Finding your true passion

In an earlier post I talked about losing your passion, but what about finding your passion in the first place? Finding your passion is different for everyone. Some people know what they were born to do from a very young age. For the rest of us it takes time to really find our true passion. As children we often play “fireman” or “cops and robbers,” and as we grow older some of us stop dreaming. But a few dreamers remain, and thus entrepreneurs are born!

The story doesn’t stop there, though; what about those people who try several “career” paths just to decide they aren’t happy or feel unfulfilled? I know many people who started their adult life as a banker, lawyer or in the nine to five business world, but one day something tugs at the heart strings and another entrepreneur is born. What about those people who know they could do better or feel unappreciated that decide to become their own boss?

But what about the entrepreneur whose true passion was simply a byproduct produced by the business they’ve formed? Let me explain. I started in the technology field many years ago, and I loved working on computers. Solving problems for my clients made me feel amazing. Then I started hiring people to help with the overwhelming response, and I realized I was looking for people who were looking for a mutually helpful relationship.

After twenty years in the technology industry I had a revelation: fixing tech problems was actually a bi-product. My true passion was helping people. I enjoyed helping others be successful. When I started my first business at just twelve years old, (a bicycle repair shop) it was to help the neighborhood kids keep their bicycle going. Did I make money? Of course I did, but I also helped the people I cared about! I used the money I made to help my family pay bills and treat my mom to dinner from time to time. Remember, success is not always about the money you make, it’s about the lives you touch.

 

By |2015-07-22T20:50:25+00:00July 27th, 2015|Post|Comments Off on Finding your true passion

Are Marketing and Advertising the Same?

Marketing Vs Advertising

When you ask the average guy walking down the street to picture a marketer, they would most likely with the image of a man in a suit and tie pointing to a graph and an on-air schedule with dollar signs in their eyes. If you asked another stranger on the street to picture an advertiser, they would literally give you the exact same answer. It’s no secret that the average person will use the term marketing interchangeably with the term advertising, and while they both seem common at first, and go hand in hand with each other on occasion, there are a few distinctions between the two disciplines. So, let’s pit the two terms against each other in a battle royale of marketing vs advertising.

What is Marketing?

Marketing Strategy, Marketing vs Advertising

The discipline of marketing, according to Investopedia, “are activities of a company associated with buying and selling a product or service.

It includes advertising, selling and delivering products to people.”

The general rule of thumb when it comes to explaining the world of marketing is to point out the four “P’s” of marketing.

  • Product
  • Place
  • Price
  • Promotion

That means that marketers don’t only focus on the promotional aspect of how a product is sold, but also the presentation of the product itself, who the product is specifically presented to, and how much the product is worth.

What Is Advertising?

 Think of advertising as “broadcasting” your message for the world to see. There are many examples of what would be considered the act of advertising that includes but are not limited to; newspaper classifieds, Facebook ads, television commercials, radio commercials, product placement, and billboards.
advertising, Marketing vs Advertising

Advertising tends to run on the concept of garnering a general awareness a particular product or service.

For instance, if you opened a new ice cream shop locally, you generally do what you can to spread the word out to the general audience that your shop is a thing that exists.The main goal of advertising is to have your company name and logo in front of as many people as possible to produce the highest return on investment (ROI).

Advertisers only focus on the appearance of the product or service that they are promoting. In a sense, it is only part of the marketing mix.

 

Conclusion

Advertising is only a piece of the marketing puzzle, but both disciplines are essential to making sure that a company is offering the right product, at the right price, at the right time and to the right people.

Written by: Robert Martin

By |2017-06-28T12:48:28+00:00July 22nd, 2015|Post|Comments Off on Are Marketing and Advertising the Same?

Making time

When you talk to most business owners their chief complaint is there’s not enough time in the day to do everything. Shy of finding a way to add more hours to the day (or cloning ourselves!) there’s not much that can be done about the amount of time we have. So we must figure out how to utilize the time we do have more efficiently. Here’s how.

To do lists (make a plan of action) First thing you should do is make your to do list. And don’t skimp on the list. Put everything you need to do on this list. Don’t break the list down to work and personal just yet. Focus on making the list and checking it twice! Now that you’ve made your list it time to organize and prioritize. So why didn’t we organize the list while we were making it? I wanted to insure that your list was complete with EVERYTHING you would like to accomplish for the day on it.

Now lets organize and prioritize the list, putting things you want want to accomplish first at the top.Think of this step as your planning step. Just like a business plan, this will help you stay focused and on track throughout the day.

Now that you’ve got your list and priorities set lets check for tasks that we can delegate to others. Maybe it something as simple as getting a box of paper from the big box store; delegate where you can. It’ll give you more time to do other things on the list. Be sure to put “downtime” on your list as well, so you are less likely to become overwhelmed. I usually like to add five minutes of meditation to the list. I find that it helps reduce my stress level.

Now that you have your list and you’ve delegated tasks let’s talk about time wasters. We all have them Buzzfeed, Facebook, Twitter and the list goes on. We didn’t delegate tasks so we could have more time to waste, we did it so we would have more time to achieve our daily goal! Whats that? You didn’t set a goal for today? It’s my belief you should start everyday with a goal in mind if its nothing more than something that’s on your to do list. I start everyday off with two goals: the first is to learn something new and the second is to take time out of my crazy day to be thankful.

 

 

By |2015-07-14T17:13:53+00:00July 16th, 2015|Post|Comments Off on Making time

Antisocial Media Marketing

Now that Facebook and other social media outlets have made it nearly impossible to reach you potential customer base, how do you intend on marketing? Unless you have a hefty online marketing budget to buy your page or ad into popularity on social media it may not happen. With most social media markets changing the way and frequency that your information is displayed, reaching your target audience will be much more difficult, if not impossible.

So, how do we stay top of mind? I believe we will see a rise in offline marketing, direct mail, billboards and things of that nature. So is the heyday of social media marketing dead? Not exactly. If done right, social media can still play a big part in your marketing efforts. The magic combination is found in the combination of online and offline marketing, where you use offline methods of marketing to drive people to your online presence. I know you’re thinking, “Well, that’s dumb. Why would I spend time driving people online when I can just use my offline marketing dollars to drive sales?!” One of the main benefits companies had with online and social media marketing was customer acquisition costs were low. This is why it’s so important for you as a business owner to drive customers to you online market place, it becomes less expensive to market to your target customer. I’m also a firm believer that we will see a transition in the way we market to our customers, and many more companies will turn to inbound marketing or good old fashion guerrilla marketing.

Marketing is only a small part of a much larger puzzle. You are one small voice in a sea of thousands yelling to gain the attention from the already overwhelmed consumer. You’ve got to find a way to be different enough for people to notice you without pissing them off, but let me know your thoughts.

 

By |2015-07-04T21:35:22+00:00July 8th, 2015|Post|Comments Off on Antisocial Media Marketing

Three Things Your Business Card Shouldn’t Say

Three Things Your Business Card Shouldn’t Say

Your business card is the first impression of you and your company to every single customer you meet. You go out of your way to make sure your vehicle is clean and your shoes are polished, but when’s the last time you took a good hard look at your business card? Does it represent you well, or is it actually costing you money? Take a business card out of your wallet. Does it look worn? Is it dirty? Are the corners bent?

I am Cheap:

If your cards are printed on anything less than 14pt card stock it’s time we had a talk. While you think you’re being thrifty and saving a few bucks you’re actually telling your customers that you’re willing to sacrifice and cut corners. I’m not saying you have to have the most expensive card you can find, but there is a common ground you should be standing on.

I Blend In:

Stock templates are NOT your friend. If you think your template is cool or looks professional, chances are, so did someone else. I can spot a stock template the moment you hand me your card. Can you imagine handing a customer your card and it looks almost identical to your competitor’s card? Oh, and if they were free… There’s a reason!

I Am Boring:

Ever had someone hand you a card at a social networking event? You glance at it then in the pocket it goes. At the end of the night you take them out and 90% of them blend into one another, and you can’t remember whose is whose. A white card dressed up with a color logo and plain black text… Name, title and contact information will do. Does your card scream don’t lose me, you may need me?

There are more common mistakes that your business card doesn’t want you to know. People are judging you and your company the minute your business card is in their hand. How does it feel? Is it silky smooth or rough like cheap gas station toilet paper? Is your card clean? Crisp with sharp corners? While we’re on the topic of making your business card stand out, stay away from odd shaped business cards that won’t fit in a wallet. Oversized and mini sized business cards tend to be thrown away quickly.

By |2017-05-05T10:29:38+00:00July 7th, 2015|Post|Comments Off on Three Things Your Business Card Shouldn’t Say

Disorganization & Lack of Focus

One of the biggest things holding back most businesses is disorganization and lack of focus. In my business counseling career I’ve seen businesses on the brink of failure due to disorganization and lack of focus; so, let’s tackle these issues one at a time.

Disorganization as definded by Websters dictionary: to destroy or interrupt the orderly structure or function of. This doesn’t just apply to a messy work environment, disorganization applies to the work environment, staff, managers and owners.

When you are disorganized an inherent lack of focus automatically exists. When is the last time you spent more than five minutes looking for something, just to ask yourself “what in the heck is it doing there?!” When’s the last time you had a deadline fast approaching, and panic set in because you felt “rushed” even though you had two weeks prior to finish it only to put it off because you had more pressing things to do! This type of disorganization causes the business owner to feel as though they are always “putting out fires”.

We’ve all seen the business owner who’s so busy, exclaiming “time is money” or “nickel holding up a dollar,” running around barking orders at anyone who’ll listen, then spend twenty minutes trying to find something in their cluttered office or digging through their work truck looking for a tool. This type of disorganization will cost you far more money than the hard working employee you’re so sure is “wasting your time”.

Here are some great tips for getting organized! http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/82924 let’s take a couple of pointers off this list, and get organized today!

 

 

By |2015-07-16T15:07:20+00:00July 6th, 2015|top five|Comments Off on Disorganization & Lack of Focus