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ENTREPRENEUR ACADEMY by John Di Stefano - 3d ago

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ENTREPRENEUR ACADEMY by John Di Stefano - 3d ago

A few days ago I was interviewed for a local student paper. They wanted to get an insight of what it means to be a business coach and to help people to start their own business. The aim was to clear up some myths around start-ups and to get some tips how to start-up right.

We went through the usual questions about fear, finance and success and I told them a few stories from my clients and that I believe that passion for what you do is a great helper.

I want to see all my clients to be successful in their business and for that I learn and practice my skills consistently and without fail. Because I want this so much I created habits that keep me on track, always developing and learning because I truly believe that my clients deserve the best.

I put this down to passion. Passion for what I do and for the people I work with.

If you found a way to help and to create real value for people you have a business. All you need to do now is to find a way to be able to do this consistently over a longer period of time. For this you need to design your business model that gives you the framework. But foremost you need to keep working on your skills to consistently create value.
That is all what a business is about.

There is a lot of talk about fear and failure, but truly this only exists in our head. It’s very hard to fail helping others while improving yourself. Failure only comes into play if you stop learning and improving.

When I was at school a teacher told me once that it is not important to get the best notes. He said, it is important to be the best you can be and that was all he expected.

But what does that mean?

What is the best you can be?

How do you measure this and when do you know that you reached that level?

I had no idea, but I took it serious and I started measuring my success everyday.
The crazy thing is that I will never reach the best I can be and at the same time I am the best I’ve ever been.

During the interview they asks me a very interesting question:
Why did you chose to help people to start-up their own business?

The first thing that came to my mind happened a few months ago, when I met one of my former clients. He told me about his amazing business and how he is so glad that he took the steps and started this business. He told me about the ups and downs he went through and how he almost gave up. At the end of our meeting he said:

Thank you so much for all the help you gave me at the beginning and for all the things you’ve taught me over the year we worked together. But most importantly, thank you for being so strong on teaching me to be persistent and to keep going. This is the secret of my success.

This is exactly why I love what I do. These moments when it all worked out and when I can see and feel how my hard work has changed a life.

At the end of the interview the students asked me for a single piece of advice I could give to them.

Well, what else could I say:

Be the best you can be!

If you liked this, keep reading:

How To Start A Business The Right Way

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The post The best you can be appeared first on ENTREPRENEUR ACADEMY.

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In this episode we are talking about the most important questions you need to ask yourself when running a business. This podcast can touch the possible answers. But it might give you the push you need to start building a scalable and successful business.

The question we tackle are following:
1. What do we offer that makes the customer come back over and over? (Recurring Revenue)
2. How difficult is it for the customer to leave us and continue with another provider? (Switching Cost)
3. Do we earn before we spend? Can we produce on demand/order instead of in advance? Can we create courses on demand? (Earning First)
4. Can we use existing infrastructure to reduce costs? Can we host our courses on a platform without advances (Pay by usage)? (Cost Structure)
5. Are there others who can create value for us for free? (Other’s Work)
6. How scalable is our Business Model before we reach a road block? (Scalability)
7. How easy is it for competitors to copy our model or break into it? (Competitive Protection)

I hope you enjoy this podcast and if you want to go more into details, join us on our members pages or send us an email.

The post Important Business Questions To Ask Yourself (37) appeared first on ENTREPRENEUR ACADEMY.

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There are many views on what an entrepreneur is. Listening to market experts and reading lots about entrepreneurship they are often described as following:

  • Risk-taker
  • Dreamer
  • Leader
  • Visionary
  • Rebel
  • Artist
  • Impacter

These are just the main ones I found, but there are many more, but Risk-taker is probably the most mentioned description. It has some nuance of adventure and sounds cool.
I guess depending what speaks to you most you will feel more inclined to agree with one or the other.

Taking a risk is a question of perspective. A lot of factors play a role.
If you ask someone to cut your hair who has never cut hair before, you would probably see this as taking a high risk as there is a high chance that it goes wrong. If you go to an experienced hairdresser the risk is probably quite low. That means that cutting hair in itself is not risky and not the problem.
It’s the same for entrepreneurs. If you know what you are doing and you have experience in doing it, the risk will be very low.
This goes for almost everything in life. In relationships, work, hobby and life in general. If you keep on it you will get better.
That is also why it takes time to build a proper business when you are starting out.

For me a risk taker is a gambler, who jumps into something hoping for the best. It doesn’t matter how much you have played before. The dice don’t care.
You might get better in controlling yourself, but you won’t get better in controlling the game.
However many start-ups jump into business like a gambler, hoping for the best, not willing to do the time and learn the skills. Again, for me they are gamblers not entrepreneurs. (Like playing lottery and hoping for the million to appear)

All the attributes mentioned above are more personal traits than traits I would directly relate to an entrepreneur. You might be a rebel and run your own business. But you might as well be a rebel and employed or in jail or whatever.

Entrepreneurship is a skill. It is something you can learn and become really good at. It isn’t a game.
It does help to have a certain mindset, but the same goes for a student studying for a degree. If you are not willing to learn, put the time in and if you have no vision how all of this might give you a positive impact in your future career, you most likely won’t make it. In a way that is life.

There are only a few lucky ones who have been at the right time at the right place and the dice fell exactly in the right way and they made it without any effort at all. That is like the lottery winner. They never have been entrepreneurs and the chance that they will make this again is very low. Lets hope for them that the winnings are high enough that they never have to try again.

To become a successful entrepreneur you need to learn the skills required for your business and give yourself the time to study and practise. As more you do as better you will become and as less of a risk your business will be. It isn’t that hard. If you’re out there for the money alone, go and play the lottery or step into a casino and play the games. Maybe you’re lucky.

I love to be an entrepreneur and I love the feeling when the skills I learned and practised over and over again give me the success I dreamed about.

What about you? Are you a successful entrepreneur?

Read more about it here:
Becoming a Leader
How to start a business the right way

Photo by Carl Raw on Unsplash

The post How to be a successful entrepreneur? appeared first on ENTREPRENEUR ACADEMY.

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ENTREPRENEUR ACADEMY by John Di Stefano - 1M ago

I’ve been asked so many times about the gear I am using for my video and audio production that I decided to put the listing online. I will try to keep it up-to-date as much as possible.
I do try many products, but I will only add gear to this list that I’ve tested and use regularly.
I added links to mostly Amazon where you can find more details about the items. It often links to the German Amazon as this is where I buy most of my stuff. However, the German Amazon is fully in English. I would advise to look around for the best prices.

I learned the hard way that even the best gear is not doing it without good content that fits your audience. Before buying any new gear make sure you’ve got everything out of your old gear. There is so much new stuff coming out everyday, it is easy to get lost in the maze of products. Don’t fall for it! You’ve been warned!

Here we go:

Camera:

Lenses:

Sound:

Studio Speakers:

Headset:

Tripod:

Lights:

IT Eqipment:

Software:

Video:

Audio:

Graphic:

Photo Library:

Skype Recording:

Leave a comment below if you have questions.

Photo by Alexander Dummer on Unsplash

The post My Gear appeared first on ENTREPRENEUR ACADEMY.

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As you probably know, not everyone is made to be an entrepreneur.
Some like the idea, but are far to scared to even try.
Some might be dragged into it just to discover it is not for them.
Others just can’t find the right thing to do, which in its essence means they are not entrepreneurs. They are just caught in that cycle. This is probably the worst scenario, as they measure any other job or work against their idea what it means to be an entrepreneur. They are caught in the middle until some circumstance forces them out of it in either direction.

On top of that more and more young entrepreneurs see their business as a project with a start and end date. It’s like the Olympics, they try to win the gold medal and prepare for it like crazy and when the Olympics are over they go back home looking for the next thing to do. During that process they completely forget the core reason a business exists, their customers. Try to sell a product by telling your customers that they need to make a decision because next year you won’t be here anymore. How many do you think would buy from you.

Lets face it running a business is not much different from most other jobs. You have to turn up, give the best you can and keep doing it over and over. If you’re thinking about leaving your current job because of that, prepare yourself for a big surprise.
Running a business is hard work and most decisions you’ll have to take can make or break your business. There is a high risk involved.

It all starts with the reason you want to be an entrepreneur.
Let me give you an example:

A friend of mine is very much into healthy foods and struggled to find the right sources from where to buy the products he wanted. Talking to others with similar interest he discovered that he was not alone with this problem. Out of this he decided to open up a store to provide all the foods which were hard to get. Today he runs a chain of shops very successfully.
He started the shop because of his own need and after discovering and confirming this need with many others he made it work. Money has never been the issue and certainly not a reason for starting the business, but as he told me, it was the best thing he ever did.

Being in business is not about making money. It’s a way to become who you are.

Another very important fact often forgotten: Just because you know how to sell does not make you successful in business!
You need to learn the skills to run a business. Let’s be clear, in our society a business is not just you doing something, but it is regulated in most countries in the world and you will have to comply with all the rules defined for your type of business.
Assuming that you’re very good at your job, learning the in and outs of running a business is essential before you start putting your life into it.

Are you really an entrepreneur?

Photo by Joshua Rodriguez on Unsplash

The post Are you really an Entrepreneur? appeared first on ENTREPRENEUR ACADEMY.

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ENTREPRENEUR ACADEMY by John Di Stefano - 4M ago

Here we are again. Another year has started and this is usually the time to set some goals for the coming year. Have you set your goal already?

It’s difficult to find some reliable statistics about the success of setting goals and how many people do achieve what they set out to do. But I know out of my own experience that the success rate for reaching a goal is quite low. Many people I know have given up setting any goals at all. Their argument is often like:

  • There are too many things that get in the way anyway
  • I am glad if it doesn’t get worse
  • Life is too unpredictable to set realistic goals

Sounds frustrating and that is exactly what it is for many. Goals suppose to be motivating. Something you dream about, you want to achieve. It suppose to make you smile and get you up in the morning.

So what is it then that frustrates many to the point that they give up setting goals?

I did some research on goals and goal setting over the last years and a few things really stuck out:

Goals are yours only!

Don’t set goals that involve other people. If achieving your goals is based on other people, you’re not in control. Setting goals for others doesn’t really work. For example setting a goal for your family is not a good idea. It’s much better to sit down with your family and discuss your ideas. This will bring out the things your family members want and you can see how your goals fit into that.

Don’t make your goals depending on your current situation!

A goal is the direction you want to go. It doesn’t really matter at which stage you’re right now. Your current situation might change at any given time and that could influence your set goal. You want to be in charge of your direction and not react on changes that will always happen in life.

Strive towards your goal despite the difficult path!

Nobody says it will be easy, but I say it can be a lot of fun. It’s like always, a questions of perspective. You want to be able to use changes that happen in your life to get you nearer to your goal. For this to work you need to avoid to react to these changes. The best way I found to do this, is by assessing any change and to decide how to use it to bring you further. One thing is important: Never react without assessing it first. This makes you being pro-active towards you’re goal.

Sometimes we can’t see the way to go, but that is the challenge. In my experience these are the best times which get you the nearest to your goal.

Prepare and maintain yourself!

Often we come across difficult situations which require us to be mentally and physically fit. Make sure your mind and body is ready for the task. Being physically active and training your mind are vital for achieving your goals. Think about meditation, socialising and interaction with others on a regular basis to keep your mind in peak condition. Learn about your body, how to train and what to put in it. These things are often forgotten, but so important.

Don’t be too specific!

Setting goals should always start with the question “Why?” Setting a goal like making one Million Euro is not a goal without being clear why you want this in the first place. There are always multiple ways to achieve a goal. Restricting it to money is like restricting your options. A goal is a direction. A place you would like to be, A feeling you would like to have. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dream it and paint a picture on the wall. Just don’t make it dependent on that specific wall, but keep the why in mind and strive for the answer and not just the detail.

I have some goals I might never achieve, but I keep going and the changes in my life have been amazing. The most important thing is to enjoy the journey, discover the new and see yourself becoming an amazing person with real purpose.

Are you ready for the ride? Where do you want to go?

unsplash-logoAnders Jildén

The post The Art Of Goal Setting appeared first on ENTREPRENEUR ACADEMY.

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A couple years ago I was living in Madrid with roommates, a South American couple, where the woman was so obsessed with cleaning. I thought I had high standards of house hygiene, but she took that to a whole other level. Every day she would come home from her job as a nanny, she would either cook or clean, or both. I always wondered why she felt the need to clean this much.

We all know at least a few people who obsess over something. For the long time, while I was a student, I was obsessed with food. Planning my shopping, cooking and preparing for the day. Eating vegan and healthy required me to be organized and plan in advance not to end up eating a bag of chips when I was starving. Bad eating habits are easy to acquire, especially if you are not well organized.

Today, this obsession is gone and I do not spend most of my day going over food I have to buy, prepare and pack for this day or a week. It took a long time, consistency and effort to train myself and acquire a routine so I wouldn’t need to put my cooking session and shopping in a calendar. Moreover, I became spontaneous and relaxed, not having to calculate how many hours I would be out and how much food I need to bring with me. Another important part of this process was learning where I can find food that suits me and is healthy to get on the go. For example, the first week I moved to Madrid, I invested a lot of time and research in finding stores and restaurants with foods I eat. The adventurer I am, I would then walk and discover rather than take a metro from A to B. This way I would get some exercise in, always discover some new parts of town and stumble upon a place I can grab a bite in.

What I am trying to say is that not all obsessions are permanent and bad. Sometimes we can use ours to get what we are after, achieve goals and get into healthier routines. In the process we can make it more fun and involve our creative side to spice it up.

Today I still wonder why my roommate had to clean this much and whether she was in need of physical activity and cleaning was a way to keep moving or was it something else.

What is your obsession?

——————————————-
This is a guest post by Ana Lazarevic. You can find out more about Ana using the links below:
Blog: https://sos4stress.wordpress.com/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ana-lazarevic-195b1570/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ana.lazarevic27

The post Have You Ever Been Obsessed? appeared first on ENTREPRENEUR ACADEMY.

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