Successful Entrepreneurs Never Compromise on These 5 Fundamentals

If you’re reading this, more than likely, you have ventured into the world of online business at some point. As an entrepreneur, you have a dream to create residual income or a clientele base to satisfy the hunger your business craves daily. Sadly, many people who start out on a business venture won’t be able to see it to completion because they lack the strength to push through obstacles which eventually stand in their way.

For this article, I interviewed Rohan Sheth, founder of Rohan Sheth Consulting, and asked him to shed some light for entrepreneurs who are continually searching to make themselves and their businesses better. Here are five habits you should practice in order to achieve the success you desire.

Related: Overcoming the Trials and Tribulations of Business Ownership

1. Give content away for free.

As an entrepreneur who is trying to pay the bills, the thought of giving something away for free is a hard pill to swallow. In fact, it seems contradictory to what you’re trying to accomplish with your business. However, there is a strategy involved in giving away free content. Naturally, companies have tested this, and Costco was one of them. In 2014, the company told The Atlantic that sales jumped 600 percent after testing their market with free samples.

Sheth explained in order to create a brand people can know, like and trust, you need to build value around what you do. The good news is, you don’t have to continue giving things away for free. Once you have trust, you can build your reputation in your niche. Balance the give and the ask, and your business will begin to see results.

2. Stay consistent on tasks.

Like any entrepreneur on any given day, your workload is tremendous. You juggle 50 different tasks at one time, and it seems there is always something you could be doing.

During this phase of your business, it’s imperative you stay consistent on the projects you send out, especially on the web. Your audience sees what you are producing and during this time, they become acquainted with what you are giving them. For example, if you publish a blog post every Monday, your audience would be upset if, come Monday, a new article wasn’t there. Make sure you stay consistent with everything you are sending out.

Pushing consistent content to your audience does a lot of things to help your business. Not only is most of this going to be free for your audience, it will build your credibility and help you establish a foothold in your industry. Plus, it’s always nice when your audience is not only reading, but consistently talking about your brand.

Being consistent is crucial in order to balance this dynamic within your target audience.

Related: How to Set Goals That Will Turn an Average Team Into All-Stars

3. Live a healthy lifestyle.

I know what you’re thinking -- I'm too busy to workout or do cardio, said every entrepreneur on the planet.

Those who understand the need to take care of their body as much as their business are the ones who benefit from the effects of leading a healthy lifestyle. One of the greatest benefits of exercising is the fact it increases your endorphin levels, which helps your brain think more clearly. It basically clears out the cobwebs. Better yet, being cooped up in your office all day with low light in front of a computer screen leads to serious depression issues.

Living a healthy lifestyle can eliminate all of this and create less stress levels for you to deal with later on in your work day. In fact, there’s a good possibility you’re not exercising enough, says CBS Atlanta. Take some time out of your day and go for a run or walk the dog. Just do something.

4. Have a plan for your goals.

Goals help you stay on track. Plans allow you to get there. Sometimes entrepreneurs are just ready to start their business, not really knowing what to expect or what their end goal is. Having a business goal can help you measure success and, if you write it down somewhere, it becomes more real to your company because it transfers from a thought in your head to a tangible thing you can see. Now you can start to focus on the goal you have.

Where do you want your company to be in one year? Write it down. Where do you want your company to be in six months? Write that down as well. Now, create an action plan on how you need to achieve these goals.

No matter which successful entrepreneur I talk to, each one of them have grasped the idea of setting and achieving goals in their business. This is where a lot of so-called entrepreneurs miss it. They have the vision and the dream, but they fail to plan it all out so the business can realize what they’ve seen in their head.

It isn't real until you write it down.

5. Take time for family.

Part of being a successful business person is knowing how and when to manage your time. There is a balance between family and work, and you have to be a professional time master in order to accomplish it. One of the reasons entrepreneurs burnout and quit is because someone forgot there’s other people living with them. The job can put a strain on the whole family if you cannot figure out which time is best for work and which time is best for family.

Related: Building a Business Shouldn't Require You Stop Having a Life

One suggestion is to sit down with your family and explain the rules. This is just an example, but if you begin work at 6 a.m. every morning, and you know you could be finished with everything by 6 p.m. every night, tell your family. This way they know if it is 5 p.m., you’re still at work, and you shouldn't be bothered. On the other side of the coin, if it’s 6:30 p.m. and someone emails you, it’s up to you to adhere to the rules of time management.

Sit down with your family and pick the time that works for everyone. Set aside time for a day off, too.

Conclusion.

Not every entrepreneur will become a success. Some will choose other things over their business. Others will burnout because, frankly, they burnt the candle at both ends. Worse yet, some will be completely ignored.

However, Sheth believes if you follow each of these five habits, you can be found in the ranks of successful entrepreneurs who have realized it’s a little bit of strategy, a little bit of healthy and a little bit of family that makes up the whole part of the entrepreneur in the end.

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Slow and Steady Wins the Race: How This Entrepreneur Built His Empire

You aren't going to be an overnight success. Focus on what matters to you and take a methodical approach.

Open your internet browser, and you'll be flooded with stories of overnight success: “I made a million dollars in my first year” or “I run my seven-figure business from the coast of Fiji.”

That sounds great, but is it really true? While a few business owners were born into fame and fortune, they're the exception and not the rule. Good old hard work and dedication still are what make someone truly successful as an entrepreneur. These are the people who overcame obstacles and failures along the way but chose not to give up.

Scott Nash, founder of MOM’s Organic, is proof that slow and steady wins the race when it comes to successfully growing a business.

The young entrepreneurial spirit.

Scott started his journey at age 22 and with only $100 in his pocket. He had no idea where his life would end up, but he knew he ultimately would be successful. How? He had the right mindset, and he fixed his focus on growing his business.

The gig that started with a catering business run out of his mother’s garage steadily has grown into a multi-location organic food market that brings in $200 million in revenue each year. It took him more than a decade to get there. 

Nash’s steady growth might not sound as enticing as someone who claims to be an overnight millionaire, but his strategy was deliberate. If you're thinking of dropping out of the game, pay attention.

Nash knew what he wanted, but he also had a lot to learn on the way from a garage to where he is now. Nash realized every time he opened one door and figured out what was behind it, another door opened that took his business to the next level.

“One thing led to another," he said. "First, it was home delivery and then mail order. Then, I opened retail. It has been a pretty wild ride.” He took it one step at a time, and his methodical approach has led to some pretty amazing results.

Related: 7 Lessons for Young Entrepreneurs from a NASCAR Solopreneur

A focus on what's really important.

It's easy to get caught up in the daily overwhelm, especially when money starts rolling in. As Nash watched his store grow, he also learned how to focus on the important things. He's always been an environmentalist, but in 2005 he made protecting and restoring the environment an integral component of his company's purpose. He chose to focus on something extremely important to him and grow his brand around it.

“I was always a progressive environmentalist. It was the way I was raised," he said. "So, it was no surprise that I was selling something very environmentally friendly … organic foods. We realized that we wanted to be a company that is socially responsible and socially activist. We built it right into our values and culture.”

Related: How Two Entrepreneurs Built a Major Business Through Minimalism

Nash also focuses on his customers. He wants to ensure they keep coming back, so he puts systems in place to make certain each customer walks away with a fantastic shopping experience.

“I think most companies fear maintaining their values as they grow. It is lost when people just blow the doors out,” Nash said. He was determined that wouldn't happen to MOM's. “We ebb and flow. We put the pedal to the metal and do a lot of growth, but we make sure to pause often to make sure the wheels aren’t coming off.”

Nash remains very disciplined to this focus principle. It's part of his deliberate and steady growth strategy, and he credits it with his success. 

Related: 4 Ways Creativity Is Killing Your Viable Business Ideas

Some advice for the new entrepreneur.

Nash is self-assured now, but that wasn't always the case. He struggled with doubt and confidence, just as most entrepreneurs do at some point in their careers. What does he wish he knew before starting his business? 

“I got down on myself too much. I fought with insecurity," Nash said. "For the first 20 years of being in business, I had an underlying feeling that other people knew more than me. I was hesitant to follow my inner voice. I should have. I now know that although I have many things to learn from other people, I know what I’m doing.”

Related: Confidence Will Make All the Difference to Your Hustle

If you're an entrepreneur just starting out, don’t fall victim to the mentality that you have to be successful overnight. Growth can be a long (and sometimes painful) process, but as long as you focus on what's important and stay true to yourself, you can find success. Stay the course to follow your vision, even when the going gets tough. You're in this for the long game. After all, you know who won the fabled race between the tortoise and the hare.  

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5 Winning Social Media Strategies From a Master Marketer

Most people who have their businesses on social media are looking hard for answers to solutions for more traffic, engagement and conversions to build their brand. While great social media strategies don’t simply fall off a truck in front of your doorstep, you don’t have to make it any harder than it should be.

Nathan Pirtle, social media/digital marketing specialist and founder of Work With The Coach, is one person who snatched his success from the hands of fate. Pirtle became a hard core marketer because he wasn’t looking for someone else’s answers, he was looking for his own. These five important tips from his personal strategy can help your brand on social media.

Related: How Social Media Marketing Generated $7 Million in Affiliate Sales for This Entrepreneur

1. Stop being a robot.

There’s a program and an app for everything you want to do with your social marketing, from analytics data to auto posting and direct messaging. While these are important aspects to your digital marketing business, at some point you need to make sure these robots aren’t the primary source of your social media activity.

 

One thing Pirtle is direct in announcing is his approach to being personal with people on social media. Sure, your auto-posting social media tool is helping you stay relevant and seen, but it’s not replying to people, nor is it responding to someone’s questions in real time. In short, these are mistakes which can share negative messages to your audience.

People want conversation and engagement from your brand -- from the real you. Don’t allow your brand to be controlled by these automated sources because it doesn’t portray your true personality. Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to use these tools because you’re a smart marketer. However, because you are a smart marketer, you will understand when to pull back on the reins and allow a more personal touch.

2. Provide real content.

Your brand pages and accounts need to understand what your audience enjoys. For Pirtle, it was a plethora of motivational, helpful and funny pictures or memes to get his audience engaging with his brand on a continual basis. He also advises the best way to attract more people with real content on your social account is by keeping your house (your social account) clean and orderly. If it is, people will want to stick around and listen to what you have to say.

 

The rule of sharing is 80/20. This means 80 percent of the time, you’re sharing content to either help, entertain and/or motivate your audience. The 80 percent has nothing to do with your brand at all. It’s all about your customers and what they enjoy.

If you’re having a hard time finding out what your audience is into -- let's use Facebook for this example -- you can take a look at Facebook Audience Insights. Simply type in a couple of interests you’re looking for, and it will supply you with other brand pages, like yours, who are killing it with real content. Take some tips out of their playbook, and offer some similar posts on your page.

Related: Meaningful Conversations Will Keep Your Clients Coming Back for More

3. Learn to follow in order to lead.

Most people want to have a million followers, but they don’t want to follow multiple people or accounts. It just doesn’t work that way. To create a large social media following with real results, you need to be both a leader and a follower of people. "You have to know how to follow in order to be able to lead, so follow everyone who is relevant to your business," Pirtle said.

 

Don’t reject the idea of engaging with people. This is going to help your business in the long run because people will always remember a helpful conversation. Once you learn to follow the most relevant people to your brand, and you consistently give them help and guidance, you will soon find yourself leading these people. Don’t be shy to follow.

4. Measure success from engagement.

There are lots of ways to measure your success on social media. Stats from analytics to learn different things about your social media accounts is a great way to build your business. However, Pirtle always measured his success based on the social engagement his brand was acquiring every day on social media.

How many people are interacting with you on a consistent basis? Learn who the key players are and who always seems to be there when you share. Anytime anyone likes, comments, retweets, etc., you should take notice, and respond to those people.

One great way to measure success within each campaign is to set a specific goal within your brand. Perhaps you want to set a goal of 50 signups on Facebook or Twitter. You also would like to see 25 comments and at least 15 shares. These are personal engagement goals you should make for each update your brand does.

KISSmetrics shares a very helpful article on how you can measure each step of your engagement, and they include metrics of engagement like awareness, engagement, drive traffic, finding advocates and fans, and your brand’s voice measurement.

It’s important to understand and establish a set of goals in which you can measure your engagement success on your social platform of choice. Not all social networks are the same. The people may be the same, but their behaviors on each platform are different. You want to understand the behaviors of each person on your social platform of choice. It will help you provide the best possible content for them in the future.

Related: 5 Ways to Make a Strong Impression With Every Audience

5. Build the relationship.

There is no social marketing tip any stronger than this -- build the relationship. This is pretty much self explanatory, and while it seems pretty hard to do, most people are susceptible to your brand on social media, providing you’re not trying to hard sell them right out of the gate.

Relationship marketing creates brand loyalty and an avenue for other people like the one with whom you just built a relationship with. You spend the time, build the relationship, and establish the trust. In turn, this builds a bridge between someone who doesn’t know you and your brand with the person you just created this with. You see how important it is? The reach of relationships is powerful marketing within your social community, and you should be taking advantage of it every day.

There are all kinds of social media strategies you should want to try out, but these five are the most important ones to always remember to do consistently. You have a brand name to protect and an audience who wants to learn all they can about you. Just like Pirtle, when you invest your time, money and knowledge into your audience, you will reap superb results with these strategies.

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