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.

 

Success is for Open Minded People

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By Josh Okello

Have you wanted to attain a dream in your life, so bad that you cannot sleep without thinking of it? How irresistible do you get when you come up with a big, crazy and scary idea that could either lead to epic failure or epic success?
A lot of people generate great ideas but only about 20% of the total ideas generated by human beings are implemented. Are you in the 20 percent? Good news is, that you do not have to belong to the group of 20% to generate an idea. Ideas can be generated by anybody and if changed to practicality, they can be achieved by anybody.
Another great news is that you do not have to be all knowing to attain your goals. If you have an idea with potentials of transforming and improving humanity, then you can assign other people to implement it.

It takes people with open mind to attain big and scary dreams in life. We are living in a world where technology has made life easier, communication easier and so is networking. So what does it really take to succeed in life?

Focus
You can be gifted in a number of things but you can only succeed if you put your focus in one of them and execute it to the best of your ability. Pick one thing and do it to the final.

Open Options
This ties very close to the title of this post. To be successful, you must have more than one option. If you are thinking of designing an application for android or iOS, OS, your options are either, doing it yourself, asking a friend to do it for you or hiring a paid professional to do the task for you. You do not have to be a wizard to design a techy-app. Apps can be build by nearly anybody through a number of programming platforms such as Java and android with Java as the core language. One of my strong philosophies is that if you can think it, you can attain it. Find ways of executing your vision.

Try to Fail
One of the reasons why I admire failures is because they try. It is better to try and fail than to fail to try. One of my driving force is being told what I am not great at. We are living in a world where failing is nearly immoral. This ideology has immortalized failure making failures look like outcasts in societies. This school of thought can only drive us backwards.

Another problem is that those who fail do not like being corrected. If somebody is showing you what you are doing wrong, never take it personal. He who corrects you loves you. Be open and receptive to challenges and great ideas.

Empower Others
In our organization, we have a team of Five and once a year, we take one week to do nothing but to develop new ideas, write down the plans of execution and present it to the group. Each and everyone comes up with their own creative idea. Ideas always range from technological advancements, new programs, project proposals, communications, new software, new apps e.t.c.

Everybody always look forward to this week because it is a week of freedom. Nobody is tied to the company principles but to their own creativity and open minds. The more ideas we generate, the likely chances that we will find one that works. We are already having a team of geniuses that we cannot let come to office and go back home in the evening. Our goal is to tap into the wisdom they brought to the organization after their interviews.

Make Tough Decisions
If an idea is not making you uncomfortable then it is most likely not to be a great idea. Big ideas, come with big stresses, they are scary and ugly. They leave you wondering how your customers will react, they are risky but they are also the ideas that transform the world. The world is not transformed by cowards but by those who believe that they can positively impact humanity. Be restless and relentless, do things that make you uncomfortable, test your guts and the more you do it, the more you become flexible with big changes.

© 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.

Learn from Michelangelo

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By Joshua Okello

Michelangelo was a sculptor, painter, architect, poet and engineer of Renaissance. His works inspired and has greatly influenced the Western arts. All of his works has made him the most celebrated artist ever since 16th century. A leader should learn a few if not all of Michelangelo’s traits.

Be a Multitasking guru

Michelangelo never relied on one thing for a living. He did it all and that is why he lives to be the most celebrated and influential artist to ever roam the face of the earth. He was a

Sculptor, painter, architect, poet and engineer. He never stopped at one thing. To be a great leader, one ought to learn to do it all. You do not have to be exactly who Michelangelo was but you should understand a number of fields for networking purposes.

People like to network with informed people. In the world today, technology has made it very easy for us to gather information and learn about the world. Make good use of it.

 

Be Determined

In everything Michelangelo did, he did it real good. His carvings and drawings are still liked to date all over the world. In whatever you are doing, be determined to give the best. The world only crowns those who are great at what they do. With the competition today, people will only buy the best, listen to the best and support the best. You can be on top of all these if you are determined enough to be the greatest.

Never Create Room for Mediocrity

Michelangelo did his best in whatever he was doing. He perfected his skills and became the master giving master pieces. The world is full of mediocre people and despite less room left for it, many people still find themselves in mediocrity. If Michelangelo could have not done his best, I could have not found anything to talk about. It is highly probable that there were so many artists who never perfected their skills and never astound people by their brush work. You have all the free will to choose who you want to be. Be Michelangelo not any other artists who died unsung.

Resilience

It took Michelangelo four years to paint the Sistine ceiling. He did all of this work lying upside down and it is said that that is how he developed a back bone problem. Real leaders never believe in impossibilities. Everything is possible and they know that there is a gain after every pain. Let your dark moments in life inspire hope in you that a morning is coming. There is always a reward in every struggle you successfully go through. Success is the final picture of struggle and hard work; therefore, never give up. If Michelangelo had given up in painting the world’s greatest ceiling ever, we would have had nothing to praise him for. Do your best today. You might not be celebrated or congratulated but a generation is coming after you that will write and sing about you.

Be Unique

Paint the pictures that have never been painted before, do the work that has never been done before, write on topics that have never been written on before, visualize the things that have never been imagined before and plan the things that have never been planned before. The Sistine ceiling would not have been famous if there were thousands or even hundreds of the same. Create some original ideas and make them a reality.

Inspire Competitors

To be crowned a winner, you must have contenders; better off if your competitors crown you one. To win you have to beat someone and therefore embrace competition. They will advance your thinking and anyway, why think small if you have the freedom to think big? Take risks. Sometimes the greater the risk, the greater; the reward therefore, try. If you lose, that is not the end of the world, laugh at your mistakes and never repeat them. But before you risk, do your homework. You want to have as less liability as possible, better off if you can have none.

 

© 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.

How to Succeed Infinitely

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By Joshua.

There are infinite amount of wealth to be gained in this world just as there are infinite amount of success one can get. Of all the words a true leader should be obsessed with, is infinity.

It is also wise to understand that to get to infinity, it requires infinite amount of work. To win infinite success requires infinite resilience and to gain infinite wealth requires infinite plan.

It is also wise to mention that the fact that you are going for infinite wealth does not mean that you can comfortably be greedy. To be self-centered displays your lack of ethics, so never even think of being one.

The fact that you are going for infinite wealth does not mean that you stop being good. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26). We have to be careful on how we use the infinite power and wealth that we get. Now to get on the road of infinity success one ought to:

Have Succinct Mind

To be a winner, you must have the mindset of a winner and to get to infinite success one must have the infinite mindset. You should remember that dreams are just but illusions of mind. They are beautiful pictures painted in our thoughts and hanged on the wall called memory. We can always see them from a distance but we can never reach them. We can admire the beauty and grandeur they possess but those are only food for our minds.

They satisfy our inner feelings and psychological accomplishments yet they do not have any meaning.

Be a Worker Bee

There are so many types of bees; the queen, the special males whose work is mating with the queen then they die, there are the guards who protect the hive but of all these my favorite are the worker bee.

Worker bees believe that everything is possible. They understand that team work is important but synergy can only be reached when each member of the team does his part. They can go miles and miles to look for water, travel for distance to collect nectar and also offer security when needed. They understand that nothing can be achieved without hard work. They believe that they can make infinite honey and that is what they think and do every day.

Even though they work extremely hard, they also have to ensure quality of the final product is good. Of all manufactures on earth, bees have the greatest quality control department and that can be found on the taste of the honey we get. They never recall their products. They are made once and for all and it is guaranteed to meet the standards.

Get Some Rest

To take a break does not mean you have lost focus. It means that you are ready to re-energize and get back at it. All work without play made Jack a dull boy. Work hard, play hard and win big. Understand the infinity rule and play it safe. Rest but never get too comfortable while resting. You might lose the vision of infinity.

© 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.