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Becoming an Entrepreneur: Leveraging the Power of Influence to Grow Your Business

October 29, 2015 / Leave a comment / by JIll Lublin

 

The best way for an entrepreneur to build or expand their business is to become influential. In other words, you need to put across to others that your goods or services can improve their businesses or their lives.

How do you become influential?

Simply, get noticed.

In this article I'll share a thing or two I've picked up along the way as a PR expert, that can greatly increase the influence you have in getting noticed for all the right reasons. 

Influential attraction is the most powerful way to drive your business, increase your profitability, and grow your networth. Elements such as: 

- Distinguishing yourself from the competition

- Creating your 'wow' factor using publicity

- Being completely present in each moment

- Connecting personably to build lasting relationships

- Building and using an effective network

- Keeping a positive outlook

- Holding integrity high

- Overcoming discomfort and fears

- And being of service to others are some great ways to lay the tracks for attracting attention. 

This being influential stuff is a full-time job; it’s a continual process that starts when you step outside in the morning and continues until you switch off the lights at night.

People watch you; they observe how you act, what you do, how you work, and how well you perform. They listen to what others say about you and they follow your exploits.

 

INFLUENCE IN THE MOMENT

So those are great big picture influence tips. But what about in the moment, such as influence in a conversation?

To be influential in communicating, is to first be an excellent listener and make yourself understood.

Smart and accomplished individuals are especially prone to using jargon and big, uncommon words. They know what they’re talking about and assume that others do also. However, jargon confuses most people and turns them off. Unfortunately, some people use such lingo to impress, but it usually has the opposite effect by boring or confusing.

Break your use of industory code by speaking with people outside your field. Ask them directly if they understood you, if you're completely clear, and how you could have said it better. Using language such as "does that make sense" creates an opportunity for your listener to provide feedback comfortably. 

Identify your mistakes and, most importantly don’t repeat them. Getting external feedback forces you to engage with people outside of your field and to see if you can clearly get your message across.

Taking initiative is also another great way to be influential.  

Success usually doesn’t occur in isolation, it tends to be a byproduct of other actions; it must be generated.  

Take chances, go against the grain, try something new.

Explore new directions; combine items that already exist in ways that have not been tried before.

Find how you could take what you’re doing and make it new and different. Try turning it inside out, upside down, on its side, or even break it in two. See how you can make it more exciting, compelling, and have more benefit to you and your customers.  

Playing it safe will provide some results, but to set yourself apart, you have to step out of your comfort zone and take risks. You have to keep pushing, moving forward, and thinking. 

Turn to your fantasies and ask, “What if?” Banish logic and reason to the back of your mind. Develop ideas and objectives, deal in possibilities, and then explore ways to make them work.

 

SOMETHING EXTRA

For good measure I've added some helpful tips as it relates to working with your business partner and teams: 

  • Know yourself — your strengths and weaknesses. To make a strong connection, you must be able to clearly express what you bring to the partnership; your talents and abilities. If you know your shortcomings, you understand the type of help you need and who to form liaisons with. 
  • Know what you want to create and accomplish — your short-term and long-term goals. The most ideal blending of talent won’t be productive for you if you and your partner’s goals are opposed. You may want to build a solid, long-term career, while your partner is interested in making a big, one-time score and get out of the business.
  • Be willing to ask others if they would want to work with you or if they know others who would be a good match for you. If you expect others to approach you, prepare for a long wait. Don’t expect magic to magically appear. Prime the pump and see what flows.
  • Be open to possibilities. People may not want to go in the direction you have in mind. They often have their own agendas that they want to pursue. The fact that they have clear ideas and objectives should not eliminate them as potential partners. If you're otherwise well matched, see how you could both fulfill your needs. Also be open to venturing in new directions, providing that they don’t force you too far a field.

 

So now it’s up to you, so don’t settle for the ordinary – go out there and be influential!

The Master Key Entrepreneurial Skill: Accentuate The Positive and Illuminate The Negative

October 01, 2015 / Leave a comment / by David Corbin

An entrepreneur never likes surprises that can upset or damage their business or life. Yet, surprises show up, and sometimes they’re pretty lousy game changers.

The good news is that these challenges can be predicted, mitigated or eliminated.  

Accentuate The Positive and Illuminate The Negative. These are actually two separate concepts: Accentuate The Positive and Illuminate The Negative. Placed together, we call this the Illuminate Model; an entrepreneurial skill used to stave off many painful ‘surprises’ and achieve greater results.  

Take a look at the bookshelves at the major book stores –  There are literally thousands of books and chapters on the subject of Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) and for good reason; there's a high correlation between a PMA and happiness, success and achievement. It’s a no brainer.

Now look at Illuminate The Negative. Why on earth would anyone want to do that? There certainly aren’t volumes of books and chapters on that concept.  What could this possibly mean and what’s the value to the business professional?

Let's face it, negatives pop up in life and that’s a fact. Like weeds, they need no watering to grow, no care and attention to thrive, they just pop up and take on a life of their own. So, what do we do?

If you are like most people you probably try to avoid them like the plague. But nowhere in the PMA literature does it suggest that we ignore, suppress or eliminate the negatives. 

Fact is the more you keep the negatives in the dark, the more likely they grow. Like mushrooms they seem to multiply faster in dark environments. And that’s the breeding ground for issues and challenges to grow up large enough to jump up and bite you where it hurts. And that’s where many of these ‘negative surprises’ come from.

Yet when we illuminate these issues as they come up, we’ve found that, like a Vampire, they often disappear when illuminated in the light of day.

Hence the name - ILLUMINATE!  Shine the light on the negative situation or issue and confront it head on. Rather than turning your back on it, point your nose at it and face it- literally.

In life, in business, in relationships, chances are that ‘we can’t solve everything we face and we can’t solve anything unless we face it”.

Since time immemorial a common thread running between those who succeed, innovate and achieve their dreams is one word: courage.

The courage to face fears as well as the courage to face the unknown. And why do people shy away from addressing these negative issues? Having worked with thousands of people over the years, we’ve observed that most seem to shy away from negatives because they just don’t have the resources to ‘solve them’, ‘cure them’ or ‘make them go away’.

The Illuminate The Negative Model has three simple steps; simple but not always easy. Your effectiveness with these steps is a function of your courage, confidence and comfort with vulnerability… especially if you don't immediately have the resources of time, money or knowledge.

Illuminate the Negative is a three step model for entrepreneurial success.

 

1. Face It

When confronted with a negative situation, challenge or threat, take note of it and assume that it’s real. It might not be… but that’s for you to decide after serious consideration because it’s data. And it’s always dangerous to dismiss this information without consideration. The risk/reward equation here is enormous.

If you manage or supervise others who bring a ‘negative’ issue to you, you're strongly advised to take it seriously. Face it. Acknowledge it and give thanks to the bearer of this information. Be open with yourself and others. If you don’t agree, for example, that the negative observation is valid, be honest and say so. Then, commit to following up and considering it care-fully… and, for goodness sake, do it! There is no greater way to demoralize and disenfranchise an employee than to placate them.

One creative entrepreneur we worked with created and memorized the following statement for this situation, “…and while I don’t see it that way right now I hereby commit to considering your viewpoint very carefully because I really respect your opinion. So let’s regroup on this on…..”

Create a habit in your life to allow for and even ‘celebrate’ the realization, recognition and awareness of these seemingly negatives issues because they can be the starting point of a significant breakthrough.

 

2. Follow it

Play a game of investigator and follow clues as to what caused it, what and who it effects, what’s keeping it alive and whether it’s worth the deployment of time, attention and other resources to mitigate.

 

3. Fix it

Here you want to put in the systems that address the issue, to reduce or eliminate its impact and influence. And it’s not always a ‘fix’ per se, it’s often a calibration of the impact. Either way, it’s a significant improvement as you go on your way.

 

Start right now. What are you in need of illuminating? What might be holding you back right now? Ask yourself. Ask your confidants. What is it that might be a sticking point for your desired result right now?

So now when you or one of your confidants discovers an area where there may be some avoidance or denial in your life…. situate yourself in a quiet place, get out a notepad, break out your new entrepreneurial skill and Illuminate away; Face It, Follow It and Fix It.

The Master Key to Entrepreneurial Success? Maybe it’s an overstatement. But count on this; when you put this model to use…Illuminate the Negative in a Positive light, and do it courageously, honestly and with vulnerability, you will expand in all areas of your business.