The Four Lessons Venus Williams Teaches Us About BusinessWritten by Michelle Goodwine
Venus Williams's recent Wimbledon win has a real lesson for entrepreneurs. She lost first match, won second match, and was losing third 2 – 5. It did not look good for Venus. But she did not give up. She fought on, stayed focus. And in end, while playing longest final in Wimbledon history, was victorious.
So what does this mean for us entrepreneurs? The answer is very simple. Do not give up. Even when it appears that you are losing game, you can still win match. I looked at triumphant Venus, and you know what I thought – She is a true winner. Not just because she won Wimbledon, but because she didn't give up when it looked like she was going to be defeated. And as business owners, we have to have that same outlook. When it looks like we are going to be defeated – go bankrupt – don't just give up. When our client base is shrinking, rather than expanding – don't give up. When our cash flow gets too low, don't give up. Venus's victory has taught me, a struggling entrepreneur, four important lessons that I would like to share:
Lesson #1: Persevere
There will be times when things will not go your way. But all champions, including Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, and even Venus Williams, have lost. But did that stop them. No. They just persevered. Remember, in high school Michael Jordan was cut for basketball team. And Mohammad Ali fought fight of his life against George Foreman at "Thrilla in Manila". And Venus commented when asked what she was thinking today when she was losing, " Keep fighting." And that is what we all must do – keeping fighting. When one door shuts, knock on other until someone opens up. I will never forget when a client of mine said reason my company ultimately got contract was because I was so persistent. As business owners, we must continue to follow though in order to get what we want. Don't give up. If a customer doesn't buy from us today, that does not mean they will not buy our product or service tomorrow. It may just need be right time. That is why following up is so important. Don't make a pest of yourself, though. Through trial and error learn how frequently to contact a prospective customer. And also remember that just because one customer hasn't bought what we are selling, does mean that someone else won't. We need to persevere until we achieve our goals.
Lesson #2: Be Thankful
Sometimes when we are going through tough times, we may lose sight of all good things in life. Are you healthy? Do you have a loving family? Do you have a roof over your head, clothes on your back, and food in your belly? Well, believe it or not, than you are doing better that most of world? And no matter what, we all have something or someone to be thankful of. Isn't it interesting that first thing Venus did was to thank God. Because through God, all things are possible. God can do what no man can. And it no wonder that most of people in this society we consider to be winners understand this. As Oprah Winfrey says, "God can dream a bigger dream for you than you could ever dream for yourself." And Oprah's life certainly serves as a great example.
As business owners, even when we are struggling, we have a lot to be thankful for. I know I wake up each morning excited about what I do. I love owning my own company doing what I love – human resources consulting. And I am thankful to all people who have helped me along way. As I told a group of high schools students at a recent speaking engagement, no one gets to where they are in life without some else's help. But I am most thankful to God because without Him I would be nothing. I owe everything I own to Him. And He has blessed me so abundantly with a wonderful life filled with people who love me unconditionally. He has also taught me a valuable lesson – Success and prosperity is not about riches of world. They are about be happy no matter what your current financial status. Even when times get tough, I have finally come to realize that God, not my clients, is my source. And He owns everything. So all I need to do is wait on Him while I continue working to make a deposit into my checking account.
Make Sure You’re Holding The Right CardsWritten by Debbie Allen
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Make Sure You’re Holding The Right Cards
Does your business card reflect a positive image for your business? Does it clearly define what your business is all about at a glance? If not, you may be making some big mistakes in your marketing and need to take another look at message you are putting out there.
Why? Because if a prospective customer views your business image as unprofessional or confusing, they will simply do business with someone else. You can’t afford to let that happen to you. Are you holding right cards?
While presenting marketing seminars to thousands of business owners and entrepreneurs, Debbie Allen (sales and marketing expert) discovered a shocking reality. Many of business cards presented a poor and unprofessional image of business at first glance. Very few business cards or marketing materials had an effective message that described business clearly. Most lacked a strong visual logo that defined business and had no branded image or catch praise that set them apart from their competition.
With this newfound discovery, Debbie began to ask members of audience to stay after her presentation to receive a free business card evaluation. This intrigued attendees, and many waited for up to an hour to have a chance to talk with her in person and to get feedback on how to improve their marketing message.
Another discovery! Many owners and managers are so close to their businesses that they don't see most obvious mistakes. The reason for this is that they don't look at their business through their customers' eyes. They view it from a very narrow focus, their own eyesight. This can be disastrous for a company's professional image.
Just as people judge individuals at first glance, so they judge a business image same way. If prospective customers view business image as unprofessional or confusing, they will simply walk away. Prospective customers will be lost to competitors who do a better job at marketing their company's image, brand and uniqueness.