What’s Valuable About Having Values?

What’s Valuable About Having Values
By Paul Lemberg

Let’s talk about values…

Yours.

What kind?

Family values, personal values, corporate values.

So what are values – and why are they important to creating breakthroughs?

Values are things we strive to gain or keep. They are the expression of what is important to us. Values can be concrete things like money, gourmet food, and fast motorcycles, or they can be abstract things like contribution, challenge, or adventure.

Values, along with our beliefs about what will satisfy our values, have a decisive impact on the choices we make. We make decisions based on our values.

If we believe a proposed action will give us more of what we value, we are likely to take that action. And the degree to which we are likely to take that action, is proportional to the strength of our beliefs and how much we think the value will increase.

We are constantly evaluating whether something is good for us or bad for us-in fact, we can’t help it. It’s part of our design as human beings.

A hidden value system will cause you to make choices that are inexplicable-you will choose Option A over Option B, even though A seems logical. Why, because B violates your unconscious values system.

You can use a consciously constructed values system to help turn your venture into a high performance machine. A lucid value system, out in the open-and arranged hierarchically-this is more important than that, and so on-turned into a values statement-serves as a guide in evaluating your options, and inventing new ones.

In other words, if you understand the values that motivate you, you can deliberately choose actions which will satisfy those values. Which make you feel good, and keep you conflict-free, and internally consistent. You reduce or eliminate your personal friction, allowing you to easily take massive action towards your objectives.

Your values statement also helps you align your various stakeholders, and have them acting in that same consistent way.

Your values system also keeps you from making poor choices, which would throw you into personal conflict. Choices which make you unhappy and gum up the works.

Well understood and clearly expressed values can propel you through the most difficult change periods, and keep you far ahead of the wandering herd.

Here is a list of common (and uncommon) values. This list is neither complete nor definitive. It is a guide. Please add your own.

Acceptance

Achievement

Adventure

Affection

Art

Beauty

Being Different

Challenge

Change

Commitment

Compassion

Competition

Confrontation

Contribution

Courage

Creativity

Detachment

Ecstasy

Efficiency

Ethics

Excellence

Excitement

Fame

Free Time

Freedom

God

Growth

Happiness

Hard Work

Harmony

Health

Honesty

Integrity

Knowledge

Leadership

Learning

Love

Loyalty

Making a difference

Merit

Nature

Partnership

Passion

Peace

Play

Power

Prosperity

Resilience

Security

Self-awareness

Self-expression

Self-respect

Serenity

Service

Sharing

Sophistication

Stability

Success

Support

Teamwork

Trust

Wealth

Winning

Wisdom

What should you do with this list?

First, make your own list so that you have a better understanding…

Once you have your values list, for the next two weeks, at the start of each day, choose a value from the list and make it your value for the day. What you’re doing, in other words, is choosing a place to stand for the day.

Let that value become a part of you for 24 hours. Reference all your choices, actions, and conversations against that value. Of course, you’ll notice everything that’s not a match. What there is to do is course-correct.

Let your daily value be a compass by which you guide your day. Let yourself align with your daily value. And notice, at the close of each day, what has opened up. Notice who you now are in relation to you.

Notice what you’ve accomplished. Sales closed, smiles received, offers to do new business, invitations . . .

And, of course, notice the feedback from your family, friends, colleagues… everybody!

***

Paul Lemberg helps small business owners become wealthy. Since 1995, Paul has helped hundreds of small business owners achieve outstanding success. He has written three books, including Faster Than the Speed of Change, Earn Twice As Much with Half The Stress (co-authored with Tom Matzen), and his latest, the business best seller, Be Unreasonable.

On television, Paul has appeared on Good Morning America, CNN, Financial News Network, and dozens of national radio programs. His work has been featured in over eighty magazines and publications including the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, as well as the world’s largest circulation newsletter, Bottom Line Personal. 

You can learn more about Paul at Paul Lemberg.

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Do Customers Love You? (5 Questions to Ask)…

Do Customers Love You? 
5 Questions to Ask
By Marla Tabaka

So you have a product or service that people are willing to buy. But is your company something that people are excited to talk about? Do you have customer evangelists who will naturally create a buzz?

Virgin Airlines is one example of a culture that has, in a sense, gone viral. The company came into the travel market at a time when major airlines were dedicated to nothing more than staying in business, which resulted in cramped, no-frills travel for consumers. And that was no fun.

Virgin introduced itself as the airline dedicated to making travel fun again. Who wouldn’t want that? As years went by the airline offered powerful incentives to gain attention from travelers, which further improved their visibility and reputation. For example, on the ninth anniversary of its maiden voyage, Virgin Blue gave away 1,000 plane tickets for $9 each through Twitter.

The campaign went off without a hitch–and because it generated such buzz it kept on giving, well beyond the initial 1,000 tickets. What’s better than pleasing those customers who received ultra-discounted tickets is the impact of a campaign like that. It lasts and lasts.

Not every company can engage in campaigns of this magnitude, but it demonstrates the importance of being radical and creative if you want to get attention. However, before you invest in your marketing campaign you need a foundation that fits the viral formula.

Answer these questions to see if your foundation is in place.

1. Does your company generate organic buzz?

Your product has to be something that’s easy for people to talk about. Most every traveler will complain about the lack of leg-room on an airplane. We all talk about our vacations and business travel–so when we experience the luxury of an airline like Virgin it’s perfectly natural to tell the world. What makes people want to share the word about your company?

2. Do you provide your consumers with a simple, compelling marketing message?

Have you ever experienced something cool and, in telling the story, you get so tongue-tied that you end up saying something along the lines of, “well, you just have to experience it for yourself?” That marketing message certainly won’t go viral! Make it easy to share your message by giving your customers the language to put to the experience.

3. How do you reward your customers?

Consumers want to feel special and valued. There is a certain altruistic value in being the first person in your crowd to know about a really cool product. But you can add rewards to motivate your customer further. These can be “soft” rewards or perks like a free membership that gives them advance access to discounts and fun news. Social rewards recognize customers publically. You can highlight a testimonial publically or simply connect with customers on twitter or Facebook to help them feel like an important part of your community. I recall once being thanked on twitter for my feedback on a product website. Since I’d included my name publicly, no privacy issues were raised and I felt kinda special when I received their tweet. I even retweeted it, giving them exposure to my treasured community.

4. Do you really, really know your target customer and where to reach them?

A grassroots campaign depends on community. Where do your customers hang out online (and in person)? National organizations, community groups, high-profile blogs and online communities are important to your campaign. Get your networks in place well before launching your company or a new product. Find your evangelists and give them a reason to generate buzz. Invite them to test the product or service for free. Ask them for feedback and reward them for it with further incentives and recognition. If they feel like valued insiders they are likely to tell the world about you and your product.

5. Are you giving your customers a reason to keep coming back?

New products, exciting sales, fun contests, and novel marketing campaigns make people want to return for more. Your audience will naturally generate buzz if you give them a reason to talk about you, offer them a good laugh with a fun video, or touch their hearts through a program that gives back. If you stand above the rest you will create a crowd of supporters–and loyal consumers.

With these foundational pieces in place your company has a greater likelihood of joining the elite list of viral communities. Marketing is hard work; why not let your customers do most of it for you?

***

Marla Tabaka is a small-business advisor who helps entrepreneurs around the globe grow their businesses well into the millions. She has over 25 years of experience in corporate and start-up ventures and speaks widely on combining strategic and creative thinking for optimum success and happiness.

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OnePlusOne: In Store Performance 04/14/17

Catch DisputeOne & Orikal Uno performing live as “OnePlusOne” during an exclusive in store at Solid State.

Friday, April 14, 2017 at 7pm. 

4022 East 46th Street

Minneapolis, Mn 55406

www.SolidStateMN.com
www.OnePlusOneHipHop.Bandcamp.com


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Monday Motivation 03/20/17 #MBKEntMentors

“What I know is, is that if you do work that you love, and the work fulfills you, the rest will come.” ~Oprah Winfrey 

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A Doctor’s Simple Formula for Business Success 

A Doctor’s Simple Formula for Business Success

By Dave Lavinsky

Donald C. Harrison is no typical doctor.

He’s perhaps the most financially successful cardiologist ever.

You may think his success is the result of his serving as the Chief of Cardiology at Stanford University for 20 years. But Harrison didn’t achieve financial success by performing medical evaluations, operations or teaching.

Rather, Harrison achieved enormous success as an entrepreneur. I’m talking about some serious success. The first company he founded, EP Technology, grew quickly had an IPO, and was later acquired by Boston Scientific. And later he founded AtriCure, which he also grew rapidly and took public (NASD: ATRC).

Founding and taking two companies public is a massive feat, which very few entrepreneurs have achieved. So, anything that Harrison says is worth listening to; and listening to closely.

Recently, Harrison was interviewed by author Robert Jordan for his book, “How They Did It.” My favorite answer from the interview is Harrison’s dead-on response to the question, “What are the biggest mistakes that company founders make?”

Harrison’s answer: “A poorly written business plan is a mistake, and so is a poorly organized presentation. When you’re making a presentation, if you can’t convince the potential investor within 10 minutes that you’ve got something novel or a solution to a problem and you’re dedicated to doing it, you’re not going to succeed. Most venture investors are looking at hundreds of opportunities, so you’ve got to clearly have an edge.”

Now Harrison attributes his serial success not only to always having a solid business plan, but to other key points that we entrepreneurs should always keep in mind:

1. Hang out with other entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial people.

Harrison trained at the National Institute of Health with what he felt was a very entrepreneurial team. Without this exposure and entrepreneurial attitude he gained from it, he probably would have just been another cardiologist.

2. Always search for a better mousetrap.

Harrison says his mother used to say, “If you want to find a worm, you gotta look under many rocks.” In business, that means you need to realize your first choices and/or solutions may not always work and you must be willing to try a lot of things to find the better solution.

3. Find an unmet need and a problem, and fix it.

When asked what the common element was for each of his startups, Harrison replied that for each, he found an unmet need and problem, and worked with others to solve the problem. I know this sounds simple; because itis. Even if you’re a great entrepreneur (e.g., you know how to manage and motivate people, you have great marketing and sales tactics, etc.), if you have a me-too product or offer a product/service that doesn’t solve a real need or problem, you’re going to have a really tough time achieving the success you desire.

4. Find multiple forms of funding early.

One of Harrison’s companies received early funding from a strategic investor (a large corporation). But when that corporation experienced an internal shake-up, it stopped funding Harrison’s startup. As a result, Harrison’s company nearly failed. Fortunately, he was able to scramble to find funding to keep his company afloat. That was the last time Harrison relied on only one source of funding.

5. Get compatible partners and employees.

As a successful serial entrepreneur, Harrison understands that he can only succeed if he can find, train and motivate others to do great work. In one venture he took on a partner, and in doing so realized quickly that your partner must be completely compatible with you if it’s going to work. (Most of you know that I have a partner at Growthink and if we weren’t highly compatible, there’s no way we would have lasted the past 12 years together). Likewise, you need to find great employees that have skills that you don’t.

Donald C. Harrison’s success should serve as an inspiration to us all. Few cardiologists have the entrepreneurial bug, and even fewer have succeeded as an entrepreneur.

Harrison did it twice. And both times he did it big time. His words of advice are simple as outlined above. Following them is a bit harder and require perseverance and determination; which I know YOU have by the fact that you just read this!

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Media Firms Unite To Provide Additional Coverage of “Core Culture” Blog Series.

Great News!  🎊🍾🥂🎊

My Brother’s Keeper Enterprises and iNoslen Media have unified their Media Departments, for a collaborative effort expanding the reach of the newly added blog series entitled, “Core Culture.” The Core Culture (CC) blog series was produced by the Program Director of iNoslen Radio and its existence was hinted to the listeners during a late December podcast, showcasing the new additions for 2017.


So far, the CC blog series has produced Two (2) well written articles. January showcased an article presenting as well as reintroducing, the listeners to Rampage — Remington Steele. February showcased a tribute piece for Clyde Stubblefield AKA “The Funky Drummer.” Both articles displaying how the “Core Culture” of Hip Hop is based in humanity and overall community outreach and support.


The contributing writers for the CC blog series will be provided by MBK Enterprises and Internship Opportunities will be provided for aspiring media  and journalist professionals, for both MBK Enterprises and iNoslen Media. For future updates check the Internship Opportunity Bulletin.

Here is the link to the first contribution provided by blog contributor “Signifyin.” Be on the look out for more material submitted by him for both companies.

Core Culture #2: Clyde Stubblefield 

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How to Grow Your Sales (Without Selling)

How to Grow Your Sales (Without Selling)
By Dave Lavinsky

“The point of marketing is to make selling superfluous.” 

This is a great quote from management guru Peter Drucker. What it means is that if you do a great job in marketing, sales will be easy. Likewise, there are other things you can do to improve your sales without having to resort to aggressive sales tactics. 

This article details such strategies.

1. Create a Stronger USP

Your USP or unique selling proposition is what distinguishes your company from others.

Here are some famous USPs:
The nighttime, coughing, achy, sniffling, stuffy head, fever, so you can rest medicine. (Nyquil)
Pizza delivered in 30 minutes or it’s free. (Dominos Pizza)
When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight. (Federal Express)
15 minutes or less can save you 15% (GEICO)
Each of these USPs does a great job in distinguishing these companies and getting customers to choose them over competitors.

2. Provide Clear Benefits

In addition to a strong USP, make sure you detail the benefits of your products and/or services to your customers.

For example, do your products:
Remove their pain
Save them time
Improve their success
Make them feel better
Etc.
You generally want to provide a list of features associated with your products/services, but lead with the benefits.

3. Use Many Different Marketing Channels

After you create the best USP you can, and identify your key benefits, you want to convey your message to as many of your prospective customers as possible.

But realize this: not all of your customers are in one place or read/view/listen to one media source. So, use multiple means of reaching them.

For example, you can reach customers through each of the following marketing channels among others:
Direct Mail
Email
Event Marketing
Networking
Partnerships
Press Releases/PR
Print Ads
Radio Ads
TV Ads
Search Engine Optimization
Pay Per Click Advertising
Social Media Marketing (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)

4. Understand and Improve Your KPIs

Key Performance Indicators or “KPIs” are the metrics that judge your business’ performance.

And, as you might know, you can’t improve what you can’t measure.

So the key is to 1) identify the most important KPIs in your business, and 2) measure/track them over time so you can judge your progress in improving them.

While there are hundreds of potential KPIs to track, here’s a small sample of KPIs that most companies must measure:
Net Profit
Sales
Sales by product/service line
Cost to acquire new customers
Lifetime customer value

Importantly, as you understand and improve your KPIs, your revenues and profits will grow. In fact, identifying and managing your KPIs is one of the pillars of a successful business.

5. Make It Simple to Purchase from Your Company

When you make it easy to buy from your company, you’ll get more sales.

For example, not accepting credit cards will dramatically hurt the sales of many businesses.

Similarly, making customers complete tedious paperwork (that may not really be necessary) may frighten off some customers.

Conversely, having your product for sale not only on your website, but on Amazon, eBay and others, could make it easier for some customers to purchase from you and prompt more sales.

So, think about ways to make it easier for current and prospective customers to buy from you.

Start using these five strategies today, and watch your sales and profits grow.

***
Dave Lavinsky is President of Growthink and author of Start At The End

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