The Study of Excellence – What Makes Some Excel and Others Merely Competent

In the 1970s linguist John Grinder and mathematician Richard Bandler studied individuals who were excellent in their field to find out what made them different to those who were merely competent.  They discovered that their beliefs, mindset and strategies are what set them apart.

Beliefs

Did you know that our perceived limits are not our actual limits?

Most of us are limited by what we believe is possible.  For example, no one believed it humanly possible to run a mile in four minutes.  When Roger Banister was training for this feat, doctors told him that his body would not cope.  They said his lungs would explode and his heart would stop under the pressure.  He didn’t listen to them.  He just did it!  He ran a mile in 4 minutes and lived to tell the tale.  That same year 35 runners completed a mile in four minutes too. Once they believed it was possible, they challenged themselves to do it and they did it!  A teacher once told me that I was no good at foreign languages, so I stopped studying French at school.  Years later I had the opportunity to live in Spain but was worried about the language barrier, so much so that I nearly didn’t go.  Within three months I was contributing confidently to conversations and many Spaniards said I had a great accent.

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A plan, some understanding and a few resources can keep the bad guys away…

Every business, whether large or small, needs to have a customer-facing website these days, and in the past twelve months Australians spent $17.5 billion on online retail sales. In fact, according to Avast Software, online shopping is Australia’s number one online activity, social media, banking and emailing…before we get down to adult content, illegal torrent sites and checking the weather forecasts, which are also in the top ten.

While this level of online activity is great for commerce in Australia, it also brings with it a host of problems – potentially very damaging ones. Companies and web developers know that a website needs security, but many business owners do not understand the depth of online threats that exist, and the ever-evolving complexity of attacks.

Regardless of whether a website sells directly to the public, or simply exists as a tool to host marketing information and contact details, an attack can be disastrous to business credibility and continuity. Imagine a client happily selling from the web one minute, then having to contact an entire customer base and explain that their security has been compromised. Payment details may have fallen into the hands of criminals, a foreign entity may be blackmailing the company or perhaps there has been a malicious attack and sales can’t continue as the online inventory is down.

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Dadpreneurs – Balancing Business and Family Life

As a Dadpreneur, there’s no such thing as work-life balance, there’s just balance. I love what I do, but I also love my family and being equally committed to both isn’t easy to accomplish. It’s a constant battle to stay on top of both, particularly at the weekends when you have client work to do, but also realise that it’s the only time that you get to properly hang out with the kids.

That’s my choice of course and I could quite easily take a 9-5 job and have the weekends to myself like other Dads, but that would make me unhappy and no family wants a Grumpy Daddy.

When I decided to work for myself, my wife (who works full-time as well) and I decided that we would explain it to the kids. Despite them being 8 and 6 we felt that it was important that they understood what my being self-employed would mean and how it would impact their lives. Of course, there were positives and negatives. The negatives meant that I wouldn’t be able to go on all of the day trips at the weekend, whilst the positives meant that because I had more flexibility I’d be able to do more school drops off and even some pick-ups. The kids were great about it, but didn’t quite understand why I wasn’t going to the same place every day like other Dads!

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The 3 Questions Mumpreneurs Must Ask Themselves

We all know that there are some extraordinary women in this world. Women who not only raise a family and juggle the household, but create, kickstart and grow a successful business. What else do we know? Well there is a new word in the English language to describe such a person and that is “Mumpreneur”.

The Oxford dictionary explains it as “a woman who sets up and runs her own business in addition to caring for her young child or children”. To me that sounds so beige. Too compartmentalized. Being a mumpreneur is a serious commitment, where life and business simultaneously flow together. I believe mums can have a financially successful business that is also personally fulfilling while nurturing a family as well. They just need to know the steps and have the courage to do it.

If you are about to jump into this world or already have jumped, there are 3 important questions you need to ask yourself in order to create your success:

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Finding a balance between running your business and being a new mum

My husband and I run multiple ecommerce businesses, and as such, have everything from “mature” sites to brand new online stores that we’ve launched quite recently. It’s been quite a journey for us over the years, but last year we also decided that maybe it was time to throw a baby into the mix!

Of course, we had some idea that our life would change completely, everyone knows that right? But when our baby boy was born in May 2015, I really didn’t understand just how completely and utterly dependent he is on us. Much like our younger businesses really.

Fortunately, we spent the nine months of pregnancy relatively wisely. In hindsight, there was always more we could have done, but we spent much of that time focused more on developing systems and building our team than “chasing the next big thing”. This meant training people to do our customer support, shipping, web development, and marketing, so that we would be able to spend our limited time steering the ship, instead of rowing the boat.

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6 ways to use your email signature to promote your project for free

It’s often hard to allocate resources in marketing, especially for small businesses. Spending a large portion of your marketing budget on a large campaign might lead to an expanded customer base, tons of new sales leads and increased brand awareness. Or it might not. Calculating return on investment is tough.

If you need to promote a new product, a webinar, event, or website, and you can find a way to boost your project on the cheap (or even for free!), then you’ll be ahead of the game. Email signatures are an often overlooked way to convey your marketing messages. Here are a few email signature tips and tricks you can use to do email marketing on a shoestring budget:

1. Include a link to the landing page

Hopefully you’ve set up a landing page for your project. If you haven’t, go and do that now! Landing pages are a great way to describe your project and gather email addresses for participants. If you include the link to your landing page as part of a well-designed banner in your signature, you can really you’re your reader’s attention. This way, even if you’re not emailing someone specifically about the new project, they can still access the necessary information if the banner sparks their interest.

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What I wish I knew when I started my business

Have you ever wished your present self could have one of ‘those’ conversations where you pass on valuable knowledge to your younger self? I have several times now, and yet that conversation is yet to happen!!

If your present self can’t have one of those conversations either, I’d best help you both out and let’s have it now.

In the several businesses I have launched over the years, here are some of the business tips I wish I had known or been guided towards.

Business Tip 1: Know and Understand Your ‘Why’

What’s your purpose for starting this business instead of going to work for someone else? Perhaps it’s for family reasons, or you are like me and aren’t a very good employee.

Getting very specific about your ‘why’ will help when things don’t go your way. You may have had a bad experience with a client or lost a contract.

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The cost of upgrading your iPhone every year

The iPhone resale market in Australia is thriving through marketplace sites such as Gumtree & eBay raising the question of whether you should sell your old handset and splurge on Apple’s latest version each year, or hold on to it for a few years until technology changes make it worthwhile to upgrade to the next model.

It’s smarter to buy your phone outright

Many of us lock ourselves into financing plans with the major telcos so we can get our hands on the latest phone for “free”, but there is a smarter way to go about it. Tying yourself to a financing plan means you lose the flexibility to decide how often you upgrade to a new phone and in reality, that latest phone isn’t really “free”. You’re paying the mobile service provider a lot more for that handset over the course of your contract; instead, you can pay less overall and recoup some of your cost by buying  the new phone outright and selling your old one online when you’re ready for an upgrade.

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Branded Emails – Market your business with every email you send

What if you can use the power of email broadcasting in every email you send out rather than in just one campaign?

Well now you can and it’s called branded emails.

Branded emails can be designed like the emails and e-newsletters you send out in your email marketing campaigns. They’ll be branded in your logo and colours, and contain high-impact graphics, images and links to your website and social media pages.

It’s easy to do. You don’t have to download any new software or install a new application. You send a branded email just like you would a regular email, using your normal email programs such as Outlook, Macmail, Gmail and so forth.

Why you need branded emails :

Your brand is a powerful asset. It represents who you are and what you do, and reflects the personality of your business.

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Juggling motherhood and business

Like many corporate women who realised they couldn’t maintain their demanding career and be a mum, I set out to create my own business working from home. While I’ve always been the type of person who is very busy, highly organised and internally driven to succeed, it wasn’t long before I realised that working from home with a baby rarely goes to plan. And while I’d heard so many people say don’t try to do anything else except sleep and eat once the baby is here, it’s not so simple when you’re running your own business as there’s no one to pick up t he slack for you!

Over the last 2 years I’ve managed to build a good rhythm and while I’m by no means an expert, I’d like to share a few tips that have helped me work from home while being a mum:

1. Chunk out your day

I find that doing too many things at once can make me more inefficient and left feeling frazzled. I’ve learnt to chunk out my day so that I’m able to focus on one task at a time and complete it to a higher level rather than rushing through millions of things and making errors along the way. For example, I might allocate 2 hours to paying invoices, 1 hour to responding to customer emails and 2 hours to drafting up and scheduling newsletters etc. I will ignore any new emails that come through during times that I haven’t allocated to checking/responding to emails.

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