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

Books

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.

 

Balancing Family Time & Work

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By Josh Okello

There is no such thing as a balance between family and work. Irrespective of how great or big your company is or the amount of work you have as a leader, family should be your top priority!

In most of my literature, I always describe success as happiness therefore we cannot be successful in our businesses or organizations if our families are going through rough time. It is hard to make a successful company when our families are not happy. Leadership starts at home therefore it is important to understand these tips:

Money is not everything
One of the greatest boxer Floyd Mayweather once said; “money is not everything but it is the only thing.” This statement is very wrong. Money cannot buy you a happy family, this is something you have to do by yourself and the best way to do it is to increase your time with them.

Time
Some of the greatest world leaders I know of try to create time for their families. An example is Barack Obama the president of the united states who tries to have dinner everyday with his family. That is a great success. Try and do something with your family at least everyday.

Find a Fun Activity
My father used to be a music teacher and he nurtured music in our family. He taught us music and started a family choir that we still have to date, nearly two decades after he passed away.
This was our bonding time with him and it was always fun to be around him. What is it that you are good at that you can share with your family? Click here to listen to or download my free music.

Remember Your Vows
One thing I admire and still cannot fathom is the motherly love. Our mothers and wives deserve respect from us. If you exchanged vows on your wedding day, then go back and read it again. If you follow everything you promised to do with or for your partner then I will encourage you to continue being a responsible man. If you do not follow your vows to the latter then I do not have to tell you what to do. Do what is necessary.

Do you think your husband, wife, father or mother deserves to be treated the way you are treating her now? He or she is worth more. Vows are not only for the wedding day, but a public binding agreement that must be followed. You do not have to abandon your work for the family but creating at least two hours a day to have fun and add value in your family is one way of attaining business success.

Be Productive
The reason why we fail to go home in time and hangout with family or bring work home is because we procrastinate in the office and take a load of work home with us. As an entrepreneur and a leader, I understand that there is always more to be done but there is also a family to show love to. If you are not their for your children, who will? If you are not their for your wife or husband, who will? All these can come if we redefine and redesign what family and work means to us. A happy family leads to success at work.

 

© 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.

Success Hackathons #1

Success Hackathon Image

By Josh Okello

How bad do you crave to be successful? How desperate are you towards attaining it? Do you take success as a basic need or as a want? What if you were to be successful? What would it look like? Our next seven series post is going to coach you to be disciplined in your desperate hunt for success. Success just never comes; it goes to people who crave for it the most, those who hunger and thirst to be on top. This could be you.  Sign up for this 7 series post that will help you transform your life and improve your life standards to where you should be not where life wants you to be. For a start, let us check two major ways of joining success hackathons:

Doing Good

Every good work you do, deserves a reward. Are you doing a good work? Better off if you could do an excellent work. Every day when you wake up, before you slip your shoes on and get ready for a long day work, what is your goal? Do you dream of being productive every day? This is a simple transformative question that I ask myself every single day I get my feet off the bed; “What good am I going to do today?” To me this is not a question to be comfortable with, it is a question that disturbs me the whole day and every evening I evaluate my performance with the same question. What good did I do today? Adopt the concept of giving the world your best and not your mediocre.

For some of us who do not have jobs, it can be really hard to answer this question. I personally have been there until I started writing. So far I have written three books in one year and two of them are coming out this year. You can also decide to do good even if you do not have a job. Write something, help somebody, create a plan, volunteer in an organization or a church, volunteer for other businesses. Just do good.

Being Positive

Nobody likes to be with people who wine all the time. Being positive is key to success. This is a tip that has been mastered by a lot of business gurus. They understand that their efforts transform the world to be better than what it has been. People relate well with happy people therefore learn to be positive. Smile.

Do not miss any of our 7 series simple life hacks to success by signing up to our blog and news feeds. I will also be responding to questions on the same link so feel free to ask questions and we will post it to our team to get more from those who understand and experienced in business and leadership world.

© 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.

How to Handle Stress

 

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By Josh Okello

This  is a brief post I am posting after finishing a very hectic project. I wrote it on a train on my way from work after a very stressful month. I hope you can relate. 

In some way, the amount of stress we get from work is directly proportional to level of success we get. In this case, the higher the stress levels, the greater the rewards and that is how it should be. This does not mean that stress leads to success but it is a possibility.

There are small risk takers and mega risk takers. Entrepreneurs are known for their ability to absorb stress with strong hopes that they will get better rewards out of it.

If you are committed towards solving a big challenge and if you do it right, then you are going to reap all the benefits. A lot of people focus on how big the challenge they are going through is and that is what wares them out. Any time you meet a tough challenge, it is important to first position yourself above the challenge. This way, you are in control and not the challenge controlling you.

Human beings are blessed with one of the greatest tool ever and that is our brains. Often times it is easy to panic than to solve a problem and that is the wrong way to handle work stress. The difference between successful people and not so successful people is the resiliency to take the worst beatings.

No stress is big enough to challenge those who fully believe in their efforts. Most challenges we meet on the way are questions asked by fellow men and if we do not have an answer then we shift to panic mode. Another cause of stress are multiple imaginary problems that are not there but our minds tell us that they will never let us succeed. Leaders who see value in their efforts understand that there is nothing that can challenge them to change their minds on what they are passionate about. Keep plugging in, you are about to succeed and above all, never let your ambitions to succeed be tainted by dreams of failure.

 

© 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.