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Quote of the month
'Ultimately, it's our decisions and actions, not the conditions of our lives, that determine our destiny.'
- Anthony Robbins
Next month's feature:
10 Ways to Get the New Year off to a Great Start
In this issue:
Welcome to Living the dream, Blue Sky Coaching's monthly e-zine, written to inform, inspire and invite you to take action and start living your dream.
If you enjoy reading this e-zine, please feel free to share it with anyone else you think might enjoy it too.
You can read all previous issues of Living the dream e-zine anytime at: www.blueskycoaching.com.au/ezine.
Hi! from Tania
There are just 28 sleeps to go until Christmas! Are you counting?
I hope you've had a great year this year and that you're looking forward to some time off to chill out and enjoy with your loved ones in the coming weeks.
As a solo entrepreneur, I find taking regular time out for me is essential, especially when things get hectic. It helps me stay calm and handle the demands of each day.
This month's tips come from several successful Australian entrepreneurs. I hope you find their ideas helpful and inspiring, whether you're in business or contemplating becoming an entrepreneur in the future.
Tania Basheer - Publisher
Living the dream e-zine
Feature: 10 Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs
Have you ever wondered what kind of strategies highly successful entrepreneurs have used to achieve their business and personal success?
I recently read a story about Australian retailing giant, Gerry Harvey. Gerry is the founder of Harvey Norman stores and, among other things, owns the Queensland-based Magic Millions thoroughbred racehorse sales operation. So, not surprisingly, he cited horses when asked how he measures his retail business success. He said "If you breed winners, you feel better than if you breed lots of losers." He should know, since Harvey Norman stores employ more than 5000 people across Australia and Europe.
Here are ten more of my personal favourite success secrets from various Australian entrepreneurs:
- Always begin with the end in mind: Have a vision for how you'd like your business to look. Mark Langford of GameTraders says that having that vision enabled him to put the measures in place to achieve that reality. Serial enrepreneur, Ron Langman, probably best known for his Home Ideas Centre chain agrees. He recommends taking a "lighthouse" approach to business and ideas. If you can see the end point and work your way back from there, it will be easier to reach your goal.
- Don't be afraid to jump into the deep end: Mark also suggests, while it's important to research, think and plan, at the end of the day you have to take action, even if it means facing your fears. This can be confronting but it's very empowering.
- Take calculated risks: Another tip from Ron Langman is to take calculated risks - but not stupid ones. Bet on yourself in a situation where you can influence the outcome. Anything else is gambling.
- Delegate, to give yourself time to think and act strategically:
Of critical importance, Ron shares 'I guess one of the reasons I have done well at things is that I try to keep roughly 25 per cent of my time and intellectual capacity free to open up new opportunities. To be honest, I've almost never worked long hours or terribly hard. I strongly believe it's better to have four people doing the jobs at 80 per cent as well as I can do them, rather than trying to do four times as much work myself. In the long term, you can't move forward if you try to do everything yourself. If you get a team around you, the outcome will always be much greater than anything you can achieve on your own.' He adds: 'As long as people are not delegating, then almost all of their intellectual capacity and probably a great deal of their time, is committed to the day-to-day activities of their business. This means they are unable to step back and take a strategic
- Don't be afraid to ask for help or get expert advice: Don't try to do everything yourself. Mark Langford believes you can't be an expert at everything. Get professional assistance and qualified staff to fill in the skills gaps. Cameron Johnson, of Street & Park Furniture agrees. He says: 'Don't be embarrassed to ask for help and don't underestimate the value of getting a different viewpoint from those outside your industry.'
- Differentiate, and don't overloook the small things when servicing your customers: For Mike Rankin of Holco Fine Meat Suppliers, his dream of business success was being able to write all his cheques at one time, without having to estimate whether there was enough money in the bank to cover them. In a price-driven commodity business, he suggests, differentiate or die. He says: 'If you are not doing something better than your competitors, the choice for your customers will be based on price alone.' Michael Kohn of Air South agrees. 'Don't overlook the small things in servicing your customers. They can be the difference between you and your competitors in a tight market.' A carton of cold beer was the catalyst in Air South winning its first major contract.
- Be prepared - then act quickly: One of entrepreneur-investor Les Mann's business mantras is 'Be prepared - then act quickly'. When you plan ahead, it gives you control. As he says: 'Don't stuff around. Just do it. Do your research, put everything in place to make it work, and then clinch it quickly. I do a lot of number crunching, but once I've done the numbers, I make quick decisions. If it's the right investment there's no point mucking around or someone else will beat you to it.'
- Make it attractive for others to do business with you: Jeff Dominikovich of Grounds & Gardens advocates that 'the easier you can make it for your customer to use your services, the better.' And, it's not just about your product or service. As Martin Haese suggests, 'Fine-tune your offer. Whatever business you are in, it's not just about the product, but all the other elements that go to make your company special to your customer.' Back in 2005, before selling Youthworks, he said: 'The three things that keep Youthworks where it is today are the product, service and people. It's a triangle you have to get right consistently, week in and week out. There are probably a hundred other sub-categories, but if you don't get those three right, you've got nothing.'
- Take relevant board positions:
Marty Gauvin of Hostworks, has taken on several board positions that provide him exposure to other companies to further expand his business skills and allow him to contribute to the business and IT communities. He is on the Board of the IT company incubator, Playford Capital, and on the IT Committee of the Federal Government's IR&D Board, which provides research and development grant funding in Australia. He says: 'It's amazing what business skills you can pick up from observing other businesses in action, which you can use in your own business.' For Marty, this experience has reinforced the strength of Hostworks' own board, which has directors with a wide range of skills in operational issues, business start-up and growth, and mergers and acquisitions.
- Read about others who have achieved success: John McGrath, CEO of McGrath Real Estate Agents, suggests reading about others who have achieved success as a way to maintain motivation and passion. 'I'm always reading books, biographies and magazines. These stories inspire me to head for the next level, not in a greed-centred way, but more from the excitement of knowing what's possible.'
If you're in business, take a few moments now to reflect on how you might use any of these strategies in your business. And, to read more business success secrets, I highly recommend the book 'State of Mind, the success secrets of 50 South Australian entrepreneurs,' by Chris Doudle and Karen Baldwin.
For more business, executive or life coaching tips and strategies to help you achieve your goals and create and live the life you've always wanted, as well as information on one-to-one coaching to help you get there, visit www.blueskycoaching.com.au or contact Tania by e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on (08) 8338 3134 or 0411 471 941.
Last month I mentioned that two Susans - Susan Lee, my 600th e-zine subscriber and Susan Andrews who had referred Susan Lee to me, as a new subscriber to Living the dream - each won a $50 Myer gift card.
Rather than taking a shopping trip on me, these special ladies most generously asked me to donate their gift vouchers on behalf of us all, to the Starlight Children's Foundation.
I just wanted to share this beautiful gesture with you all. Thank you ladies.
Spring Special Competition
Just 3 days to go before I announce the winner of my Spring Special Competition.
Simply click on the competition image to enter for your chance to WIN a copy of Mastering the Rockefeller Habits - what you must do to increase the value of your fast-growth firm, by Verne Harnish
plus a 90-minute business coaching session (in person or by telephone) with me.
For more information about business coaching with me, visit: www.blueskycoaching.com.au/businesscoaching.php
Are You Concerned About Your Stress Levels?
Join me and learn a quick and easy way to:
* release stress
* overcome anxiety, depression, panic attacks, fear of public speaking, heights, flying
* deal with self-sabotaging and limiting beliefs and behaviours like 'I could never do that', 'It's not possible'
* overcome confusion, overwhelming feelings and procrastination
* deal with addictions - food, smoking, gambling
* relieve debilitating physical pain, such as backache and migraine headaches
and much, much more in my last *Energy Tapping* workshop for the year.
It will be held at Fullarton Park Centre, 411 Fullarton Rd, Fullarton from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm, on Saturday, 8 December 2007.
Register your place now, as this workshop is limited to 10 participants and I have just a few places left!
Cost: $129.00 ** pp (includes morning tea, DVD and workbook).
* * As a Living the dream subscriber, you or any person you refer to this workshop, will receive a discount of $20 off the usual workshop price of $149.
To book your place: Call me on (08) 8338 3134 or 0411 471 941 or register on-line, using the special promotional code ‘ForMe’ to claim your special subscriber discount at www.blueskycoaching.com.au/eft_form.php.
Registrations close: Friday, 30 November 2007.
Next Month: 10 Ways to Get the New Year off to a Great Start
Did you know, numerologically speaking, that 2007 is a "number 9" year and 2008 will be a "number 1" year?
This means that next year is an especially good year for new beginnings, as it is the first year in a new nine-year cycle.
Next month we'll look at 10 ways to herald in the new year and get it off to a flying start.
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What will you wish for this Christmas?
This Christmas you can make wishes come true for seriously ill children throughout Australia.
Every day, the Starlight Children's Foundation and Captain Starlight brighten the lives of sick children.
Living with illness or injury can cause enormous strain in the lives of children and their families. Something as simple as a trip to the movies is difficult to achieve - in fact, normal family activities are really more of a dream.
Your support of the Starlight Children's Foundation this Christmas will help Starlight bring some magic into children's lives.
Here's how you can help Starlight ... your support through fundraising or donations will help grant the wish of a lifetime for a child, or provide their family a well needed and fun outing - probably their first in months!
To make a donation on-line, please visit www.starlight.org.au or contact Linda McIntyre on (08) 8407 2250 to find out how you or your organisation can help Starlight.
Reading this ad? Then why not place yours here. Do you have a product, service or special offer that you'd like to let over six hundred entrepreneurs, SOHO business owners, busy professionals and business executives know about? To find out more about advertising in this e-zine and to reserve your spot for next month, e-mail Tania your details today at email@example.com and include 'e-zine ad' in the subject line.
Advertising Disclaimer: Blue Sky Coaching does not endorse or represent the accuracy or reliability of any of the advertisements included above or the quality of goods, services or information obtained by you in connection with engaging the services of or purchasing goods from the above suppliers.