The 6-P plan to prosperity.
I often ask in workshops what people would do if they didn’t have to earn money. The self employed say they would carry on doing what they are doing now (just more of it). The corporate employees mostly say they would do something else.
So, in this imperfect/perfect world where you have to earn money but want to create a meaningful life and business, what steps can you take to ensure you have the best chance of success as an Enlightened Entrepreneurial Leader (EEL)?
Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster. ~ Sun Tzu
P1 — Preparation
I am not suggesting that we look at enlightened economic activity as warfare. However, the philosophy is still relevant. Do this part correctly and your idea is more likely to be received favorably. Moreover, you will attract the level of clients and rewards to make your venture sustainable.
The preparation phase is really about understanding your core talent and who you can potentially serve by utilizing that talent.
Many people have started up a business offering a service that people really need but will not pay for [me included!]. You can develop what you think is an amazing product; believing that people would be crazy not to buy this service from you; but they don’t. People don’t behave predictably, especially in uncertain times.
You have to measure the response of your potential clients to the idea of paying for your product. Be very honest with yourself. It could save you a lot of frustration, time and resources later.
Determine what you’re good at, design a product or service for a distinct audience and then test your idea thoroughly. Get from expectation to reality in business ventures quickly.
“There are scores of people waiting for someone just like us to come along; people who will appreciate our compassion, our encouragement, who will need our unique talents. Someone who will live a happier life merely because we took the time to share what we had to give.” ~ Leo Buscaglia
P2 — Purpose
When Viktor Frankl, a psychiatrist and holocaust survivor, found himself imprisoned in a concentration camp during World War II, he discovered that those with a sense of purpose were more likely to survive their ordeal.
Aligning what you love to do with a purpose, will make you more resilient, happier and enthusiastic. Just what you need when you want to compete for a place in the universe with your business venture.
All great companies start with a big Why. Not only to inspire themselves to excel, but also to engage clients at a deeper level.
You have a unique combination of skills, experiences and values. They will eventually direct you towards a path which will unlock your purpose, passion and potential for serving the world.
Ask yourself if your endeavor is:
Worthy / Inspiring / Sustainable / Evolving
P3 — Proposition
Next, you have to come up with a fundamental solution or innovative product that will serve a specific group (niche). People might not even realise they have a challenge until you give them the solution. Businesses starting out today have to be highly differentiated, principled and value driven.
It’s really difficult to break into a competitive market and create a sustainable business if you’re just competing on price. When you are the new kid on the block, it has to be very easy for your potential clients to understand the direct benefits to them.
Put yourself in your client’s shoes and ask: “What’s in it for me?”
“First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.” ~ Aristotle
P4 — Packaging
In the economic downturn people are saying “No” as a default response. EELs think of ingenious ways to develop relationships which build confidence.
Facebook and Blogs use the ‘Law of Indirect Effort’. They offer a free service, gather a tribe of loyal followers, and then offer other services to the tribe.
Once a trusting relationship has been established, you can then offer more of yourself for a higher reward. By this time your clients should know that working with you, “does what it says on the tin.” It moves the decision process from “yes or no” to “shall we do more together?”
Start off by asking for a small “yes”; do a great job, then ramp it up ethically.
P5 — Promote
“A business has to be involving, it has to be fun and it has to exercise your creative instincts.” ~ Richard Branson
You are competing against a cacophony of noise. Become the trusted authority in your field to break through the resistance of obscurity. Know where your potential clients are and get in front of them. Form collaborative partnerships with people who are offering complimentary products.
Be connected on social media and offer something to groups either by doing talks or writing articles on relevant sites. Be collaborative, connected and contribute. Make it a habit of contacting three people a day. Do innovative things which—as an indirect result—promote you.
Develop yourself a system which allows you to measure results. Marketing is important so take action, exaggerate and follow through on your activities on a daily basis or at least a certain number of days a week.
How are you going to stand out?
“We do not receive wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can make for us, which no one can spare us, for our wisdom is the point of view from which we come at last to regard the world.” ~ Marcel Proust
P6 — Prosper
Statistically speaking, entrepreneurs make more profit with less effort with follow-on products. Once you have established your first product, use the wisdom you have gained and add another.
Sir Richard Branson is an entrepreneur who is constantly transforming what he does. If you want to really prosper in business, keep scanning the horizon for new opportunities. Stretch your talents and imagination. What you do in business will add meaning to your life by integrating business and communities to make the world more environmentally sustaining, socially just and personally fulfilling.
Questions to consider:
What is your core talent?
How will your product or service benefit mankind?
What’s in it for your clients specifically?
Who really needs and is prepared to pay for what you are offering?
How do you know?
Stay tuned for the next episode of the Enlightened Entrepreneurial Series, in which we’ll look at Creating a Powerful Vision.
Editor: Andrea B.
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