There are all kinds of stories that you hear of persistance and determination… stories about people who have made it, no matter the struggles. Often times I am moved and inspired by these stories, but I tell a friend or family member the same story and it is not recieved the same. They just don’t seem to have the same appreciation of determination and often miss the point all together. One such example is the story of Sylvester Stallone and how he sold his dog when he was broke and couldn’t feed it anymore.
He stood outside a convenience store with a sign and sold his dog to someone that negotiated with him on the price. Apparently, this was very difficult for Stallone as he reports crying as he walked away from the sale.
Eventually, Stallone bought the dog back a few weeks later after selling the script to Rocky (Which is another story you should look up). He sold the dog for about $25 or something like that… then when he went to buy it back, he paid thousands for it, and gave the guy who he bought it back from a part in the movie (little Mike, the guy sweeping up the floors at one point in the movie).
The point is, those hard times he had… selling his dog, refusing the first offer for his movie, and the next, and the next,… until he was allowed to star in the movie, is an amazing story of determination. I find it all so inspiring, but this same story, when told to a friend yesteday, brought upon comments like, “poor dog”… “how stupid, I would have taken the first offer”, or “I would never pay $15,000 to buy my dog back”, etc….. similar comments peppered me during my story telling and after. I just don’t get how people don’t understand the inspiration they can draw from stories like this. Stallone wanted to be an actor… “they” wouldn’t let him! He tried out for agent after agent, part after part… it didn’t work. So he turned to writing… he sold one script for something like $100. Then he wrote Rocky. They wanted it, but he wouldn’t give it to them for $50,000, the first offer. He wouldn’t give it to them for $100,000… not even $250,000…. Not unless he could star in it. So, in the end, he took $35,000 and got the staring part… bought his dog back for $15,000, and look where he is now.
If you don’t find committment and determination in that story… I don’t know where you will find it.
How to Succeed in Business (to Business)
The secrets might surprise you. The most successful b2b organizations, in my opinion, understand the value of:
We worked very closely with Brian and his team at Viget for a many months building the initial architecture of Squidoo. There are plenty of shops that can do web programming, plenty that claim they can do UI work and plenty that are even hipper than you. There are very few that manage to pull off the kind of work that Viget does. They were on time, on budget and most important, they didn’t cause anyone to lose sleep.
The very things that I look for as a consumer (surprise, fashion, edginess) were in short supply here. Instead, Viget went out of their way to never overpromise. They pushed the hard decisions early in the process so that the thrashing was early, not late. In fact, the end of the process was the most delightful part. Because they know who they are and are clear about it to themselves and to their clients, the chances of making an honest connection with their clients is much higher than someone who is trying to be all things to all people.
Drew Dusebout, a broker/financial planner I know at UBS is the same way. Drew doesn’t make vague promises about financial returns, and he doesn’t get all excited at the latest gimmick. Instead, he’s honest with himself and his colleagues about the world he works in, and his clients always get exactly what they expect. Sure, this is a more difficult way to grow (at first) because you can’t seduce the people who are the most likely to jump ship. You can’t promise some shortcut that gets you the quick clients. But in the long run, I don’t know of any other way to market a service like his.
Here’s the hard part about this: if you’re very good at what you do, you won’t grow. Because lots of people are good at what you do. No one is going to be busy referring you and sending you business just because you’re very good. Sorry.
The only way to consistently grow in B2B is to be better than very good. In fact, it’s to find something that organizations need and be the very best in the world at it. Hopefully, that thing is something that organizations in your sphere are eager to talk about among themselves. If it is, you win. There’s a line at your door for years to come.
It happens to many of us entrepreneurs…. We wake up one morning and go… ah-ha… this would make a great online business. But then you realize that you have no idea how many people need your idea, or if people are looking for it on the internet, or what other ways they may be looking for the same information.
Next time you wake up with one of those ideas that you would like to find research, try this tool. Just give it a try… I think you will find it useful.
They actually have quite a few other tools that webmasters can use as well. This site is worth a spin, so definitely check it out.
FaxZero allows you to send faxes for free. This free service is supported by, yep, you guessed it, ad revenue. But you know what… it really doesn’t bother me one bit. I think this is great.
The convenience and simplicity they have built in is fantastic. You can type in text to fax, or if you already have a document you need to fax, you can attach a PDF file, Microsoft Word Doc, or an Excel Spreadsheet.
The free version of FaxZero has a two fax per day limitation, but this is fine with me as I don’t have a need to send many more than that anyway. As you would expect, you can send faxes that do not have any ads on the cover page. To send a fax without any ads will cost $1.99 per fax.
So many times, I have heard people say they “missed the boat”, or “their ship sailed long ago”, and other like phrases. Just yesterday a friend of mine said they “missed the boat” and that it was not use starting their own business. That conversation has been bugging me every since.
This phrase is used by people all the time as an excuse as to why they don’t have a better job, didn’t start the business they wanted to, or why they never ran a marathon, or learn to shoot par golf, or… , or… , the list goes on and on. Well, here is what I have to say about that….
Who cares?!? Shut up about it already! If you really want to do this “thing” that was on that magic boat, then you would have done it. You would have set the alarm, you would have left early just in case you ran into traffic, you would have prepared in every way possible. So, obviously, you really didn’t want it like you thought you did.
But, there are cases where you didn’t realize you wanted on that boat, until now. In that case, then I have something very important to tell you. Are you listening? This truly is very important….
Again, who cares?!? That “magic boat” may be gone but there are a million ways to get there… fly there, walk there, run there, drive there, build a raft out of sticks, float on an intertube…. whatever it takes. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and just make it happen. My guess is that you really do know what it will take and how to get there. So just do it.
This is one of my favorite tools out there… if you are an infopreneur, consultant, life coach, business coach, or any other entrepreneur that has a need to utilize conference calls… you should probably check out FreeConferencecall.com. They even offer free recording for playback or download. I often hold teleconferences using this service.
Both sites are very similar, but the the first one (freeconferencecall.com) offers free recording so I tend to use that one now more than the other. Additionally, they offer a couple of other services that I like, such as Online meetings and Voice Messaging (both in and out).
I have looked at almost all of the virtual PBX providers, and the one I finally landed on was RingCentral.com
The have great features and as of right now you can get a true 800 number for free. Most of the time you have to pay a premium for a true 800 number instead of an 866 or 877 number.
They also have pretty much all of the features you can find anyplace ese, such as:
Dial by Name
There are certainly others that are good as well. It usually comes down to the provider that you have the best experience with at the time… and RingCentral was that provider for me as I my experience with their customer service quite nice.
Entrepreneurs often have a need for capital. If you need a little money, up to $25,000, you may find just what you are looking for at Prosper.com. This site essentially enables users to lend and borrow from one another through this fantastic tool.
If you need to grow your business, buy some equipment, increase your inventory, or any other need you may have… just sign up, and ask.
OR, maybe you have a little extra money to lend someone. Go to Prosper.com to lend some money and make a nice return. The risk is of course still there, but this model, and the chance for greater return since you aren’t using a middleman (i.e. the bank), certainly makes this an opportunity worth checking out.