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Business Ideas – How to Sell Something Like P.T. Barnum by Evan Carmichael
Evan Carmichael discusses how you can sell, promote, and showcase your business like America’s greatest showman, P.T. Barnum.
“Without promotion something terrible happens… nothing!” — P.T. Barnum
Phineas Taylor Barnum (July 5, 1810 — April 7, 1891) was an American showman, businessman, and entertainer. Above all else, P.T. Barnum was a salesman and promoter who knew how to get people talking. Today, the legacy of his work lives on in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, still billed as ‘The Greatest Show on Earth.’
When P.T. Barnum first launched his business, there was heavy competition as many entrepreneurs had set up their own traveling road shows. He knew that in order for his circus to succeed he needed to get people excited about it by being extremely different from everyone else.
Action Item #1: Sell Something Unique
How do you really stack up against your competitors? Are you honestly that different? If you are an average company with an average product selling at an average price then guess what you get? Average results.
To be successful you need to have a point (or points) of differentiation. It has to be something that is noticeable to people who don’t understand your industry. In the circus business you have to get good performers and P.T. Barnum went out of his way to find the best. From the Fiji Mermaid to Siamese twins Chang and Eng Bunker to General Tom Thumb the Midget P.T. Barnum had a unique product that none of his competitors could match.
Think about if a potential customer found your website and five of your competitors’ websites. Would they get the feeling that you are very different from the others? Be honest with yourself and if the answer is “not really” then it’s time to get to work on creating an offering that is truly unique in your industry,
Action Item #2: Promote, Promote, Promote
You can have the greatest product or service in the world but if nobody knows about it, your business won’t last very long. Whatever market you’re selling to is likely full of competitors. Even if you have a better quality product or service, your competition can get more business than you if they promote themselves properly. To be a successful entrepreneur you need to both provide an outstanding offering (Action Item #1) and promote it so everybody knows about it.
One of my favourite quotes from P.T. Barnum is “Without promotion something terrible happens… nothing!” If you’re not out promoting and selling your product then your competitors are taking your customers from you even if you can provide them with a better option. If you’re not out promoting then you lose and your customers lose.
Promoting your business doesn’t have to be expensive and you don’t have to be a great people-person. You just have to do something unique to stand out. According to the New York Times the average person in a city sees 5,000 ads per day. Unless you’re very very unique and different with your promotion people are going to ignore you. They’re not trying to be mean, we are all just trained to filter things out unless we have a reason to pay attention. Give them that reason and with your next promotion ask yourself: “What would P.T. Barnum do?”
Action Item #3: Showcase Yourself
People like to buy from people, not from companies. Think about your own buying experiences. Would you buy from someone who you can see their picture, learn about their story, and relate to their experiences? Or would you rather buy from ABC company who uses the same stock photography and boring mission statements as everyone else?
P.T. Barnum did a great job of not only promoting his business but himself as a part of it. He was the creative founder who everyone was talking about and wanted to learn more about.
You don’t have to be a daredevil like Richard Branson and balloon around the world (although P.T. Barnum would be proud!) — but it can really help your business if you showcase yourself so that your prospective customers feel like they’re buying from a real human being. Put your picture on your website and in your marketing materials. Tell a brief story as to why you started your business and the problems you’ve been able to help solve for customers. Explain why you’re so proud of your business and what makes you different. It will have a tremendous and long lasting impact on your company’s growth.
Business Ideas – 3 Success Lessons from Madam CJ Walker by Evan Carmichael
Today we are taking a look at a woman that started out life in a slave family. After slavery ended, this woman would build a business and become the first self-made woman millionaire in the United States. This is the story of hair care and cosmetics business entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker and the top 3 lessons that you can learn from her success.
“I had to make my own living and my own opportunity. But I made it! Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.” – Madam C.J. Walker
Madam C.J. Walker was born Sarah Breedlove (born December 23, 1867) in Delta, Louisiana. Born into a slave family, Walker rose from her humble beginnings to establish herself as the first self-made woman millionaire in America. After experiencing a personal setback, Walker turned her fate around and used that setback to create a fortune. At a time when most African Americans were struggling to find work, Walker pioneered her way to the top of the hair care and cosmetics industries.
Walker would face a host of tragedies throughout her life, such as losing her parents when she was very young, losing her first husband, marrying two more times, but none of these tragedies is what made her look to start her own business. In 1904, crisis would again strike Walker’s life. She had been working so hard and eating so poorly that she began losing her hair. She tried product after product to try and help save her hair, but nothing worked. Later that year, Walker attended a seminar that would change the course of her life and make her do something about her problem.
Walker credits God with having given her the special hair remedy that would launch her business. God, however, could not do anything about the fact that there was already another entrepreneur selling similar products in St. Louis. Not wanting to face the competition head on, Walker decided to take her show on the road. In 1913, Walker bought a house in Harlem and decided to make it her company’s new headquarters. Slowly, the company continued to grow and by 1917, annual conventions were being held by Walker’s agents to train new and old recruits. By the time Walker died in 1919, she was 51 years old and one of the richest women in the country.
Action Item #1: Don’t Let Your Situation Be an Excuse
Action Item #2: Act on Crisis, Don’t Accept It
Action Item #3: Make Perseverance Your Motto
In 1917, Walker commissioned a 34-room mansion to be built for her on the Hudson River. It was her dream house, something she had worked for years to be able to afford. But when area residents found out who their new neighbor was going to be, they were less than happy. “One of the race,” wrote one newspaper, “is invading the domains of New York’s aristocracy.” The New York Times even wrote, “No woman of her race could own such a place. Does she really intend to live there?”
This was only some of the discrimination Walker faced throughout her life. One little-known story is about the time she went to the movie theater only to be charged twice what white people were being charged to see the show. She immediately hired an attorney and sued the movie theater, winning the case. She then went on to build her own movie theater to support the black residents of New York, which became a successful theater and did not discriminate against white residents. Anyone could come see the shows and everyone paid the same ticket price.
“I am not ashamed of my past. I am not ashamed of my humble beginning.”
“I am not satisfied in making money for myself. I endeavor to provide employment for hundreds of the women of my race.”
“I got my start by giving myself a start.”
Business Ideas – 3 Lessons from Robert Kiyosaki by Evan Carmichael
Today we’re going to look at how a Vietnam veteran failed with two separate businesses but was determined to become a successful entrepreneur and not have to work for someone else. He would eventually become one of the most successful business writers of all time. This is the story of Rich Dad Poor Dad creator Robert Kiyosaki and the top 3 lessons that you can learn from his success.
“The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way.” – Robert Kiyosaki
Robert Kiyosaki (born April 8, 1947) is an American investor, businessman, self-help author, motivational speaker, and financial literacy activist best known for his “Rich Dad Poor Dad” book series. After serving in the Marine Corps as a helicopter gunship pilot during the Vietnam War, Kiyosaki returned home to work as a salesman for Xerox. Not wanting to work for someone else for the rest of his life, Kiyosaki had dreams of starting his own business.
After unsuccessful stints selling Velcro wallets and T-shirts for heavy metal rock bands, Kiyosaki began promoting the personal growth seminars of Marshall Thurber called “Money & You.” When Thurber decided to retire, Kiyosaki took over the business and began traveling the world to educate people about financial strategies. To reach more people he decided to write his first book which he self-published, “Rich Dad Poor Dad.”
Robert Kiyosaki has written over 15 books and has sold over 26 million copies. 3 of his books have been on the best sellers lists of The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the New York Times simultaneously and he’s a sought after speaker who continues to educate people on how to understand their money.
Action Item #1: Make Your Money Work Hard
Action Item #2: Mind Your Own Business
Action Item #3: Work to Learn, Not for Money
There was once a friend of Kiyosaki’s whose 16 year old son desperately wanted a new car. His friends had all been given one by their parents, and now this son expected nothing less. But, it was not going to be that easy for the boy. His father had played Kiyosaki’s CASHFLOW board game and he wanted to teach his son a lesson in financial management. The father gave his son $3,000 but forbade him from using it to buy a car just yet. At the same time, he gave his son a subscription to the Wall Street Journal. The father told his son that only once he had earned an additional $6,000 from investments could he then use $3,000 to buy a car. The rest of the money would of course go into his college fund. “My friend said it was the best $3,000 he ever spent,” says Kiyosaki. “Not only had his son gained a new respect for the power of money, he also learned to spend money wisely instead of letting money burn holes in his pockets.”
“Don’t work for money; make it work for you.”
“Remember, your mind is your greatest asset, so be careful what you put into it.”
” If you want to go somewhere, it is best to find someone who has already been there.”
The shocking truth about your health: Lissa Rankin
Lissa Rankin, MD is an OB/GYN physician, author, keynote speaker, consultant to health care visionaries, professional artist, and founder of the women’s health and wellness community OwningPink.com. Discouraged by the broken, patriarchal health care system, she left her medical practice in 2007 only to realize that you can quit your job, but you can’t quit your calling. This epiphany launched her on a journey of discovery that led her to become a leader in the field of mind/body medicine, which she blogs about at OwningPink.com and is writing about in her third book Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Yourself (Hay House, 2013).
She teaches both patients and health care professionals how to make the body ripe for miracles by healing the mind and being healthy in all aspects of life, not just by promoting healthy behaviors like good nutrition, exercise, and adequate sleep, but by encouraging health and authenticity in relationships, work, creative expression, spirituality, sexuality, finances, and living environment. She is leading a revolution to feminize how health care is received and delivered by encouraging collaboration, fostering self-healing, reconnecting health care and spirituality, empowering patients to tap into the mind’s power to heal the body, and encouraging women not to settle for being merely well, but to strive for living vital, joyful, authentic lives full of “mojo.”
When not spreading the word, she chills out, paints, does yoga, and hikes in Marin County, CA with her husband and daughter.
Shawn Achor – “The Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains to Performance”
Shawn Achor is the winner of over a dozen distinguished teaching awards at Harvard University, where he delivered lectures on positive psychology in the most popular class at Harvard.
His research and lectures on happiness and human potential have received attention in The New York Times, Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, as well as on NPR and CNN Radio, and he travels around the United States and Europe giving talks on positive psychology to Fortune 500 corporations, schools, and non-profit organizations.
Achor graduated magna cum laude from Harvard with a BA in English and Religion and earned a Masters degree from Harvard Divinity School in Christian and Buddhist ethics.
Now he is the CEO of Aspirant, a Cambridge-based consulting firm which researches positive outliers-people who are well above average-to understand where human potential, success and happiness intersect. Based on his research and 12 years of experience at Harvard, he clearly and humorously describes to organizations how to increase happiness and meaning, raise success rates and profitability, and create positive transformations that ripple into more successful cultures.
In Shawn’s presentation, he says that most modern research focuses on the average, but that “if we focus on the average, we will remain merely average.” He wants to study the positive outliers, and learn how not only to bring people up to the average, but to move the entire average up.
Exclusive interview of Larry Page & Sergey Brin – Co-founders Google Inc
Bloomberg Game Changers – Sergey Brin & Larry Page Google
Bloomberg Game Changers – Sergey Brin & Larry Page Google Full Story, Learn from the founders of Google, how the they turned a garage project to a global tech giant. But it wasn’t easy.
Jim Rogers – Buy Silver CNN Money
Odious debt, is the national debt incurred by a regime for purposes that do not serve the best interests of the nation or it’s people. Such debts are thus, considered to be personal debts of the regime that incurred them and not debts of the state or it’s people.