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.

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.

Leaders lead and Managers Manage

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By JoshOkello

Plato believed that kings are the only people who understand justice because they are the only people who grasp the philosophical concepts of leadership. In the world today, division and specialization of labour has made it easy for people to only focus on one area and see success. We therefore ask ourselves, what is the difference between managers and leaders?

Leaders are those who inspire others to achieve the visions that impact and change lives for the better through a way of projecting expertise that assures confidence in the hearts and minds of those who follow them. Managers are those who coordinate, organize, command, plan and support the executions that turn visions into reality.

It is possible for a leader to be a manager but often time, managers do not make good leaders and good leaders do not make good managers. When a business or any organization is starting, a vision, mission, value statements are written. This part is always played by the leaders. They are the ones who ask; “what is it that we can do to improve the life standards of people either through daily experience or totally eradicating a problem?” After answering this question, the matter is then transferred to the managers.

The key role of managers is to concentrate on the mission statement. A mission statement is a formal summery of the aims and guidelines of an organization. It highlights in brief, what must be done to make the vision become true. It is the manager’s task to implement using these guidelines within the organization’s peripheries to ensure satisfying results to leaders and people being served by the organization.

To make it more understandable, this is the simplified version of the subject and who it affects/responsible.

  1. Vision of the organization —– Implemented by a leader
  2. Mission of the organization—- Implemented by a manager
  3. Value of the organization——- Affects people served by the organization.

Leaders are the overseers of the entire organization while managers are the implementers of the dreams. It takes a lot of work for both managers and leaders to build a team synergy. One of the traits that is highly required to make this goal a possibility is patience. Even though you want to be patient, a successful leader understands the urgency of implementation. Once a decision is made or a great idea clicks in their mind, it must be implemented immediately.

An organization with a great chemistry between the manager and the leader is destined to succeed. Wisdom plays a pivotal role in such a scenario and it needs in-depth understanding of the leadership philosophy. Leadership and management shares one thing in common though, they both need good decision makers. People who understand the risks involved in every step of their action and must be willing to move on in case of any failure. Great leaders inspire ordinary people to do extra ordinary things.

© Joshua Okello 2014.

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.

For Success, You Have to Build Synergy

Statue of Lib Pyramid

We all know the United States of America as the only super power that has ever been but this is not true. Go back in history and study how many super power nations have been there. You will be surprised to find out that the continent that is now currently the poorest on planet earth was once a super power. Yes Africa. So what made Africa and or any other superpowers successful? The answer is simple, they build team synergy.

Think of the Roman Empire, British Empire which is also considered to be the most influential and effective superpower in history. On this post I am  only going to focus on Africa as the then super power.  Egypt a country that is today run by guns was once at the level of America in dominance and power. It ruled Africa and its neighboring countries mostly under the influence of kings and pharaohs.

We all have a dream of one day taking a trip to Africa to tour the stunning architectural work that was put in building the Egyptian Pyramids. These are some of the stamps of authority that we can trace about Pharaohs. Historical analysis tells us that the Egyptians built the Giza Pyramids in a span of 85 years between 2589 and 2504 BC.

It is estimated that some pyramids took up to 100,000 people to build yet it goes down in history that Pharaohs build the pyramids. One thing that these pharaohs knew was how to build team synergy. Thy knew that thy could not do it a lone and therefore they used other people to implement their dreams. Unfortunately most people who took part in building pyramids were slaves but nobody talks about them. Everybody thanks and wonders at the marvelous works of pharaohs yet I am sure they hardly placed a brick to build the most astounding architectural work in the history of the world.

Pharaohs dominated and oppressed people until they saw their dreams come true. In the world today, we do not have to practice that to see our dreams come true but we can pick a team of qualified people to implement our dreams for us. No successful person does it a lone. We need people and that is why human beings are social beings. There are some people who know more than we know, some are gifted in different fields that we are. Let us give them a chance to shine. This does not mean that we are going to be successful by randomly places people in our work environment.

We have to select the right people for the right jobs. One of the most important knowledge and wisdom every leader or entrepreneur should have is the ability to pick the right people for the right jobs.  Just as Pharaohs picked wisely their architects, engineers and slaves who were strong, skilled and proficient, we also need to follow suit but with one thing in mind. That we have to create opportunity for growth to people who serve with us.  Add value in their lives and not turn them to slaves.

Let them enjoy what they do, let them love their work place and above all motivate them to go extra miles. Treat your people with love because they are the ones who build team synergy that results into success.  You need people, you can and will not do it a lone.