093: When to Start a New Venture | Interview with Howard Ward [Podcast]

This is a guest post from Howard Ward. Howard writes a blog about turning critical thinking into critical doing called “The Critical Doer” and you can follow at criticaldoer.com

For anyone looking to start a new career or a new business, what you want to do and how to do it are not the most difficult decisions in putting your dream in motion. In reality, the most difficult decision is when to begin and the answer generally revolves around one thing…risk.

Opportunity knocks

Opportunity Knocks “Creative Commons” (edited) by lobnaSaleh is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Click to Listen

Play

For the purpose of this discussion, risk will be defined as the difference between two points that exist in any decision…known and unknown. Most people understand this concept, and even follow the natural extension of the thought that risk mitigation is the process of critical thinking that shrinks the difference between known and unknown.Where many struggle however, is the point in the process where a decision is made on an acceptable level of risk where action can begin. It is human nature to want to drive risk to zero. In reality, nothing will ever happen if you feel compelled to drive risk to zero. The following graphic illustrates the relationship between risk and opportunity:

Risk vs Opportunity

As you can see, when risk is zero…so is opportunity. As willingness to accept risk increases, so does opportunity but you’re also keenly aware that potential for negative outcomes increases as well. If you ever want to move beyond thought and get to action, you must decide on an optimum level of risk. From the optimum point, you must establish a range of acceptable risk that will drive your decision to open the door when opportunity knocks…once.Here are some ways you can attack risk and drive it to an acceptable range where action can begin in order to capitalize on an opportunity that will bring you fulfillment:
  1. Prepare before you begin. For a major undertaking, ensure you are physically, mentally, spiritually, and financially prepared. Any new venture will bring challenges. They’re difficult enough when you’re prepared…they’re likely insurmountable if you’re not.
  2. Get the facts straight. Numbers, not adjectives, are the basis of a business plan. It’s likely someone is already doing something similar to what you’re considering…you’ll be surprised how willing they are to mentor you if asked. Read books and take classes to expand your knowledge base…you know what you know, but not everything there is to know.
  3. Build a network. Careers and businesses are about people as much as products. Get involved with folks who can share knowledge, make contacts, provide mentoring, or heaven forbid, even become customers!
  4. Commit to action in the acceptable range of risk. Many good deals are completely lost by sacrificing acceptable for optimum risk. Strive for the optimum point of risk to begin, but if you’re in danger of losing an opportunity while risk is in the acceptable range…pull the trigger and never look back.
  5. Plan for success. You probably already know to plan for failure, but you’d be surprised how many ventures ultimately fail because they had no plan to capitalize on their initial success. Ensure you are equally as prepared to build on success as you are prepared to deal with failure. Additionally, when your only contingency is for failure, you are handicapping yourself as humans tend to self-fulfill expectations. Expect to succeed, have a plan for it, and make your self-fulfilling prophecy a positive one.
Managing risk is a part of life. You can either manage it, or it will manage you…and the opportunities for fulfillment will be marginal. There is a measure of science for calculating risk and shrinking it to a manageable level. The acceptable range however, is a personal decision that you must make in order to have a point for launching into a sea of opportunity…or continue treading water where you are. I encourage you to take the last step to decide the timing to pursue your opportunity of a lifetime and boldly answer the door when opportunity knocks.
You can find more about Howard Ward at criticaldoer.com.
.
Some of Howard’s Related Posts:

Subscription Links

If you have enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to it on iTunes. To subscribe, go to iTunes and hit subscribe! You may have to click the button that says, “OPEN IN ITUNES.” You can also find Company of One on Stitcher.

Company of One - ItuneCompany of One - Stitcher

Your Feedback

If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me.

Also, if you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

Sharing with homeschool parents on planning for college and life.

Date: June 19, 2015
Time: 02:00PM
Event: High School : Keeping the End in Mind
Topic: High School : Keeping the End in Mind
Sponsor: CHEF
Venue: Gardendale First Baptist Church - South Campus
Location: Gardendale, AL
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.

Looking forward to joining the PMI Central Alabama Chapter for their 2015 Symposium.

Date: May 8, 2015
Time: 03:45-4:45 p.m.
Event: Leadership From the Cubicle
Topic: Leadership From the Cubicle
Sponsor: PMI Central Alabama
Venue: Embassy Suites
Location: 2960 John Hawkins Pkwy
Hoover, AL 35244
Registration: Click here to register.

092: How to Find a Job |Finding Hidden Opportunities [Podcast]

Last week in Episode 91- Who is Hiring –  I talked about who is hiring. Today I will give you some detailed examples about how to find a job. These are real examples. And last I leave you with a few hints to find new opportunities in every conversation.

How to Find a Job

”Creative Commons” by DeduloPhotos is licensed under CC BY 2.0  

Click to Listen

Play

Review My Podcast

If you offer me a review of the Company of One podcast on itTunes, I will do a free 30 minute coaching session with you. In these coaching sessions I will help you with any questions you need. To get some ideas of how I work with others, see my coaching page.

Here is how to leave an iTunes Review:

One you leave a review, shoot me an email telling me

  1. That you left a review under your id.
  2. What country you are in. (I need this because iTunes is country specific)

I will send you back a link to get on my schedule for a coaching session. The link will include a few questions that will help us make the most of the time we have.

 .

How to Find a Job

 .

Covered in the podcast today I will give you this information:

  • How finding a new job is like finding a customer.
  • Why you need to think like your customer.
  • Why the old method of sending a resume and responding to job ads does not work.
  • Examples:
    • How I got a job offer when they were not hiring.
    • How Frank got a job offer at a level he never expected.
    • How I found a sales job at a healthcare company.
    • How I found an engineering safety and quality job at a company who was not hiring.

Related Episodes:

 .

Resources

Subscription Links

If you have enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to it on iTunes. To subscribe, go to iTunes and hit subscribe! You may have to click the button that says, “OPEN IN ITUNES.” You can also find Company of One on Stitcher.

Company of One - ItuneCompany of One - Stitcher

Your Feedback

If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me.

Also, if you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

091: Who is Hiring? How Do You Find the Companies Looking for People? [Podcast]

Who’s hiring? That is one of the most common questions I get when I speak to career transition groups. I will start by asking them what questions I can answer that will help them quickly move from unemployed to employed. Someone usually says “Who is hiring? That is what we need to know. And how do we find those employers who are hiring?” The answer to their question is simple, but takes a little explaining.

Who is Hiring?

”Creative Commons” by StefaninLA is licensed under CC BY 2.0  

Click to Listen

Play

Who is Hiring?

The fast answer is everyone is hiring. There is not one single company or individual (besides those totally destitute) who is not open to hiring someone. The trick is finding out what they will hire you to do.

How do I know everyone is hiring? Assume you are out of a job and frustrated with the search. You are feeling demotivated and feel like you could give up, but you know you cannot. I approach you and offer you this proposal:

I can get you a good paying job that you will enjoy in at most 3 months. But between now and then I will have you on interviews that will excite you and empower you – giving you a renewed hope and energy. It will cost you $6000, paid after you start working again.

Are you listening? Are you interested?

Sure we have to work out the details, but for most sane people, they are at least going to enter into a conversation with me. Why? I am talking about their current pain.

…So in this example, you are out of work, and you have just hired me! (Or at least considering it.)

Pain is the issue. In the above example I have demonstrated that even most unemployed people desperate for work are open to hiring someone. But more important, if I learn about YOUR CURRENT pain and have a solution, you too are hiring. We are all hiring. When I can find your pain and offer a solution for your pain, suddenly you will be open to hiring me. 

What about companies? They are no different. The only logical reason a company will hire is because the boss does not want to do the job he or she is hiring for. Pain. They either need to stop the bleeding and fill an open position to solve problems, or they are looking to grow and need help in the growth. Again, pain.

How Do I Find The Pain

Once you understand that everyone is hiring, then you need to know how to go find the pain and where to start.

Finding the companies

If you live in or near any decent size town (and it can be small) there are more companies and potential employers than you can possibly talk to. So you need to find the right companies. Here are some hints:

  • Companies you like doing business with – Go to the companies you like and buy from. You already know their products and services and since you buy from them, you probably like them.
  • Companies doing what you love – If you love helping the elderly, find companies who do that. If you love outdoor sports, what companies are out there doing outdoor activities.
  • Companies that interest you – Anything else that creates interest. The key is, you need to go somewhere that you will be interested in the products and services they provide.

How to use LinkedIn to find people and companies

Getting an interview
.
Forget the formal interview. Instead, go ask for advice. Reach out to the person in charge. Think about the person inside that company who has enough power to hire and fire. Ask them for an appointment, not for an interview. Tell them you would like to learn about their industry so you can decide if you want to go after a career in this business. You can tell them you are out of work, but that you want to search for the right fit this time and are just looking for advice.
.
When you go in, ask for advice. (Yes, you should be dressed professionally, at least as nice as they are dressed.) Ask them what it is like to work in this industry. Ask them how they got to where they are. Ask them what their greatest challenges are in their job. (I like to ask “What keeps you awake at night?” hoping they do not take me literally and tell me the neighbors dog) Point is, get them talking.
 .
When you are done, ask them who else you should talk to. Even ask them for an introduction. Then thank them and leave.
 .
OK, what was the point? 
 What did you just do?
  1. You got them to like you. How do I know? If you did what I said, you got them talking about themselves. And as Dale Carnegie would say, “if you want someone to like you, get them to talk about their favorite subject, themselves.”
  2. You learned about the business, from the inside. Now you know more. You may have been excited by what you heard, or disgusted. Either way, now you know.
  3. You have an inside track. If you want to work at that company, you know the person to start with. Forget HR.
  4. You know the pain. This is VERY important. Remember asking them their greatest challenge? Their answer was their pain. If you are talking to someone at a high enough level, their pain usually translates to lost revenue or expenses. In other words, their pain cost $. Did their pain sound like something you would LOVE to solve?
For most people, they also find this kind of fun. The pressure is off from the formal interview, but it was very much an interview. They got to know you, and you got to know them.
What next?.
Do it again. And again.
 .
The Results
The result will be job offers. Trust me.
.
More Information?
To learn more about this process, see my posts on reverse interviews.

Resources

Subscription Links

If you have enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to it on iTunes. To subscribe, go to iTunes and hit subscribe! You may have to click the button that says, “OPEN IN ITUNES.” You can also find Company of One on Stitcher.

Company of One - ItuneCompany of One - Stitcher

Your Feedback

If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me.

Also, if you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

090: Dealing with Overwhelm [Podcast]

Overwhelmed? Recently, I spent some time in Dallas with members of my mastermind team and one topic that kept coming up over and over was the feeling of being overwhelmed. So, we decided to take an hour out and talk about strategies for dealing with overwhelm by learning what each one of us does when we feel overwhelmed. I took notes, and now I share them with you.

Dealing with Overwhelm

“Creative Commons” by Sonja Langford is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Click to Listen

Play

Strategies in Dealing with Overwhelm

Decide

  • Define what really matters: We tend to think we can do everything and serve everyone. We can’t. Give it up. Figure out what really matters and focus your attention there.
  • Just Say No: Say no to almost anything that is not a HECK YES!!! Once you have defined what really matters, this is easier. A great read on this is the book Essentialism.
  • Say yes once: Related to the Just Say No, learn to focus on what really matters. Just say yes to the number one thing. Everything else falls away.

Look Inside

  • Recognize it is emotional: We tend to get caught up in our own drama and think things are worse than they really are. We put unreasonable demands on ourselves, often because we expect these are the things others want from us. We have to step back from the emotions – the anger, resentment, fear, and worry – and look at really what the problem is.
  • Move from FOMO to JOMO: Change our view from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out ) to JOMO (Joy of Missing Out). Resign from boards you do not care about. Quit activities that do not matter. Have the joy of focus.
  • Recognize that overwhelm is not a solution: So often I hear people tell me “I am just overwhelmed right now” as if by saying it they gave released tension and solved the problem. Sure, they got to vent, but nothing is solved. Getting bent out of shape never solved anything.
  • It is your story: Rather than thinking about what others want us to be, recognize that we can make up a new story. What is your story? What do you want it to be? Dave Ramsey is famous for saying that we can wake up and look in the mirror and decide today who we want to be tomorrow. That is freedom.

Take Action

  • When we get negative – get active. Go for a walk, workout, or do something physical. One of our members said “When I feel overwhelmed I go for a walk and meditate and pray. I invite voice of God to answer.”
  • Exercise: Usually when deadlines get tight, people stop working out. Big mistake. Keep regular exercise as  priority. If the busiest people in the world have time for it, so do you.

Connect and Seek Counsel

  • Talk it out: Sometimes having someone to talk to helps you develop clarity. If you do not have a friend who will be quiet and listen, tell your dog. If you do not have a dog, borrow one. They will still listen.

Have Faith

Every member of my mastermind team is a Christian so much of their view of life comes from their faith. Here are some things that came up.

  • Fatih: Trust in God to control things and stop trying to do it all. The world does not depend on us to hold it up.
  • God will lead: This was a freeing statement to me “It is impossible to chose the wrong path – every path you chose is God’s plan.”

What works for you when you get overwhelmed? Share your thoughts with me on my NEW Facebook page!

Subscription Links

If you have enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to it on iTunes. To subscribe, go to iTunes and hit subscribe! You may have to click the button that says, “OPEN IN iTUNES.” You can also find Company of One on Stitcher.

Company of One - ItuneCompany of One - Stitcher

Your Feedback

If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me.

Also, if you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

089: A Career Founded by Pain [Podcast]

When we think of ways to make a living, we often get stuck on our training, our college degree, and our past work history. But, many careers have been started out of raw personal experiences. Today I interview one of those career changers – Steve Ozanich, – who went from engineer to author specializing in chronic pain relief. His journey did not take him through medical school, but instead through personal pain and finally relief.

A Career Founded by Pain

“Creative Commons” by Todd Quackenbush tvol is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Click to Listen

Play

Why I Wanted this Interview

When I invited Steve to do a podcast with me, I had four reasons in mind.

  1. Career Defined by Passion – He is another example of someone who took his personal journey and passion to make it his career. In the audio you will hear the passion!
  2. Pain is Prominent at Work – Since I know many of you hate your jobs or careers, I can only assume many of you are suffering physical pain and going through a lot of healthcare paths looking for help. Steve might just open you up to the real cause of the pain.
  3. New Career Field is Created – Through the obsession of a few medical doctors and the patients, entirely new career fields are being created. It is our job to seek out new paths for our passion – and looking at the old way is not always the path we should take.
  4. Leaders are in Danger of Having Chronic Pain – Those who are leaders in many areas of their life tend to get caught in many one way relationships – where you the leader always have to be “on” and holding up your team, your company, and your family. The result is often isolation and very few true friends. Steve reminded me that almost all pain and illness comes from relationship issues, or a lack of connection with others.

Results of the Interview on The Great Pain Deception

1. We discussed personal life real issues resulting in a new career and how it happened.

2. The power of your mind. So many people in this society have a negative view of themselves and their abilities, they talk themselves out of success. Some of the same issues resulting in pain also result in failure – or perhaps I should say limited success.

3. Dealing with pain. If you suffer from back pain, IBS, carpel tunnel, knee pain, or any other chronic pain this audio and the books listed below might be worth your time to investigate.

Resources

 

Subscription Links

If you have enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to it on iTunes. To subscribe, go to iTunes and hit subscribe! You may have to click the button that says, “OPEN IN ITUNES.” You can also find Company of One on Stitcher.

Company of One - ItuneCompany of One - Stitcher

Your Feedback

If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me.

Also, if you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

088: Ship It – The Critical Sales Path [Podcast]

One of the biggest challenges with new businesses is they are slow to start. Once the decision is made – you must get products on the market as soon as possible. Seth Godin uses the term “SHIP IT” often. Seth is trying to say “It will never be perfect, you must ship product. Here in this audio and video I will walk you through the common sales path, I call the critical sales path, showing you how new companies really put products on the market and improve them along the way.

Ship It - The Critical Sales Path

“Creative Commons” by Luca Zanon is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Click to Listen

Play

Key Messages

  • Sales are the CRITICAL part of the business
  • Processes and products should evolve with sales
  • No sales = no business

Two Major Failures in Business

  1. Trying to get perfect processes before you start.
  2. Never improving the processes after you start.

Steps in the Critical Sales Path

  • 1st Sale – Critical to create momentum
  • 2nd Sale – Keep it going
  • 10th sale – you are beginning to learn what your customers REALLY want
  • 100th sale – Start thinking about processes

 

Video

Subscription Links

If you have enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to it on iTunes. To subscribe, go to iTunes and hit subscribe! You may have to click the button that says, “OPEN IN ITUNES.” You can also find Company of One on Stitcher.

Company of One - ItuneCompany of One - Stitcher

Your Feedback

If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me.

Also, if you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

087: How to Do an Opportunity Analysis [Podcast]

So you have a business idea. Want to find out if you have a good idea and can really make money? Well it is a simple process I call Opportunity Analysis. An opportunity analysis allows you to get some idea of the size of the market and then to get a reasonable view of just how much money you can make. Don’t be like so many others who have gone into businesses which are limited in the amount of income. Would you want to go into a business where you can only make $65,000 per year if you do well? Many do.

How to do an opportunity analysis

“Creative Commons ” by Forrest Cavale is licensed under CC BY 2.0 

Click to Listen

Play

Steps to an Opportunity Analysis

Get Clarity

  • What will you do? Be clear and concise!
  • Who is the customer? Think of a list. How big?
  • What is the pain that you are relieving? This is your value proposition.
  • What is the market size of YOUR segment?
  • What is the price?

Ask a Woman 

Something about women’s intuition really works. I do not claim to understand it, but I know of tons of business people – men and women – who tap into the wisdom God has given women.
Do the Math!

Here is an example of how much we could make per product as we went into the homeschooling business. We were creating high school math products for the homeschool market, and we needed to know how much we might could make per product. (This data was a mix of Google research and common sense guesses.)

  • Homeschool market size:  2 million families
  • High School Percentage:  50.00%
  • Leave homeschooling in high school: 50.00%
  • % of Market we expect:  0.50% (Yes – this is 1/2 of 1%)
  • Sales (units):  2500 (Calculated from above numbers)
  • Average sale per unit:  $100
  • Revenue per Product = $250,000

Now recognize these numbers are WRONG! But are they interesting? If they do not interest you at this level, you should keep looking for ideas.

Want to Do Your Own – Opportunity Analysis?
Download my opportunity analysis worksheet here.

Video from Course

Subscription Links

If you have enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to it on iTunes. To subscribe, go to iTunes and hit subscribe! You may have to click the button that says, “OPEN IN ITUNES.” You can also find Company of One on Stitcher.

Company of One - ItuneCompany of One - Stitcher

Your Feedback

If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me.

Also, if you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

086: How to Find a Good Business Idea [Podcast]

The dream of many across the world is to own their own business. Everyday many industrious people all over the world are exploring business ideas. I want to help you in your explore to find ideas that  fit your personality AND also will make you money.

How to Find a Good Business Idea

“Creative Commons” by Josefa Holland-Merten is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Click to Listen

Play

Coaching

I have recently started working with new coaching clients. If you are in need of a career change or are working a business venture that needs some help, check out my coaching page for ways we can work together.

How to Find a Good Business Idea

Do’s 

  • Start thinking through your calling. (If you have not already done so, download my free ebook – See below). These are things you love to do and things that already interest you. The advantages here are that you have expertise and you will not have to fake your interest.
  • Think about your reasons. Is it more time with kids? More freedom of time? Freedom to travel. Too many have started a business to get more time, only to open a storefront that causes them to work weekends and nights. They end up losing their freedom instead of gaining it.
  • Do informational interviews – lots of them.
  • Start small. I know, you need to go all in and go big. But face it, you will make mistakes along the way. Make them with fewer customers and a smaller investment of time and money. It’s OK to grow quickly, but only when you learn quickly.
  • Do an opportunity analysis to determine the market size. I will cover this in episode 87.

Don’ts 

  • Chase a business idea just because you think you can make a lot of money. How many real estate agents are there who got a Real Estate License to make quick money? And, how many have chased ideas that seemed good at the time – but later became nightmares.
  • Borrow money to start. This will kill your business from day one. Find a way to start with what you have. If the idea proves itself out, then think about more funding.
  • Wait. Once you have done the research then do not wait, jump in a give it a try.

Actions to Take Now

  • Download the finding your calling. (BELOW) If you have done it already, dust it off. Get a few ideas in writing.
  • Think through your business with the following questions.
    • What will you do? Describe it in detail.
    • Who will be your customers?  Get specific in describing them. Who are they and what do they care about? What do they read? Where do they go? What are their values?

Dale’s Rule of Thumb:  

Course Video

Here is the video from the Awaken Your Entrepreneur course.

 

To find your calling, download this free ebook!

 

Subscription Links

If you have enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to it on iTunes. To subscribe, go to iTunes and hit subscribe! You may have to click the button that says, “OPEN IN ITUNES.” You can also find Company of One on Stitcher.

Company of One - ItuneCompany of One - Stitcher

Your Feedback

If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me.

Also, if you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.