, illuminating your expertise in the subject matter.

Establishing yourself as a go-to resource in your area of expertise is critical in setting yourself apart from others in your field. Leveraging your extensive experience and demonstrated capabilities highlights your tenure and deep understanding of the subject matter, distinguishing you from the crowd. 

Subject-matter experts possess in-depth knowledge about specific topics, consistently staying abreast of industry trends, changes, and developments.

 

“Fitting in allows you to blend in with everyone else, but being different allows you to be yourself, unique, and more creative.” – Sonya Parker.

 

By proactively staying informed and ahead in your niche, you showcase your expertise and earn recognition from your audience and peers. Demonstrating your commitment to continuous learning and innovation builds credibility and enhances your reputation as a trusted authority. Consistently sharing valuable insights and practical knowledge further solidifies your position as a go-to expert, reinforcing your social proof and your brand’s credibility within your industry.

03. Your social proof highlights the tangible results and successes you’ve helped customers and clients achieve.

 

Your social proof not only highlights the tangible results and successes you’ve helped customers and clients achieve but also serves as a powerful testament to the impact of your work or product.

Word of mouth, recognized as a highly influential form of social proof, holds immense value in today’s interconnected world. People naturally take notice when you openly share with your audience the transformative impact your offerings have had on clients. 

These real-life success stories speak volumes, acting as compelling endorsements even when you’re not directly present.

 

“Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the customer gets out of it.”

 

Moreover, excitement can be a potent selling tool that spreads rapidly within your community of clients. By consistently assisting clients in achieving their goals and fostering a sense of enthusiasm and satisfaction, you cultivate a contagious excitement around your brand. 

This enthusiastic buzz captures the interest of individuals who may have yet to encounter your brand, igniting curiosity about your services or products and their potential to deliver favorable outcomes. 

This ripple effect of genuine enthusiasm attracts word-of-mouth attention and amplifies your brand’s reach and impact.

By effectively leveraging your social proof and nurturing a community of satisfied clients, you establish a compelling narrative around your brand that resonates with prospective customers. 

Your clients’ genuine excitement and positive experiences become invaluable assets in building credibility, trust, and lasting relationships in your industry.

 

04. Your social proof instantly fosters trust and credibility with potential customers and clients.

The internet has evolved into a shopper’s ultimate resource—a vast library containing nearly everything one needs to know about a brand. In today’s digital society, a simple online search can significantly influence a buyer’s decision to take action or continue exploring.

When your name, business, and results are easily discoverable and shareable, people naturally take notice. This visibility and social proof are not just about gaining attention; they are about building trust. They lend credibility to your claims, making you a trusted figure.

 

Contrary to what most people believe, trust is not some soft, illusive quality that you either have or don’t; rather, trust is a pragmatic, tangible, actionable asset that you can create.” – Stephen Covey.

 

Social proof is pivotal in transitioning prospects from mere followers to active buyers. As you accumulate more satisfied customers, your brand’s reach expands, leaving a lasting footprint in the marketplace.

Refrain from being daunted by the task of enhancing your social proof. Take a moment to reflect on your past achievements and your existing audience. You likely possess a wealth of social proof that you can use to leverage and elevate your brand awareness. This process is a practical and effective way to build your social proof.

Embrace creativity and prioritize gathering comprehensive information about your brand to establish the ultimate social proof. This proactive approach boosts credibility and cultivates a strong reputation that resonates with potential customers.

Investing in building and showcasing your social proof is crucial for your brand’s growth and success. By strategically leveraging your achievements and customer testimonials, you can solidify your position as a trusted authority and expand your brand’s influence within your industry.

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Building Your Brand’s Digital Footprint: 10 Ways to Amplify Your Brand’s Online Influence

Achieving mastery in online influence demands unwavering persistence, especially during periods of perceived insignificance, as brands aim to influence consumer buying choices.

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Mastering the art of online influence requires a steadfast commitment to persistence, even in moments of apparent obscurity when it feels as though one’s efforts are going unnoticed. Brands’ primary objective is to sway consumer purchase decisions in their favor.

In the online realm, an exceptional opportunity exists to connect with a vast audience and influence their buying choices, whether for products or services.

Nevertheless, many brands compete for recognition within this digital landscape, heightening the difficulty of establishing a more substantial online presence. The landscape has evolved, rendering traditional methods insufficient in capturing and retaining a customer base.

10 Effective Techniques to Amplify Your Brand’s Online Influence

Outlined below are 10 essential approaches for building your company’s presence and influence in the online sphere:

1. Harness the Power of Influencers and Brand Advocates

Expanding your online influence hinges on enlisting the support of influencers and brand advocates to amplify your message. Influencers leverage their authority and credibility as potent endorsers, effectively conveying the value of your offerings to their devoted followers.

By aligning with influencers whose values and interests resonate with your brand, you can cultivate authentic endorsements that resonate with your target audience. Whether through direct engagement or collaboration with influencer marketing agencies, tapping into the influencer ecosystem presents an unparalleled opportunity to elevate your brand’s visibility and credibility in the online sphere.

Collaborating with influencers can be a valuable strategy for businesses looking to increase brand awareness, reach a targeted audience, and drive engagement and sales more authentically and cost-effectively.

2. Cultivate Authenticity or Prioritize Authenticity

In the digital realm, authenticity is paramount in building trust and fostering meaningful connections with your audience. While online consumers appreciate the convenience of digital interactions, they also seek assurance that the brands they engage with are genuine, caring, and transparent in their dealings.

Although establishing authenticity can be challenging due to the physical distance and absence of face-to-face interactions, leveraging video content and customer testimonials can effectively bridge this gap. You can convey the passion and enthusiasm that underpin your brand’s mission and values through compelling visuals and heartfelt testimonials.

By authentically sharing your brand story and showcasing the real people behind your products or services, you can establish a genuine connection with your audience and earn their trust and loyalty in the process.

3. Provide Valuable Expertise

Establishing yourself as a trusted authority in your niche is essential for gaining online influence and standing out in the digital sphere. Sharing your knowledge and expertise with your audience positions you as a valuable resource and elevates your credibility within your industry.

By consistently delivering high-quality content, whether through blogging on reputable platforms or engaging with your audience across various channels, you can demonstrate your expertise and address the needs and challenges of your target audience effectively.

In today’s digital age, consumers increasingly rely on online sources for reliable information and solutions to their problems. By offering valuable advice, tips, and specific insights tailored to your audience’s interests and pain points, you can influence their decision-making process and build lasting trust and loyalty.

Through strategic content distribution and engagement efforts, you can effectively leverage your expertise to make a meaningful impact on your audience and solidify your position as a respected influencer in your field.

4. Engage in Active Listening and Responsiveness

Effective communication is a two-way street; actively listening to your audience is paramount in building trust and fostering meaningful relationships. Despite its apparent simplicity, many companies overlook the importance of actively listening to their audience, instead relying on assumptions about their needs and preferences.

However, brands that prioritize attentive listening and responsiveness emerge as true leaders in the realm of influence. By paying close attention to even the most minor details and promptly addressing customer feedback and inquiries, you demonstrate genuine care and commitment to meeting your audience’s needs.

Whether acknowledging and responding to comments on social media platforms or reaching out directly to provide solutions or promotions, actively engaging with your audience reinforces their value and cultivates a sense of loyalty.

Capitalizing on this tactic can strengthen your brand’s influence and deepen connections with your audience, ultimately positioning yourself for long-term success.

5. Maintain Consistency

Consistency is key to establishing and maintaining trust, the foundation of online influence. Your audience quickly notices any deviation from your established message or inconsistency in your brand’s appearance across different platforms.

Any inconsistency raises suspicion and undermines the trust you’ve worked hard to build. Maintaining consistent themes, content, visuals, and tone across all channels reinforces your credibility and reliability, allowing you to continuously strengthen the foundation of trust upon which your online influence is built.

“For changes to be of any true value, they’ve got to be lasting and consistent.” – Anthony Robbins.

By ensuring uniformity in your brand’s presentation, you can effectively nurture lasting relationships with your audience and expand your influence over time.

6. Make a Lasting Positive Impression

Creating a memorable impression doesn’t require shock tactics; instead, aim to connect authentically with your audience using humor or other emotions. By tapping into emotions that resonate with your audience, you can craft content that leaves a lasting impact and encourages sharing within their social circles.

Humor, in particular, can be a powerful tool for fostering connection and engagement. Incorporating wit or fun into your content, allows you to connect with your audience on a human level, making your brand more relatable and memorable.

Remember, the most shared content often evokes emotions that resonate deeply with the audience, making it essential to understand and cater to their preferences. By leaving a positive, memorable impression, you can quickly enhance your online influence and expand your reach within your target audience.

7. Embrace the Passion and Positivity

Infusing your content with genuine passion and positivity can profoundly impact your audience, energizing them and inspiring action. In a digital landscape saturated with negative content, standing out with messages of optimism and enthusiasm sets you apart and cultivates a loyal following.

By showcasing your genuine excitement and commitment to socially responsible solutions, you uplift your audience and demonstrate your dedication to making a positive difference in the world. Amidst the challenges and tensions of today’s global events, your optimistic outlook serves as a beacon of hope, resonating with your audience and fostering a sense of optimism and empowerment.

Leading with passion and positivity can effectively engage your audience, spark meaningful conversations, and drive action toward a brighter future. Your authentic enthusiasm inspires others and strengthens your online influence as a beacon of positivity in the digital realm.

8. Encourage Transparency and Accountability

Transparency is paramount in building trust and credibility with your audience. Ensure clarity in all communications, supported by consistent actions and behaviors. Foster a culture of openness within your team, encouraging transparency regarding the company’s operations and adherence to core values.

Maintaining transparency at every level of your organization demonstrates a commitment to integrity and accountability. Encourage open dialogue and honest communication, empowering team members to share insights and address concerns openly.

This commitment to transparency not only strengthens internal cohesion but also enhances your reputation as a trustworthy and reliable entity in the eyes of your audience.

9. Embrace Humility and Customer Service

Humility is not a sign of weakness but exemplifies strength and integrity. Adopting a humble approach and prioritizing customer service can significantly influence your audience. Customers appreciate brands that demonstrate a genuine commitment to serving their needs above all else.

Rather than solely focusing on profit-driven motives, prioritize the well-being and satisfaction of your customers. Show them you are willing to go above and beyond to meet their needs and exceed their expectations.

By placing the customer at the forefront of your business endeavors, you build trust and loyalty and elevate your brand’s reputation as a customer-centric organization.
Humility and exceptional customer service create a powerful narrative that resonates with consumers.

It showcases your brand’s willingness to prioritize the interests of others, fostering deeper connections and stronger relationships with your audience. Ultimately, by humbly serving your customers, you can wield a significant online influence and earn lasting loyalty in the marketplace.

10. Persist and Persevere

Maintaining and increasing your online influence requires continuous effort and unwavering determination. It’s crucial not to become complacent or rest on your achievements, as doing so risks losing momentum and being overshadowed by competitors.

Online influence is not built overnight; it’s a gradual process that requires patience and perseverance. Even small advancements should be leveraged to fuel further progress. Remember that consistency and persistence are crucial to building and sustaining momentum in the digital realm.

In today’s rapidly evolving world, where immediacy is often the norm and instant results are expected, it’s crucial to understand that cultivating influence online is a gradual process that requires patience and persistence. It’s tempting to expect overnight success, but the reality is that building a solid online presence takes time, effort, and dedication.

Maintaining a patient and unwavering approach to your endeavors is essential. Understand that each step you take, no matter how small, contributes to your long-term success. Staying committed to your goals is vital even when progress seems slow or obstacles arise.

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius.

Remember that meaningful impact in your industry doesn’t happen overnight. It results from consistent effort, strategic planning, and a willingness to adapt and learn. So, don’t be discouraged by setbacks or delays. Instead, stay focused, keep pushing forward, and trust the process. In due time, your persistence will pay off, and you’ll see your hard work reflected in your growing influence and impact.

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Success Stories

Take action, even before you are ready to do it

Who you are, what you have, what you know, are more than enough elements to start, to go in the dreamed direction. All that needs to be done is to take the first step.

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It is 1966 and a dyslexic boy made a difficult decision, that of dropping out of school. Time at home gave him the opportunity to think and in a short time later, together with a friend, he decided to take action and founded a magazine dedicated to students. Thanks to that idea, which immediately seemed to be appreciated by young students, he began to earn money by selling advertising space to local companies.

That boy, eager and eager to find a method to further grow his magazine, thought about starting mail order records to subscribers of his magazine. This idea was also very successful and the sales were so fruitful that he opened his first record shop. Sensing the possibility of good opportunities in this area, after two years he decided to open a recording studio, and not happy, even a record label.

Thus he began to rent his recording studio to some local artists, including Mike Oldfield. It is in this small studio that Oldfield recorded his first international success which led him to sell 5 million copies.

In the following decade, the creator of that record label decided to invest in artists then unknown and today among the most famous in the world: the Sex Pistol and Rolling Stones. In the meantime, not satisfied with everything he had created so far, he gave birth to new and numerous companies.

“For an entrepreneur, success can mean immense wealth, but great fortune carries many responsibilities. And the responsibility for me is to invest in creating new businesses, creating jobs, providing jobs for people and putting money aside to attack situations where I can make a difference.”

He was thirty when, on his way to the Virgin Islands to see his fiancée (current wife), he suddenly discovered that his flight, and the last one of the day, had been cancelled. Angry and frustrated by the situation, he did not lose heart and attempted to charter a private plane. However, not having enough money to do so, this possibility seemed impossible. This did not stop his tenacity. Suddenly a stroke of genius.

He picked up a slate and wrote on it: Virgin Airlines $ 39, showing it to the group of passengers who like him were headed to the Virgin Islands and who, like him, had suffered the inconvenience of cancelling the flight. He soon managed to sell all available seats on the plane and hire it. Virgin Atlantic was born from that flight delay.

Today that boy who dropped out of school, who started a business despite his inexperience, and despite his lack of knowledge, is one of the richest men in the world, and owns 400 companies, which are part of the Virgin Group. His name is Richard Branson.

With this story, I do not want to communicate that it is useful to leave school or buy a railway company every time the train is delayed, but it serves as an example, as a warning for everyone. Stories like these have a lot to teach. People who have built great businesses like Richard Branson are role models to be inspired by. Not so much for what they did, but more for how they did it.

Take action, even before you are ready to do it

The great teaching of this story can be summed up in one word: to act.

Richard Branson dropped out of school at the age of 6 and entered the world of work by starting businesses of any kind. He brought Sex Pistol to success when everyone else considered them uninteresting for the market at the time. He managed to charter a plane despite not having enough money and from what was initially a nasty inconvenience, an airline was born.

This approach to life can be a model to follow, useful for everyone. Richard Branson, like other successful people, starts their own businesses even before they feel ready to do so. Even before having all the necessary knowledge to do it. And from this, they are not intimidated.

This is often the secret of success. The courage to take that leap into the unknown, which many do not have the courage to take.

“You have to take risks if you are going to be successful. I’d rather ask for forgiveness than permission.”

The brand of which Branson is founder bears the name of Virgin and was chosen precisely because he and his partners were ” virgins ” with respect to the activities they decided to undertake. Virgin Group, as a whole, includes various activities of all types, from music to gyms, through travel and telephony.

On the other hand, it is unthinkable, impossible, that whenever Branson started doing business in such different fields, he was ready and perfectly prepared to do so. He was not a pilot, and knew nothing about aeronautical engineering, yet, despite this, he founded an airline.

When you are working on something important it is very likely that you never feel ready, never fully convinced, to start. It is a frequent and almost forced condition. As if you were forced to feel unprepared before embarking on a new venture. Still, the truth is that everything you have before you leave is enough.

You spend time to plan, you procrastinate, and revises, but usually what you have in your hands, just when you are doing all this, is enough to leave, and to take the first step.

“If you don’t have time for the little things, you won’t have time for the big things.”

And this applies to everything, every challenge, every novelty that you decide to undertake. Whether it’s reaching a very ambitious goal, reading that book that is collecting dust on the shelf or even losing weight, or starting a new company.

Who you are, what you have and what you do

Who you are, what you have, what you know, are more than enough elements to start, to go in the dreamed direction. All that needs to be done (which is not a small thing) is to take the first step. This will be the real driving force, the real motivation that will allow you to collide with so many things, which by not acting, you could not see.

“Business opportunities are like buses, there is always another one coming.” – Richard Branson

You may not believe me, but there are many people, now considered successful, who started from nothing: no money, no resources, little experience, yet, they decided to start, and this, together with ideas, is what made the difference.

Regardless of what your starting point is, what you want to do with your life, what you want to achieve, always remember that the secret to achieving your dreams is to start, even before you feel ready to do it.

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Why starting a PODCAST can TRANSFORM your business: Ask yourself 3 Questions

First, you should ask yourself some serious questions. With clear answers to the concerns, the planning process, and launching your podcast, becomes much more straightforward.

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There has never been a better time to explore one of the fastest-growing avenues for business development.

In times of turmoil, the most exceptional opportunities are not only revealed but created. Over a third of American adults are now regular listeners to podcasts, while top professionals and entrepreneurs leverage their audio files for tens of millions of dollars in annual income.

Even with the disruption caused by COVID-19, this is a great timing opportunity to explore one of the fastest-growing avenues for business development.

Here are three ways a podcast can transform your business.

1. Deliver a win-win

As we all know, there are plenty of scammers happy to tease a customer to make money fast. These quick Skeem offers to focus on a single transactional element, rather than establishing a long-term relationship through a mutual exchange of value, is possibly the worst trait a company can have.

Speech humanizes your brand, so having your own podcast allows you to build trust with both your potential audience and existing customers while ensuring that your staff keep your company’s mission in mind.

With each episode, your content will continuously add value to improve the lives of your listeners, whoever they are, without you needing to leave your home/office.

This value comes in many forms. For example:

  • How I built my business. This reveals how the leading companies were established;
  • Serial uses investigative journalism to explore criminal cases; and
  • The Joe Rogan Experience, which seemingly breaks all the moulds with his long-running uncensored conversations about civil liberties and present events.

In what should be good news for entrepreneurs and professionals around the world, there is no box to fit in. As previous podcasts illustrate, you can even find the best rewards in the most mysterious places.

Your podcast is also the perfect way to educate your audience. Regardless of the industry, strive to provide the best possible service to your customers and focus on establishing long-term relationships: win-win.

2. Align your brand with industry experts

One of the easiest ways to grow your audience is to attract exciting and engaging guests. Not only will it increase your credibility, but it will also allow you to capture even bigger names, and then you will only be limited by your imagination.

Think of it as a way to massively elevate your network while increasing the number of your audience.

Once you have secured your renowned interviews and established your captive listener base, it is essential not to be complacent. It gets confused with a lot of podcasters, but the reality is that your audience won’t stay for loyalty, they will if you continue to deliver valuable content.

Remember, it’s about your audience, so at least you owe them an ROI on your time. Always focus on delivering value, both with your guests and with your listeners.

3. What to do with a successful podcast

If you follow these steps and focus on consistency, you are on your way to having a successful podcast! So what can you do with it? That will come down to how resourceful you are.

The world’s best podcasters leverage their programs for massive business growth in many ways. Eventually, you’ll hit a tipping point where high-profile guests will come up to appear on your show, rather than having to chase after them. But that’s just the beginning.

If you want to make an impact, your main goal should be to learn more about your growing audience and the issues they face. The more you understand what struggles they have, the easier it will be for you to introduce solutions that alleviate those weak points.

There is an infinite number of products and services you can create, as well as virtual events, training programs, and retreats.

A successful podcast will also give you a platform to highlight the causes that are important to you. For example, maybe there is a charity you want to raise funds for or a project to support.

Having a captive audience that believes in your spirit will allow you to light up the world in the way that seems best to you.

Launching a podcast seems straightforward enough until you start doing it.

“An hour of planning can save you 10 hours of work,” – Dale Carnegie

In his quote, Dale Carnegie reminds us how a detailed plan can facilitate any new search. But, when it comes to launching a podcast, how do you start that plan?

First, you should ask yourself some serious questions. With clear answers to these concerns, the planning process, and launching your podcast, becomes much more straightforward. These are the questions:

  1. 1. Why do I want to do this podcast?

This question may seem obvious, but seriously, why do you want to do a podcast? If you are not sure of the answer, or just follow the emotions because “everyone is doing it,” you may need to dig a little deeper.

For example, if you are a family lawyer, your motivation for starting a podcast might be that you want other family lawyers to know that they are not alone in their feelings, doubts and anxieties.

This mission would only have become more useful in the COVID-19 pandemic, as people around the world are required to remain quarantined in their homes, more alone than ever.

The family law podcast could be created not only to dispel your feelings of being alone but also to let other attorneys know that they also have an ally in you and your audience.

  1. 2. What do I want to achieve with this podcast?

Most of us experience fear of getting on stage before doing anything outside of our comfort zone, especially if we are exposing our emotions to the world.

However, if you begin your podcast for the right reasons, you will provide guidance and support to people who desperately need it.

But, only once your podcast starts, will you experience this validation.

To make sure you resonate with your audience, think about what you want to achieve with the podcast. In our example above, the family lawyer may want to give a voice to lawyers who are experiencing the same feelings of doubt and unhappiness.

The podcast would be a safe way to explore those emotions, while introducing strategies to bring more happiness and satisfaction to your job and, ultimately, to your lives.

What you want to achieve does not need to revolutionize the world. It is that quest for perfection that leads to inaction.

Your goal could be something as simple as meeting a need that doesn’t currently exist in podcast form.

As humans, we all have periods of feeling alone, so if your goal is to connect other people through a shared experience, that might be enough.

  1. 3. Who is my ideal listener?

Once you have answered the first two questions, this should be easy. Think about who your ideal listener is: For our family lawyer example, they would be lawyers who feel exhausted in their profession.

“Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” — George Herbert

A great way to find out who your ideal listener would be is to start talking to yourself. Yes, speak to yourself. Start playing around with some topics you’ve wanted to cover in your show and take notes on the key facts.

Once you see your talking points and desired messages on paper, it will be easier to imagine who would benefit most from those words.

The questions are how we navigate the world around us, and it’s no different when starting a new business or developing a podcast concept.

Ask yourself these questions and listen to the answers. The rest will fall into place.

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