The New Entrepreneur’s Secret

The future of entrepreneurship has arrived. It’s no longer enough to start a business. It’s no longer enough to work long grueling hours to build a business. Reality television and social media have changed what consumers expect of a business, of a business owner. Marketing, sales and leadership are no longer separate entities for an entrepreneur. In order to be successful today, an entrepreneur MUST become an expert at blending these vital activities seamlessly in order to succeed today.

The new entrepreneur doesn’t hide behind their brand or their product. They are the face of and the spokesperson for their company. Not in that old canned way of being filmed while walking and talking about how great their company is. Not with the tired “save time and money” rhetoric spewed in sales pitches and on company websites or product brochures.

Today’s consumers want authenticity, they don’t just want value, they want to know the values of the company they do business with. They want to know what a company they do business with stands for, stands up for, believes in.

The new entrepreneur is adept at telling their story, sharing their struggles and the problems they set out to solve with their product and company. The new entrepreneur is willing to talk about their values and become a beacon of hope for their industry…and for the less fortunate.

There was a time when “fake it ‘til you make it” was expected. Not any longer. We are in an era of authenticity. Customers have more information at their fingertips than any other time in our lives. They want to be able to identify with our values they want more than to purchase a product. They want to feel like they belong.

The new entrepreneur gets that marketing, sales and leadership are separate disciplines but is weaving them together for a total customer experience.

The new entrepreneur isn’t selling a product or service, they are growing their businesses using 3 proven formulas.

Are you a New Entrepreneur?

Debbie Donaldson, Founder & CEO of b2bENTREPRENEUR.org

Learn the 3 formulas for Igniting Your Sales in my new eBook SALES FUEL. Download your free copy today at www.FreeSalesFuel.com

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Breaking Trust

Do you consider yourself a trusting person, a trustworthy person? How do you decide when people approach you whether or not you can trust them?

I believe trust is something that we instinctively feel and give immediately or take away immediately. From that point trust has to be earned. If we’ve given trust to someone they have to continue to earn that trust through their actions, their words, their deeds, whether what they say matches or contradicts what they do.

What happens when someone isn’t trustworthy or does something that breaks that trust we’ve placed in them. Then what, how do they earn their way back?

This subject is so fresh for me this week. I made a mistake that could damage the trust people have in me. Being trusted is a badge of honor for me. I really want people to trust me, I want people to know that what I say is true and they can count on my word.

Last week while prerecording Wake Up to The New Rules of Business, my video talk show, I got excited when I was interviewing Virginia Cano from Rhythms Dance Studio and talking about celebrating our 100th episode at a party in their event center. I accidentally said attendance was free…and it’s not.

We record all the episodes for the week at the same time, so my enthusiastic, but false statement is in most of those prerecorded episodes. I had just learned Rhythms Dance Studio would provide their event space for free, I got so excited and said the event is free. A whole lot more goes into putting on a great event.

So I had to figure out what to do to regain the trust of people who go to the website b2bentrepreneur.org/wakeup100 where the invitation is and where you can RSVP for the event. I had to explain why the event is $30 and not free.

The moral of this story is when you do break the trust people have in you, even if it is a mistake. Just admit when you’ve made a mistake, when you screwed up, when you failed to communicate properly. I believe being candid in those moments helps rebuild that trust. So in this situation with the viewers that go to the website, they’ll see a video where I explain and apologize for my mistake. Hopefully that will help keep the bond of trust that I believe I have with them.

Where in your life have you potentially broken trust that needs repair?

Build the business and life you crave,

Debbie

How I Stopped Worrying About Money and Doubled My Income — Twice

At the age of 25 I was a single mom working as a customer service rep in Houston, Texas. My son was 10 years old, my daughter 8 years old and I felt like a terrible mother never having enough money for the things they needed and wanted. My salary didn’t quite cover the rent, car payment, utilities and groceries, so I felt like a failure constantly having to ask my family for help.

I was always worried about money but knew I was making the most anyone had ever made in the position I was in. So I asked my boss Steve for advice on how to get ahead and make more money.

Steve had become my mentor that I admired and trusted. He recommended I go into sales. He also suggested that I read the Houston Business Journal and the business section of the Houston Chronicle to stay informed on what was happening in business locally and what was going on in the world.

In addition to reading both the papers he recommended, I also subscribed to the Wall Street Journal. Can you imagine how hard it was for me to stay awake and read business news at the age of 25? Especially after working all day, taking my kids to sports and scouts activities, helping them with homework, making dinner, then reading with them before they went to bed? More nights than I can remember I fell asleep reading and woke up to newspapers strewn all over the bed and scattered on the floor.

Scanning headlines helped me find the businesses and industries that were growing, improving and learning about those not doing so well. I also started reading the classified ads for sales jobs. I had tried for several years to go into sales with the company I worked for, but they required a college degree to go into sales, and I didn’t have one.

I’d made my choice to have a family when I was very young. Supporting and spending time with them took all my time…and money. So going to college was not going to happen.

I ended up finding a sales job, but it didn’t lead to the increase in income I was hoping for. When I told my mentor Steve that I was considering going back into customer service, he encouraged me to look for another sales job. He was more confident in my sales skills than I was, but I trusted him and took a leap. That one didn’t end up paying enough either, so I took one more leap.

That’s when I found another mentor. An author Denis Waitley, who published an audio tape series called the Psychology of Winning. Now in my 30’s, I was finally making a little more than I had been making at 25, but it still was not enough to cover all my expenses. I felt guilty about asking my mom, sisters and brother to help me so often.

Not having enough money all the time was stressful and I have a bad habit of eating ice cream, cookies and candy at night when I’m stressed. It wasn’t a surprise that I gained several pounds, and being so heavy made me feel uncomfortable and less confident. My new sales job was selling over the phone to people all over the country, so I was sitting in a chair for hours getting very little physical activity in my day, making it even easier to gain weight.

When I started listening to my new audio tape series the Psychology of Winning, I decided three things. The first was to lose the weight I’d gained by walking, which would also give me uninterrupted time to listen to Denis Waitley’s tapes while I walked. The second thing I decided was to stop worrying about money. Then the third thing — I made the decision to double my income within the next year.

It finally happened. I was finally starting to make the money that would help me support my children without extra help from my family.

Deciding to double my income within the next year, believing I could and taking some very specific actions is what made it happen. I finally felt like my life was on track.

I was in a sales job that I liked and had even been promoted to sales manager. It turned out that I enjoyed teaching other people how to be successful in sales more than anything I had ever done before.

The company I was working for in Houston merged with a competitor in Kansas City.

That’s when I met my new boss John, the third mentor that changed my life. He was an entrepreneur and had built a business by targeting a very specific customer and creating a desire for a solution to a problem his customers hadn’t realized was keeping their businesses from growing.

But the most important thing he taught me was how to have fun with customers and co-workers.

It was the first time in my career I stopped craving money and started really loving what I did for a living. It’s funny how when that happened, my income doubled again.

If you’re an entrepreneur or in sales for a living, I’d like to give you a free copy of my new e-book SALES FUEL — The truth about what it takes to launch and navigate a fast growing business you love. Click here for your free copy.

All the best,

Debbie