Do these to Successfully Start a Business from Scratch #Success

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By Josh Okello

Great entrepreneurs are great boot-strappers. Boot strapping is where you start a business with limited funds and resources. What makes it challenging is the insatiable demand for personal basic needs. When starting a business from scratch, money going out is always more than money coming in therefore you must be very careful on how you spend every single dime.

So what do you need to do to successfully start a business on a stringent budget?

Write a Business Plan

A business and marketing plan is a GPS showing you the way where your business is headed. Even though your business is full of unrealistic goals and objectives (by the way it is very good to set unrealistic goals) try to be realistic with your finances. Crunch those numbers first and figure out roughly how long it will take before you start getting income, break even, raise your salary and employ a team.

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Often times, when the business is starting, you will be the boss, receptionist, guard, janitor, accountant, chairman and sometimes even the customer. Write a plan with a detailed budget.

Separate Business from Personal Life

Hey, you are already on the road to Silicon Valley therefore you have to be organized. Set aside your private life away from business life. Never mix the two. When writing a business budget, remember to also write a personal budget. I have a limit on how much I can spend in a day and in a week and my goal is to always shrink it further. Before you fund your business using your personal credit card, think twice!

Forget Leisure

Your business needs you and your money therefore you have to make tough choices and sacrifices. Forgo a flamboyant lifestyle and stabilize your business. Never fly a private jet when you are supposed to be riding on a bicycle. Be very keen on how much you spend. Do you really need an office, or can you work from a coffee shop? Do you need to hire assistant or can you hire a virtual assistant? Be wise with your money. Trim down your friends list and focus on those who you can learn from. This does not mean that you totally ignore people, but spend your time with people who can grow you.

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Master the Art of Negotiation

We know you do not want to look cheap but remember that you have less to spend and more to be done. Maximize the utility of every dollar getting out of your pocket. Having too much money does not mean you have enough money. Record every single dollar you spend.

Build Other Sources of Income

When I was starting our organization I had already written a book and was working on my second and third book. I sold my books every evening and that was my goal. Money I got from sales is what I spent on food therefore I had to sell to eat. I closed all my roads and gave myself a tough goal to only spend money from book sales and nothing else. This comprised of my rent, transport and utilities.

If you are a writer, write. If you are a musician, sing. If you are a chef, cook. This also relives you from the daily business stress. Do something fun to de-stress and learn to earn a living out of it. Key point to remember is; never let your complimentary source of income be a permanent plan B. It can kill your business.

© Joshua Okello 2015.

Joshua Okello is a B.A graduate in Business Administration, International Development and Philosophy. He is also the author of the book Strategies of Entrepreneurial Leadership He has exceptional skills in organizing, coordinating projects and capacity building initiatives with key emphasis on livelihood programs; microfinance through savings and credit led models; business development services and entrepreneurial leadership. He is also the founder and Executive Director of Succeed Africa Relief Organization, a Canadian Christian Organization geared towards giving hope and transformation in lives of the chronically poor in Africa.

I Asked Three Leaders what Books they Read, the Answer I got Will Shock You

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By Josh Okello

One simple question I like to ask new people I meet, leaders, managers, CEOs etcetera is “what books are you reading these days?”

People are always very honest to share ideas especially in the realm of entrepreneurship. My better-half knows and understand my love for books and it is almost predictable that most gifts I get from her are leadership books. We both like to learn even though we are in different fields. In general, we read a lot.

Back to my story, do you like to learn? As a leader, entrepreneur, how many books do you read in a month? I once walked in a store and asked three managers what they are reading and the answer I got was shocking. I am putting into consideration that not all like to read therefore it is not a crime to not read. You can acquire knowledge through other means.

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One manager told me that reading is not important as the books do not tell you how to deal with each individual customer. Different customers have different attitudes, emotions and personality therefore you cannot read a generalized book and work with that on each and every customer. How true is that? My answer is, “It is very true”. But how can you know how to deal with different customers without learning how to deal with different personalities? How does one acquire emotional intelligence (EI) without learning? Reading might not be your thing but are you in constant pursuit of acquiring knowledge? In philosophy we call it epistemology. Epistemology is the enquiry of what distinguishes justified true belief from opinion also referred to as knowledge.

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The other manager referred me to the manager who gave me the answer above. What does this boil down to? “Resistance to change,” and the mind set of “doing it our way.” how can we be open minded without being ready to learn? You do not have to read in the world of technology we are living in today. Listen to podcasts, audio books, and videos and learn at least one new thing every day. Never be bound to repeating the same old mistakes because you are resistant to books.

I would like to hear your honest feedback and hopefully books that you are reading/listening to this month. If you are looking for a simple leadership and entrepreneurship book to read, you might consider: Strategies of Entrepreneurial Leadership. Comment by suggesting at least one book for our leaders to read.  Let us learn together.

© Joshua Okello 2015.

Joshua Okello is a B.A graduate in Business Administration, International Development and Philosophy. He is also the author of the book Strategies of Entrepreneurial Leadership He has exceptional skills in organizing, coordinating projects and capacity building initiatives with key emphasis on livelihood programs; microfinance through savings and credit led models; business development services and entrepreneurial leadership. He is also the founder and Executive Director of Succeed Africa Relief Organization, a Canadian Christian Organization geared towards giving hope and transformation in lives of the chronically poor in Africa.

This is the Power of Determination #success #leadership

Determination

 

By Josh Okello

 To be determined is to have a relentless pursuit of something you do not have. Nothing can deter you from getting it however long the road is. If it takes crawling, walking, running or flying, you will do it.

Source of Determination 

Human beings are naturally born with determination. At an early stage, right after birth, we are endowed with this internal crave called determination to grab things, interpret meaning, create ideas, understand recurring incidences, determination to know people, who is a friend and who is an enemy, who is mom and who is dad. We are born with less fear and a lot of determination. That is why children do things they do. When they cry, they are simply telling us that they are so determined to either get out of pain, get food, they are stressed or they just need to take a nap.

 Determination Catalyst 

Even though I cannot recall my childhood very well, I can talk in relation to what I see parents do to their children. A colorful object would be placed in front of them slightly past their reach to entice them to move. That is how children learn to be mobile. A curious child would crawl to grab the object, walk towards the object or run towards the object.

What drives you? What makes you move? What increases your determination to achieve something you do not have? What is your determinant? I always associate happiness with success therefore in everything I do, I try to tie it to happiness. I know I cannot please everybody and I cannot make all happy but my goal every single day when I wake up is how am I going to touch another person’s life? How am I going to make someone smile? How am I going to make somebody else successful because success equals happiness and vise-versa. That is my determination every single day I wake up.

We all come up with great ideas, but we lack enough determination to go for them. When drafting an idea to work towards, never go for realistic ideas. All realistic ideas have been achieved therefore go for unrealistic ideas. Build a strong catalyst and let it propel you to what you define as success. Let nothing stop you from going for your dreams not even your weaknesses.

© Joshua Okello 2015.

 Joshua Okello is a B.A graduate in Business Administration, International Development and Philosophy. He is also the author of the book Strategies of Entrepreneurial Leadership He has exceptional skills in organizing, coordinating projects and capacity building initiatives with key emphasis on livelihood programs; microfinance through savings and credit led models; business development services and entrepreneurial leadership. He is also the founder and Executive Director of Succeed Africa Relief Organization, a Canadian Christian Organization geared towards giving hope and transformation in lives of the chronically poor in Africa.

 

Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone

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“A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown.” —Denis Waitley

By Elizabeth Stincelli

          Your Comfort Zone

Why break out of your comfort zone? You will never create anything new if you don’t stretch your boundaries and break out of the status quo. Getting out of your comfort zone allows you to see new possibilities and forge a new path to achieve your goals. Your life experiences are fuller and your horizons are broader on outside. You get to define who you are and how you view opportunity. Are you going to play it safe? Or, are you going to risk it all outside of your comfort zone?

                    Overcome Fear

Dan Stevens believed, “The comfort zone is the great enemy to creativity; moving beyond it necessitates intuition, which in turn configures new perspectives and conquers fear.”  Don’t let fear prevent you from thinking in new ways and trying new things. You’ll be amazed at how resilient, capable, confident, and courageous you can become. Learn to let go of the need to be in total control. Step outside your comfort zone, set aside your fear, and try something totally different.

Welcome Challenge

  1. R. Martinez said, “I’ve learned in my life that it’s important to be able to step outside your comfort zone and be challenged with something you’re not familiar or accustomed to. That challenge will allow you to see what you can do.” You possess a wealth of knowledge and experience. Trust this knowledge and experience to help you confront and overcome the challenges you will face outside your comfort zone. The satisfaction you receive from successfully prevailing in light of challenge allows you to create rewarding work. If you never feel uncomfortable you are limiting your possibilities and your growth. Embrace challenge; reframe your goals so they include learning new things and exploring new experiences.

Take risks

Edward Whitacre, Jr. told us, “Be willing to step outside your comfort zone once in a while; take the risks in life that seem worth taking. The ride might not be as predictable as if you’d just planted your feet and stayed put, but it will be a heck of a lot more interesting.” Let go of the idea of perfection; it is a concept that is unattainable and causes you to avoid risk. With risk, you face the chance of failure but, also the opportunity for great success. Visualize obstacles, see yourself overcoming them, and then take the risk. You may not always win, but you will always grow.

A New Normal

Robin S. Sharma explained, “As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal.” That which is scary will eventually become comfortable. You will open yourself up to amazing new experiences. You may even meet new people and develop new relationships. You are a work in progress.  Break out of your comfort zone, face your fear, overcome the challenges, and take the risk; you’ll be glad you did.

 

© 2015 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

Elizabeth Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Elizabeth holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Elizabeth by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

Stay Calm And …

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By Josh Okello.

Business and leadership is where the unexpected frequently occur. Some news can destroy you and even result into serious medical problems if not well taken care of. There is only one solution to entrepreneurship and leadership bad news; stay calm.

It is not easy to stay calm when bad news is fresh. When you are disappointed, discouraged and covered in rubbles. That moment when your roof caves in and walls crumble apart, when all hopes are gone and failure is the best you are left with. The worst is yet to happen and that is why you need to be calm. Here are some importance of being Calm.

Decision Making

When your world is shuttered, it is highly probable that the decisions you are going to make are going to cost you more. It is hard to make informed decision when you are torn apart. It is therefore better to recollect yourself before making decisions especially when you are angry or highly disappointed.

Take your Time

If any moment when patience become a virtue is when things go wrong. It is hard to stay patient and calm in such a time but best solutions are not made when people are mad. Take your time to calm down and see the challenge as a mare hurdle that tests your genuine heroic strengths behind your efforts.

Build Trust

Nobody trusts a leader who paces up and down in time of turmoil. People tend to love more those leaders who are brave or can put a smile despite the biggest challenge an organization might be going through. Once people learn of your confidence and ability to take a beating, they will look at you as their hero, a person they can confidently confide in to change their lives.

Positive Thought Process

It is often very easy to switch into retaliation mode by making hasty decisions when angry. Staying calm will make you sober and start thinking positively instead of negatively. Staying calm will make you act on your failures and challenges. Making decisions when you are angry and frustrated is a sign that you are reacting to the challenge making the challenge bigger than what it actually is. You should be controlling the challenge not the challenge controlling you. This is a concept that is widely adopted by those who go for mega success.

Despite the fact that you are challenged, never react but rather act on solving the problem. Challenges are there to be solved not to be fueled. By making decisions on the spot when you are not emotionally stable, you show a weakness that can be read by many.

Take Deep Breaths

It might sound silly primafacie but try it when you are rattled. It really does help. Different people have different ways of calming themselves down. Some people find solace in crying while I personally find solace in retrieving and thinking critically on the next step. I try not to work in panic mode. If the stress is more than I can handle then I just take a nap and wake up when I am fresh. Take a few deep breaths and make a decision on the best and realistic solution for the challenge. I then immediately start working on it and the more I get done the more my stress and anger goes down.

Find your philosophy of dealing with such challenges and be disciplined at implementing it.

Never Communicate

Anytime our organization faces a challenge, I try to cut all communications from emails, phone calls, social media, texts and anything that can show my emotions at that moment. People can read your emotions in the way you communicate with them even if it is not a face to face communication. Let nobody read your emotions when you are rattled. People will always think of you as a calm leader who knows and understand how to solve problems.

In some organizations, you might need to call a crisis meeting. Make sure that before you sit down with your team to inform them of the challenge, that you have digested the problem and have come up with possible ways to reduce the magnitude of the challenge so that your team can see it as a minor thing that they can act on and solve. Any moment you magnify a challenge, your team will double the magnifying glasses and make the challenge look twice as bigger than it is.

Mega success achievers understand these factors making them great problem solvers with high emotional control. For mega success, remember to stay calm.

© Joshua Okello 2015.

Joshua Okello is a B.A graduate in Business Administration, International Development and Philosophy. He is also the author of the book Strategies of Entrepreneurial Leadership He has exceptional skills in organizing, coordinating projects and capacity building initiatives with key emphasis on livelihood programs; microfinance through savings and credit led models; business development services and entrepreneurial leadership. He is also the founder and Executive Director of Succeed Africa Relief Organization, a Canadian Christian Organization geared towards giving hope and transformation in lives of the chronically poor in Africa.

Entrepreneurship Disorder

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By Josh Okello

A disorder is a deviation from the normal structure or function of a body. Disorders can be genetical where instead of a human being having forty six (46) chromosomes (23 strands from each parents), there could be more or less chromosomes.

Genetic caused disorders, just like any other induced disorders can affect our brains, a faculty that is important in reasoning and solving complex challenges. By induced disorder, I mean those disorders that come as a result of the environment we live in.

Kyle a psychology expert and a counseling student in a private Christian university in Toronto describes environmental caused disorders to me: “There is power in words, and if you continue to tell somebody, say a child that they are great in a subject, they will start to believe that and try to prove that they are the best in it. But when you also induce a negative feeling on someone, that is what they will believe they are worth.”

If you tell a child that he or she is not great in math while another child is more encouraged and praised in math both of them in the same room at the same time, they will believe and adopt to what you define them as.

Entrepreneurship disorder.
Could there be such a thing as entrepreneurship disorder? I asked Kyle. “We’ll, a disorder is simply a deviation from the norm which most entrepreneurs seem to have.” they think differently, they share common traits and almost all of them have the same scores in Myers Briggs test.

Even though most of them are very smart, they seem to never learn and that is where we suspect the disorder could be. If a child plays with a sharp razor and cuts herself, next time she sees the razor she will not touch it. That is the normalcy of environmental induced learning. Entrepreneurs however, never seem to learn from their past beatings.
Entrepreneurs can invest a lot of their resources and lose it all. Go for the same idea, invest another round of resources and lose them. They just never give up and believe that they are often right.

Kyle believes that this stubbornness of entrepreneurs is not normal. Even though it has not been psychologically proven that there is such a thing as entrepreneur disorder, there are likely chances that it exists because it does.
Some entrepreneurs are intrinsically relentless while others are environmentally influenced. If a person is born in a family of entrepreneurs, they will most likely be entrepreneurs. There are also those who go into entrepreneurship because they believe that they can bring change and impact the world.

No disorder is a curse especially if you have learned to ignore what people say and that is the most difficult thing. We all stand equal chances of attaining mega success if we dedicate our time to it.
Kyle also believes that entrepreneurs tend to careless. It does not matter what amount of tantrums you throw at them. Discouraging them is like punishing a rock. It just never works.  Are you an entrepreneur?

© Joshua Okello 2015.

Joshua Okello is a B.A graduate in Business Administration, International Development and Philosophy. He is also the author of the book Strategies of Entrepreneurial Leadership He has exceptional skills in organizing, coordinating projects and capacity building initiatives with key emphasis on livelihood programs; microfinance through savings and credit led models; business development services and entrepreneurial leadership. He is also the founder and Executive Director of Succeed Africa Relief Organization, a Canadian Christian Organization geared towards giving hope and transformation in lives of the chronically poor in Africa.

Building a Social Media Kingdom

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By Joshua M. Okello

The power of internet is one of the greatest blessings that potential as well as true leaders can count on. It has made sharing of wisdom easy and expansion of one’s geographical influence much possible than it used to be during pre-internet era. To build a true social media platform a leader needs to:

Garner following

My social media platform is twitter and I am having over 100,000+ people following me. These people have contributed to my social media success having been listed on top 50 most influential twitter users from Toronto, Canada.

Create Value

If we truly value ourselves, we will share value with others. All my tweets are tweets that build a people. Over 100,000+ people who follow me expect positive tweets from me and that is what I do. Not that they control what I have to say on social media but I tweet my thoughts as they come to me. Once your followers know what you tweet about, they will develop a habit of checking your website and interact with your information either internally or externally. I always direct people to my twitter handle when they need motivation or when they are down and depressed.  This would be compared to creating a market niche. Who are the people you want to impact with your message? You do not even have to write the wisest tweet of all the time. Just tweet about your life but remember to never spam your followers. Too much of anything is dangerous.

Get My second Book: Natural Laws of Success here http://Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Interact

Never just post your ideas, let people know that you are not a robot. We cannot generate positive ideas at all times. Human beings have highs and lows and let your followers see both sides of you. This is called humanizing your social media platform.

Another way to humanize your social media platform is by asking questions. A good example is when I was looking for an editor, I posted on my twitter and within five minutes, my twitter was buzzing with suggestions on some of the most prolific editors in the world of book publishing.

I also use twitter to outsource my mundane tasks. This way, I am creating employment opportunities making people trust that I am not a robot but a real human being.

Spend Time

To build a true social media platform, you have to spend time on it. Spending time does not mean wasting time. I spend 30-45 minutes every day building and improving, my website, Twitter, Facebook and blog. I also like to follow people who follow me and I do it in person because they mean a lot to me and because they are not worth robotic response.

Solve a Problem

My blog posts and Twitter ideas are mostly on how to be a better leader and how we can constantly improve to greatness. Every weekend I have a Q&A session where people ask me questions pertaining to leadership and entrepreneurship. If they are open ended questions that need more than 140 characters, then I try to give my followers solutions on my blog. Good part of solving problems is that I also get to ask questions and often times, my followers are open and honest with me which I really appreciate. People will follow you if you show that you care. Care just a little.

Get My First Book Strategies of Entrepreneurial Leadership here: http://Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Be consistent

When you want to build a true platform, you have to be consistent. If it is posting once or twice a week, be disciplined to do exactly that. Create a social media rhythm and let people know when you are available for them. In my case, I only respond to questions on weekends and my followers know that.

It is also important to be consistent with your content. You do not want to tweet or blog about soccer today, rugby tomorrow and health the following day. It doesn’t quite connect. Pick one topic and be disciplined at educating your followers on the same.

Let people know you for one thing and be perfect at it. Above all, give solutions and if you do not have any, then refer your audience to where they can source the information they need because we are not all knowing.

© Joshua Okello 2015.