MaryEllen Tribby shares her thoughts on the importance of working moms as a role model for their children.
MaryEllen Tribby shares her thoughts on the importance of working moms as a role model for their children.
By MaryEllen Tribby
Trust me, I’m all for moving fast in business. But there are certain steps you simply cannot skip if you want a “real” business.
Many folks have good ideas for an online business even great ideas, but if you do not understand the difference between the “who” and the “what”, that great idea is doomed.
In order for you to really get this, let’s use my favorite online business model in the world, the inbox magazine as an example. Though the concept is easily adaptive to any business model.
A market is who you are selling to, which is a community of like-minded people.
A topic is what you are delivering, which is the subject matter of your content. With Working Moms Only, the market is clearly working moms although there are also working dads and working women who don’t have kids. However, my advocacy is for working moms. This is the group of people I have chosen to serve. This is when my passion and purpose and profits come together.
In terms of your topic, the what, the topics can be anything. There are inbox magazines that cater strictly to Forex traders. That's their market, their who. Yet the topics published in an inbox magazine to these Forex traders range from Forex trading to how to build your own solar panels. That's because your topics cover the interests of your market. Many Forex traders are also interested in solar panels: how to use them and how to build them so there's a lot of cross over even though the topic of solar panels has nothing to do with Forex trading.
Just like many topics in Working Moms Only.com range from how to be the superstar in your company to how to raise compassionate kids.
That’s because I not only understand the demographic of my community but the psychographic as well. I understand that this subject matter is important to my readers.
That is why you can see that the most important question to ask is: Who's my market?
The next question you will ask yourself is “what topics do my market want/need?”
For example, suppose your topic is patient referral strategies. Now if your market consists of dentists, you'll need to present that topic to cater to the problems and needs of dentists.
Take that same topic of patient referral strategies and present it to chiropractors and you'll need to adapt the topic to meet the needs of chiropractors. If you just present the same topic to both dentists and chiropractors, you won't meet the unique needs of either one.
If Working Moms Only offers an article about time management, it's specifically directed towards working mothers even though that same information could be useful for golfers, doctors, or accountants. If you don't know, understand, and relate to your market, your topics can't help them.
Your topic might be marathon training, but you'll present it one way to one market of long distance runners and a second way to a market of just female long distance runners. Don’t be general, pick a market.
You’ve got to shift your mindset from just focusing on topics to focusing on markets. If you picture a specific market in your head and stay true to that market, you'll deliver content that uniquely meets the needs of that target audience. Working moms might want to know about cloth diapers and organic laundry detergent, but they may also want to know about starting their own business and exercise as well.
Conquer the 3 A’s: Authority, Authenticity & Advocacy
By becoming an advocate for a particular market, you can talk about multiple topics. As the people in your market grow, you can grow and mature with them. If you're too narrowly focused on your topic, such as how to survive a divorce and only how to survive a divorce, guess what? You may have the greatest information in the world, but once they read it, they're done with you.
Now if you're the person who advocates for them, you can show them how to survive a divorce. Then after they’ve gotten past that, you can show them how to date and maintain a relationship after a divorce. Then you can teach them a seemingly unrelated, but still useful topic such as how to manage money as a divorced parent.
That’s why a market is so much more important than a topic. Think market. If you try to reach everyone at once, you'll wind up reaching no one. Only after you choose a target market can you later scale out and reach other qualified people. With Working Moms Only, the market is working moms, but other qualified people include working dads, single women, and married women who don’t have kids, but they are not the target market.
So you need to identify your target market and your qualified market. That shows you your total available market. Then there's your potential market, which consists of people who aren’t in your market just yet, but may one day get there. So Working Moms Only breakdown of markets might look like this:
• Target Market: Working moms
• Qualified Market: Working fathers, single women, married women without kids
• Potential Market: Teenagers, grandparents
If you didn't know your market, you could waste a lot of time and money, trying to reach everyone. If you shoot for the general population as your target market, you're going to find it much harder to make any money.
If you’re serious about starting your own business, I urge you to pick up my new book Reinventing the Entrepreneur: Turning Your Dream Business into a Reality today! It will supply you with EVEYTHING you need to know. It is literally a step-by-step playbook.
http://www.workingmomsonly.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/sc-success-by-the-numbers.mp3 Today's audio diary is called Success By The Numbers. You've heard me say this before, at least I certainly hope you have. That every aspect of your life, success or failures, can be measured in numbers. For example, your health is very easily measured by numbers. If your cholesterol is too high, you see [...]
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http://www.workingmomsonly.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/sc-bedtime-for-mom.mp3 Today's audio diary is called Bedtime for Mom. So many working moms just think they have to get everything done by themselves. And they end up going to bed at midnight, one o'clock in the morning, and they have to get up at five or six o'clock. And that is just bad for you. [...]
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By MaryEllen Tribby
I believe you get out of life what you put into it.
When you build support systems, prioritize tasks and make smart decisions, you will have the time and energy to lead the life you crave.
I also promised anyone who wrote in with their schedule that I would study it and share how you can have a more balanced/blended life.
I received loads of emails. But some of them asked that I not share their schedules, that I just email only them the solution.
Sorry - this is not how this works. We are a community of working moms, who need to support each other. So if you want my help, I am happy to provide it. However, others must be able to benefit from my advice as well.
And, that is exactly what we are going to do with the letter below from Maria.
I believe so many people will benefit after reading Maria's story and hearing my feedback. So, please listen up.
Love, love, love your weekly emails!
You're a great role model for working moms and I admire the balance you've mastered.
I recently had a life changing experience that moves me to write you on the topic of schedules/productivity. Short story is my 5-year-old son nearly died. He was in PICU several days (his heart stopped beating for 25 minutes) but Thank God was revived and has been given a clean bill of health.
This event has given me a lot of time to think about the direction my life has taken . . . where I am isn't where I want to be personally nor professionally. But I'm at a loss how to move forward in the direction I so strongly desire. I've spent the last two years trying to build my own copywriting/marketing business.
However, working a FT job for 50+ hours, take care of 3 small boys (8 & 5 yr old twins) and a household nearly broke me down physically and mentally. So I quit a few months ago, but wonder if I gave up too soon and should have tried a different approach.
Excluding the 20+ hrs I spent last week to build my business, here is my typical day now:
Monday through Friday:
6:00-6:30A: I wake up and lately been meditating and/or reading.
6:30-7:45A: Wake up the boys and prepare for school.
7:45-8:15A: Commute to work.
8:30-noon: Work as executive assistant to VP ($230 million company & 1200 employees) business unit of Fortune 500 healthcare company.
Noon-1:00: Once or twice I week I go out and pick up lunch. Other days I eat at my desk.
1:00-5:00ish: Continue day job (it varies so greatly that itís hard to give you a typical day.
5:00-6:00P: Commute home and pick up boys from daycare.
6:00-7:00P: Tutoring on Tue &Thur for oldest son
6:00-7:00P: Homework and start dinner
7:00-8:00P: Dinner and finish a work project
8:00-10:00P: Watch TV/internet or sleep on couch; on a good night, I'll take bubble bath
11-midnight: Move from the couch to bed
Saturday and Sunday: The weekend is usually taking the boys to practice/attend games. They are signed up for some sport almost year around. The remainder of the weekend is church and catching up on household chores.
I do have somewhat limited resources financially, so how do I create capacity to work on my personal dreams/goals without killing myself?
Thank you so much for your time. And please keep up the great work!
I was so moved by your story. Clearly you are one compassionate, smart, hard working mom.
First, I want to say, I am so happy that your son is doing well and that you and your family will remain in my thoughts and prayers.
I am sure that it was a terrifying experience to watch your son go through the resuscitation process. But, sometimes it is those experiences that drive us to a better outcome.
We better understand that life is too short to not be doing something we love that produces revenue. Which is why I am so pleased to dissect your schedule and help you to achieve your goals.
I noticed in your letter that you do not mention a husband. So I am assuming you are a single mom. If this is the case, it is extremely important that you develop a support system. You need to recognize and accept that you cannot handle everything on your own. We all need support systems; so do not feel like you cannot ask for help. I will go into specifics of where this comes into play in just a moment.
The first change that I want you to make is to get up at 5:30. From 5:30 to 6:00 you will exercise. I acknowledge that if you are a single mom, you cannot leave the house and run off to the gym or even for a jog outside, leaving your young sons home alone.
Here's the good news - you don't need to. You can exercise to your favorite DVD or a P90X program. Or use a mini trampoline in the house. There are even several great shows early in the morning on T.V. that teach Zumba. And, where there is a will there is a way.
I want you to do this because you will have so much more energy during your day.
From 6:00 to 6:30 you should continue with your meditation. This will mentally prepare you for your day.
From 6:30-7:45A: Continue to wake up the boys and prepare for school. This is fine, but make sure you eat a healthy breakfast with protein.
The activities you are doing from 7:45 to noon are fine as is.
From noon to 1:00, I want you to take a 20-minute walk and then have your lunch. However, do not sit at your desk. Eat outside or in a lunchroom at your office.
I want you to change your scenery during this time and the quick walk will keep your energy flowing for the rest of the day. I want you to prepare your lunch the night before so that you can just grab it on your way out the door.
The activities from 1:00 to 7:00 will remain pretty much the same.
Now, the next part of your day you have dinner and finish work projects. I understand dinner but not finishing work projects. This should be done during the day; you need to set boundaries with your boss. By eliminating this, your evenings now start at 7:30 not 8:00.
And your 8:00 to midnight activities are extremely unproductive and a waste of time. This is what I want you to do instead.
From 7:30 to 8:00 get all the little things done for the next day. Prepare lunches for you and the kids, set clothes out etc.
From 8:00 to 9:00 work on a program that is going to help you get your business going again. To start, prepare a business plan and action plan of what has to happen.
From 9:00 to 9:30 this is your time, take a bath, read a book or better yet, journal. By journaling each day you will be able to pinpoint activities that are just a waste of time.
9:30 LIGHTS OUT! No falling asleep on the coach, no late night Internet activity. This will also give you a good 8 hours of sleep even with you getting up a half hour earlier.
I understand on the weekends that you have kids sporting activities. But I want you to find a parent or two (or three or four) that you can start partnering with. Some days, they take your kids and others you take theirs. This way it will free you up a couple of afternoons a month for you to work on your own business.
I also want you to think about all the other things you do on the weekends that you do not need to spend time on. You will be able to identify that time by reviewing your journal. Then, start eliminating these things and use that time instead for personal growth.
What we are doing here is forcing Maria to develop support systems, prioritize, and make good decisions.
Maria, I want to thank you for allowing me to put you on the hot seat here today; and allowing all of our working moms to learn from your honesty. Please commit to this schedule for the next 30 days. Then, write to me again and let me know how this has affected your life.
Finally Maria, I have a favor to ask you. When you write to me again, please send me a picture of you and your boys (this goes for everyone who writes to me).
Whenever I receive pictures via email, I print them out and put them on my community board. Every time I sit down to write an issue I look to this board for inspiration and boy do I find it!
By MaryEllen Tribby
Today is one of my favorite days of the entire year.
Truth be told, not so much because of the Pilgrims and Indians. Rather because it is the one day of the year that everyone should be conscious of how truly blessed they are.
Yet, so much of what we see is overeating and stress.
As a matter of fact, last week during a tennis match, one woman was saying how much see hates Thanksgiving. She commented on how she spends three weeks cooking and then the dinner is over in 10 minutes.
This is not the right way to kick off the holiday season. The holidays are not about perfection. They are about family and friends!
So today, to get your day started in the proper fashion, do something for yourself.
As soon as you finish with this issue, take a nice long walk or go for a jog. If you are in a cooler climate, mediate or stretch in your bedroom.
At 8:00 this morning, I am playing tennis. I’ll be home at 10:15 to spend the rest of the day with the family.
By playing tennis, I get my exercise in for the day. This prevents me from overeating and provides me much more energy for the guests arriving this afternoon.
If you are saying you do not have the time – that is just an excuse. You absolutely can take 30 minutes for you!
And, if something does not go according to plan today, don’t stress about it. Just think about it for a minute, if your pumpkin pie does not turn out perfect, what’s the big deal? No one will care!
So, before I run off to play tennis, I want you to know how incredible thankful I am for you.
My working moms only community allows me to live my passion everyday. It allows me to teach my kids that when you do what you love, that is when you make the biggest impact on the world.
I think Henry Van Dyke said it all when he said . . .
“Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the nature impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.”
So remember to do the following today:
• Don’t stress
• Give thanks!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
http://www.workingmomsonly.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/2012-20-09-09_04_57.mp3 Today's audio diary is about how you communicate with your customers. I have two big products within Working Moms Only. One is this club, Success Club, that you are a part of. The other is called Inbox Empire. In both of these products that people have paid for and given me their trust, I [...]
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By MaryEllen Tribby
"Mommy you know this guy," asked my seven year old daughter Delanie as she heard me comment on Tony Robbin's new radio commercial.
"I sure do," was my response as I went back to telling my husband the story of a recent speaking engagement in Los Angeles. I was explaining how eclectic the presenter line-up was that day. I had gone on stage right after Tony, and somewhere in the middle of the day was Paula Abdul.
But before I could finish my story, my son, Connor, chimed in with, "Well why don't you do a radio commercial for Working Moms Only?"
That one small statement turned our three-hour drive up to Disney into a brainstorming session on wheels.
An Oldie But Goodie
After all, many companies have used radio ads to transform their businesses. Unfortunately, too many entrepreneurs and marketing professionals don't try it because they think it is beyond their reach.
Or they try it once . . . and if it doesn't produce the expected results that first time, they give up on the entire channel.
That's too bad. Radio advertising can be a great marketing tool. It is especially useful in helping entrepreneurs reach specific demographic segments of the general population.
The cost of advertising on the radio varies, depending on the region, the reach and popularity of the radio station (its market share), the time of day, the length of the ad, how many times a day the ad is run, and other factors. But remember that cost isn't everything. Like every other marketing channel, what matters most is return on investment, your ROI.
Therefore, you have to do your research and keep track of all the testing you do with radio advertising. Only then will you know if it is a cost-effective way to bring in customers. You also need to determine how radio fits in with your product and the other marketing channels you are using.
But before you do anything, review the checklist below to make sure you get the most out of your radio campaigns and give yourself the greatest chance of success.
Step 1. Determine Your Target Market: Figure out exactly who buys your product. What are your customers' interests and spending habits? What do they like about your product? Through which marketing channels can you reach them? This is a no-brainer, but many companies forget this step.
Step 2. Ask Your Fellow Businesspeople about Their Experiences: If you are thinking about getting involved in radio advertising, talk to some of your friends in the business about the experiences they've had. Seek out their advice. Learn from their mistakes. Build on their successes.
Step 3. Hire a Pro: If you aren't experienced in radio advertising, hire a consultant (or consultants) to walk you through the process of creating and producing an ad that will resonate with your customers. Consultants will help you write scripts, record in a professional setting, choose a proper format, and so on. Besides being money down the drain, a badly produced ad could do a lot of harm to your company image.
Step 4. The Voice of Your Product: Many times, a business owner or entrepreneur will lend their own talent and voice to their radio commercials. If the thought of being in an ad alarms you, don't worry. Just hire someone. Voice talent is easy to find. Your consultant or the radio station will be able to help you.
Step 5. Get Bids from Different Radio Stations: Once you've created an ad, don't just run it on the first radio station that pops into your head. Check out all the stations that serve your target market. Let them know you are interested in buying airtime--and then make them work to get your business. Ask for proof of their effectiveness in reaching your potential customers, a recommendation for how often your ad should run (this varies depending on your demographic), and proposed costs. All this information should help you make an informed decision.
Step 6. Check Out Sponsorships: Consider sponsoring news reports or the weather--perhaps with a short intro like this: "This Storm Tracker report brought to you by [Your Company]," followed by a quick mention of your website or 800 number.
Step 7. Remnant Space--a Low-Cost Opportunity: Remnant space is airtime that hasn't yet been sold to advertisers. The closer they get to the air date without advertising, the more nervous radio stations get that they won't make any money on that time. So they start offering discounts--as high as 75 percent--to advertisers willing to step in. That's your chance to save a lot of money.
RADIO CHANGED THE WORLD
It may be hard for today's "electronic generation"--accustomed to iphones, ipads, big-screen TVs, VHS/DVD players, computers,MP3 music players, PDAs, digital cameras, camcorders, and the like to imagine it, but when radio was introduced to the world, it had as profound an impact as the Internet did in the 1990s.
Communication changed. The relationships between countries and cultures changed. People and places were linked. The spread of information was not limited by the speed of a boat or train. News traveled at the speed of sound. Physical barriers and large distances no longer posed an obstacle.
And don't forget, many places in the world still don't have regular access to the Internet or even television. But radio is a constant presence, even in remote areas. For many people, it is their lifeline to the world and, thus, radio advertisers have a captive audience.
That's why, even today, radio is a vital part of many companies' multi-channel marketing approach, as viable as any other format or channel. With radio, you will reach those customers who may never turn on a computer and who don't read newspapers or magazines. That said, radio is not appropriate for every business, just as e-mail marketing or direct mail might not work for everyone.
But that's the beauty of multi-channel marketing. You do your research and testing . . . find the mix of advertising formats that works for you... and go with it!
If you want to get a head start on mastering the fundamentals of direct response marketing and putting your competition to shame, check out my #1 Amazon.com best-seller, Changing the Channel: 12 Easy Ways to Make Millions for Your Business.
By MaryEllen Tribby
“I was so inspired by your presentation! Now I finally understand what I need to do to start my own business,” Cynthia said.
This was just one of many comments I heard after delivering a very specific presentation at a conference two years ago.
My presentation was called “Perception vs. Reality: Year One in Business.” My goal was to share with the audience the reality of starting (and running) your own information publishing business while eliminating the pervasive business lies that set fledgling entrepreneurs off on the wrong track… and even put their success in jeopardy.
Let’s start with the biggest falsehood of all.
Critical Business Lie #1: You can make millions instantly.
Have you ever heard the following?
“I just made $5 million this week on my killer launch. So
now I am going to hop in my Lamborghini, drive
down to the pier, board my yacht, cruise down
to the Island, and bury my money.”
~ Infamous Internet Marketer
This is not real life or real business. This example, unfortunately, is from one Internet Marketer who took his results from the first 10 minutes of a launch and extrapolated them over 12 months. Most of these numbers are exaggerated to get inexperienced entrepreneurs excited… and ready to spend money.
In fact, most of these numbers are distorted… or they're straight-out untruths. This is simply irresponsible behavior.
I call this IMM or Internet Marketer Math.
Reality #1: You can NOT run your business with IMM. You must run your business with real math. Real dollars in the door minus expenses/items like:
Bottom line: You do not put IMM in the bank. You do not even put gross revenue in the bank. You put profits in the bank and invest them back into your business. And when planning and launching your business, this is more important than ever.
The Planning Stage of Business
Critical Business Lie #2: Planning a business begins the second you decide to start a business.
Most of the entrepreneurs I know didn't get their start in Internet marketing. I sure didn't! So, if you think that the planning stage begins with simply waking up one day and saying, "Well, I guess I'll start a Internet business today!"… you're dead wrong.
Reality #2: The planning stage of business begins long before you ever dream of starting your own business. Years before "entrepreneurship" is even a part of your vocabulary. And, this stage lasts every single day of your professional career.
Because the planning stage of business is also known as the…
“Relationship and reputation building, competitive intelligence gathering, industry knowledge gaining, technology learning, and humble-lization phase.”
Every relationship you make… Every client you meet… Every project you undertake… All of it affects your business even before your business exists.
This means that everything you do counts. And I mean everything!
• Every email
• Every phone conversation
• Every missed deadline
• Every deadline made
• Every rude remark
• Every insightful comment
• Every time you dismiss someone as not as important as you
• Every act of respect
• Everything you do!
I have written about how relationships are your most important asset in business and how relationship building is the most important skill you can master in business (and in every other area of your life).
Yet many people fail to see how a small action now can affect a partnership or investment in the future. It repeatedly surprises me that so many entrepreneurs are so unconcerned about burning bridges. This is particularly upsetting because not only is relationship building the foundation of your business, it really is one of the easiest (not to mention most fun) parts of your business.
At the end of the day, business is so much easier when you have people who want to help you – people who have excellent contacts and dependable resources. And you want these people to be glad to offer to help.
This was a tremendous asset to me when starting Working Moms Only. I had built my Braggable Network long before I ever dreamed of starting Working Moms Only. And I built it by becoming a braggable asset to my network.
What Is a Braggable Network?
Critical Business Lie #3: All it takes to have a Braggable Network is meeting or speaking with the industry Big Guns.
Reality #3: A Braggable Network does not develop because you meet someone at a conference, take a photo with that person, and post that photo on Facebook. It does not develop because you attend a teleseminar and ask an expert a question on the phone. Nor does it develop when you send an expert an email praising her work.
When people claim that an expert they met once or spoke to in passing is part of their network… it drives me crazy! This practice is no different than name-dropping: Using someone’s accomplishments for your own gain without EVER delivering value to that person. Because at that point all you have done is gained an introduction to that person. You have not delivered value at any level.
A Braggable Network is a group of people for whom you have CONSISTENTLY supplied extraordinary results. These are the people who talk about you when they talk about greatness. The people you'd gladly speak to anytime, night or day.
Your goal every single day is to add to your Braggable Network. The easiest place to start is simply by operating from a place of respect. Then strive to deliver extraordinary results.
Sometimes people are scared off when I speak of extraordinary results. But here’s the deal…
Ninety-five percent of people are ordinary. If you're trying to be ordinary, you've got a lot of competition. But when you strive for extraordinary, you actually have less competition. This gives you the opportunity to not only achieve better results, but to stand out and become recognized for your contributions.
You should take action immediately to form a Braggable Network. Keep a journal of who you have/would like to have in your Braggable Network and what you did/can do to gain that person’s trust and admiration. You will find over time that your actions will bring you extraordinary results.
Take a look at the Critical Business Lies we've uncovered today. You'll notice that all of them have something in common: The lies make success as an Internet entrepreneur seem effortless.
The reality is that you must expend effort to succeed.
And why wouldn't you want to? This is, after all, your dream, your name, your reputation. If those things aren't worth working for… what is?
By MaryEllen Tribby
I know you want to start an online business but you don’t have an idea for a product. Or you need to add products to your current line-up. Or you have an idea but it is just not fully formed yet.
Well you are not alone. Many entrepreneurs get caught up in the feeling that they must create something new to be successful.
But very often, being first with a new product is not the best way to get started. In fact most successful entrepreneurs made their fortunes selling products similar to those others were already offering.
There are techniques for producing great product ideas. And it works for every aspect of your business from new product ideas to brainstorming your marketing campaigns.
The Ten Steps For Producing Profitable Product Ideas
Step 1, Identify the problem: You cannot solve a problem until you know exactly what that problem is. Yet many so entrepreneurs charge full steam ahead without really knowing what they are trying to accomplish.
Don’t try to apply a solution before you have taken the time accurately defined the problem. Make a list of the problems your target market is facing. Think about what is keeping them up at night. Now pick the ONE you think you can solve. That’s problem you must address.
Step 2, Assemble the pertinent facts: Professionals in every field know the importance of gathering specific data/facts. A scientist planning experiments checks the abstracts to see what similar experiments have been performed. An author writing a book collects everything he can on the subject from newspaper clipping, photos, official records, and transcripts of interviews, magazine articles. A business consultant may spend months researching a company before coming up with a solution to the company’s problems.
Build a “swipe” file. This is an organized collection of successful promotions including newspaper and magazine ads, direct mail pieces, and email campaigns.
Constantly study your file. Build simple excel spreadsheets or use a mind map to pull out solutions to the very problem you are trying to solve for your prospects.
This step increases your familiarity with the background information and gives you a fresh perspective on the problem.
Step 3, Gather general knowledge: This has to do with the expertise you’ve developed in all aspects of your life; from events, people, marketing, technology, management, communications, selling, entrepreneurship, selling, parenting, the Internment and human psychology.
You will accelerate your won education by becoming a student in the many areas that relate to your business. Subscribe to trade journals that related to your field. Read books in your field and start a reverence library. Attend seminars, conference and trade shows. Network with people in your field and exchange information, stories, ideas and resources.
The majority of SUCESSFUL entrepreneurs are information junkies. By becoming one you can learn in a few short weeks took others 20 or more years to accumulate.
Step 4, Look for combinations: Is there really such a thing as a completely new idea? Many ideas are simply a new combination of existing elements. By looking for combinations, for new relationships between old ideas you can come up with a fresh approach.
Look for synergistic combinations when you examine the facts. What two things can work together to forma a third thing that is a new idea. Take the clock-radio for example. It was invented by someone who just took two existing technologies to create a brand new product. If you have two devices, and each performs a function someone might need, can you link them together to create a new product?
Step 5, Sleep on it: Putting the problem aside for some time can help you renew your idea-producing powers just when you think your creative well has run dry. But this is only after you have gathered all the information you possible can and you have gone over that information again and again.
Once you have come to the point where you are so punch drunk from hashing the ideas overt and over - it’s time to take a break. Put the problem aside and let your unconscious mind take over.
The solution may come to you in the shower, at your kids soccer game or while you are exercising. Even if not, when you return to your problem, you will find you can attack it with a fresh prospective.
Step 6, Use a checklist: Checklist can be used to stimulate creative thinking and as a starting point for new ideas. Many manufactures, consultants and trade associations publish checklist you can use in your own work. But the best checklist are the ones you create yourself, because they are tailored to the problems that come up in your own day to day life.
Step 7, Get feedback: Some entrepreneurs prefer to work alone, but feedback is critical. Getting someone else’s opinion of your work can help you focus your thinking and produce ideas you hadn’t thought of yet.
Take the feedback for what it worth. If you feel you are right and the feedback is way off base – ignore it. However, it 9 out the 10 people you ask have the same notes on your work so far, it will behoove you to examine why.
Step 8, team up: Many people think more creatively when working in groups but tend to involve too many people.
It is recommended that 3 – 10 people are he ideal size for an entrepreneurial team. With more you are in danger of ending up with a committee that spins its wheels and accomplishes nothing. The people you team up with should have skills AND thought processes that balance and complement your own.
Step 9, Give new ideas a chance: The creative process is a TWO-stage process. The first is an idea producing stage, when ideas flow freely. The second stage is the critical editing stage, where you hold each idea up to the light and see how it stands.
Many of us make the mistake of mixing the two stages together. Don’t criticize during the first stage. Instead think about how the idea can become better and easier.
Step 10, Define success: Always set metrics. Define what is the least amount of sales you would accept for this product to be a success. Also define your optimal amount of sales as well as the number of sales that would be beyond your wildest dreams.
This tells you if the product is viable. Can you hit the minimum amount of sales? If not perhaps the idea is not viable as it is and you need to go through your steps one more time to make sure you have solved the problem you set out to solve.
In the end, the market place will determine if your product is one they want. And if you have completed the ten steps above you will be positioned better than 99% of you competition.
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