Tag Archives: Entrepreneurship

Lifehacks

5 Finance Tips On How To Get Your Small Business In Shape

Finance Tips

Use These 5 Finance Tips To Get Your Small Business In Shape

It is true that finances are one of the toughest and arduous things to manage. And I am sure many of us are highly reluctant, always finding excuses to get away from the task of maintaining a proper account of our finances. But whether you agree or not, finances do play an integral and important part of our daily routine, without which our day-to-day life can turn topsy-turvy. An unorganized financial mindset can shoot up like a shock on your face putting your life out of pace.

If you are a newbie into the field of business or a small entrepreneur, managing finances are all the more crucial. It helps to get an insight on effective procedures and further steps to take for growing business further.

It is no rocket science that in order to get your small business, your maiden venture into a pace, you must be persistent and diligent. Establishing good habits with proper dedication and perseverance will do wonders.

Here are 5 such tips or Golden Rules that can be useful in getting your small business in shape.

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Books

No Excuses!: The Power Of Self-Discipline

No Excuses!: The Power Of Self-Discipline Header

As a true supporter of self-help books since I was a child, “No Excuses! The Power of Self-Discipline” had me spell-bound and Tracy’s own words “learn what you need to know and do what you need to do, and never give up” truly resonates with me. We are so easy to find excuses and not resolutions. We look and find the quick solutions to get what we want quickly. With self-discipline, we will stick to what we want, and not try to do things quickly and get it over with. It becomes a way of living, not a quick fix.

I also like the idea of “voting yourself off the island of no discipline”. By doing that you surround yourself with people who believe like you and who want to stay with, shall we say “with the program?” In my own experience, I can guarantee you that the quickest way to fail in life is to surround yourself with toxic people. I personally don’t like the use of words like “winners” and “losers” in life to describe people. I truly prefer the term “like – minded” people. He emphasises how important it is to surround yourself with like – minded people and I completely agree with that.No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline

Brian Tracy also says that, “without self-discipline nothing works. With self-discipline everything works”. “You will rise above yourself”. The truth is that most people do what is fun and easy rather than doing what is hard and necessary and this is the main difference between winners and losers. Self -discipline is also known as self-control, and I am sure that you will agree that this is a subject that is as much written about as can be. I suppose the reason why people still become millionaires by writing about this is because we lack self-control and cannot stick to things that take effort. Read this book, and make it part of your life. Then you will succeed, I guarantee you that.

What you will find in this book is how to incorporate self – discipline in 21 easy to read and follow chapters. These chapters are presented in three parts to complete the book.

In the first part, you learn about self-discipline and personal success. It is about courage, persistence, goals and how to master these with self – discipline. In the second part, you read and learn how to apply self-discipline in your sales, business, and finances. In the third part, you read about the quality of life and how to apply self-discipline for ultimate success in fitness, health, and marriage. A fitness membership and a good dental clinic can help you get started on the right track.

With each chapter, you will find a number of exercises to guide you in the right direction. These exercises are really helpful and Tracy truly helps you find the areas in your life that need the most work for ultimate success. If you partake in all the exercises, you will definitely change your life positively.

All of Brian Tracy’s books are excellent and worth reading and I will definitely put this in the top three. He explores self-discipline and the best way to use this, and many aspects of life to ensure that you get where you want to be and stay there.

No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline

No Excuses!: The Power of Self-Discipline

$15.99

Most people think success comes from good luck or enormous talent, but many successful people achieve their accomplishments in a simpler way: through self-discipline. No Excuses! shows you how you can achieve success in all three major areas of your life, including your personal goals, business and money goals, and overall happiness.

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No Excuses!: The Power Of Self-Discipline by Brian Tracy

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Books

Hooked: How To Build Habit Forming Products

Hooked: How To Build Habit Forming Products Cover

Hooked: How To Build Habit Forming Products is a crystal clear take on how to build products that keep users coming back for more. The Hooked methodology works perfectly for technology startups and potentially even physical products. Whether you are an entrepreneur, marketer developer or innovator you can benefit from the habit-forming qualities inside this book.

Hooked CoverThe core message of Hooked is that every person is programmed in such a way that their lives revolves around habits. The fact is that habits help us make easier, quicker decisions. The brain stores behaviors and automatic responses for different situations as a survival mechanism. Thus, past success can drive future actions (habits). We as humans use tools for productivity and the smart phone is a tool unlike any other. It is quite literally the computer that we carry around in our pockets which can play games, record video, watch movies, communicate, access tools, pay for purchases and infinitely more! A growing generation of mobile devices means time and attention are going towards our phones, and since even Silicon Valley is trending towards app startups, it makes sense to understand the Hooked model thoroughly.

By training users to pick up a new habit, the person is essentially reprogramming the way they do things. Instead of spending money on advertising, focus on creating a product that truly enhances the customer’s day-to-day lives. The fact is that successfully changing long-term user habits is exceptionally rare. To build a mind monopoly one must provide a service that is not just marginally better but nine times better. Being first to market (and the mind) is just as crucial. Google vs Bing is a perfect example. 

All humans are motivated to seek pleasure and avoid pain; to seek hope and avoid fear; and finally, to seek social acceptance and avoid rejection. Although seeking pleasure and avoiding pain are key motivators in all species, make sure your core product is a “painkiller” rather than a “vitamin”. 

Hooked SystemA habit is when not doing an action causes a bit of pain. Understanding cognitive biases and core motivators of humans will be key to building a product that taps into psychological triggers both external and internal.

The FOGG behavior model, represented by the formula B = MAT represents that a given behavior will occur when motivation, ability and a trigger are present at the same time and in sufficient degrees. If one of these factors is missing then the ability for action is limited. For example, if your phone rings but it is on silent, the trigger is missing. If you get a phone notification from your annoying school bully, then motivation is missing to reply. If the phone rings and it’s your girlfriend calling but your legs are immobile then action is missing. Subsequently, all 3 factors must be maximized to achieve the desired behavior from the user. 

The ability for the user to take action must simple and clear. A cluttered interface or design may lead to confusion and inaction. Here are the six elements of simplicity that influence the likelihood of a particular behavior occurring

  • Time – how long it takes to complete an action
  • Money – the fiscal cost of taking an action
  • Physical Effort – the amount of labor involved in taking the action
  • Brain Cycles – the level of mental effort and focus required to take an action
  • Social Deviance – how accepted the behavior is by others
  • Non-Routine – according to Fogg. “How much the action matches or disrupts existing routines.”

Variable rewards, when compared to static rewards, are key to dramatically increasing the amount of times a “pigeon taps the lever”. You want the user to keep coming back for more and each time not knowing what they are going to get. Variable rewards are the drug that keeps users addicted. There are a few types of variable rewards that work especially well to influence the human psyche.

The Three Variable Reward Types: 

The Tribe – Our brains are adapted to seek rewards that make us feel accepted, attractive, important and included. 

Reward: Connectedness with other people. 

The Hunt – The need to acquire physical objects, such as food and other supplies that aid our survival, is part of our brains operating system. 

Reward: Material resources and information. 

The Self – The rewards of the self are fueled by “intrinsic motivation”. The self-determination theory espouses that people desire, among other things to gain a sense of competency. Adding an element of mystery to this goal makes the pursuit all the more enticing.

Reward: Intrinsic rewards of mastery, competence and completion. 

“Experiences with finite variability become less engaging because they eventually become predictable”

When autonomy feels threatened it is human nature to feel constrained by lack of choices and rebel in reactance. Giving the user autonomy within your product will lead to repeat engagement. Before users become hooked to your product and create mental associations with automatic behaviors, they must first invest in the product. At a simple level the more users invest time and effort, the more they value the product or service. Give the user freedom to explore and let them invest themselves into the app. 

As humans we tend to overvalue our own actions and seek to be consistent with past behaviors. This means that as soon as we find a solution that is better than an old way of doing things and enjoy it, we are likely to switch over to the new solution. Minuscule improvements or marketing angles will do little to persuade the person to another product unless it is better by numerous factors. This means that if you score big on a habit-forming product it will be difficult for competitors to come in and take your users. The Habit ZoneWhen we see others enjoy awesome things, we try a little harder and condition ourselves over time to enjoy it too. A great recent example of this is the timing of Uber and Lyft where a 3 year head start can make a world of difference in users and investors.

Habit forming technologies adapt to our needs by allowing us to make investments in the product to enhance the experience. Every song added to iTunes and every film uploaded to Netflix means more content and value for the user. Information generated, collected or created by users whether it is a photo, video, tweet or news link are examples of stored value in the form of content. 

By getting users to upload their own personal content, the effort associated with providing the data and the rewards received from other users combine to create a powerful hook that brings people back to the service time and time again. Followers, likes, friends and badges are fantastic rewards for investing in a product. 

These investments by the user are excellent opportunities for loading personal triggers, and hence the Hooked cycle goes on. 

(Exercise) The Five Fundamental Questions For Building Effective Hooks

1. What do users really want? What pain is your product relieving? (Internal Trigger)

2. What brings users to your service? (External Trigger)

3. What is the simplest action users can take in anticipation of reward, and how can you simplify your product to make this action easier? (Action)

4. Are users fulfilled by the reward yet left wanting more? (Variable reward)

5. What “bit of work” do users invest in your product? Does it load the next trigger and store value to improve the product with use? (Investment)

Learn more about Hooked on Nir Eyal’s blog.

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

Author:
Tag: Recommended Books
Publisher: Portfolio
Publication Year: 2014
ASIN: B00LMGLXTS
ISBN: 1591847788

How do successful companies create products people can’t put down?Why do some products capture widespread attention while others flop? What makes us engage with certain products out of sheer habit? Is there a pattern underlying how technologies hook us?Nir Eyal answers these questions (and many mo...

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About the Book

How do successful companies create products people can’t put down?

Why do some products capture widespread attention while others flop? What makes us engage with certain products out of sheer habit? Is there a pattern underlying how technologies hook us?
Nir Eyal answers these questions (and many more) by explaining the Hook Model—a four-step process embedded into the products of many successful companies to subtly encourage customer behavior. Through consecutive “hook cycles,” these products reach their ultimate goal of bringing users back again and again without depending on costly advertising or aggressive messaging.
Hooked is based on Eyal’s years of research, consulting, and practical experience. He wrote the book he wished had been available to him as a start-up founder—not abstract theory, but a how-to guide for building better products. Hooked is written for product managers, designers, marketers, start-up founders, and anyone who seeks to understand how products influence our behavior.
Eyal provides readers with:
• Practical insights to create user habits that stick.
• Actionable steps for building products people love.

• Fascinating examples from the iPhone to Twitter, Pinterest to the Bible App, and many other habit-forming products.

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Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal

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Books

Disrupt You! Master Personal Transformation, Seize Opportunity, and Thrive in the Era of Endless Innovation

Disrupt You! Master Personal Transformation, Seize Opportunity, and Thrive in the Era of Endless Innovation Header

Disrupt You! Master Personal Transformation, Seize Opportunity, and Thrive in the Era of Endless Innovation by Jay Samit is a thrilling encapsulation of the skills and insights it takes to truly disrupt not only yourself, but entire industries. If you are stuck on a project or looking for fresh, new ideas this book will fill your head with creative visions. By starting with the fundamentals, which is disrupting oneself, it teaches the brain to look for new perspectives and solutions to solving things. It is important to know oneself. Some simple ways to get started are to take a personality test, read a book, change your environment, find mentors or disrupt your thinking internally.

As Albert Einstein likes to say, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

My favorite section of the book is near the beginning where Jay mentions seeing oneself as a brand and strategizing your personal output: “A brand of one. The links in your personal value chain constitute your unique brand. The research and development links are defined by your education, your previous work experience, and the sources you pursue to find a job in the first place. The work you do – its quality and content – makes up the design and production links. The way you present yourself professionally constitutes the marketing and sales links in your personal value chain. And where you work, with whom you work, and where you devote your professional energies determine your distribution link. Think about your professional value as the combination of these links in the chain. If you are struggling to get a job, or if you are ready to make a career transition, all you need to do is target the link ripest for disruption.”

For those looking to build personal brands, following this system would be a brilliant place to start.

Disrupt You Book Cover

Jay then walks you through the disruptors map between various other companies and their stories. Jay then shares his transformative journey of how he disrupted the music industry in a multitude of areas from branding and celebrity endorsement to the transformation of physical discs towards digital distribution. The truth of it all, is that most disruption comes from careful, methodical observation. Oftentimes a simple idea with straightforward execution is all that it takes for an idea to become a hit.

Guerilla marketing is at the core of how the music industry markets itself and Jay doesn’t skimp when it comes to sharing the strategies he has used and witnessed to success. From MTV to Sony to Apple there are valuable insights one can learn across all industries. In fact, you wouldn’t believe how starved the major publications, i.e Forbes and The Huffington Post are for fresh content every single day.

With the power of crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, open research centers and open source communities it is now literally possible to not only share your greatest ideas with like minded individuals but also work with them and collaborate on projects with complex needs. The Internet helped to disrupt information, communication, access and media. Technologies like 3D printing will disrupt basically every physical industry, while Virtual Reality will be a blend of these two. By recognizing the root of what is causing us problems and discovering the links that can connect the dots between the solutions, a disruptive entrepreneur can literally identify trends before they happen. Remember that the greatest competitive advantage of humans at the core of it all is our ability to gain knowledge and use tools and that the most valuable resource is time.

Disrupt You!: Master Personal Transformation, Seize Opportunity, and Thrive in the Era of Endless Innovation

Disrupt You!: Master Personal Transformation, Seize Opportunity, and Thrive in the Era of Endless Innovation

Author:
Tag: Recommended Books
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Year: 2015
ASIN: B00NS3FO2K
ISBN: 1250059372

In today's volatile business landscape, adaptability and creativity are more crucial than ever. It is no longer possible-or even desirable-to learn one set of job skills and to work your way up the ladder. At the same time, entrepreneurs with great ideas for new products or technologies that could c...

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About the Book

In today’s volatile business landscape, adaptability and creativity are more crucial than ever. It is no longer possible-or even desirable-to learn one set of job skills and to work your way up the ladder. At the same time, entrepreneurs with great ideas for new products or technologies that could change the world often struggle to capture the attention of venture capital firms and incubators; finding the funding necessary to launch a start-up can feel impossible. The business leaders of our future must anticipate change to create their own opportunities for personal satisfaction and professional success. In Disrupt You!, Jay Samit, a digital media expert who has launched, grown, and sold start-ups and Fortune 500 companies alike, describes the unique method he has used to invent new markets and expand established businesses.

Samit has been at the helm of businesses in the ecommerce, digital video, social media, mobile communications, and software industries, helping to navigate them through turbulent economic times and guide them through necessary transformation so that they stay ahead of the curve. In Disrupt You!, he reveals how specific strategies that help companies flourish can be applied at an individual level to help anyone can achieve success and lasting prosperity-without needing to raise funds from outside investors.

Incorporating stories from his own experience and anecdotes from other innovators and disruptive businesses-including Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, YouTube, Circ du Soleil, Odor Eaters, Iams, Silly Putty, and many more-Samit shows how personal transformation can reap entrepreneurial and professional rewards. Disrupt You! offers clear and empowering advice for anyone looking to break through; for anyone with a big idea but with no idea how to apply it; and for anyone worried about being made irrelevant in an era of technological transformation. This engaging, perspective-shifting book demystifies the mechanics of disruption for individuals and businesses alike.

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Disrupt You!: Master Personal Transformation, Seize Opportunity, and Thrive in the Era of Endless Innovation

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