Left of Center Businesses = Opportunity

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As a business owner one should always be on the lookout for new opportunities, this is especially too once you reach the level of being an investor. It is my personal belief that all business owners should start training as investors. Teach yourself to look for opportunities because as the great Mark Cuban says you only have to be right once. Find that one thing that can catapult you to success and the rest doesn’t matter.

Well, it was this type of thinking that led me to start to look at niche businesses. And really, not just niche businesses but businesses that are often overlooked often due to stigma and not demand. There are plenty of obscure businesses that are obscure for a reason and that reason is demand. No, stay away from those. I’m talking about businesses that your neighbors would never think of but that have a big market nonetheless. By looking at things through these lenses I was able to stumble upon one of my greatest successes, psychic services.

Now, if you are cringing at that then that is exactly the type of response that I want. Things that the mainstream might look down on are ripe for the picking and hey, it isn’t porn. But really, I believe that there are people who are gifted and I believe that human beings are all connected on a spiritual level and that we all have telepathic abilities. Some are just better at it.

About a year ago I stumbled upon a good psychic who was struggling with generating business. I saw an opportunity, researched the market, and invested in a web/phone based model. The model is one where my psychic delivers phone readings. No they aren’t the cheesy pay per minute kind with some person from Jamaica. No she would be marketed in her local market. In fact, she was very well known at the time in her city she just didn’t know how to capitalize on her notoriety. She was known as the psychic medium Houston PD liked to hire to help occasionally with tough murder cases. Anyways, with all that I knew we could make something happen.

Now this article isn’t necessarily about that particular business but about the fact that I saw opportunity where most people might miss because of there own personal beliefs or stigma surrounding a particular subject. Now I’m not advocating going against your beliefs. That would make you a hypocrite. Personally, like I said, I am perfectly fine with it and actually think that more people could benefit from realizing what people are really capable of.

So, as you start reading the news tomorrow, or scroll through your facebook feed, start looking for things that are off the beaten path but that certain people have an interest in. Facebook is fantastic for this because you can really get an picture of things that people are passionate about. There are scuba divers, paintball enthusiasts, cryogenic treatment goers, fly fisherman, you name it. Where there is an mentioned interest there is usually a group and that group is where your opportunity lies. Find out how to give them more of what they are interested in and you will find success. Learn to look at the trends that others take for granted or write off. Good luck.

The Greatest Business Lesson – EVAAA!

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Here it is. I’m going to spill the beans. Once you learn this you might as well stop reading this site, shut off your computer, sell all your self-help books, quit your business mastermind classes, cause you’re done. This is the meta lessons of meta lessons. Even Warren Buffet couldn’t out do this advice. I’d like to see him try. Nope put your kiddos to bed cause you just reached the end of the internet and there’s no going back.

Alright, alright, I’ll get to it. The answer to all your problems is a four word phrase. Take Imperfect Action Often. Let me repeat that…Take Imperfect Action Often. On this planet, in this universe, Action trumps all else. He (or she) who takes the most actions wins. So many people, myself included, get caught up in the need for things to be perfect, or correct, of complete before they make ever make a move on it. They want everything to be a certain way or for they wait for the ‘Right Time’ whatever that means, before they will ever commit their time and energy to making it so. And guess what, they reap what they ‘so’ which ain’t much. You gotta plant those seeds Bubba.

People are really something. And by people I mean human beings. We sit around and avoid doing things we know we should do out of fear that doing those things is going to create stress for us. And we do this so much that the stress of not doing often outweighs the actual stress we would feel if we actually did the darn things in the first place, second place, or even last place. It doesn’t matter as long as we do it. See that’s another trap. When the time goes by when we first should have done that thing then we will sit there and say well no it’s too late anyway so why even try.

See all of this goes away when you live by the ‘Take Imperfect Action Often’ code. Sure you may not get the optimum result but guess what, you will get a result and that is something you can use. You can’t use a non-result because it doesn’t exist. The only thing that will exist by not taking imperfect action is the stress that replaced your action and who wants that.

Let’s take a look at this a little closer. You know, when people set goals like losing weight they usually fail before they ever begin. Is it because they didn’t pick the right diet, the right workout program, the right class, have insufficient motivation, are lazy, or some other of the 9 million trillion reasons that people fail. Well, to be fair any of the reasons I just listed could contribute to failure but the real reason they fail more often then not is simply because they didn’t just get up and go workout. What workout? Any workout.

And it’s not even just getting up and doing something. It getting up and doing something often. Doing something often, no matter how imperfect, will lead to consistency. And consistency my friends is how we get results. You can always improve your results but you have to have results in the first place in order to improve them right…I think people get lost in this because they look at someone who perhaps did plan a little better and did take action with that plan. The truth is superior plans, methods, whatever in almost anything that are acted upon are going to beat inferior plans, actions, methods, etc. that are also acted on. This is a fact but you can always improve once you take action and you can never improve simply by planning.

Of course, then there are those people who make a great plan, implement it, get some great results, and then stop. Well guess what, the person who Takes Imperfect Actions Often is going to catch up and beat the person who got better results but then stopped. So which is better you say? Who cares…shouldn’t you be doing something?

Nike really does have it right…Just Do It. Man that is simple and brilliant and that’s probably why it goes over people’s heads. It’s common sense but how many of us really live it. Well, I’ll tell you that the people who are taking action could care less. They’re busy.

I will say that you should have an idea of where you want to go and what you want to accomplish but once again, don’t get caught up in the details. Pick a direction and go towards anyway you can. You don’t have to vision board it, meditate about it, pray about it, subscribe to all the best classes on it, read all the stories of people who did what you want to do. Dwell on the stories of the dudes who used to work out of their garage and now they own yachts and islands and sleep with super models. No, you just need to take action bubba. Keep your head down and move.

Is it hard? Maybe but remember, imperfect action. You decide how hard it is cause you aren’t held to a perfect standard. Any action is better than no action and because you aren’t striving for perfect action, who cares if you are working as hard as you can all the time…as long as there is action. Does hard work speed up the process. You bet. Take action, work often and the rest will take care of itself. When you turn the wheel so many opportunities pop up that it can be mind-boggling sometimes. These opportunities are the direct result of the potential energy you have unleashed on the world and put into motion frequently. This energy compounds and creates all sorts of changes in your reality in the form of opportunities that people who are successful use to manifest their goals.

Is focus involved? Sure. Is timing involved? Sure. But all of these things only come into being through the energy you unleash through consistent action. It’s that simple. When in doubt do something anything and you will see your life change practically overnight. That’s a fact. Now get to work Jack.

Pipeline Software? Worth It or Not.

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Depending upon your industry you may or may not use CRM software or software that will help you manage both your sales pipeline and your project pipeline. And of course, depending upon the different number of projects you have ongoing at any one time and the amount of steps and people involved can all be deciding factors as to whether or not you should or are using pipeline management software. Some projects are just too big to keep track of by yourself.

But, let’s concentrate on the 1 to 2 person shop. Even if you work in a large corporation but you are responsible for your own sales and projects then you might want to consider using some to keep track of what you are doing and to stay ahead of deadlines. The main thing from my experience as a small business owner is that anytime you introduce a new piece of software or new system or set of procedures, there is going to be a period of slowdown until you get used to using it.

This is both good and bad. With so many choices of productivity software out there one can get lost in all the bells and whistles and end up spending not only more time trying to use the software but getting lost in non-essential features. If you are the type of person who ends up getting distracted by new information and the next latest and greatest thing my advice would be to stay away from the more complicated stuff out there and find something that is simple, easy, and no frills. By definition, any productivity software should help you save time and not add more work or steps to your procedures. One should constantly look to simplify what one is doing so that not only does one maximize his/her output but that he/she makes life just plain easier.

The one commodity that none of us should take advantage of is time. Whatever you can do to make your job simpler (while keeping or improving your service/product) should be a major focus each day or week. Sometimes you have to try things for a while to really investigate whether they will work for you or not. If this is the case set a few weeks or enlist a few people to help assess whether or not the software is going to be worth it. Remember…if in the end it doesn’t make things easier and better then it shouldn’t be used.

Finally, using this type of productivity software is going to be up to each individual (given you have a choice and it’s not mandated by your company). Some people are just more organized and really strive using such things. The ironic thing is that the people who need it (those unorganized right brain folks out there), are the ones who struggle the most using it and it ultimately ends up hurting their productivity and adding even more stress to their jobs. Some people just aren’t wired the same way and having to use an artificial system to keep track of everything is just not their cup of tea.

In the end…keep it simple or look for another solution.

Small Businesses that Innovate

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We Feature Local Businesses and their Strategies

We love to showcase local small businesses that excel and lead the way for other businesses by setting the bar high. The Innovation Roadmap is all about sharing what businesses do right so that others can emulate their success, build their businesses, and help their local communities grow with them. We hope you enjoy this site as we strive to continually add the right resources.

Here’s a Little Motivation Video for You