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.

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.

What it Takes to Succeed

Success

 

By Josh Okello

World has got no gray zone. Phenomena always come in two. This is what I call the duo existence principle. It states that there is always an opposing side or object to everything that exits. Therefore there can be only good and bad, right or wrong, and one cannot be both all in at the same time.

Duo existence principle exists in corporate world as well. One is either a leader or a follower but cannot be both all at the same time. It is important that these two classes be familiar with the roles they play in a community otherwise there will be chaos.

For a harmonized operation and smooth running of everything we do, leaders must be obedient to their roles and so are followers. It is the leaders actions that determines what his or her followers are going to do. Take a scenario where there is civil disobedience. People protest because they are not satisfied with the actions of their leaders.

Since there are only two sides of life, one is either a failure or successful. Politics have tried to harmonize things out by introducing middle class which highly falls on a gray scale. They are neither too poor to be paupers nor too rich to be successful. Just as there are sinners and righteous people, so is success and failure.
Even though there is no limits of success, men and women should always try to go past and beyond their goals. To stop from achieving more after your breakthrough is the easiest way to get buck to failure especially if you still have the potentials to go an extra mile.

Scales of Success and Failure

One can either fail to infinity or succeed to infinity. It depends on your mind set. This does not mean greed or laziness. There are more things that the world still needs to improve on, too much to be done to give success a limit.

What it takes to succeed or fail

Failure is the only thing that does not require work. You just need to sit, do nothing and fail. Now there are also some people who try but get it wrong. Those according to me are not failures, they are people who miss the target but put at least some effort.

I have failed so many times in life. I failed a course in university; I have started businesses that have failed terribly. I have failed in a number of employment opportunities I had. It is all about fail! Fail! Fail! But what makes one successful is when you realize that failing is part of the equation to success. Success comes with hard work, resilience and staying true to your goals.

Intentionality

If you are not living intentionally to succeed, then you are living intentionally to fail. The intentionality builds resilience which most people always ignore. It does not matter what ideas you generate. You can be the smartest man or woman with intelligent quotient greater than Einstein, but if you are not implementing your thoughts, then you are the most useless person to ever wonder the surface of the earth. In every thought you build, you must act on it. If you are not ready to fail, you are not ready to learn.

© 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.

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.