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God is in control

Every morning, just after waking up, I like to read the Bible or something inspirational.

One book currently on my table is “God Is My CEO – Following God’s Principles In A Bottom-Line World. – by Larry Julian”

Now, I haven’t finished reading this book yet.

But I came across this part of the book that I’ve got to share with you:

Quite simply, we have no control over yesterday and no control of tomorrow. We can only do those things that are within our control today. When we wake up in the morning, we can review the most important issues we have pressing for that day. Then prioritize and divide these responsibilities into two categories: things within my control that I will do today, and things outside my control that I will give to God today. Finally, we just work all the things that are within our authority to do.”

If we live the day knowing God has a plan for our lives and is in control of all our circumstances, we can learn to cooperate with the uncertainty of a sale, job promotion, or other change by performing the tasks we have in front of us. The uncertainty cannot rob us of the importance of the moment.

Beautiful, isn’t it?

Now, we can see clearly: Life holds a lot of promise.

The challenges, problems and setbacks we are facing don’t matter as much.

Because our God is in control. And he has plans for us to prosper…

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Starting a Business

When planning to start a business, here are 3 tips I can give you:

No.1: Make sure there’s an unfulfilled need in the market you’re entering in (are current industry players not addressing a particular market need? or is there a market segment they’re leaving out?)

No.2: Make sure there’s a way for you to reach your target market (which media can you cost-effectively advertise your products on? Facebook, Google/Bing, newspapers, niche magazines, radio stations, TV stations?)

No.3: Make sure to deliver quality products and services (this includes customer support and after sales support)

These 3 small business owner tips may sound simple enough.

But don’t take each one lightly. There’s a lot of work involved in each step. If it were that easy, many would have already become successful entrepreneurs quickly.

And we all know succeeding in business is difficult.

There’s a barrier to entry as some would say.

But that doesn’t mean this should stop us from starting a business we are passionate about.

Just know from the very start it will be a bumpy road ahead.

That’s just a fact.

Just proceed smartly.

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Internet Marketing: The BIG Picture

You’ve probably already read a lot about the topic of Internet Marketing (I.M.).

There are many Internet marketing blogs, newsletters, audios and videos that teach this stuff. So I’m sure you’re already exposed to a lot of I.M. theories.

And I will be making a guess here, but I’m confident it’s 99.99% accurate:

… and my guess is that — all this I.M. theories leave you confused!

Thus, the reason for this article.

I want you to see the big picture. Often times, that’s all you need to connect the pieces of the puzzle together – so you finally solve the seemingly complex world of Internet marketing.

So here it goes.

The big picture:

Smart Marketing = I.M. Success

Breaking it down, we have:

Smart Marketing = [Irresistible PRODUCT] + [Targeted TRAFFIC] + [Effective CUSTOMER SERVICE] + [Compelling MARKETING MESSAGE] + [Relevant BRANDING]

So finally, we have this at the very core:

PRODUCT + TRAFFIC + CUSTOMER SERVICE + MARKETING MESSAGE + BRANDING = I.M. Success

Looks simple, right?

But there’s more to that formula than meets the eye.

First, PRODUCT.

The product (or service) you offer should be in demand — and of good quality. This is a basic requirement of course, but many in Internet marketing think they can get away with low quality products. Always think that if this were in the brick-and-mortar world, would you be proud of selling your product? If not, it probably wouldn’t sell online as well.

Second, TRAFFIC.

If you’ve read some of my writings in the past, I’ve always mentioned that before one chooses a niche or product to sell, one must first know if he has a means of reaching his target audience. Could he reach it via facebook, google, bing and on other online social media platforms? If so, then marketing his product will be easier.

Third, CUSTOMER SERVICE.

This applies not only after a sale, but also before a sale. An online business owner should be giving VALUE, pre-sales and after-sales. No excuses. This is the only way to stand out nowadays.

Fourth, MARKETING MESSAGE.

If the previous three (product, traffic and customer service) have been planned and implemented well, then crafting compelling marketing messages would be easy. Positioning the product would be easy. Selling the product would be easy.

Fifth, BRANDING.

I placed this last, because unlike big companies, small business owners don’t have the big budgets to spend on branding campaigns. Now, there are many things to discuss about branding. I will cover that in another article. But for now, consider having a logo, tag line and colors that your target audience can identify you with.

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Do what others aren’t willing to do

I’m writing this because I was inspired by this article by Carol Roth in Entrepreneur.com: 6 Tips to Success from a 7-Time Entrepreneur.

The best lesson I got out of that article is to “do what others aren’t willing to do.”

One fine example given there was about making cold calls.

Cold calling is not exactly a task an entrepreneur (or even an employee for that matter) would look forward to doing.

But because cold calling can result to more business and more profits, a results-driven entrepreneur must do it. Day in, day out. Period.

A wannabe entrepreneur would not have the guts to do this.

Thus, the difference in results: the latter becoming successful in business, while the former is left wondering why he isn’t getting the success he wants.

So the main point: do what others aren’t willing to do.

Execution, indeed, rules.

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Marketing and Innovation

In business, we see lots of things need to be done.

Many things seemingly important, each one demanding our attention.

But let’s not fool ourselves.

There are mainly two things that an entrepreneur should focus on: marketing and innovation.

… marketing because this will lead to more sales.

… innovation because this will lead to a better product or service,
and lessen the overall operations cost.

So next time you find yourself with too many tasks at hand, don’t get distracted.

Work first on items that fall under marketing or innovation,
the rest you can do later on – or better yet, delegate.

Focus on marketing and innovation because these two will sustain your business in the long term.

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Put God First

Entrepreneurs are very busy people.

And undoubtedly, there will be many things in the entrepreneur’s mind at any given time: how to grow the business, marketing, sales & profits, operational concerns, how to cut costs and lots more.

With all those concerns, sometimes (or most of the time) God will take a back seat.

Sad but true.

I’m guilty as well — no excuses.

But I make up for it, get back right on track and set my priorities right again.

A big challenge indeed.

The key is to be aware so corrections can be made. Nobody is perfect after all. And while we do what is humanly possible to always put God first, the important thing is to quickly re-align our priorities when we get off track.

Putting GOD first is important because all that we are enjoying in life right now belongs to Him.

All blessings come from Him.

If we truly understand this, then putting Him above all else makes perfect sense.