BWM 44/100 – About the necessity of networking ..

BWM 44/100 - Build with me SalesTrainerIn - valuing time
BWM 44/100 – Build with me SalesTrainerIn

“The necessity of networking” sounds pretty serious… I know… and I truly believe networking IS needed to be taken serious. Absolutely serious!

This is a lesson I hard to learn. I mean, I always knew that networking is important. But I didn’t know that it’s actually that essential. When you are in sales and recruiting as I have been for roughly 10 years networks are the source for your referrals and recommendation. But when you build a company networking is one of the number one tasks to do.

Networking in Germany

I always had the feeling that in Germany networking was essential especially for the very high hierarchy levels. You know I’m talking about these cliche weekends and off-sites where managing directors, C-level and board members close the biggest deals while playing golf. I mean obviously this is not the real world. I mean. This is part of the real world but only half of it. Also in Germany there are many, many opportunities to network in professional environments like organised clubs (Rotaract, Lions, Rotary etc. etc.). But how many of us do really do this? I used to be in networking organisations since I was in school. On a regular basis. Actually on a regular on-off basis… it simply didn’t have this much of a relevance. It was no priority.

Networking in the UK

Since I moved to the UK and especially since I started my company I learnt to understand that networking is one of the most, if not the single most important thing to do when you are in business. And when you want to succeed. I find myself going to networking events at 7 am in the morning. And guess what I am not the only one. For many people this is a priority appointment during office hours.  I also network a lot with likeminded people via Facebook groups or other professional networking groups like LinkedIn. I have received already so many incredible inputs. My thinking was challenged. I can pick a brain at any given time. I can deliver value to other people. I can be of help. It’s incredible. The results I achieved by simply talking and interacting with people are incredibly amazing.

Connected world

We are living a connected world. You can simply reach out to every one you want. It’s as simple as this. Only drop a message. How cool is that please?

Seriously I am totally bought into the whole networking hype and I think it should be an essential topic in school “how to network properly and why”.

How do you network?

BWM 43/100 – Obsessing about numbers?

BWM 43/100 - Build with me SalesTrainerIn - valuing time
BWM 43/100 – Build with me SalesTrainerIn

Recently I was engaged in a group discussion of aspiring, ambitious entrepreneurs who build online businesses. The discussion was basically how to avoid checking the analytics continuously and avoid obsessing about website traffic or engagement rates.

I think everyone who is trying to build a business online knows this feeling very well. This feeling of checking and checking and checking  … Checking whether something has already gone viral or shows anyhow a payoff for all the work.

It sucks!

It does suck. I mean seriously. You put in a ton of time and effort to create something valuable – a blog post, a newsletter, a downloadable freebie or whatever. You give away value, a lot of value, for nothing. Nothing in return. No charges, nothing. I mean of course you at least want to expect the numbers to go up. But they don’t. Not immediately. It takes a whole lot of work and dedication to get the numbers up.

Quality over quantity

What I found most helpful was, I believe Gary Vaynerchuk has said it once, that it doesn’t matter how many followers you have! What matters is who is following you. If you only want to increase numbers you can easily purchase followers and even likes for your accounts. That’s bullshit. There is simply no point. But what is valid is when only one right person watches your videos, reads your blogs and in general loves and supports what you do! Imagine Oprah or someone like her would become a fan of what you are doing. Her promotion channels are so massive – so is her influence. If this is your industry you want to settle in there is probably no better support at all.

Therefore let’s try not to obsess about numbers. Let’s follow our course. Let’s deliver value – a lot of it and just be a little bit patient. Good things sometimes take a while.

And in case you have an amazing blog or are any how on the same journey  please do get in touch!

 

BWM 42/100 – my day as an aspiring entrepreneur

BWM 42/100 - Build with me SalesTrainerIn
BWM 42/100 – Build with me SalesTrainerIn

Having worked 10 years as an employee in a corporate environment the entrepreneurial journey is pretty different. This means there are daily changes to be made to adapt to the new environment. So, I thought it might be interesting for you guys to share what my day has looked like in some detail. Please be aware that every day is pretty different and my tasks do vary a lot. But here is a real day in the real journey of becoming an entrepreneur and building my business.

Morning – some me time and setting myself up for the day

So, I started the day pretty early with an early bird workout at the gym. I like to include my workout as a first task in the morning to get some me time. And also to set myself up for the day. Usually my days are pretty unforeseen and my schedule can get mixed up easily. Therefore I love to have my workout done before the “official working day”.

After my hour workout I went back home and attempted my first call. When you are self-employed you don’t have a boss any longer. But this doesn’t mean you don’t have to match expectation and be totally free. I swapped my boss for stakeholders if you want.

So the first call was a conference call following my Hogan qualification. The time was super beneficially spent as it added a lot of value.

After this, I had another call where I exchanged information for a client meeting I design together with another company. This is something I very much love – having the flexibility to cooperate with other companies and brands to deliver the best value for my clients.

Then I had a third call, again a cooperation and some brainstorming. This is something I can recommend every new entrepreneur out there. Buddy up with people who are on the same journey and who’s brain you can pick. While doing so be willing to deliver a lot of value to your sparring partner. You might won’t see a direct return but you are in it for the long game, right?

Midday – getting some healthy food and work my list

Around 1pm I prepared myself a quick, healthy not to heavy lunch. I like something small like maybe an avocado or a salat – depending on how much I need. I also love some homemade juices and green smoothies. You can check out my favourite ones here.

After this I worked my to do list and checked my e-mails. Yes, I do not check my e-mails all the time as I like to focus on the task I am currently doing. I do not believe in the whole multitasking concept as I believe I am better of with focusing on what I am doing and do it mindfully. I also try to stay away from my mobile. One of the apps that help stay motivated to do so is “forest”. I have introduced this app in an earlier post. You can access this one here. After this I had another call scheduled with an accountant to get a quote.

I think having an accountant and professional partner on your side from the beging is a beneficial investment. Sure, it costs you some money but these people can also help you to keep on track, give some guidance and can help you grow. But you definitely do not need the most expensive service. There are great offers with a lot value for money.

Afternoon – working my schedule and get the content right

My afternoon started with another unexpected call. I will attend a networking event tomorrow – an amazing opportunity to meet interesting business people and get some attention. As professional networking is a super important topic I will do a separate post focusing on this.

Then I worked my schedule. This means to get some content for my training. Structuring my social media activities to get some traffic. Digging deeper into content and form them into helpful bits and pieces for my trainings. This stuff takes a lot of work and can be a lot of fun. It’s what I’m passionate about so I like to fully absorb into these things. I will put my phone on mute during this time – no more calls. No e-mails, only creating content.

With having two focuses on my business – training and consulting, there needs to be a bit of planning be involved. Therefore I like to schedule the things for priority and lay out the tasks in advance to get the best out of my time available. With being a startup this does also mean to not having every eventuality ready. I will have to stay flexible in my content creation – depending on what is mostly demanded from my clients. In general I believe this is a necessity as you want to keep your content up to date.

After this there will be some more planning -outlaying, creating and scheduling some social media content and plan out what to post when on which platforms.

How do you structure your days? What do you focus on?

BWM 41/100 – 10x and habits of successful people

BWM 41/100 - Build with me SalesTrainerIn
BWM 41/100 – Build with me SalesTrainerIn

In case you might have noticed I am a little bit behind with my daily posts.  The reason is super positive as my business is kicking off! Whoop whoop. But I will definitely try to keep it up and to keep track. Today, while being in the Gym, I was listening again to Grant Cardone‘s book “the 10x rule”. In one chapter he lists the habits of successful people.

10x rule and habits of successful people

One of those habits of successful people is to be uncomfortable. Being uncomfortable in the sense of leaving the comfort zone. Choosing to do the things you are scared of doing. Pushing your own boundaries. Someone ones said “a comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever growths there”. The magic usually happens out of the comfort zone.

Make the magic happening - My Nut Share
Make the magic happening – MyNutShare
Taking full responsibility and decisions

Funnily enough I had today also two totally unrelated conversations about this topic of becoming uncomfortable. Of taking full responsibility for one’s life and make things happening. We all have the opportunity to choose, day in and day out, whether we let things happen to us or whether we take full responsibility and decide.

There is a massive power in the thinking and the state of mind of “I can do everything but I don’t have to do everything”. Do you already decide or do you react?

Of course, we can’t always influence the things around us. Events are happening to us and to our loved ones. We get rejected and we don’t get always what we want in the first place. Pretty often actually we won’t get it even in the third place. But we have the option to decide how we want to react when things are happening. Do you want to accept the rejection? Or do you stand up, adjust your crown and try again? Do you feel like a victim to all the stuff happening towards you or do you decide proactively to act?

We truly have the power to decide how we want to live our lives.

BWM 39/100 – Building doors, becoming lucky and unf***king oneself

BWM 39/100 - Build with me SalesTrainerIn
BWM 39/100 – Build with me SalesTrainerIn

“When opportunity doesn’t knock build a door” (unknown). Since I started my entrepreneurial journey this sentence is somehow a daily mirror of what is happening and how many doors are opening.

I feel like I have thrown myself out there so many doors have opened and opportunities have knocked.

Building doors

I think the most important as well as the most scariest step is to really stop hiding and throwing yourself out there. Loosing the fear of being seen, noticed and maybe criticised.

Since I started my journey I had the chance to meet and network with a couple of pretty amazing people. I get supported in ways I would have never ever thought being possible. Things have just happened. I can’t explain why but it feels like “the harder I work the luckier I get” kind of thing is true.

Opening the doors

Another aspect I believe is to actually open the doors one builds. With that I mean to have an open, growth mindset. The willingness to constantly challenge one’s thinking. To invest and give without knowing the return. There won’t always be returns. I think you actually have to open a couple of doors to figure out what’s behind each.

Non of your business

As already mentioned above the probably scariest part is to throw yourself out there. And with doing so it’s pretty often linked to the fear of being criticised, judged or rejected. But to be honest – what other people think is non of your business. It’s simply not. It’s their business. Their problem. There is not always a point for you to care. Do your thing. Do you. We all are unique – and that’s the beauty of it.

Btw. most people will be anyway way to busy living their own life’s to even care at all.

"Unfuck yourself" - picture credit H&DF
“Unfuck yourself” – picture credit H&DF

BWM 38/100 – Seneca “On the shortness of Life” by FightMediocrity

BWM 37/100 - Build with me SalesTrainerIn - valuing time
BWM 37/100 – Build with me SalesTrainerIn – valuing time

Today’s post will be slightly different from the others. But as I have spoken a lot about getting organised, structure your day, being efficient. In a nutshell it’s about valuing time as the most valuable asset we have. It’s the only thing we can’t get back or more of it. We all have one life. We don’t know for how long we will be on this planet.

Since roughly 2 years I am reading a lot of books and I am always on the outlook for great books. One I came across is an absolute classic. It’s called “on the shortness of life”.

Time – our most valuable asset

As mentioned above our time is crucial and valuable. Therefore I absolutely love great book summaries. The animated ones by FightMediocrity on YouTube are a great example. I found a super short version of “on the shortness of life” and decided to share it with you. It’s maybe not a real “summary” but transfers the message pretty well. You can find many more animated videos on his channel – worth a search.

 

 

BWM 37/100 – Getting in the flow as a new entrepreneur

BWM 36/100 - Build with me SalesTrainerIn
BWM 36/100 – Build with me SalesTrainerIn

Flow … “in positive psychologyflow, also known as the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does.” (Definition by Wikipedia)

Searching for the flow

In the beginning I found it pretty tough to structure myself and adjust to the new work environment. When you work full-time you usually get up at a certain time. Leave the house at a certain time. Commute. Arrive at work. Have your lunch break at a certain time and leave at a certain time. All these things are no longer given when you are self-employed and working from home.

You also have no longer an agreed target you have to reach and regularly get togethers or weeklies to review your progress. You have to set targets for yourself, for your business and keep yourself accountable.

There is a lot of change going on and the flow can be easily lost in the whole process.

Adapting and getting into the flow

For me it took roughly a month to fight all the confusion and set up at least a rough routine of planning and day structuring. It’s not yet perfect of course and still a long way to go. But at least I get my stuff done, have most of my shit together and know I was productive on that day. This was the worst feeling ever in the beginning when you couldn’t see any results. I hate the feeling of being “busy”. I truly believe there is no point in being busy. But I believe in hard work and productivity and efficiency.

Since I created myself at least a rough structure and clearly defined my priorities it was easier to keep focus and get results. Another thing that helped me was to define my money making activities as well as urgent and important actives. This way  I can easily priorities my tasks, structure my day and have still enough flexibility to react to unforeseen events.

How are you getting on in the first exciting and chaotic weeks as a new entrepreneur?

 

BWM 36/100 – Business Model Canvas and other free resources

BWM 36/100 - Build with me SalesTrainerIn
BWM 36/100 – Build with me SalesTrainerIn

British Library is one of the largest libraries in the world. They have a fantastic Business and IP Center where they hold regular workshops and trainings for Entrepreneurs. Many of their events are for free. Or you can use their search tools for an in-depth desk research of your product and market.

You also have the chance to book a 1-2-1 to get some more customised guidance. It’s a pretty great resource for everyone who is London based and wants to start on their own.

Yesterday however was Startup Day at British Library. A huge event with various speakers from different backgrounds.

Lean Startup Approach

One of the things that came up and I thought was worth sharing with you is the Business Model Canvas. The Business Model Canvas is a template to develop your business model. It’s great in case you use a Lean approach. The Lean approach is a “slim” approach version of your business model and process. This means you eliminate any waste and keep it as simple as possible. You usually build a minimum viable product – one that is a sim downed prototype of your product or service and test it in the market.  You ask as many potential customers and early adopters as possible to build the best product as possible. Best product does mean the one that is wanted by the market. There is a great book about this whole topic it’s called the Lean Startup by Eric Ries. I will link it for you here.

Nesta

As I mentioned before the Business Model Canvas is a great tool – a one pager that helps you think through a product and / or service.

You can access many templates for free. I can recommend you the one by Nesta as they also have a lot of other helpful resources for free. I used their page a lot as I generated a business plan during my postgraduate studies last year. You can access their resources here. It’s great for building a business in UK – but many of the sources are also great and relevant for businesses abroad.

The Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas can help you to become more clear on your vision and how to achieve it. You find different categories worth thinking through on one page that gives you a great overview. The categories are:

  • Key Partners – Who will help you?
  • Key Activities – How do you do it?
  • Value Proposition – What do you do?
  • Audience Relationships – How do you interact?
  • Distribution Channels – How do you reach them?
  • Audience Segments – Who do you help?
  • Cost Structure – What will it cost?
  • Revenue Stream – How much will you make?
Business Model Canvas / Credit: Nesta
Business Model Canvas / Credit: Nesta

You can access a downloadable version of the Nesta Business Model Canvas template here. It’s a great way to get clear on what you want and also to cross check whether this makes sense. It’s also great in case you do not want to write a “proper” business plan (although it can be helpful to put in the work and sometimes necessary) to have at least everything thought through.

BWM 35/100 – is all the struggle worth it?

BWM 35/100 - Build with me SalesTrainerIn
BWM 35/100 – Build with me SalesTrainerIn

A while ago I met an old friend I studied with back in 2006. We kicked off our careers at the same bank and had equal opportunities. The main difference is that I have left the bank after six years and she stayed. Along with her some other colleagues have stayed with the bank and celebrate now their 10th anniversary.

So I have a direct comparison of what title and salary I would be on right now.

But I left.

Was it worth it?

When I left the bank to join a startup company many people thought I would have lost my mind. Maybe I did. Do I regret it? Not at all.

Financially I might have gone a huge step back. Especially with now having  founded a startup company there is no such benefits as paid holidays, paid insurance, expensive incentives and bonuses etc.

But I guess it’s not all about a financial aspect. Journeys like mine will always loose when the benchmark is prestige or money.

Most startups fail and will never be successful. So, my decisions to get into business on my own was also risky – in every aspect.

Why did I do it?

I did it anyways and would do it over and over again as I used my 20-ies to gain experiences. To try out different industries, to figure out what I enjoy doing and also what I definitely hate doing.

I went back to University and I did this in a different country. Two things I wanted to do forever and would have regret if I wouldn’t have done them.

For me the whole thing isn’t too frustrating anyways as I had never the aspiration to have a quick win. I am in it to win it. I am in it for the long run.

I truly believe legacy over currency.

All this blogging stuff I definitely don’t do to become rich. Or to become famous. This would actually freak me out if I would because I sometime don’t even know whether anyone is reading this. If you do, please give me a hint so I know I am not alone.

Legacy over currency

Of course I want to make money – preferably a lot. But I believe you have to put the work into it. And I want to do this by delivering great customer experiences, great products and great service.

Therefore I guess I might no longer be comparable to my colleagues from earlier days and that’s fine. I would make any decision over and over again. And to answer the question: Yes, I truly believe it is worth it. I am creating the life I want. It sometimes sucks, it can be lonely but so does employee life. Je ne regret de rien.

BWM 34/100 – Startup struggle

 BWM 30/100 – Build with me SalesTrainerIn
BWM 30/100 – Build with me SalesTrainerIn

It’s MyNutShare’s birthday week – whoop whoop 🙂 I registered this blog in September 2015 and my very first post went online on September 26th last year.

Can’t believe it’s been a whole year already.

Anyways, back to basics…  Today it’s about startup struggle.

Teaching entrepreneurship

On Saturday we met an acquaintance for breakfast and a walk and talk. He teaches entrepreneurship on one of the leading business universities. The question “is entrepreneurship teachable?” came up … I guess it depends on the course and it’s content. When you want to teach someone the DNA to be an entrepreneur, the mindset, the hustle I believe it’s hopeless. There is literally no point in doing so. But if teaching entrepreneurship does mean teaching the toolkit, the business necessities needed to run and build successful companies I think there is absolutely a point. It surely does help to understand what makes businesses successful, how to test markets etc.

Startup struggle – it’s real

Another thing that came up was that most startups struggle with exact the same things.

So many of us struggle to focus and worry about stuff that is either not relevant and / or will never happen.  Therefore it might be a good idea to challenge the mindset’s in some courses. To challenge overthinking and teach brainstorming techniques etc. – to get away from the formal educational paths and teach stuff that matters to aspiring entrepreneurs.

5 things to quit right now

In line to the above point I came across a pic today on Instagram which states “5 things to quit right now” (source unknown).

Here they are, the things to give up – NOW!

  1. Trying to please everyone.
  2. Fearing change.
  3. Living in the past.
  4. Putting yourself down.
  5. Overthinking.