All Articles Tagged "business lessons"
When you read business profiles, are you sure you’re paying attention to the right parts of the story? When your competitors are successful, are you looking for flaws, or how they achieved success? You could be cheating yourself out of valuable lessons without realizing it.
Studies show that we learn more from success than failure. There’s a reason coaches have their players watch footage of the greats. Seeing others maximize their potential makes it easier to improve our own behavior. Next time you come across a success story, don’t focus on the superficial.
Get proof that it’s possible.
While our own dreams seem unattainable, some people make success look easy. More often than not, a lot of hard work is going on behind the scenes. When successful people talk about how they became who they are, pay attention to the obstacles they faced along the way. How are they similar to the issues you are dealing with? Focus on how the individual overcame their obstacles and think about how you can apply that to your situation.
Get a motivational boost.
Nothing gets you off your butt and ready to take action like seeing your peers passing you by. Instead of giving your friends and competitors the side eye, use their success as a motivator. Forget looking for the negative. What strategies can you borrow from their progress?
Learn from someone else’s mistakes.
Everyone makes mistakes. Thank God! Because learning from the missteps of others can keep you from repeating them in your own life. Look for lessons others have learned. How do they get themselves in a bad situation and how do they get out of it?
Find out how successful people think.
Success often requires making high-risk decisions. Pay attention to how successful people manage these risks. How do they weigh the pros and cons of their decision? What steps do they take to reduce negative consequences?
Get new sources of inspiration.
If you admire someone, find out whom they admire. This gives you insight into how your role model became who they are, and how their brain works.
Warning: Notice your differences.
Every trick doesn’t work for every person. Pay attention to how your situation differs from the person’s story you’re studying. Do you have a smaller market, lower budget, or a more conservative audience? Take those differences into account as you strategize how to apply their strategy to your situation.
Repeat success; learn from your victories.
Don’t put all your attention on what other people are doing. You’re making some pretty impressive moves yourself. When you achieve something, analyze what made you successful. Learn what your strengths and abilities are so you can call on them to get over hurdles in the future.
You’re ready to consume success stories like never before. Check out profiles and business spotlights like those featured on Madame Noire whenever you can. Read autobiographies of the people you admire (and the people they admire). Subscribe to the blogs of people who have the job you want. A major perk of our over-sharing culture is that people are giving away their secrets to success for free.
These strategies aren’t just effective for succeeding in business. Whatever you want to accomplish – losing weight, buying a house, changing a habit – there’s someone who’s been there, done that, and ready to show you the way.
C. Cleveland is a freelance writer and content strategist in New York City, perfecting living the fierce life at The Red Read. She is at your service on Twitter (@CleveInTheCity) and Facebook (/MyReadIsRed).
When Adidas unveiled its plans for a new sneaker featuring shackles claiming they were “a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles,” many in the African American community stopped and read the announcement in shock. Then there were the questions: what was Adidas thinking? And who would actually buy a pair of $350 sneakers with snap-on shackles that were so reminiscent of those placed on slaves or inmates? Black leaders and activists were outraged, and shortly after its announcement, Adidas abandoned the shoe design and apologized. But still the questions remain: what was Adidas thinking? And how did the idea even go so far as to reach the public?
As a Washington Post article points out, Adidas, and any company that hopes to be social responsible, should ask themselves a few questions before marketing a product that could potentially outrage your consumers. To avoid these socially awkward mistakes when considering a new product or service, take the time to ask these questions:
Does the new project reflect the core values your company wants to project? For Adidas, a shackle doesn’t reflect any specific mission in its goal to sale shoes. When the company realized that it had created public outrage, it quickly withdrew its plan and apologized.
Do you fully appreciate the needs, sensitivities and background of your target audiences? In the Adidas case, the African American community has strongly supported and bought Adidas apparel throughout the years, and the creation of a shackled shoe was not the most sensitive of shoe design concepts.
What impact are you having on particular groups or society at large? Short-term profit alone will not lead to a successful business. To create long-term success, business professionals must be aware of the social implications of their actions. Otherwise it will impact their reputation among consumers.
Lastly, are you creating good will or destroying it? Good will consists of customer satisfaction, marketing, community relations and advertising. Building it can take several years, but destroying it can take place with one quick mistake.
More on Madame Noire Business!
- Bar Owners, Party Throwers & DJs: African-American Women Making It In The Nightlife Business
- How She Made It: Maria Lee-Driver Discusses The Success of Her Skincare Line Oria’s O’Shay’s
- Entrepreneur Spotlight: Shafonne Myers, Founder and Owner of Pretty Pear Bride Magazine
- Behind the Click: Shellye Archambeau, CEO of MetricStream
- Do Black Designers Skip Over Black Models to Gain White Customers?
- How She Made It: Alia Jones-Harvey, Producer of A Streetcar Named Desire
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz owns one of the greatest success stories in American business, and that is of how Starbucks infused coffee culture into American life. In Carmine Gallo’s latest column for Forbes, he recalls the key lessons he learned from Schultz, who managed to not only make Starbucks a household name but sustain its success in a time of deep recession. While other companies are folding, Starbucks is growing is projecting an increase of 70,000 employees over the next year.
Schultz is known for having brokered success through his renegade mentality which went against popular opinion on how to run his business. Of course, we all know Schultz made the right decisions. Here are three key lessons from the visionary and renegade, as told by Forbes columnist Carmine Gallo.
1. Know what business you’re in
Gallo recalls a two hour interview with Schultz, in which coffee wasn’t mentioned even once. When prodded, Schultz said that Starbucks makes coffee but it was in the business of human connection. Indeed, that’s the idea that the coffee company has been touting since it burst onto the scene. You can often hear Schultz describing Starbucks as the third place between work and home. ”It’s not about the product, it’s about what the product means to the lives of your customers that really matters,” said Gallo.
2. Make an emotional connection with your customers
In 2008, Schultz had taken back the helm as CEO of Starbucks during a period of a business slump. Part of his strategy to get Starbucks back on track was to re-invogarate the experience for consumers. For one, Gallo mentioned that “the way they shipped and stored coffee grounds, the stores had lost the rich coffee aroma that enticed customers as they walked through the door. During Starbucks’ rapid growth, Schultz noted that the stores had lost its romance. Efficiency gave way to a less rich experience for customers and, in order to restore the brand, Starbucks had to make more expensive decisions, forgoing efficiency for long-term growth.
3. Tell A Brand Story
“Schultz believes that every store should tell a story about coffee and what they believe as an organization,” said Gallo. For Starbucks, the brand is communicated by the coffee, the art on the wall, the cups’ designs, so on and so forth. Consistency is key to strongly communicating what your company stands for and the quality of your brand.
by Alexander Cain
How To Win Friends and Influence People is considered the father of all people-skills books and is a classic in the self-help genre. Despite being written more than over 50 years ago, the lessons imparted in the book are still relevant today. Whether you are looking to leave a great impression at a networking event or looking to leave people with a better impression, How to Win Friends and Influence People has lessons that will help to make you the life of the party, the person who just seems to know everyone, or being better at getting people to work in the way you envision.
The book is broken down into three parts with underlying principals to practice everyday until it becomes a habit. Keep in mind that self-improvement is a lifelong process and with these principals in mind, one can become an effective leader or communicator.
Part 1 lists six simple ways to get people to like you. While these principals derive from common sense, they are definitely something to keep in mind next time you are engaged in a conversation with someone new.
1) Become genuinely interested in other people. This seems very easy, but people can sometimes struggle in paying attention to the other person when engaged in the conversation. For example, during an interview, have you ever been so focused on preparing your next question that you completely blank out during the current conversation? The key is being genuinely interested and really getting to know someone.
2) Smile ☺- A smile is always welcoming and it not only affects the mood of everyone around you, but you will see your attitude will change.
3) Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language. Always try to remember people’s name even if you need to carry a small notebook and write down their names when you are by yourself. You can also use word association to help you remember names.
(Success) — As a young man, Nolan Ryan had a habit he had to break.The consequences were career-changing. “I came up from small-town Texas,” the Hall of Fame pitcher tells SUCCESS. “And all I knew was to throw as hard as I could for as long as I could. Early in my career in the big leagues, when I would get in trouble I would resort back to that mindset. Finally, after being unsuccessful with that approach—I learned that when I was just throwing hard I was throwing wild and walking guys and losing games—it finally dawned on me. If I didn’t make an adjustment or change, then I was going to be one of those players who was very gifted, but didn’t make a lot out of it. I had to learn to lean on my mind, not just my body.”
(Read Write Web) — Any time a startup’s blog is updated with news of funding, it’s a good thing. But when that funding is some thirteen years in the making, it’s particularly noteworthy. FluidInfo announced today that it had secured $800,000 in a Series A funding round. Once described by tech blogger Robert Scoble as “world-changing” but “unfundable,” FluidInfo founder Dr. Terry Jones has demonstrated tenacity in the face of investor doubts and rejections. With that experience comes quite a number of useful insights that Jones shares in a blog post today called “Anatomy of a Funding”: