4 ways to ScaleUp your Business From Startup mode.

As your organization becomes a more complex organism, you’ll find that your team can no longer fit at one table. At this point, you need to play a more sophisticated game. If team members are chaotically chasing each business challenge, or even worse, you, the CEO, are kicking the ball into the goal and making every decision, you’re still playing toddler game. This is bad for your team, and your business will suffer.

scaleupbiz

As CEO, it’s your job to get off the field and start coaching your team on how to play a less chaotic version of the game: any team sport, when played well is a beautiful metaphor for building a functional team and scaling your business.

1. Start defining the function of roles.

Your early-stage team was likely comprised of people who like to do “a little bit of everything,” which means they probably won’t enjoy giving up responsibilities. But if you don’t start asking employees to narrow their focus, scaling will become pretty much impossible. Whether it’s turning your “marketing person” into an entire team with specialized roles, or restructuring your organization so employees can divvy up responsibilities in a more effective way, functionalist roles can be a painful process. You might even have a few employees leave because of the changes you make.

But this is a crucial part of building a big, well-oiled scale-up. And keep in mind, this doesn’t mean that employees can’t be creative or take on big, ambitious projects. You should still encourage big risks and creativity — just make sure they keep spending a majority of time on functional priorities.

2. Find amazing coaches to guide your team.

Hiring good managers is one the best things you do for your business as you scale. I know many founders and startup employees think  “management” is a bad word, but look at it this way: managers are the people who take care of the dirty work — metrics, quotas, reports, systems, processes — and empower your team to take on the big, interesting challenges. With effective managers in place, your engineers, marketers, and other employees can spend more time doing cool stuff, and less time worried about all the little things that have to get done to keep your business running.

After hitting around 25 employees, I suggest moving toward an 80/20 workforce: 80 percent DO-ers and 20 percent coaches. You probably won’t have a tough time finding great doers (hopefully you’ve already hired a lot of them), but finding great coaches can be a challenge. At minimum, great coaches need to lead, inspire and be above the minor quibbles and BS that can happen as your company grows.

3. Prepare your new players for success.

You can’t expect people to “hit the ground running” and just “get it done” if you don’t have a clear on-boarding process. Most startups neglect on-boarding for far too long, but all eventually hit a point where new employees don’t just “get it.” The time has come to make a concerted effort to set your new hires up for success.

You should invest a few days (or even a full week) getting people acquainted with all the different aspects of your business. At BiZion Group, we give people a crash course in entrepreneurship, because this is what we teach.At SynerMedia, we give people a crash course in Marketing, because this is what we Do. Everyone on your team should, at minimum, understand what your business is doing, who you’re up against and why you think you’ll win. Every single person on your team should be able to give an effective elevator pitch.

4. Take care of your team, both on and off the field.

Do you have systems in place to support the health and well-being of your employees? I’m talking a 401(k), “SelfDirect” generous paternity and maternity leave and other perks that companies should provide once they’ve left scrappy startup territory. Making this a priority will keep morale high, encourage vital employees to stick with you and make it easier to bring in critical, high-level hires in the future. It’s just the right thing to do.

This is a general overview of some of the things to keep in mind as you transition into scale-up mode, but there are tons of other tough issues that will pop up as you grow: Do you need a CFO? How should you set up your team? What are the appropriate compensation plans for the sales team, engineering team, etc.? When should you get involved in what’s happening across the company? Seek support from other entrepreneurs and your advisors to help answer the big questions that pop up.

Going from a startup to a scale-up means big and sometimes uncomfortable changes, but these growing pains are all part of the fun of taking your business to the next level. Start by Outsourcing a team and learn how to scale up work with a outsourcing team.

Good luck!

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Sales Hiring

Not all salespeople are created equal. As a manager or owner, you know your sales performance is highly dependent on the quality of your team. Do they have experience? Do they fit the company culture? Are they trustworthy? Can they be trained? And when you consider that a bad hiring choice could cost you upwards of $800,000, the task of hiring the right people becomes much more harrowing.*
*Smith, Fiona, “The incredible cost of hiring a dud,” Business Review Weekly, July 31, 2012.

“There is something that is much more scarce, something finer, something rarer than ability. It is the ability to recognize ability.” –Elbert Hubbard


 

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7 Must-Haves Before You Hire

Before even penning a job description, you need to have tools in place that will help a sales rep thrive. You hire sales reps to do one thing: sell. They should not be creating your sales collateral, proposal, product offering, etc. It’s your job to have these in place before you can offer them a job. It all starts with you.

Here are 7 things to consider before hiring a sales rep.

1. Training Program
What do sales reps need to know? How can they learn it? And how quickly should they know it? Think of this as your on-boarding program. What should they know at 1 month in, 3 months, or 6 months in? Document resources and locations. Explain how they should be used and in what order they’re best digested. Test your employees along the way. Review progress in weekly 1:1s, and make sure you’re keeping training materials evergreen by asking new employees for input.

2. Product & Service
Offering Sales reps need a defined offering to sell in order to be successful. At the very least, have a spec sheet and talking points in place before adding a sales rep. Make sure you’re able to clearly explain what unique value your products/services bring to the market. Your reps should be able to sell the value of your product rather than just the product itself. Give them the knowledge to do this.

3. Sales Process
Define your desired sales process—every single step from a discovery call to a closed deal should be mapped out. This process can be automated with a CRM platform. How long should the rep wait to follow up with a prospect after leaving a voicemail? Is there an approved quote template they should use? Does a manager need to review the quote before it’s sent to the customer? All these questions should be answered.

4. Presentation
Have a call script and a PowerPoint deck available, and invest in tools that will help your sales team deliver a compelling presentation. This will help your new sales rep better understand your offering and give them a great foundation with which to win over prospects

5. Proposal
Map out and create templates for each proposal type you think your sales rep will need. They should appear professional, aesthetically pleasing, and include your branding—logo, tagline, design elements, messaging style. You can easily knock out this to-do with a quote and proposal automation solution. If you don’t develop templates, you not only leave your brand image to their discretion, but also create one more task that takes them away from what they do best: sell.

6. Agreements
Most sales reps will say just about anything to close a deal. That’s why you should never leave the agreements up to them. They want to sell as much and as fast as they can; they’re not incentivized to worry about what happens after the sale.

7. Money in the Bank
You absolutely must have 4 – 6 months of salary in the bank before you hire a sales rep. Even superstars will need time to ramp up before they start bringing in big bucks. Plan for that.


Once you have these key items, you’re ready to define, post, and start interviewing for your sales job. But as I’m sure you’re aware, you’re not out of the woods yet. Often, selecting the right candidate for your business is the hardest part. And like we mentioned above, a bad hire could end up costing you dearly, so you want to hire the right person the first time. So, now that you know what you need to have ready before you hire, let’s turn our attention to the hiring process itself.

6 Steps to Hiring Your Sales Superstar

1. Define the Role
It’s really hard to find what you’re looking for when you don’t have any parameters. Take the time to go beyond the job description and really think about the day-to-day activities this person will need to perform. Consider what personality type would be best suited for this type of role. What skills and experience will this person need in order to be successful? Once you have a handle on what you’re looking for, you can start to sift through the resumes.

2. Review Job History
Look for a sales focus and longevity at companies. You don’t want someone who switches companies every 6 months. That’s a wasted investment. And on the flip side, don’t overlook employment gaps either. Furthermore, candidates who’ve had experience selling intangible solutions are typically worth at least interviewing because they know how to sell the invisible. In this profession, we’re selling the invisible: the value of our services.

3. Make the First Call Unscheduled
By calling the candidate out of the blue, you’ll be able to see how easily they’re able to adapt, and they won’t be as nervous because they will not have had time to anticipate the call. Use this conversation to break the ice with small talk, and test general knowledge of your company and the industry. This is a favorite technique of ConnectWise’s Worldwide Senior Vice President of Sales Adam Slutskin. If everything checks out, request the candidate’s W2, and send over the DISC assessment.

4. Set up a Face-to-Face & Follow-up Interviews
Assuming you walked away from the initial phone interview with a positive impression, proceed to the face-to-face interview. Because they’ll have time to prep for this interview, it’s okay to break out the tough questions—why you, salary requirements, and strengths and weaknesses.

If everything goes well, bring the candidate back in for your management team to vet. Keep an eye out for red flags, make sure this is someone your team wants to work with, ask for honest second opinions, and ensure the candidate is consistent.

 

Trust, but Verify. 
Always ask for a way to verify extraordinary 
claims like consistently achieving 100% quota, 
inflated job titles, high level degrees, and obscure certificates.

DISC Profile of a Sales Guy

DISC stands for dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness. It’s a personality test designed to help you identify innate tendencies. Most great sales people score highest in the dominance and influence categories.

5. Tour the Facility
This is your chance to impress them. Highlight all the little perks your facility has to offer, then share a sample commission sheet and paint the picture of how much a successful sales rep can take home. Show them all the tools you’ve invested in to help him or her quickly ramp up and become successful. This should include all the specialized systems you’ve put in place to help standardize and manage workloads. This is the type of information that builds confidence in your company, and makes candidates want to work for you.

6. Conduct the Final Interview Over Lunch
Now, you’re being interviewed, and you have to impress. If you’re trying to recruit a sales superstar away from a cushy job, you need to be sensitive to the fact that they’ve already built a lifestyle for themselves. You need to give them good reason to want to switch.

They’re not going to want to make a minimal base salary while they ramp up and learn your business. Beyond this, be sure to reiterate any other company perks, industry stats, growth potential, or company culture factors that could support their decision to choose to work for you.

8 Hiring Red Flags You Need to Know 

1. Incompatible Personality.
Find the right personality for your open sales role by administering 
a Dominance, Inducement, Submission, and Compliance (DISC) personality 
assessment. 

2. Unlikeable First Impression
Ask yourself:“Would I want this person to represent my company?”

3. Dishonesty 
Verify all accomplishment claims. If you don’t trust them, 
don’t hire them. 

4. unemployment
Look at the facts. Was the candidate a bad employee or simply a victim 
of circumstance?

5. No Self-Investment
This indicates low drive/ performance. Make sure they’re looking for 
a career, not just a job

6. More Techical than Sales.
Review work history and determine natural tendencies. 
Then ask:“Given the option, would you choose a sales or technical path?”

7. BAD Credir/Background check
Bad credit and/or criminal history = poor decision making. 

8. HIGH SALARY
Asking for a high salary with minimal bonus screams 
“I’m not a good sales person.”

Hiring the right sales reps doesn’t have to be scary. Avoid costly mistakes by ensuring you have the right resources in place to support a sales rep, and know how to effectively recruit superstar sales champions.

Once you’ve hired your team of quota crushers, you’ll want to give them ample time to ramp up, and then make sure you’re compensating them fairly. In part 2, I’ll share sales compensation best practices.

to learn more about Business Training visit mastermind2020.com for Business Assessment and Consulting BiZiON Group

About Sales Process

“Excellence is a continuous process and not an accident.” –A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Once you have the greatest incentive plan, processes, and sales training in place, it’s so important to measure your efforts. You might have the best of everything, but without a way to gauge how well it’s working or what needs to be adjusted, you’re driving blind.

I’m about to share actionable ways to make the most out of your efforts by putting the right tools and processes in place. By doing so, you will gain a strategic view into your sales operations and performance, and be able to take your business to the next level.

Better Forecast Where Sales Will Land

forecast-toolsIf you don’t know where sales are tracking today, this week, or this quarter, you can’t effectively manage to the set goals. You’re literally driving blind, and that’s not good for anyone. This lack of visibility also means you might not be able to see which sales reps are in good shape to hit their quotas, and which are struggling. It’s really challenging to lead a team when you have to trust them to bring issues forward. It’s hard to admit you’re not performing well. No one wants to have to do that. By putting automated tools in place to deliver real-time tracking by individual and team, you can start to proactively help your team stay on track to achieve sales goals. These tools might include a business management platform, like ConnectWise, paired with a quote and proposal automation solution, like Quosal, to track, guide, and streamline the sales process from inception to completion.

Create & Automate Sales Processes

In order to make your sales team as effective as possible, you’ll want to create a guided approach to selling. This process should include steps that help reps avoid common selling pitfalls—like not following up on time, forgetting to send a quote, failing to include terms and conditions, and underquoting your services. A sales manager’s least favorite question is ‘where are we with this deal?’ They don’t like having to ask their sales people for updates. And the sales reps don’t like being questioned either. That’s why companies buy a customer relationship management tool (CRM); it creates accountability. With a system that notes every activity as it’s performed, no one has to ask for updates anymore. They can just check the system. It eliminates the guesswork, saves time, and makes everyone happier. Part of the selling process should include identifying how customers typically buy from you. Don’t be surprised if a managed services deal is consumed differently than a onetime installation or integration. It all depends on what you’re selling. Every solution has a unique buying cycle. Certainly, there are exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking, you’re not going to run into a prospect who is ready to buy immediately.

Look at past sales successes. What actions preceded sales? Many successful sales processes include a mix of the following activities:

1. Discovery call 
2. On-site meeting 
3. Demonstration 
4. Quote delivery 
5. Follow-up 
6. Close

Once you’ve identified your steps in the process, you can make your team accountable for placing the opportunity in the right step, and systematically moving it along the sales cycle. And you’ll give managers 360-degree insight into every step along the way.

Eliminate Guesswork

With an automated process in place that pings your team when it’s time to perform the next step in the sales process, you’ll never have to worry about your team missing vital steps in the process. We’re human. We have a lot on our plates, get distracted, and forget important TO-DOs. And sales reps aren’t fans of documentation tasks. They’re a pain. By providing your team with easy processes (and tools to make them even easier), you’ll find it much easier to get them to document steps. It’s important to earn buy-in from your team. Explain the benefits and alternatives. Together, you can create processes everyone can agree on. Take the guesswork out of opportunities. Smart workflows keep your team members moving forward until opportunities are either won or lost.

Measure Each Stage of the Sales Cycle

What would you do if you found a certain step in your sales process was outdated and ineffective? You’d probably update or remove it. But if you’re not measuring or don’t have the tools in place to measure, you’ll never get to see what’s working, and you’ll never know which adjustments to make. The end goal of your sales process should be to shorten the sales cycle, close deals faster, increase profitability, and move opportunities forward more quickly. One way you can shorten stages of your sales cycle is by using a CRM, like the one inside the ConnectWise business management platform, to log key activities. This way, you can identify sales barriers, and start to brainstorm solutions.

How to Manage Your New Sales Process

A CRM will give you a 360° view into all of your company’s sales opportunities, activities, and goals. This gives you the benefit of being able to quickly identify and respond to areas that require improvement. Once you’ve got your hands on the data, act on it. Hold weekly sales meetings or daily huddles to review key stats. Use your CRM data to create real-time sales team performance dashboards—and forecasting dashboards based on historical trends. Deal with issues right away, instead of letting them take you by surprise weeks later. Build sales funnel reports that follow the opportunities moving along in your pipeline. For instance, show what percentage moves from the first stage to the second stage. This equips you to make more accurate sales forecasts.

How a Business Management Platform Benefits You

Sales doesn’t end with the dotted line. What if you could tie in your CRM and sales process with everything else in your business? A business management platform can help you achieve this by offering CRM, ticketing, projects, procurement, and invoicing functionality that works together. You gain visibility into every aspect of your sales process. Overdue activities and tickets appear in red, so you can easily get back up to speed simply by ‘getting the red out.’ That’s what your weekly sales meeting should seek to accomplish. This type of a platform even gives managers the ability to see what reps are working on (or ignoring), which makes it easy to see who is a high-impact employee and who may require more training or isn’t the right fit.

Managers can even assign leads to sales reps within a business management platform, giving reps the ability to see which leads they’re expected to work. And, managers can easily access and respond to prospect concerns when their reps are out of office. Serving as a centralized database for all customer information, a business management platform makes it easy for new reps to ramp up because it gives them access to any client’s entire history. ConnectWise does all this, plus offers top educational materials every step of the way as you implement your very own sales processes. You can use ConnectWise for every team within your technology company—Service Delivery, Project Management, Sales & Marketing, and Finance. It’s one integrated tool for every facet of your business.

Conclusion

A great sales process lays the foundation for scalability. Documented processes simplify the training and on-boarding process. So, as you add new sales team members, you’ll more quickly realize the benefit of their talents as they’ll be following best practices unique to the way you do business. Supercharge sales by adding automation tools like a business management platform or quote and proposal automation solution to drive efficiencies within your processes. By automating keys steps of your sales process, you’ll cut down on errors, and so much more.

to learn more about How to grow your Business go to Mastermind2020.com or get a Business Consulting with BiZION GROUP

In part 1, I explained what you need to have in place before hiring a sales team, then (in part 2) I explained how to effectively compensate sales reps.

 

MeetUp for Growing Business

 

This Scale IT Up event is an amazing experience designed to assist entrepreneurs in learning specifically what it takes to build an even more successful company, connect with other like minded business owners and see new ways to scale up your business!

Discover new ways to create revenue streams!!screen-shot-2016-09-25-at-3-21-11-pm

The E-Accelerator program will be introduced and has been developed for anyone that is serious about learning the mindset, systems and accountability that are necessary for creating a successful business! At the event you will learn the UNTOLD SECRETS and proven concepts that successful entrepreneurs utilize everyday to WIN in business.

Our Business Growth Club is deliberately different to other business networking groups.

MasterMind2020 has a very conversational style driven by a different light theme every week and we might have 1 or 2 speakers.

We expect a success panel to react to whatever you are saying and join the conversation. The whole meeting is conducted sitting down and you will enjoy plenty of time to say whatever you like in optimistic and positive way, There are absolutely no rules at all.

RSVP to the Next Scale IT UP meetup.

 

 

How Virtual Assistants Can Scale Your Business

There are hundreds of responsibilities to juggle every day when you run a business. Virtual assistants (VAs) can ease some of that strain by taking over administrative, technical, and social tasks so you can focus on growing your business.

What Does a Virtual Assistant Handle?

You can pretty much turn over any job to a virtual assistant. Some cover general business administration, while others operate in specified fields. You can count on a VA to handle:

  • secretarial work including mail, email, and scheduling;
  • data entry and management;
  • bookkeeping and payroll duties;
  • social media management;
  • blog content and posting schedules;
  • Internet marketing such as SEO, email, and website optimization;
  • lead generation through multiple marketing channels;
  • website design and functionality;
  • graphic design for online and offline materials;
  • content creation, print marketing and sales copy; and
  • event planning and management

Within these areas of expertise, it’s possible to find a VA who can take charge of any aspect of your business that you don’t have time for, don’t feel qualified to handle, or just plain don’t like.

What are the Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant works remotely from their home or personal office. This frees you from having to set up a separate office space with furniture and equipment to house an extra employee. You’re also not responsible for employee-related expenses, such as health benefits or taxes. All you have to pay are the VA’s fees for services according to the terms of their contract.

You can keep in touch with a VA through phone, email, Skype, Google Voice, and other forms of remote communication, so you’re always able to get in touch when you need something. No more chasing down Joe from IT when you have a website problem or tearing out your hair in frustration over the bookkeeping when your accountant is on vacation. With less on your shoulders, you can enjoy workdays that are less stressful.

Virtual assistants may have knowledge and proficiency in various areas that you and your staff don’t possess. They’re able to apply these skills to tasks that you find difficult, streamline them, and make your business run more efficiently.

How Does a VA Help You Scale Up?

With a VA to handle the small tasks involved in business management, you don’t have to work all day, every day to get things done. You’re free to focus on the bigger picture, taking the time you would have otherwise spent on administration to move forward and make your business prosper. The money you save on employee expenses can be put back into the company to fuel growth rather than going out to pay bills.

You can take advantage of a virtual assistant’s expertise to implement fresh marketing methods that expand the reach of your brand to a new set of customers. This may include an innovative direct mail campaign for product promotion or a website overhaul that increases conversions. Since your virtual assistant works remotely, you’ll never be held up by your own schedule or unforeseen problems in the office. Plus, with someone to handle event planning and coordinating, you can participate in more trade shows and make beneficial connections within your industry.

All of these perks make it more than worth the time to find the right virtual assistant and set up a long-term working relationship.

to find out more about these services, click here.

 

 

 

Invitación a una Nueva Comunidad de Profesionales

“NubeEmpresarial.com provee un excelente contenido para estar actualizado en las soluciones y servicios en la Nube, como tambien una oportunidad unica de hablar con los expertos en Cloud y adquirir experiencias de otros miembros de la comunidad”

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Si bien es cierto que este tipo de comunidades son, relativamente nuevas, también es verdad que nuestra nueva comunidad de profesionales, es de ingenieros y administradores de Tecnología, será una excelente “plataforma de lanzamiento” para usted, que es un innovador y emprendedor de Cloud.

Usted podrá contar con las ya imprescindibles condiciones de un modelo, a manera de mixtura, que combina lo tradicional, con un DataCenter alterno de proveedores y con nubes privadas, entre otros aspectos. Todo ello, para potencializar, al máximo, las cargas de trabajo que jalonan su empresa/negocio hacia un alto nivel de competitividad, lo que se traduce en un mayor rendimiento económico.

Con Cloud Computing, usted contará, además, con nuevas aplicaciones y servicios, en general, que le brindarán agilidad y optimización a sus procesos.

No es el momento de permitir que su infraestructura actual, lo prive de la tan importante y necesaria predictibilidad, ni de la ventaja que supone una combinación perfecta con la enorme agilidad de la Nube Empresarial.

Para poder disfrutar de las inconmensurables ventajas aludidas, basta con unirse a Cloud Computing, una nueva comunidad de profesionales que, para usted, que es ingeniero y/o ejecutivo (administrador) de Tecnología, será el mejor de los apoyos.

“Juntos somos más”, como bien se ha dicho, tradicionalmente, ¿verdad? Entonces, únase a nosotros para que, además de disponer de todo lo que hemos aludido, pueda estar actualizado en las soluciones y servicios en la Nube Empresarial.

Dispondrá, también, y como si no fuese suficiente ya, de la posibilidad de interactuar con los otros expertos de Cloud Computing y, de paso, enriquecerse con las experiencias de todos los miembros de esta nueva comunidad de profesionales en ingeniería y administración de Tecnología.

Permítale a su empresa y, de paso, a usted mismo y sus empleados, conectarse con una comunidad que les brindará la posibilidad exclusiva de conocer a otros profesionales y empresas de la industria, para que, también, ustedes adquieran reconocimiento en la misma, como expertos.

  • Voluntariar en la comunidad es tambien una oportunidad para ser reconocido no solo localmente como experto en su area pero tambien en las empresas que involucran otros colegas en la region local siendo un punto de contacto. trabajando con un comite internacional ,siendo lider EMBAJADOR pueden traer contenido nuevo y traer ideas a la comunidad.
  • La Opinion y Voz de NubeEmpresarial es una comunicación mensual que es creada por los mismos miembros de la comunidad para asegurar que estas actualizado en los temas de mayor importancia para ti.

Los Nuevos Miembros Reciben un VOUCHER de $50 para registro de los seminarios.

Si Quieres ser parte de la comunidad registrate gratis aqui,

VER PROXIMOS SEMINARIOS.

The 30 Daily Habits of a CEO Responsible for Success

Getting to the top involves doing the right things, day after day.  
Any CEO running a profitable company has figured a few things out. One of many habits to have in common is consistency. 

Here is my 30 habits 

1. Try one new thing each day.
“Every day, I force myself to do something that is out of my comfort zone.

2. Don’t do bad days. Running a company is really hard, and every day is different, but having a bad day is a choice.”

3. Stay informed about what’s trending.

“I spend an hour or two every day keeping up with tech news on Twitter. It’s not good to obsess over what other people are doing, but staying informed is certainly important.”

4. Accept invitations to as many meetings and events as possible.

“You never know who you will meet or the advice you’ll receive.”

5. Experiment constantly.

“I’m always trying new things and changing how I work. As we’ve grown from a small team to a bigger team, my businesses has changed pretty significantly, and by experimenting with new habits and processes regularly, I am always discovering better ways to run my team that make sense as we grow.”

6. Fight brain blocks with building blocks.

“There are footballs, golf balls, softballs, chessboards, Legos–everything a curious kid could dream of–covering our office space. Whenever I’m stuck on an idea, I play a quick game of catch or build a Lego house to give my brain a breather. Then it’s back to the drawing board. I encourage my team to do the same thing, too. Just like any muscle, your brain needs a recovery session after a tough workout.”

7. Never be afraid to email someone who is “too big.”

“Most people are accommodating and open, as long as you are clear about your needs and what you have to offer.”

8. Make punctuality a priority.

“I strive to be on time for every appointment, every day, without exception. This may seem like a no-brainer in the business world, but you would be surprised how many people still don’t make this a priority. It’s mind-boggling. If a leader is consistently late, it tells others that he or she is unreliable or has no respect for the time of the individuals he or she works with. If he or she is on time, the opposite is true.”

9. Never ask somebody to do something you wouldn’t do yourself.

“No matter how exciting your company or the problems that you are solving are, there will always be day-to-day tasks that are simply boring. Showing that you are willing to roll up your sleeves when the going gets tough will be a positive example for your team. You will be amazed at how this reverberates.”

10. Watch YouTube to learn from other great leaders.
“I spend time at the end of every night watching interviews, speeches, and panels of other leaders I admire. Through a bit of YouTube stalking, I’ve gotten great lessons on culture from Brian Chesky, brand building from Neil Blumenthal, and leadership from Esther Dyson.”

11. Exercise and meditate.

“Transcendental meditation for 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening is the perfect complement to daily exercise, whether it’s a trip to the gym or a run on the beach. Since I’ve started this routine, I’ve found my mental clarity and focus have increased enormously.”

12. Listen to self-improvement books in the car.

“I spend about 90 minutes running and 20mins driving to have a meeting each day. I can spend that time listening to music, but I choose to spend it listening to business books and self-improvement books. Over the last two and a half years, I have listened to nearly 45 audiobooks. These books have given me incredible insight into how to run my businesses and sharpen my skills. I can listen to a new book in a few days, versus reading a book, which would take me at least a month or two, if not longer, but always create the time.”

13. Start each day with an infectious positive attitude.

“I wake up and start every day with one initial thought: being thankful for the abundance in my life–family, friends, company, and more. Nothing good ever comes easy. Hard work and dedication always pays off. Starting every day with a strong, positive thought is the best way to kickoff each day. I believe that a positive mindset is key to overcoming all obstacles, and I radiate this to my team. Just as negativity is infectious–think: one rotten apple at the bottom of a barrel ultimately will ruin them all–so is positivity. Choose to be positive. Be mindful of your attitude and how it affects others.”

14. Make time for everyone on your team, no matter where they are.

“We are based in the U.S., but also have teams and customers on the ground in Asia, Central America, South America, and Europe. Connecting with them every day is incredibly important for staying connected to that part of the business, making sure they know they’re valued and getting things done. It’s a big time commitment, and sometimes it feels like we have multiple jobs–in the morning in Europe, during the day in the Americas, and at night when the Asia teams are busy. But in the end, it’s always worth it to be available and have live discussions when they matter the most.”

15. Make the most of drive time.

“I like to schedule some of my most important calls during my morning drive to the gym or to the beach. While it can be frustrating at times to have a long commute, not to mention often getting stuck in traffic, find this time very useful for scheduling calls that are uninterrupted. It also allows you to accomplish a lot more for the day when You get into the office, knowing these important conversations have already taken place and You can focus on other matters.”

16. Make every meeting the second meeting.

“Always have papers before a meeting, read them, and never just do a page-turn. That way, every meeting is really the second meeting.”

17. Find your inner yogi.

“Yoga has helped in so many areas of my life. It forces me to unplug from whatever issue I’m dealing with, spend time as a student, and focus on being present in the moment. I can walk into a studio anywhere in the world and get centered in no time. Early in my career, I would have rolled my eyes reading some executive profess how being on a yoga mat makes them good at business. But I have found a regular practice makes me a better leader, and keeps me sharp mentally and physically.”

18. Surround yourself with people whose skills complement your own.

“As a leader, it’s easy to feel like you need to know or do it all, but you will never be the best at everything. A mentor of mine once told me to focus on my strengths and team up with talented people for the rest. The old saying of ‘it takes a village’ is true in so many parts of life, and embracing it makes you a stronger, healthier person.”

19. Walk before bed.

“Every evening I take a 30-minute walk alone without music. It clears my head, calms me down from the daily activities of running multiple startups, and allows me to get proper perspective and clarity about priorities. Most importantly, I sleep like a baby. I learned the importance of this 15 years ago, after reading a biography of Harry Truman, who had to deal with being the president at the end of WWII.”

20. Make time in your life for fiction.

“It emboldens your imagination, gives your mind respite, and arms you with tactics on creating motivating, inspiring messaging. Don’t be afraid to take time out to free your mind from the strictures of reality.”

21. Focus on nutrition and appreciation.

“I have been having the same breakfast of a protein shake with healthy fats, a fresh pressed juice full of vegetables, and a fat burner for as long as I can remember. While I press the juice, I recite the three things I am most appreciative of that morning. Thinking on the things that are most important in my life helps me take down the kale and beet juice with a smile.”

22. Leave your work out of the bedroom.

“Your bedroom should be a sanctuary. Leave the TV, electronics, and work outside. By creating a work-free zone, you can reduce stress levels and, in turn, make the working time far more efficient…and most importantly, you will appreciate your partner, so does she.”

23. Use pictorial language to help people “see” the future.

“When describing the future, you can’t use facts and figures. You don’t have statistics to prove your points. You must largely rely on your imagination. And to convincingly bring your audience into the future, you must unlock their imaginations, helping them envision a different world. We all know, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’ So it shouldn’t be a surprise that images, and visual language such as metaphors and analogies, are of vital importance in bridging the gap between the cerebral and the imaginative.”
24. Exercise every day.

“I’ve exercised–whether it be lifting or running–religiously for the past 20 years of my life, and it has played a critical role in my daily attitude, work potential, and outlook on life.”

25. Don’t panic and don’t run.

“Teams look to their leaders to set the tone for how the business is operated. I ensure I establish and create a sense of urgency, while balancing it with control of key situations. I make time to speak with frustrated customers and meet with unhappy employees to stay close to the issues my team navigates on a daily basis. From these interchanges, I am able to learn more than I ever could learn from all the things that go according to plan.”

26. Use the 70/30 approach to professional life.

“Cultivate good judgment by learning to be comfortable making 100 percent of a decision with 70 percent of the data. This approach forces you to weigh what is really important and to understand the remainder of the data isn’t worth the time it takes to collect. Over time, you will make more good decisions and will accomplish more than the less confident and more risk averse. You will also be more competitive because you will accomplish more. Target being right 70 percent of the time with everything you do. Any extra time you spend on being right means you will miss opportunities, both personally and professionally.”

27. Make lists.

“In addition to making a list of the top three things I must get done each day, I make a list of the three things that must be achieved each month and each week to ensure the company is staying on track.”

28. encourage questions.

“Provide opportunity for at least one employee every day to ask you questions about whatever they have on their mind. It is very important to make employees feel like no question is out of limits. Q&A sessions with regular cadence make it easy for anyone in the organization to ask me questions. It is often these sessions that help me get the pulse of the company. It also becomes a forum for sharing ideas and discovering new ways of thinking or solving problems. But it’s extremely important that these opportunities to ask questions are presented in all sorts of settings–large groups, small groups, one-on-ones, and a mix of formal and casual settings.”

29. Talk to at least one customer every day.

“It’s by far the most efficient and productive way to gather feedback on [the company] and to understand the business more deeply. My company is nothing without its users, and the information I receive from customers is hugely influential on how we conduct business and shape our plans for the future.”

30. Start your day with a clean inbox.

“In order to start the day completely organized, I get up at 6 a.m. and get to inbox zero. Anything that can be answered with a short note or delegated to a team lead, I get out of the way immediately. Other items I prioritize for later sit down email blocks or meetings later in the day. This way, I can be truly focused during morning meetings.”

Learn more about MasterMind2020.com and Bizon Group 

Why Miami is Worth Moving to If You Want to Launch a Business 

MiamiShared.com 
Looking to launch your next venture in a business-friendly climate? If you’re lucky enough to live near one of the following communities, you’re in luck. If not, consider whether a move will give your business the best odds possible of succeeding.
In business — as in real estate — it’s all about location, location, location. Despite the rise in remote-work arrangements, this sentiment holds true even if you don’t have a physical store. Where you put your headquarters can affect your ability to hire, as well as determine the business partners and investors you have easy access to.

Miami is a very diverse population that makes this southern city a great place to launch a startup. There are also several business incubators located in the city, giving you access to the resources you need to grow at a rate you can afford.

There are great events, such as the annual Startup Weekend Miami, where entrepreneurs can form their ideas into companies and hear talks from seasoned business founders like BIZION GROUP and communities Mastermind2020.com

WHY YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS A MASTERMIND GROUP

When was the last time you got pumped about your business? I mean so excited you thought you were going to explode. If it’s been a while, or if you’ve never experienced this sense of business euphoria, now might be the time to Join a Mastermind Group.

Focus Group MasterMind2020.com

WHAT IS A MASTERMIND GROUP?

A mastermind is a gathering of people, working to simultaneously move several businesses forward. 

The world of freelancing, consulting and products can be a solitary one, and a mastermind group can be your salvation. 

Similar to a business coach, a mastermind can help you through the difficult times. But unlike a business coach, a mastermind is a group of people all pushing in the same direction. 

I absolutely know that I would not be where I’m at today if it weren’t for my participation in a mastermind group.

MORE SPECIFICALLY, WHAT IS A MASTERMIND GROUP?

A mastermind group usually consists of 7 to 9 people, but nothing is set in stone.

 My own mastermind group had 443 members. where we create peering groups of 12 people max. 

We came from different backgrounds and were at different stages in our careers. But the crossover of skills and experience was just right.

THE LOGISTICS AND FORMAT OF A MASTERMIND 

All groups vary, but it’s normal to meet anything from once a week, to once a month. It depends on the needs of the group and the free time you have available.

Regardless of how busy you are, always make time for your Mastermind. A stressful week or month can be put into perspective with a great Mastermind session.

My Business Growth Club MasterMind met every week. This gave us time to track the work on things and see results.

Our meetings would go something like this:

  • Sit down, say our hellos and briefly chat about everyone’s week.
  • The Inner-Circle member would get 15 or 20 minutes in the hot seat. (speaker) We’d talk about our progress over the last two weeks and bring up any problems we were facing.
  • After each hot seat session the rest of the group would jump in with any thoughts or advice.
  • Before the meeting ended we’d talk about our goals for the coming fortnight.
  • Wash, rinse and repeat.

In the beginning we wrote down everyone’s goals on a per meeting basis. But we soon realised we weren’t that kind of group. We found more value in our feedback sessions. Every group will be different.

HOW DO I FIND A MASTERMIND GROUP?

The best way to find a mastermind is to connect to http://www.mastermind2020.com and see your interest there are many groups you can belong to. 

It’s not as scary as you might think. I’m sure you already know people who are doing well in their space. If you don’t, reach out to people you think would be a good fit.

You don’t need a previous relationship with someone to start a mastermind group.

One thing to bear in mind; I’d advise against starting a group with friends or business partners. A mastermind is a place of trust, a place to tell all. You might not feel inclined to open up about your business troubles with a bunch of friends. And you may not feel comfortable discussing certain issues with your business partner. 

Having a mastermind that is separate from your personal and work life is important.

Perhaps most important of all. Be (one of) the least experienced members of the group. By surrounding yourself with more “experienced” people you’ll learn more, in less time.

This doesn’t mean the other members need to be rock stars. They just need to have more experience or success in other areas than yourself. This is why who you ask to your group is so important.

The great thing about a mastermind is that you can mix and match skills to make sure everyone in the group benefits.

 

In my mastermind group, there is some people that are more experienced in terms of income, sales and marketing. It was through this interesting cross section of skills that we could help each other move forward.

GETTING UNSTUCK, TOGETHER

I’ve spoken before about my Shiny Object Syndrome, but earlier this year it nearly put pay to everything. I couldn’t stay focused on anything long enough for it to pay off. 

It was thanks to my mastermind. At the time it was another project on a list of possibilities. 

I’m a huge believer in accountability. If you need to get something done, tell your mastermind group about it. No one likes to let others down. Being on the hook will help push your business forward.

If you want to get pumped about your business in 2015, become member inner circle of a mastermind group. You’ll be amazed what it can do for your business and life and just how much you can help others with theirs.

 

Let me know about your experiences and if Is there anything that’s holding you back from join a mastermind group? Let me know!

To your success,

  

Andres Hurtado Rangel

MasterMind2020.com

10 Ways to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking

Public Speaking

The most common phobia that people have is the “fear of public speaking”. Some people dread it more than death. Schools and colleges rarely provide training on public speaking; you’re just told to stand at the front and read your book report or story of what you did that summer. Being judged by your peers can make you either love or hate the attention you get from speaking to an audience.

Having confidence with public speaking will make you stand out from the crowd. You’ll be more likely to succeed at job interviews. You’ll be more comfortable contributing your point of view when working in a team. And you’ll be more likely to give winning presentations and seminars in the workplace. Altogether you’ll have a better professional life and relationships with your colleagues.

As a confident speaker you’ll be more comfortable breaking the ice and starting conversations with strangers. You’ll be a better networker with an expanded social circle and self-confidence in your personal life.

Plus you’ll be more likely to succeed in a career where teaching or training is required, whether you’re teaching to an individual or from stage to an audience of two thousand people.

With all these opportunities for succees, the key is about overcoming your fear of public speaking. The first tip? Remember that you’re not alone and that almost everyone has a fear of public speaking!

1. Have Powerful Physiology.

If you act “as if you’re the boss” often you get to be boss is an old principle in business. And now one of the most prestigious business schools in the world, Harvard, has proved the idea.

Organisational psychologist Professor Amy Cuddy has shown that when people change their postures into dominant poses their testosterone goes up and their cortisol goes down. Those changes are associated with leadership roles, and people do feel more powerful when they adopt the appropriate body language.

Walk on stage with confidence, with your shoulders back and arms powerful. Don’t allow yourself to be stiff; just be real and strong.

2. Breathe.

Healthy, deep breathing improves your ability to be effective whenever you are facing a particularly stressful situation. So it’s natural that you’d need it before delivering presentations, or when you’re about to deliver bad news, or when you need to ask for something important.

Deep breathing helps relieve nervous energy. It helps develop a strong voice and it helps to strengthen personal intensity. It is important for our energy, our focus, and our concentration.

Unfortunately, most of us breathe with our shoulders. We’re shallow “chest breathers” where our stomach goes in and shoulders go up. But if you fill your lungs with a deep inhale and follow it up with a slow exhale, it will relax and refresh you.

3. Come from service (it’s not about you).

Start out by taking the pressure off of you and your performance. No matter who you’re speaking to, your focus needs to be in one place only — on your audience. It’s not about you. It’s all about them.

Audience-centered speaking will help to move your audience to action. You need to listen to your audience from the moment you step in front of people. And when you ask ‘How are you?’ of an audience, wait to see how some members of that audience actually are. Don’t continue until you’ve learned the answer, either verbally or nonverbally.

Take a good look around the room, smile while you make some eye contact, take a few steps toward the group and let your hands fall open gracefully toward the audience — as though you wished you could give them a big hug. (or not, but hopefully you get the idea!)

4. Don’t take anything personally.

As long as your information is correct, nobody is going to hold anything against your if you make a mistake. Follow the examples of great comedians. Instead of letting mistakes interrupt the show, they incorporate them into the show. They laugh at themselves. This gets the audience to laugh with them instead of at them.

With a public presentation, you want the audience to laugh with you when something goes wrong instead of laughing at you. You can achieve this by not taking mistakes personally and having a sense of humor about them.

5. Stay present.

A public speaking event often involves a ton of distractions for the speaker. Unfortunately these distractions draw us away from what’s happening in the present moment. So it’s important that you anchor yourself: to yourself, to your audience, to your content, and to your context.

Focusing on your breath is one tactic you can use to feel centered within ourselves and your presentation. To stay present with your audience just remember that the audience is filled with people – with individual human beings just like you and me – and by connecting with them one at a time. And, finally, to stay present your message, remember what is it that you want to accomplish. Why have you been asked to speak in the first place? What do you feel passionately about that brings us to this presentation? What is the gift that you are sharing with your audience? What is your core message? When we focus on these questions rather than our fear, we are able to stay grounded in what’s truly important to us.

6. Say to your mindfrick, “Thank you for sharing”.

No matter what, there’s going to be a little voice in your head saying something to you. More likely than not that mindfrick is going to be chattering away telling you that you can’t do it. But remember that you’re stronger than you think.

When that little voice starts going on and attacking your confidence, just say to yourself “Thank you for sharing” and move on. Don’t respond. Don’t listen. Don’t dwell. Don’t work yourself up into a tizzy. Instead acknowledge that it’s just your mind trying to get the best of you, and move on.

7. Remember, you don’t look as nervous as you feel.

Remember what “fear” is. Fear is the anticipation of pain. Is your fear real or imagined? Chances are likely that it’s imagined. Your fear is not that you don’t know your topic. It is that you don’t know what will happen when you step to the podium.

When you’re walking out on stage, no one knows you’re nervous. Your stomach could be in knots and you may feel like you’re going to be sick, but you aren’t showing it. There are only a few subtle cues that show a person is nervous and they’re so small that the ordinary person wouldn’t be able to notice them from where they’re sitting. People don’t see that nervous beast inside you!

8. It gets easier.

Really and truly, it does get easier. Get practice and feedback in a safe environment by joining a public speaking group like mastermind2020 Toastmasters club. You’ll get the chance to learn from watching others. And you’ll be reminded that you’re not alone with your fear. Something that helps more than anything is practicing the outline of what you want to say. The more you know your content, the less nervous you’re likely to feel. Speaking groups are an excellent way to hone your presentation’s content and structure.

9. People want you to succeed.

Audiences want you to be interesting, stimulating, informative and entertaining. They’re rooting for you. So give them what they want and feel great in the process!

10. Trust yourself.

As long as you know where your content is starting, and where you want to go, trust that you’ll be able to take your audience from Point A to Point B. Know where you’re going by picking a few main points and bring them to life with stories. If you practice enough, you’ll soon come across smooth. And know that you CAN do it.

To your success,

Andres

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