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Do you want to create your own website for your business in less than 15 minutes? No problem.

Consultants, writers, freelancers, and entrepreneurs want to build something out of nothing. And that something needs a home on the internet.

You want to get your website up and running today. You want it to be fast and secure. You want it to look amazing.

And… you don’t want to learn coding and web design in the process.

Thankfully, with StudioPress Sites, all of this is easy.

Disclosure: Please note that the links on this page are affiliate links, I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase.

I have experience with StudioPress Sites, and I use them to run my own website. I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something.

Why create your own website with WordPress?

Listeners often ask: Why should I use WordPress? Why do I need to switch to WordPress?
If you’re asking these yourself these questions, then you are in the right place.

The best part about WordPress is that it’s easy to use and flexible enough for just about anything.

Because it’s free and open source, there are endless plugins available to help you manage your site, and endless themes to make it look and function exactly how you want.

That’s why WordPress has grown so much in popularity.

WordPress now powers 22.5% of all websites on the internet.

Although WordPress is easy to use, there is still a lot you need to know to create your own website:

  • You need to have it hosted somewhere with enough server power to avoid crashes.
  • You need regular back-ups so you never lose important data.
  • You need constant security upgrades to avoid hacks and malware.
  • You need perfect functionality and fast loading across all the devices your customers use.
  • You need a design that looks great, not dated in 5 minutes.

Unless you’re in the business of building websites, there’s no need to spend weeks of research, trial, and error figuring all of this out.

As entrepreneurs, many of us have turned to managed hosting services that take care of all the technical and design jobs we don’t want to learn.

So we can focus on getting customers.

StudioPress Sites is a hosting service that gives you everything you need to create a website for your business that does everything you need it to do:

  • Advanced SEO: If you want people to find your website, you need to give Google what it wants. StudioPress uses a framework of clean, organized code that spoon-feeds the right information to search engines.
  • Rock-Solid Security: StudioPress keeps your website and your readers safe with built-in security features, automatic updates, and backups.
  • Professional Design: Looking good is effortless when you have 20 built-in themes to choose from. StudioPress Sites are designed to look amazing, load quickly, and function perfectly on any device.

Sure, WordPress is free. You could host your site for $3/month somewhere else. You could download the software, buy and install frameworks and themes, and buy plug-ins to customize anything.

You can deal with your own updates and backups.

You can troubleshoot when the site goes down.

Or you could spend about 15 minutes setting up your StudioPress Site and get back to doing work that matters.

How to build a website for your business with StudioPress Sites

Here is a step by step guide on how to create a website for your business with StudioPress. It’s fast, easy, and kind of fun.

Let’s jump into it …

Step 1: Getting Started
Step 2: Find a Theme
Step 3: Choose Your Plan
Step 4: Purchase Your Hosting Plan
Step 5: Setup Your New Website
Step 6: Prepare to go live!
Step 7: Add Features and Enhancements
Step 8: Make Your Website Look Awesome! 

Step 1: How to Build Your Website: Getting Started

Visit StudioPress and scroll down. Click on Pick Your Plan.

Step 2: Find a Theme for Your Website

Browse the selection of themes.

You’ll be able to add any StudioPress theme to your new site in just a few clicks — then customize the look and feel exactly how you want it.

This is where you visualize your attractive, powerful website, and begin to build your own website.

Step 3: Choose Your Hosting Plan

Simple: Only two options and you can switch plans later if you need to.

Bloggers, podcasters, and affiliate marketers are perfect for the Content plan.

If you’re selling physical products, digital downloads, or membership programs, choose Commerce.

Step 4: Purchase Your New Website

This is it, the moment of truth. Input your billing details.

The no-risk checkout means you have 30 days of full access after your purchase to decide if you want to keep your StudioPress Site. If you don’t want it, you’ll get a full refund.

Your website will be ready to set up immediately — what are you waiting for?

Step 5: Set Up Your New Site

Already have a domain? You can go from purchase to live in 10 minutes.

The easy-to-follow wizard walks you through the process of setting it up on your site.

If you don’t have a domain yet, go purchase one, then come back and complete the setup, whenever it’s convenient.

Congratulations! You are now the owner of your very own domain and website.

*** If you already have a WordPress site hosted somewhere else, you don’t have to start from scratch — StudioPress Sites has partnered with Fantasktic to provide an incredible discount on a seamless migration of your website. ***

Step 6: Get Your Website Ready to Go Live

Start fresh with all the tools and themes at your fingertips right there in your account portal.

Step 7: Add Features and Enhancements

This is where it gets really fun.

At any time, you can use the powerful built-in tools (like advanced SEO analysis), add plugins, and more.

StudioPress Sites has official plugin partners that can do just about anything, with 1-click install:

  • Edit your content visually with Beaver Builder.
  • Customize your website look with Design Palette Pro.
  • Add powerful opt-in forms with OptinMonster.
  • Set up your forms with Ninja Forms or WP Form.
  • Start your site membership with Restrict Content Pro.
  • Start selling online products with Easy Digital Downloads.

Step 8: Get Busy Building Your Business

Now that you have learned to create your own website and StudioPress Sites is handling your hosting, updates, and security, you can get to work building your audience.

The easy set-up, great support, and rock-solid performance of your new site give you more time than ever to focus on doing work that matters.

Congratulations you have now taken all of the steps to build a cheap website! This is the beginning of an exciting journey for you and I cannot wait to see what you create. If you have any questions or concerns please email me or track me down on Twitter. I’d be happy to help.

Get Started now!

The post Create Your Own Website (in Less Than 15 Minutes) appeared first on Hack the Entrepreneur.

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Is 2018 is the year for you to start making money online? Then you need to know the answer to this question: What is affiliate marketing?

If you already know what affiliate marketing is, you probably know that people have made serious money with this online business model.

But if you aren’t sure that it still works (or how to make it work for you), you’re in the right place.

This thorough step-by-step guide will answer all your questions so you can start making a living promoting other people’s products.

If you’re as ready as I am, let’s dive in.

This guide goes deep, so we have broken it up into chapters to make it easy to find what you are looking for.

Click a link below to jump to that part of the guide.

CHAPTER 1: What is affiliate marketing? CHAPTER 2: Finding the right affiliate programs CHAPTER 3: How to choose your first affiliate product CHAPTER 4: Promoting affiliate products and making sales CHAPTER 5: Affiliate marketing tools CHAPTER 6: Affiliate marketing FAQs

CHAPTER ONE:

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is the process of earning money by promoting other people’s products.

As an affiliate marketer, you find and promote other people’s products. The owners of the product pay you a commission for every sale or lead you send to them.

If you have a blog, a podcast, or an existing business, affiliate marketing is a great way to monetize (or increase revenues) without having to create your own products.

If you’re new to selling online, and you’re still deciding what business to start, you can use affiliate marketing to test your ideas and find your ideal customer base.

At the same time, you’ll learn about internet marketing and start making money without the pressure of building your own products first.

All you have to do is promote existing products and get paid.

This performance-based system means the more successful your marketing efforts are, the more money you can make.

To fully understand what affiliate marketing is and how it works, it is critical to know a few basic terms used in the industry.

Affiliate marketing terms: A definition

Here’s a list of the basic affiliate marketing terms that will help you understand the rest of the guide.

Affiliate: Also known as an affiliate marketer. The individual who promotes the products or services to earn commissions.

Merchant: The business or company that owns the product.

Affiliate product: The product or service that affiliates promote to earn money. It is also known as an offer.

Affiliate network: A third-party service that acts as an intermediary between merchants and affiliates.

Affiliate networks connect merchants to affiliates and manage the products and payments. They also track sales and traffic.

Amazon Associates is one example of a popular affiliate network.

Affiliate link: A unique link used to track affiliate sales, created and managed by the affiliate network or the merchant. 

Once you choose a product to promote, you need to place links to those products on your website. Your affiliate link identifies those leads as yours so you can get commissions.

Amazon Associates provides HTML coded links that can appear as text, image, or both when you copy them into your website. Here’s an example where I looked for a salad spinner to promote:

First, I chose the product:

Then, I can simply copy the HTML into my site, or go on to “Build link” and get more options:

Now I can customize the way the link will appear on my site, then copy and paste the new affiliate link code:

Commission: The agreed amount that a merchant pays to an affiliate for every sale or lead.

EPC: The Earnings Per Click (EPC) is the average amount of money affiliates earn each time someone clicks the link for the product. Higher EPC means more earnings and vice versa.

Unique clicks: Unique people who clicked your affiliate link. If the same individual clicks your affiliate link three times, it is counted as one unique click.

Raw clicks: All the clicks that your affiliate links receive. A person who clicked your affiliate link three times is counted as three raw clicks.

Cookies: A cookie is a text file that assigns a unique ID to every individual who clicks an affiliate link. It’s saved within the web browser of the visitor and identifies them as your customer for a specified amount of time.

If your customer returns to the merchant’s website and makes a purchase later, you still get the commission, even if the customer didn’t use your affiliate link the second time.

Cookie expiration: The date when the cookie expires on the visitor’s web browser. It is defined by the affiliate network.

For instance, some affiliate networks have a cookie expiration period of 30 days. If an individual arrives at the merchant’s website through your affiliate link but doesn’t make a purchase right away, they will still be tracked as your customer if they purchase the offer within that 30 day period.

Conversion: When a potential customer takes the desired action, it is referred to as conversion.

For example, you earn a commission for every sale, conversion takes place when a potential customer makes the purchase.

If you earn a commission for every lead, the conversion could be the moment a customer provides their email address to the merchant or completes an online form.

How affiliate marketing works

Now that you have an understanding of the basic terms, you can learn exactly how it all works.

It’s a 5-step process:

  1. Sign up with an affiliate network
  2. Choose an affiliate product
  3. Promote the affiliate product
  4. People purchase the product via your affiliate link
  5. You get paid a commission

Here’s a visual walk-through from Sugarrae to show you what the process looks like in action:

Click here to view a larger version.

[Image provided courtesy of the Sugarrae affiliate marketing blog.]

CHAPTER TWO:

Finding the right affiliate programs

There are hundreds of affiliate networks out there. When you know what type of products you want to promote, it’s easy to find options.

Some of the leading affiliate networks are:

  • Amazon Associates
  • CJ Affiliates
  • ClickBank
  • Rakuten
  • ShareASale
  • eBay

These make up only a tiny fraction of available networks. With so many options, how do you choose?

There are several important criteria. 

Before you register and start selling, ask yourself these questions about the networks you are considering:

Do they have products related to my content?

The topic of your website will be the primary factor in which type of products you will sell.

You need to find products that will appeal to your particular audience. Make sure the network you register with gives you access to products in your chosen area.

For example, if you are starting a blog about parenting, make sure the network has products that parents would need or want to improve their parenting or to purchase for their kids.

If you are blogging about training rabbits, the network you choose should offer products that rabbit-owners (and rabbits) need or want.

Although you can register with more than one network, it is easiest to start with one.

 That’s why it is important to make sure your first affiliate network provides you with a variety of product offerings that will appeal to your specific visitors, with various price points.

Will your visitors feel comfortable buying?

When your visitor clicks on an affiliate link, you are sending them elsewhere to complete the purchase. Reputation and trust are big factors in the decision to click the “buy” button.

If the network or merchant site doesn’t seem like a place you would feel comfortable entering your credit card information, don’t send your visitors there.

You want to make sure the affiliate network you choose has a good reputation so you can confidently make recommendations to your audience.

Do they have tools and resources that are easy to use?

Especially if you are new to online business, you need to make sure you will be able to integrate the products easily into your marketing messages, either on your website, in emails, or with ads placed on the internet.

Many networks offer customizable banners, product feeds, and link generators you can copy into your site exactly how you want them to appear.

Consider what kind of visuals you want on your site, and the ease of integration based on your technical abilities. The last thing you want to do is get bogged down with technical issues before you even get started.

What is the affiliate payment structure?

Your primary goals are helping your customers and getting paid for your efforts. You need to know how the getting paid part works before you sign up.

Look into the schedule and method of payment delivery, to make sure the system will work for you once you start earning. 

For example, some affiliate networks might not be able to do direct bank transfers to your country. They might mail you a check, use PayPal, or some other method.

Some affiliate networks have variable commission rates, depending on how much you sell. Some provide bonuses or promotions as an extra incentive to promote certain products.

Merchants and their products will have different payment structures too, which we’ll talk about in more detail in the next chapter.

Creating your first affiliate account

Now that you’ve researched some options, choose an affiliate network and create a free account.

ClickBank has a quick and easy sign-up process that you can complete in just a few minutes. 

Here is how to start making money selling products through ClickBank:

  1. Visit ClickBank affiliate network and click Create Your Account Now at the bottom of the page.
  2. Enter personal information, banking information, and account information to create a new account.
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Do you want to build a cheap website for your business in less than 15 minutes? No problem.

Consultants, writers, freelancers, and entrepreneurs want to build something out of nothing. And that something needs a home on the internet.

You want to get your website up and running today. You want it to be fast and secure. You want it to look amazing.

And… you don’t want to learn coding and web design in the process.

Thankfully, with StudioPress Sites, all of this is easy.

Disclosure: Please note that the links on this page are affiliate links, I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase.

I have experience with StudioPress Sites, and I use them to run my own website. I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something.

Why build a website for your business with WordPress?

Listeners often ask: Why should I use WordPress? Why do I need to switch to WordPress?
If you’re asking these yourself these questions, then you are in the right place.

The best part about WordPress is that it’s easy to use and flexible enough for just about anything.

Because it’s free and open source, there are endless plugins available to help you manage your site, and endless themes to make it look and function exactly how you want.

That’s why WordPress has grown so much in popularity.

WordPress now powers 22.5% of all websites on the internet.

Although WordPress is easy to use, there is still a lot you need to know to set up a website:

  • You need to have it hosted somewhere with enough server power to avoid crashes.
  • You need regular back-ups so you never lose important data.
  • You need constant security upgrades to avoid hacks and malware.
  • You need perfect functionality and fast loading across all the devices your customers use.
  • You need a design that looks great, not dated in 5 minutes.

Unless you’re in the business of building websites, there’s no need to spend weeks of research, trial, and error figuring all of this out.

As entrepreneurs, many of us have turned to managed hosting services that take care of all the technical and design jobs we don’t want to learn.

So we can focus on getting customers.

StudioPress Sites is a hosting service that gives you everything you need to create a website for your business that does everything you need it to do:

  • Advanced SEO: If you want people to find your website, you need to give Google what it wants. StudioPress uses a framework of clean, organized code that spoon-feeds the right information to search engines.
  • Rock-Solid Security: StudioPress keeps your website and your readers safe with built-in security features, automatic updates, and backups.
  • Professional Design: Looking good is effortless when you have 20 built-in themes to choose from. StudioPress Sites are designed to look amazing, load quickly, and function perfectly on any device.

Sure, WordPress is free. You could host your site for $3/month somewhere else. You could download the software, buy and install frameworks and themes, and buy plug-ins to customize anything.

You can deal with your own updates and backups.

You can troubleshoot when the site goes down.

Or you could spend about 15 minutes setting up your StudioPress Site and get back to doing work that matters.

How to build a cheap website for your business with StudioPress Sites

Here is a step by step guide on how to create a website for your business with StudioPress. It’s fast, easy, and kind of fun.

Let’s jump into it …

Step 1: Getting Started
Step 2: Find a Theme
Step 3: Choose Your Plan
Step 4: Purchase Your Hosting Plan
Step 5: Setup Your New Website
Step 6: Prepare to go live!
Step 7: Add Features and Enhancements
Step 8: Make Your Website Look Awesome! 

Step 1: Build a Cheap Website: Getting Started

Visit StudioPress and scroll down. Click on Pick Your Plan.

Step 2: Find a Theme for Your Website

Browse the selection of themes.

You’ll be able to add any StudioPress theme to your new site in just a few clicks — then customize the look and feel exactly how you want it.

This is where you visualize your attractive, powerful website, and begin to build a cheap website.

Step 3: Choose Your Hosting Plan

Simple: Only two options and you can switch plans later if you need to.

Bloggers, podcasters, and affiliate marketers are perfect for the Content plan.

If you’re selling physical products, digital downloads, or membership programs, choose Commerce.

Step 4: Purchase Your New Website

This is it, the moment of truth. Input your billing details.

The no-risk checkout means you have 30 days of full access after your purchase to decide if you want to keep your StudioPress Site. If you don’t want it, you’ll get a full refund.

Your website will be ready to set up immediately — what are you waiting for?

Step 5: Set Up Your New Site

Already have a domain? You can go from purchase to live in 10 minutes.

The easy-to-follow wizard walks you through the process of setting it up on your site.

If you don’t have a domain yet, go purchase one, then come back and complete the setup, whenever it’s convenient.

Congratulations! You are now the owner of your very own domain and website.

*** If you already have a WordPress site hosted somewhere else, you don’t have to start from scratch — StudioPress Sites has partnered with Fantasktic to provide an incredible discount on a seamless migration of your website. ***

Step 6: Get Your Website Ready to Go Live

Start fresh with all the tools and themes at your fingertips right there in your account portal.

Step 7: Add Features and Enhancements

This is where it gets really fun.

At any time, you can use the powerful built-in tools (like advanced SEO analysis), add plugins, and more.

StudioPress Sites has official plugin partners that can do just about anything, with 1-click install:

  • Edit your content visually with Beaver Builder.
  • Customize your website look with Design Palette Pro.
  • Add powerful opt-in forms with OptinMonster.
  • Set up your forms with Ninja Forms or WP Form.
  • Start your site membership with Restrict Content Pro.
  • Start selling online products with Easy Digital Downloads.

Step 8: Get Busy Building Your Business

Now that you have learned to build a cheap website and StudioPress Sites is handling your hosting, updates, and security, you can get to work building your audience.

The easy set-up, great support, and rock-solid performance of your new site give you more time than ever to focus on doing work that matters.

Congratulations you have now taken all of the steps to build a cheap website! This is the beginning of an exciting journey for you and I cannot wait to see what you create. If you have any questions or concerns please email me or track me down on Twitter. I’d be happy to help.

Get Started now!

The post Build a Cheap Website for Your Business [2018] appeared first on Hack the Entrepreneur.

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The goal setting worksheet at the end of this article will save you from ever feeling this again: the pain of setting a big goal in January only to fail in reaching it by December.

It’s a feeling of shame, humiliation, and that dreadful feeling in the pit of your stomach.

When you look back at the end of a year and it seems like you’ve been treading water instead of moving forward, there is a reason for that.

The goals you set are too far in the future, too big, and too important to keep putting off. I’m going to show you how to avoid the pitfalls that take you down in reaching goals. 

To get to the finish line, change the way you set inspiring big-picture goals.

Instead of the long slog of a marathon, start thinking of your work as a series of short, intense sprints.

You might be thinking too long term

If 2017 was going to be the year that you finally launched a side hustle, what happened? And why aren’t you watching the sales roll in right now?

The reason could be that you gave yourself way too much time to get distracted and lose motivation.

The problem with making year-long goals is there is too much time for a multitude of distractions to get in your way.  

At the beginning of the year, it seems as if there is plenty of time to get serious, leaving you wide open to procrastinate.

When you get distracted by the inevitable things that come up, your business goals will get put on the back burner, because there is always time to catch up later.  

Unfortunately, later comes with its own time commitments and distractions, just like now.

Over the course of a year, your life, your business, and possibly your entire industry could be radically different than they are now. Things change fast and your ideas could become irrelevant if you take too long to follow through.

If you have an inspiring goal this year, to get your business idea off the ground, or finally take it to the next level, you might need a long time to get there.

So how can a short-term goal setting worksheet help you plan for the big things you want to do?

You might also be thinking too big

Huge goals are huge. This is an obvious but important point to let sink in.

Starting a business from scratch takes an enormous amount of effort, and consistent daily action.

When you have too much work piled up between you and your goal of becoming an  entrepreneur, it is very easy to get discouraged.

The urge to give yourself a break is no match for your willpower once defeatism has set in.

I would never tell you to tone down the scope of your aspirations.

Your big dreams are the fuel that ignite your passion, and you need them. So dream big!  

But just for a minute, let’s think small.

Before you make your first million dollars in sales, you need to make your first hundred.

Before you get your hundredth customer, you need to find your first one.

And what do you need before that? You probably need to test out an idea, get a website, and start building an audience.

Each of those could be goals to set for yourself in shorter timeframes.

Instead of setting a huge, non-specific goal to “start a successful business,” make a series of smaller goals. Each of these are the right scope for a short-term goal setting worksheet:

Breaking down your big goal into smaller parts makes it easier to see where you are going, what you need to do next, and how to accomplish your goal. And you can see that each small goal builds on the next, leading to the ultimate big win.

If you do some careful planning up front, you will give your dreams a much higher chance of becoming reality.

Enter the 12 week sprint.

Why working in 12 week sprints is better than a year long marathon

12 weeks, approximately three months, is a perfect amount of time to schedule for serious work on your goals.

A 12 week sprint is long enough to allow for the inevitable distractions that will come up, but short enough to keep you pushing towards your deadline, with the end always in sight.

Twelve weeks may not be long enough to achieve earth-shattering results, but it is long enough to make huge strides toward them. Work in months, not years, and you will be able keep your intensity up.

You won’t lose motivation because you will have an end goal in close range. When you get to the finish line, the satisfaction of getting done what you set out to do will be so rewarding that you’ll be ready to start your next sprint with renewed energy.

Plus, you’ll have a built in reward if you do it right.

Never miss your deadlines: take small steps towards big rewards

If for some reason, you had to eat a whole loaf of bread in the next ten minutes, how would you do it?

First, you’d want it in slices. Then you’d take one bite a time, out of each slice. Achieving your big goals is best done the same way, one bite at a time.

Start by breaking down your big goal into broad phases.  Choose a point in the journey that is reasonable and doable in 12 weeks.

For example, if you are starting from scratch, you could use three cycles of the goal setting worksheet to set up three sprints:

  1. Get your website up and running
  2. Getting your first customers
  3. Growing to a specific number of customers or sales

If you are also working a full time job, be realistic about how much time you can dedicate to your business each day. Then set yourself a goal of doing as many or few of these steps as you can. Every day. Weekends included.

If the steps are small enough, you should be able to get at least one thing done every day towards your goal.

What these steps look like could be as small as posting a job on a freelance site to get your logo designed, spending half an hour researching web hosting platforms, or writing the copy for a sales page.

Figure out each new challenge as you approach it, and don’t worry about learning how to do steps 15 or 20 when you are only on step 5. Doing that will  keep you from making steady progress.

Finally, make sure you plan for a well-deserved reward when you have reached your target.

Knowing you have a break coming is key to keeping your motivation high throughout the weeks of hard work.

Take a short break to enjoy your success, and then plan your next sprint.

Your Goal Setting Worksheet

If you try a series of sprints instead of a marathon this year, when you look back at the end of 2018, you will accomplish more than you thought possible.

Remember to think short by planning only 12 weeks out, think tiny steps by breaking every step down to the smallest parts, and think of a way to celebrate your progress at the end.

By the time you finish your first sprint, victorious, you will  be so excited about your progress  you won’t want to stop.

Get the power of 12 week sprints on your side to finally crush your big goals, with a free goal setting worksheet. Download it now!

The post Goal Setting Worksheet: How to Accomplish Your Goals Faster in 2018 appeared first on Hack the Entrepreneur.

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Like many first-time entrepreneurs, I thought working on my own business would be a walk in the park compared to working for someone else. But I had a rude awakening. And then I found these productivity hacks.

Working from home can be hard as hell.

When you’ve pushed back your launch date more times than you care to count, and you’re logging more hours than you care to admit, you start to lose confidence. The days slip away, turn into weeks, and you’re looking back wondering what happened to all your big plans.

If this has happened to you, you’re not alone. Too many business ideas never get off the ground because entrepreneurs burn out before they get any traction.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to boost your output without working all the time.

When you get to do work that matters, don’t waste the opportunity beating yourself up for not getting enough done. When you work productively, you can make more progress in less time.

Here are the productivity hacks for entrepreneurs I use to keep my business moving forward every day.

Time blocking

How many days have you wasted spinning your wheels, jumping from task to task, and giving in to distraction instead of finishing one thing?

We all have a limited supply of willpower, energy, and ability to focus every day. To manage that supply and make sure it lasts long enough to complete your most important tasks of the day, work in short bursts of time.

The Pomodoro Technique is a way of managing time in 25-minute blocks of productive work, with short breaks in between. When you let distractions like email, social media, and your mental chatter call the shots, you’ll be running on fumes before you get anything accomplished.

Time blocking is an effective productivity hack for entrepreneurs because short bursts of work allow you to laser-focus and eliminate distractions.  It’s easy to block out distractions long enough to get your task done when you know you will give yourself a few minutes of free time at the end.

But here’s the catch: the breaks are as important as the work periods. Use the time between bursts of work to deal with anything that’s mentally distracting you:

  • Check your messages if you need to.
  • Write down things that have come to mind that you need to deal with (in future Pomodoro sessions)
  • Grab some water and a snack if you’re distracted by hunger

Then do something that energizes you. Do some jumping jacks, make some tea, or do a few minutes of stretching. Better yet, take a short walk.

Walking: The ultimate multi-tasker

This hack dovetails nicely with time blocking because walking is the best thing you can do when you need a break. It gets oxygen flowing to your brain and your entire body for a significant energy boost.

While the Pomodoro Technique suggests taking 5-minute breaks between work sessions, we need to move a lot more than that to be healthy. And we all know we spend way too much time hunched over our laptops.

Fortunately, walking is the ultimate multi-tasker. Not only does it improve your health, energy, and creativity, but you can grow your business at the same time.

Here are the best productivity hacks for entrepreneurs that can turn a walk into the most important part of your day:

  • Meetings: I have scheduled phone meetings several times throughout the week, and whenever the weather is not out to kill me (I live in Canada), I grab my headphones and head outside.Of course, sometimes I need to be on my computer, and that requires me to stay at my desk. But most of the time I can walk and be more engaged, energetic, and creative for these meetings. I make mastermind calls, planning sessions, and sales calls while out walking in the city or a park.
  • Planning your day: First thing in the morning is a great time to walk, especially if you have kids that you can walk to school or a dog that needs to go out.Use the time to think about the day ahead, choose one crucial task and decide how you will approach it. These few minutes of planning will keep you on track the rest of the day.Bring a small notebook and pen to jot down your thoughts, or dictate to your phone, so you remember your ideas when you get down to work.
  • Daydreaming: When your mind is free to roam, the best ideas often appear. Your business needs you to be a creative problem-solver, and walking gives your creativity a boost. While your body is busy moving, your brain gets into a flow state. Thinking without trying to think.Frustrating problems happen all the time when you are trying to run a business. Instead of brooding at your desk, getting nothing done, taking a walk is making a conscious choice to be productive.

While the health benefits of walking are too good to ignore, most of don’t get outside on our feet nearly enough. Because we think we’re too busy. But if your walks are opportunities to get some important work done, it’s a win-win.

Music and productivity in the workplace

Your workplace includes the physical space you’re in, the office furniture you use, and the ambient sound around you. It can either be a drag, or a focus-enhancing tool that gives you positive energy. Whatever the task you’ve set for yourself today, it will get done faster, better, and more creatively if you set the right tone with music.

Entrepreneurs wear many hats, particularly in the beginning of a new venture. Sometimes there are repetitive tasks like responding to emails, setting up content on the website, or dealing with ifnvoicing and accounting. To get these necessary evils out the way quickly, put on music that fires you up and puts you in a good mood.

Starting a business requires a lot of writing. You have to write emails, blog posts, marketing plans, and all kinds of content for your website. Use music to block out distractions and focus on your message. The best things to listen to for creative tasks like writing have no lyrics to distract your mind, and have an upbeat feel to encourage forward movement.

Don’t make music an afterthought –make it count and enhance your output.

Find your focus

Entrepreneur productivity hacks can’t help you if you are not prioritizing the right tasks for your business. Every burst of work, writing session, and phone call should be planned and chosen according to how useful it will be in moving your business forward.

Finding Your Focus is the ultimate hack because it allows you to distill all of the thoughts and ideas you have into a system for growth and progress. When you know where you’re trying to go, you confidently assess which projects and tasks are most worthy of your limited time and energy.

You can narrow your focus even further by learning to break down every process into small enough pieces that you can finish one or two every single day without burnout.

With this program, you’ll also learn how to schedule your work day so that you always finish your to-do list (hint: it’s about making the right list). Then you will leave your work behind and enjoy the rest of your day, knowing that you’re on the right track and moving ahead on your goals.

Small wins, every day

Starting a business and seeing it through to success is an exhilarating journey when you look back later at the big picture. But day to day, it’s easy to get bogged down, discouraged, and lose momentum.

Get something done every day that moves the needle toward success. That’s a small win. Add them up over time, and you can accomplish big change.

Get focused today and start collecting those wins by harnessing the power of these tried and true productivity hacks for entrepreneurs.

The post Productivity Hacks for Entrepreneurs: Make More Progress in Less Time appeared first on Hack the Entrepreneur.

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Writing a sales page does not come easily to many entrepreneurs. You want to make sales (as many as possible), but you don’t want to be pushy or sleazy.

Well, you can put down that plaid sports coat unless you’re running a used car lot — or just have killer style.

More likely, you’re selling products or services on your website.

You know your customers will benefit from making the purchase. Whether it’s digital courses, bicycle tours, or novelty socks, you have products that you believe in. Heck, maybe you’re even selling 30-minute coaching sessions.

The job of your sales page is to tell people exactly how they will benefit, and why they should buy from you.

But just like a salesperson at the used car lot, your sales page can’t do the job if the customer walks away at any point in the process. You have to close the sale.

Good salespeople and good sales pages keep people interested long enough to:

  • Provide prospective buyers all the information they need to make a decision.
  • Answer all the questions buyers have (even before they ask).
  • Give a feeling of excitement about owning the product.
  • Allow the buyer feel comfortable making a purchase.

If уоur reader is nоt соnvіnсеd immediately thаt your рrоduсt is worth rеаdіng mоrе about, they will lеаvе.

If they feel like they can’t trust the product, the business, or the purchase process, they will leave.

If thеу lose іntеrеѕt аt any роіnt іn уоur sales раgе, thеу will lеаvе.

A well-wrіttеn ѕаlеѕ раgе makes the sale. It’s the difference between the ѕuссеѕѕ and fаіlurе of your business. That’s hоw important іt іѕ.

So, hоw do уоu wrіtе a ѕаlеѕ раgе that keeps your prospect іntеrеѕtеd and tells them everything they need to know? It’s easier than you think.

Use these seven elements as a sales page template to start making more sales.

1) A sales page headline that grabs attention


Thе headline is of utmоѕt іmроrtаnсе. It’s the first thing your prospect will see.

There’s only one job your headline has to do, so make sure it does this one thing well: make the reader want to know more.

There are three elements to include in your headline that make it work:

Element 1: Benefits or pain points

A good headline tells the prospect what your product will do for them — think outcome, rather than process.

First, tell them what fantastic benefit they will receive. Sometimes the benefit is avoiding an annoying or painful problem.

You’ll get into how your product will come through on this promise later in the sales page. For now, make a bold statement or question addressing the main great thing that will occur in your prospect’s life when they buy your product.

Element 2: Striking words

Write a headline in one to thrее ѕhоrt ѕеntеnсеѕ that include powerful, interesting wоrdѕ. These should be words thаt someone іntеrеѕtеd іn the ѕubjесt mаttеr wіll fіnd irresistible.

Use words that evoke an image or feeling. Try unusual words that evoke curiosity or peak the reader’s interest. Don’t be afraid to use a thesaurus at this stage.

Element 3: Catch the eye with color and size

Your main hеаdіng ѕhоuld bе bold, сеntrеd, and in the lаrgеѕt fоnt on the page.

Cаріtаlіѕе the first lеttеr of every word, and use a соlоr other thаn black, whісh ѕhоuld bе the predominate соlоur of the text on the rest of your page.

You may find that one line isn’t enough to convey the remarkable benefit of your product, and draw the reader’s attention. In that case, try adding a ѕесоndаrу hеаdіng underneath – these are referred to as the pre-headline or sub-headline, depending on their position.

The secondary heading can be longer than the main one. It should be іn bоld text, but uѕе a smaller fоnt. Rеvеrt tо blасk text, so it stands out from the main headline above.

It is becoming more and mоrе соmmоn tо use аudіо, vіdео, оr both as раrt of headlines, but thе most іmроrtаnt thing to remember is thаt іt muѕt bе attention grаbbіng.

Use pain points, benefits, striking words, and bold visuals tо еnѕurе уоur visitor ѕtауѕ оn the page and starts rеаdіng.

2) Encouragement to feel the outcome

After thе hеаdlіnе, it’s time to start letting your reader know exactly how your product will make life better. But it’s not enough to list off features and benefits.

This is the section where you want to tap into the imagination of the reader.

Write a paragraph or two (in the regular body text of your site) that will bring the experience of owning the product to life.

Encourage your reader to imagine:

  • Whаt іt wоuld fееl like tо оwn thе product.
  • How life would be different once they have the product.
  • Hоw envious friends аnd rеlаtіоnѕ wоuld bе.
  • How the рrоduсt or service would upgrade their lifestyle.

Bеfоrе сhооѕіng a new саr tо buy, a prospective buyer wіll imagine ѕрееdіng аlоng an ореn hіghwау or winding along an epic coastal route, as you see in many car commercials. They will see the fantastic view, smell the sea air, and feel exhilarated.

While the sub-соnѕсіоuѕ mіnd is going through this process of imagination, your reader may not even be aware of it. However, they will end up wanting whatever is associated with the most enjoyable experiences.

The same idea applies no matter what you are selling. Whether you sell Ferraris оr еbооks, mаkе every еffоrt to spring imaginative thоughtѕ іntо your reader’s mind.

3) Emphasize your uniqueness

We all lоvе tо own unique things. Things thаt mаkе us stand оut from our рееrѕ.

Aftеr you have saturated thе іmаgіnаtіоn, emphasize the qualities of your product that stand оut frоm the crowd. The purpose of this section is to give the reader rеаѕоnѕ whу they ѕhоuld buy уоur рrоduсt rаthеr thаn your competitor’s.

Every product or ѕеrvісе hаѕ its оwn U.S.P. (Unique Sеllіng Prороѕіtіоn). You must bе аblе tо рut уоur product’s U.S.P. іntо wоrdѕ.

Think about your product from different angles, and zero in on one or two things that make it distinct from the competition.

Let’s look at some ways an online course could be seen as different from others:

  • It teaches simple techniques, nothing complicated or overwhelming.
  • It doesn’t require any reading.
  • The bonuses offer better resources than anywhere else.
  • It can be completed quickly.
  • It’s more comprehensive than any other program.

A section that focuses on your USP strengthens your sales page, but it will also help with future sales.

People who buy your product should be able to quickly and easily explain why they chose your product over others in the marketplace.

This way, they can help you spread the word.

4) List the benefits

This section is where you can get into detail about the product. You are now going to follow through on those promises you made in the headline.

Now is your chance to explicitly state the benefits. Don’t hold back, here is where you need to sell hard.

Create a bulleted list of EVERYTHING about the product or service that will benefit the reader. Do not hold back. Do not think your list is getting too long. It can never be too long.

Make each point unique, but don’t worry if you repeat some of the benefits you mentioned in the previous sections.

Here’s how to structure each point:

  1. Describe a feature.
  2. Explain the benefit of the feature.

Humans have a few basic needs that create the motivation to do anything. When someone is looking to make a purchase, you can be sure there is a core need they are attempting to fill.

Someone buying guitar lessons wants to learn to play an instrument. But what core need are they fulfilling?

Thinking about needs helps you focus on benefits. The desire to learn guitar could stem from any of these self-actualization needs:

  • Expressing creativity
  • Self-improvement
  • Fulfilling potential

On the other hand, it could be (more long-term) a way to gain self-esteem and recognition while shredding onstage.

Here are two examples to get you started:

A feature of the guitar lessons could be daily practice assignments. The benefit is learning something new every day.

Another feature could be the teaching of stage presence. The benefit is looking cool on stage.

As you begin your features/benefits list, treat it as you would any other brainstorm session and write freely, without critical thought.

The editing process will allow you to remove the less powerful combinations, but for now, you simply need to find as many combinations as possible.

5) Make your offer too good to refuse

This section of your sales page template is where you fіrѕt mеntіоn thе соѕt оf your offer, and specifically what it includes.

Surely you’ve put some thought into pricing before drafting your sales page, but there are a few things to consider before you launch your offer.

Make sure thе price is reasonable, depending оn what exactly thе рrоduсt or ѕеrvісе іѕ, but here’s a warning …  do not make the mistake of underpricing.

You may think that lower prices translate into more sales, but this is not always the case.

A price that is too low suggests that there is little value, or the product is of low quality.

Sаlеѕ vоlumеѕ can асtuаllу increase whеn the рrісе is raised because the right price conveys a message: The product is valuable and worth owning.

It’s a fine line, and it may take some trial and error. You can adjust the price later if your sales aren’t what they should be.

Just don’t sell yourself short, especially if you believe in your product and what it will do for your buyers. And really, you shouldn’t be selling anything unless this is the case.


The hidden power of bonuses

In addition to a good (but not too good) price, offеr уоur potential customer twо оr thrее frее bоnuѕеѕ.

Pеорlе lоvе free stuff.

Bonuses do not need to be expensive, аnd uѕuаllу dоwnlоаdаblе electronic рrоduсtѕ lіkе ebooks оr videos will be perfect. The trick is, they need to be rеlаtеd tо the product уоu аrе selling.

A well-crafted bonus will enhance the outcome of your product.

You don’t have to create something from scratch. Chances are you already have blog posts, emails to your list, or other content you’ve created that you can easily transform into something new.

Just because the information is already out there, doesn’t mean someone wouldn’t love to have it in a different format.

Here are some ideas:

  • Repurpose emails into a new ebook — all your best content in one place
  • Updated “new for 2017” versions of timely blog posts that are out of date
  • Audio versions of content you’ve already written
  • Video demonstrations of concepts you’ve written about

If you don’t want to spend time creating and formatting bonuses, many services produce content like this.

With a little research, you can find dоwnlоаdаblе products whісh саn bе customized with your branding, for almost any niche.

With the right price and some irresistible bonuses, this section simply lays out the details of your offer. 

Next, you’ll provide the social proof that gives readers confidence in everything you’ve said so far.

6) Testimonials and guarantee

We are nearing the end of the sales page now, and it’s almost time for your reader to click the buy button. But before they can feel comfortable doing business with you, they need to hear from other people that you and your product are the real deal.

Everything you’ve told them so far means nothing if they don’t believe it.

Real testimonials add credence to your claims and give your potential buyers proof that your product will add value to their lives.

Another important job of testimonials is overcoming any lingering objections or worries your customers have that the product isn’t right for them. Buyers will have concerns that need to be addressed — testimonials can (and should) answer them.

For example, someone may be worried that the nutrition plan you are selling will leave them feeling hungry and deprived like so many other diets. Client feedback about feeling satisfied on one of your plans knocks this obstacle out of the way.

Testimonials work best when they feel authentic. Glowing generic praise doesn’t help with authenticity.

Try to include a good variety of testimonials about different details, aspects, and outcomes of the product that real users have experienced.

Getting tеѕtіmоnіаlѕ іѕ not еаѕу, especially for nеw products which hаvе juѕt bееn lаunсhеd, but it can be done with a little confidence. Don’t be afraid to ask people for feedback.

Let your customers know how much you value their opinion, and people are often delighted to help. Worst case scenario is they ignore your request.

There are many ways to ask for testimonials, such as:

  • Offеr аddіtіоnаl free bonuses to early customers in exchange for product feedback
  • Exchange reviews with other online businesses. Leave them a review first, and then politely ask if they could do the same for you.
  • Ask previous customers about their experience dealing with you.
  • Give discounted or free access to a few of your ideal customers before you launch, and ask for their honest feedback.

Group аbоut ѕеvеn tо tеn testimonials tоwаrdѕ thе end оf уоur page. If уоu have more, ѕрrіnklе thеm thrоughоut the whоlе sales раgе аt rаndоm, bеtwееn the other sections.

It’s time to remove all risk

It is about thіѕ tіmе that уоu ѕhоuld offer an unсоndіtіоnаl 100% guаrаntее: a full rеfund if the сuѕtоmеr іѕ nоt ѕаtіѕfіеd. Put a tіmе limit оn thе guаrаntее, lіkе 60 оr 90 days.

Hіghlіght уоur guаrаntее by putting it іn a bоx wіth a соlоurеd bасkgrоund аnd a guarantee symbol in the corner. Doing so adds a touch оf рrоfеѕѕіоnаlіѕm аnd ѕіnсеrіtу tо уоur written statement.

You shouldn’t want a customer to spend money and be unsatisfied with their purchase. So state this very clearly on your sales page.

7) Tell your reader what to do next (and add urgency)

With all the compelling reasons you provided earlier in the page, you may have already convinced some readers. Placing two “Click Here to Order” links or “Add to Cart” buttons further up your page allows them to take action right away.

Hоwеvеr, hеrе аt thе end of your sales page, уоu ѕhоuld ѕummаrіzе your offer:

  • The product
  • The complete bonuses
  • The value of the whole package
  • The price of the whole package

Explain, іn vеrу ѕіmрlе tеrmѕ, еxасtlу what рrосеѕѕ they will nееd to fоllоw after сlісkіng the buy buttоn, and emphasize hоw еаѕу іt wіll be.

Creating a sense of urgency will give hesitant buyers an extra push to complete the order. This is done by stating a time limit on the price of your offer, or the number available.

There’s no need to be insincere. If you don’t really intend to increase the price or limit numbers, you can find other ways to create urgency. Try reminding customers why they need your product right now, and why waiting is a bad idea.

Repeat the рrісе and rеmіnd уоur readers of thе guarantee.

Place a buy button or a link in a large bright font to complete the purchase.

Sіgn оff wіth a friendly goodbye, followed by your contact information.

Tell your readers how to contact you should they have any problems completing the order, or if they have any further questions.

Sales page template in 7 easy steps: Now it’s your turn

Use this sales page template every time you need to create an awesome sales page.

With this system in place, you can tap into your creativity and start to design your sales pages so that they connect with your ideal customers.

Remember, you’re not just selling something. Your product will help people — you just need to help them understand how.

The post How to Create an Awesome Sales Page in 7 Easy Steps appeared first on Hack the Entrepreneur.

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Do you want to create a website for your business in 15 minutes? No problem.

Consultants, writers, freelancers, and entrepreneurs want to build something out of nothing. And that something needs a home on the internet.

You want to get your website up and running today. You want it to be fast and secure. You want it to look amazing.

And… you don’t want to learn coding and web design in the process.

Thankfully, with StudioPress Sites, all of this is easy.

Disclosure: Please note that the links on this page are affiliate links, I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase.

I have experience with StudioPress Sites, and I use them to run my own website. I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something.

Why create a website for your business with WordPress?

Listeners often ask: Why should I use WordPress? Why do I need to switch to WordPress?
If you’re asking these yourself these questions, then you are in the right place.

The best part about WordPress is that it’s easy to use and flexible enough for just about anything.

Because it’s free and open source, there are endless plugins available to help you manage your site, and endless themes to make it look and function exactly how you want.

That’s why WordPress has grown so much in popularity.

WordPress now powers 22.5% of all websites on the internet.

Although WordPress is easy to use, there is still a lot you need to know to set up a website:

  • You need to have it hosted somewhere with enough server power to avoid crashes.
  • You need regular back-ups so you never lose important data.
  • You need constant security upgrades to avoid hacks and malware.
  • You need perfect functionality and fast loading across all the devices your customers use.
  • You need a design that looks great, not dated in 5 minutes.

Unless you’re in the business of building websites, there’s no need to spend weeks of research, trial, and error figuring all of this out.

As entrepreneurs, many of us have turned to managed hosting services that take care of all the technical and design jobs we don’t want to learn.

So we can focus on getting customers.

StudioPress Sites is a hosting service that gives you everything you need to create a website for your business that does everything you need it to do:

  • Advanced SEO: If you want people to find your website, you need to give Google what it wants. StudioPress uses a framework of clean, organized code that spoon-feeds the right information to search engines.
  • Rock-Solid Security: StudioPress keeps your website and your readers safe with built-in security features, automatic updates, and backups.
  • Professional Design: Looking good is effortless when you have 20 built-in themes to choose from. StudioPress Sites are designed to look amazing, load quickly, and function perfectly on any device.

Sure, WordPress is free. You could host your site for $3/month somewhere else. You could download the software, buy and install frameworks and themes, and buy plug-ins to customize anything.

You can deal with your own updates and backups.

You can troubleshoot when the site goes down.

Or you could spend about 15 minutes setting up your StudioPress Site and get back to doing work that matters.

How to create a website for your business with StudioPress Sites

Here is a step by step guide on how to create a website for your business with StudioPress. It’s fast, easy, and kind of fun.

Let’s jump into it …

Step 1: Getting Started

Visit StudioPress and scroll down. Click on Pick Your Plan.

Step 2:

Browse the selection of themes.

You’ll be able to add any StudioPress theme to your new site in just a few clicks — then customize the look and feel exactly how you want it.

This is where you visualize your attractive, powerful website.

Step 3: Choose Your Plan

Simple: Only two options and you can switch plans later if you need to.

Bloggers, podcasters, and affiliate marketers are perfect for Content.

If you’re selling physical products, digital downloads, or membership programs, choose Commerce.

Step 4: Purchase Your New Site

This is it, the moment of truth. Input your billing details.

The no-risk checkout means you have 30 days of full access after your purchase to decide if you want to keep your StudioPress Site. If you don’t want it, you’ll get a full refund.

Your website will be ready to set up immediately — what are you waiting for?

Step 5: Set Up Your New Site

Already have a domain? You can go from purchase to live in 10 minutes.

The easy-to-follow wizard walks you through the process of setting it up on your site.

If you don’t have a domain yet, go purchase one, then come back and complete the setup, whenever it’s convenient.

Congratulations! You are now the owner of your very own domain and website.

*** If you already have a WordPress site hosted somewhere else, you don’t have to start from scratch — StudioPress Sites has partnered with Fantasktic to provide an incredible discount on a seamless migration of your website. ***

Step 6: Get Your Site Ready to Go Live

Start fresh with all the tools and themes at your fingertips right there in your account portal.

Step 7: Add Features and Enhancements

This is where it gets really fun.

At any time, you can use the powerful built-in tools (like advanced SEO analysis), add plugins, and more.

StudioPress Sites has official plugin partners that can do just about anything, with 1-click install:

  • Edit your content visually with Beaver Builder.
  • Customize your website look with Design Palette Pro.
  • Add powerful opt-in forms with OptinMonster.
  • Set up your forms with Ninja Forms or WP Form.
  • Start your site membership with Restrict Content Pro.
  • Start selling online products with Easy Digital Downloads.

Step 8: Get busy building your business

Now that StudioPress Sites is handling your hosting, updates, and security, you can get to work building your audience.

The easy set-up, great support, and rock-solid performance of your new site give you more time than ever to focus on doing work that matters.

Congratulations! This is the beginning of an exciting journey for you and I cannot wait to see what you create. If you have any questions or concerns please email me or track me down on Twitter. I’d be happy to help.

Get Started now!

The post Create a Website for Your Business: Attract Customers and Make Sales appeared first on Hack the Entrepreneur: .

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It’s easier than ever to start a business with just a laptop and a few dollars. There is endless information available on how to start a website, build traffic, and get customers. Unfortunately, none of this matters if you can’t choose the best business to start — for you and your current situation.

And yet, there are people every day wishing they could do it. Not doing it, because they think they need a million dollar idea before they start. Is this you?

Perhaps you have an idea, but you are afraid to take action in case it’s the wrong idea and doesn’t work out. Maybe, like me, you have a notebook full of ideas. Only you don’t know which one to choose.

If you are sitting on your hands because you don’t know what business to start, let me tell you what I’ve learned.

The idea matters, but it also doesn’t matter at all.

In fact, there are some things far more important than the idea itself.

So ask the internet, “What’s the best business to start with just my laptop?” and the internet will tell you, “Dropshipping!”

But I’ll tell you to ask some better questions.

The best business idea for YOU

Intuitively, it makes sense to look outward for a great idea. Something brilliant just might fall into your lap if you’re open and aware and if you research enough.

But while you’re waiting, here is a more fundamental starting point:  Look inward.

The success of your new venture depends mostly on you. On your knowledge, skills, and ability to take action.

So it makes sense to start with finding out some things about yourself before you start looking outward for a perfect idea that doesn’t fit with you and your life.

Your natural talents, specific interests, and hard-won experience are unique. Nobody else has the same combination.

You probably don’t even realize all of the assets you are starting out with.

For starters, here are some questions to think about:

  • What do you like doing?
  • What subjects do you know well?
  • What career are you already trained for?
  • What industries have you worked in?
  • What personal, educational, or work-related skills have you developed in your lifetime?

Ask yourself these questions, and then ask people that know you well. It’s hard to be objective and easy to be dismissive of our attributes, so second opinions can be beneficial.

The best business idea in the hands of the wrong person is worth nothing. But when you locate the intersection where your skills, your interests, and a market opportunity overlap, you will find the best business to start.

From there, it’s up to you to stick with it, try things out, and change course as you go.

Unique business ideas: Do they matter?

I’ve just finished telling you how your best business idea will leverage the skills, knowledge, and contacts you already have. So what if that business turns out to be something that’s been done already? Should you go back to the drawing board?

If your idea is already being done, that’s fine. It’s not being done by you. You can build a successful business in any market, even an already crowded one, because there are endless ways to differentiate yourself from the competition.

You could use different branding to appeal to a different customer base. You could provide faster delivery than any competitor. You could offer a unique perspective on an already well-covered topic.

Competition in your field is a sign that there is an opportunity there. An opportunity to do something better than anyone else, or different in a meaningful way.

Best business to start: Persistence and flexibility

There are lots of contradictions in business, like the idea matters but also doesn’t matter.

Here’s another one:

You have to be persistent, but also willing change course entirely.

Sometimes that means abandoning a project altogether. That’s right. Sometimes your perfect idea doesn’t work out, and you have to leave it behind.

But wait, doesn’t persistence mean never giving up?

Yes, it does. If you’re in it for the long-haul, you can never give up on your overarching goal. If your life’s goal is to sell fidget spinners, you will only be able to do that as long as the current fad lasts. 

So look a little deeper at what’s motivating you. Do you want to provide a certain lifestyle for your family, or earn a particular amount of money? Do you want to help others achieve something you’ve done in your own life? Do you want to create massive change?

Look at how the great business ideas you’re considering will contribute to that goal, and evaluate accordingly.

Success is about both persistence and flexibility.

If your initial business idea doesn’t work out, you have to either change direction and save it or leave it behind and start something else.

That’s why many successful entrepreneurs start one business after another. A big success is usually the result of hard lessons learned, personal connections made, and opportunities created by initial failures.

The true value lies in the execution

Ideas are worthless until you do something with them.

Stop waiting for a lightning strike of inspiration, and start trying things out. The true test of value for any idea is putting it into practice and seeing if you can make it work.

Don’t wait. Get to work.

The post Best Business to Start (When You Have No Ideas) appeared first on Hack the Entrepreneur: .

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Last August, I was skateboarding in my band’s jam spot after practice. I attempted an ollie over an old snare drum — something I have done dozens of times.

(When I write it out like this, it sounds like a terrible idea.)

This time was different; my back wheels caught the rim, I fell on my elbow and broke it.

I am 39 years old.

I had to come to terms with this.

When starting a business, you can’t expect everything to stay the same forever. You have to learn the difference between a dip you can power through, and changes you’d better adapt to.

Two and a half years ago when I started the podcast, sponsor requests were steady and building.

Last year at this time, sponsorship requests filled my inbox, and the price was moving upwards.

In 2017, sponsorships for the show are steady, but they are less lucrative and harder to find.

The show itself has grown, the market has changed. It now takes more work to get the same results as last year.

I had to come to terms with this.

To be clear, I am not about to stop skateboarding or podcasting, but I’ve realized my need to evolve.

How I skateboarded when I was 18 years old, is not the same way I should do it today.

How I focused my revenue around sponsorships in 2015 and 2016, is not the same way I should do it today.

We need to come to terms with change.

It is a work in frustration to wish things were not as they are. We can complain about these changes, or we can evolve and react to them.

Coming to terms with change is the first step. From there you can choose to adjust or ignore.

We need to step back and analyze our lives and businesses, to see if the ways in which we perceived them last month or last year are still valid.

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it. — Ferris Bueller

Often, when things stop working as well as they once were, we feel the need to double-down or push harder. We think, maybe it’s just a dip, or maybe I need to work more?

Yes, it could be a dip. And yes, perhaps you could stand to work harder.

That said, I’m suggesting you should stop. Stop and look around to see what changes have occurred — changes that are beyond your control.

You may find that nothing has changed and you simply need to push through. But you may also find that things have changed around you, and you need to adapt.

Before you can do this, you will need to come to terms with the fact that things have changed.

The faster you can come to terms with this new reality, the quicker you can react, and leave your competition behind.

No, this is not a cop-out for you to not enter into competitive markets or to push through the hard times.

It is a call for you to become aware of the difference between competition and changes in a marketplace.

Discerning this difference is where the magic happens.

Learning this distinction is an exercise in awareness, and it will save you from trying to push against reality.

We inevitably get older, markets endlessly evolve, and tactics stop being effective.

When we refuse to come to terms with these changes, we execute from a place of weakness — and this is not a place where we can do our best work.

Come to terms with change.

PS: Are you trying to move in a hundred directions (and not getting anywhere)?

Let me help you find your focus. The Define Your 20 Workshop was created specifically for you, and it is specially priced to get you moving today.

Check it out here:

https://hacktheentrepreneur.com/define-your-twenty/

The post When to Power Through and When to Change Direction appeared first on Hack the Entrepreneur: .

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Business is a math problem, an ever-changing equation of risk versus reward.

When the reward is greater than the risk, we act.

Reward > Risk

We make this calculation on everything, from directing funds into new marketing channels to determining that you and your team should spend time and energy on a new product.

Every decision is based on the current information available to us. And it’s safe to say we wouldn’t decide to take any action if we thought we couldn’t execute successfully.

We take action once we’ve decided the rewards outweigh the risk. Then we act and execute.

What if there was no risk? This would completely change the equation because the reward would always be greater than the risk.

Reward > Zero Risk

Sure, Jonny, but there is ALWAYS a risk.

We all perceive risk differently, so I want to urge you to think differently.

The risk is in your head.

Let’s go back to the financial crisis of 2008, and what we learned.

We learned that some businesses — banks namely — are considered too big to fail. Politics (and economics) aside, the government bailed out the banks and kept them afloat.

At the time, this fascinated and frustrated me.

If this is what happens to the biggest businesses in the world, what happens to the smallest ones, us, the independent entrepreneurs?

How do we react when a crisis strikes our businesses, markets, or lives? Will some external entity come to our aid?

Hell no.

We instinctually pivot, iterate, and hustle until we find or create a solution.

It’s a defining factor of the independent — we can assess, decide, and act faster than anyone else.

We’re too small to fail.

Stop for a moment and think of the products, services, and ideas that have streamed from your consciousness.

Some became reality, some didn’t. Some worked, some didn’t.

What stayed constant was none of them were your final product, service, or idea.

No matter what happens today, we take action tomorrow.

An obstacle comes into view tomorrow, and we go over, under, around or through it. But we don’t stop.

Stopping would be failure, and failure is not an option.

Here’s what to do with this:

Stop debating with your ideas.

Stop overthinking.

Quit wondering what will happen.

Remove the risk from your equation.

Doing so will enable you to move faster than your competition.

Your job is to become too small to fail. Nourish your independence. Continually fight for and be proud of being small.

There is no failure, only movement.

As you remove the notion of risk, you force yourself into action.

The only obstacle capable of destroying you is inaction.

The post Too Small to Fail appeared first on Hack the Entrepreneur: .

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