I love to read – I think it is one of life’s great pleasures, although despite that I still don’t get quite as much time as I’d like to plough into my books. As such, I am always interested in refining my to-read list, to get maximum value out of my reading time. This year one of my resolutions is to read at least one book a month – and many of those will be business books.
I think it’s incredibly important to keep alert to new trends, new ways of thinking and new ideas that can help evolve your business and its market impact – not to mention your own growth as an entrepreneur and a businessperson. Especially when the nature of business is changing so quickly – and in such exciting ways.
A few weeks ago I talked about the traits that I think every entrepreneur shares. I had some interesting and uplifting responses from you and it got me thinking about other key components to success. So I’ve put together my top six things that I know from experience make a big difference to success levels if you practise them regularly. I know it’s a little early for making New Year’s resolutions, but practising any of these more in 2016 will definitely give you a life advantage – so which one will you be focusing on this coming year? I’d love to hear your thoughts – leave me a comment or tweet me.
I’ve been thinking about risk and self-belief recently, and the close relationship they have. To me, the ability to take risk is one of the things that defines an entrepreneur.Steve Jobs would take huge risks and people would say they were “calculated” – but by its very nature risk is still risk and you can only predict so much. The question is: how do you think about risk so it doesn’t stop you moving forward?
I’ve been in business for many, many years and set up many companies. Some have been successful, some less so – but one thing that has stayed constant is my love of business. I am always looking for the next opportunity and I love the energy and challenge of bringing new products to market. I have a strong entrepreneurial character, and through the years I have done much thinking on what actually makes an entrepreneur – is it an innate talent, is it learned through experience, can it be taught? I am still unsure, but I do know there are certain traits a person needs to be successful in business. Here are the ten traits I think are essential for an entrepreneur to have…. Continue reading →
Africa is the new frontier in the world, the “untapped market”, with tremendous wealth in the ground. Small wonder that foreigners are exploiting this up and down the continent. West Africa in particular is very exciting in terms of mineral wealth. And it’s also an interesting study in the power of ethical business practices. Continue reading →
Thousands of people launch new business ventures every day. Some are successful, some are not. But not everyone has the same drive to succeed. There are many incredible business men and women out there who run profitable enterprises, but there are few true entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurship is all about finding a gap in the market, taking risks and being willing to go that extra mile, and then some more. It takes tenacity and courage to succeed, but it also takes insight and forward thinking. At a time when there are so many start-ups, business-minded individuals need more than just a good idea. And if anything, in many cases it is more the person, than the idea, which leads to success. Continue reading →
When I started out, publicising a business or enterprise was a vital part of success. From dropping leaflets through a letterbox to advertising in the press or on TV, this type of promotion was the approach people had to take. It was how you got your business noticed, which would in turn get the money flowing in. It was an expensive thing to do though. Businesses were often reliant on advertising agencies to promote their wares and those without money behind them could struggle to get seen.
But, how things have changed! Celebrities, businesses, writers, retailers, and just about everyone else, can publicise their ‘brand’ at a fraction of the cost simply by having an internet presence. You can connect with the world through platforms such as Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and other social networking sites for free.
I read an interesting article in The New York Times about this trend and was surprised to discover that not only are there ‘celebrities’ created purely by publicising themselves on social forums such as the above, but even agencies that represent them and promote their online interests. It’s a whole new world of marketing and promotion. Continue reading →
The way we shop has changed forever. Whether you’re looking for the latest blockbuster on DVD, a designer suit or a rare antique, everything can be bought online with just a few taps on a screen.
Now, I don’t think it’s always the better option necessarily. When travelling, I really enjoy browsing through a craft market, and when buying a car, I have to sit in it and take it for a test drive first, but e-commerce has really changed the way we shop and do business. And when it comes to new opportunities, it seems many investors are now looking towards the Middle East.
While the e-commerce bubble in the West may not burst for quite some time, the market is somewhat saturated. And some forward thinking entrepreneurs are now recognising the potential of the Middle East, an underdeveloped internet market that is changing very quickly. Continue reading →
News about the environment never seems to be good. Every time I watch the news it seems our spiral into irreparable environmental damage is unstoppable. Even now experts say we’re too far in to ever fully recover. It’s clear we need big changes, really fast. And those who REALLY need to take note and do something are big businesses.
These huge, global companies have a large amount of accountability.
There’s been so much in the news lately about the possibility of the UK splitting from the EU, and I find it very interesting that there isn’t a clear consensus amongst the people. After Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage had their debate on TV, the BBC did a poll of over 2000 people to see who was in favour of staying in, and who was in favour of getting out. 35% said they want to stay in, 32% said they want to leave, 27% are undecided and 7% won’t even vote. I thought there would be a much bigger skew than that.
My personal feeling is that we should remain part of the EU as the benefits strongly outweigh the negatives. I don’t think that the UK would fall apart if we were to leave the EU but I do feel as though we gain a great deal from being part of it. For the individual, just the fact you have the freedom to work in and travel through the EU for as long as you please, in whichever country you wish, is a huge bonus. If you decide one day that you’d rather open a business in the south of France than the south of England, you can!