Lifestyle 23 April 2018
In 2018, we’re all looking to bring a little bit of newness into our lives. We want change. We want productivity. And most of all, we want business success. Sometimes, reading a great book really helps the things that need shifted in your life stand out and a whole new sense of motivation wash over you. These books are an amazing resource to kick your productivity into gear.
Impactivity: How to Set the World on Fire without Burning Out, Tracy Higley
If you’re dealing with the horrible “crashing and burning” feeling that can often come with owning your own business, keeping up with contracts and managing family, then this one is for you. Bestselling author and entrepreneur herself, Higley shares her guidance, inspiration and truly teaches the art of productivity. This book was re-released in January 2017 with 6 workbooks to go along with it.
“The fear of the unknown was eclipsed by the gladness that came of taking action, of doing something rather than waiting, of following what seemed to be the call of my life."
The Power of Broke, Daymond John
Launching and keeping a business afloat is both time consuming and incredibly expensive. Shark Tank’s Daymond John and business mogul himself shares how he started his business with only $40. In fact, he thinks that starting a business with a very limited budget can be every entrepreneurs creative advantage. His book will teach companies, brands and solopreneurs alike how to leverage this skill for business success.
Own It: The Power of Women at Work, Sallie Krawcheck
Author and Wall Street powerhouse turn entrepreneur, Sallie Krawcheck will get you excited again for your role as a woman in the workplace and playing the man’s game on our own terms. She believes that the business world is changing fast and there are so many reasons that female business owners need to get excited about the future. The change is coming – fast – and as women we need to own that to take control of our careers and businesses to get to the next level.
Women Who Work: Rewriting The Goals of Success, Ivanka Trump
The first daughter to be has truly hit the nail on the head with her recent book, released in March of 2017. Her belief is simple: there is no one right answer, every woman must create the life in business that they love that works for them. She shares the best skills and advice coming from all the women who work in her life and essentially rewrites the rules to help everyone redefine success and supports living out your individual passions every day.
Courtesy of Fortune
"I try to live in the present. I learn from my mistakes in an effort not to repeat them, but I remain totally focused on today and tomorrow. Many of my mistakes turned out to be incredible opportunities for growth, both professionally and personally, and therefore, in hindsight, they were deeply valuable."
She Means Business: Turn Your Ideas into Reality and Become a Wildly Successful Entrepreneur, Carrie Green
Released in February of 2017, this book is aimed at women in business and sharing a step by step guide to making their business dreams a reality. The focus is on achievable techniques and helping women feel empowered and fired up about their ideas. Green shares numerous personal stories that will help put women everywhere on the right path by making the process of harnessing their amazing ideas and bringing them to life easier than they think it ever could be.
"Success is not an accident, it's something we have to create on purpose. And we can all do it, every single one of us. We have to be prepared to move past the resistance that get in our way... to make the commitment to show up of our dreams, get our ideas out there, and become unstoppable. So move out of your own way, discover what you are capable of, become a wildly successful entrepreneur and then watch as people say: She means business "
3 Min Read
"How did you ever get into a business like that?" people ask me. They're confounded to hear that my product is industrial baler wire—a very unfeminine pursuit, especially in 1975 when I founded my company in the midst of a machismo man's world. It's a long story, but I'll try to shorten it.
I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up—even if it involved a non-glamorous product. I'd been fired from my previous job working to become a ladies' clothing buyer and was told at my dismissal, "You just aren't management or corporate material." My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.
Over the years, I've learned quite a few tough lessons about how to successfully run a business. Below are five essential elements to keep in mind, as well as my story on how I learned them.
Find A Need And Fill It
I gradually became successful at selling various products, which unfortunately weren't profitable enough to get me off the ground, so I asked people what they needed that they couldn't seem to get. One man said, "Honey, I need baler wire. Even the farmers can't get it." I saw happy dollar signs as he talked on and dedicated myself to figuring out the baler wire industry.
I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up.
Now forty-five years later, I'm proud to be the founder of Vulcan Wire, Inc., an industrial baler wire company with $10 million of annual sales.
Have Working Capital And Credit
There were many pitfalls along the way to my eventual success. My daughters and I were subsisting from my unemployment checks, erratic alimony and child-support payments, and food stamps. I had no money stashed up to start up a business.
I paid for the first wire with a check for which I had no funds, an illegal act, but I thought it wouldn't matter as long as I made a deposit to cover the deficit before the bank received the check. My expectation was that I'd receive payment immediately upon delivery, for which I used a rented truck.
Little did I know that this Fortune 500 company's modus operandi was to pay all bills thirty or more days after receipts. My customer initially refused to pay on the spot. I told him I would consequently have to return the wire, so he reluctantly decided to call corporate headquarters for this unusual request.
My stomach was in knots the whole time he was gone, because he said it was iffy that corporate would come through. Fifty minutes later, however, he emerged with a check in hand, resentful of the time away from his busy schedule. Stressed, he told me to never again expect another C.O.D. and that any future sale must be on credit. Luckily, I made it to the bank with a few minutes to spare.
Know Your Product Thoroughly
I received a disheartening phone call shortly thereafter: my wire was breaking. This horrible news fueled the fire of my fears. Would I have to reimburse my customer? Would my vendor refuse to reimburse me?
My customer told me to come over and take samples of his good wire to see if I might duplicate it. I did that and educated myself on the necessary qualities.
My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.
Voila! I found another wire supplier that had the right specifications. By then, I was savvy enough to act as though they would naturally give me thirty-day terms. They did!
More good news: My customer merely threw away all the bad wire I'd sold him, and the new wire worked perfectly; he then gave me leads and a good endorsement. I rapidly gained more wire customers.
Anticipate The Dangers Of Exponential Growth
I had made a depressing discovery. My working capital was inadequate. After I purchased the wire, I had to wait ten to thirty days for a fabricator to get it reconfigured, which became a looming problem. It meant that to maintain a good credit standing, I had to pay for the wire ten to thirty days before my customers paid me.
I was successful on paper but was incredibly cash deprived. In other words, my exponentially growing business was about to implode due to too many sales. Eventually, my increasing sales grew at a slower rate, solving my cash flow problem.
Delegate From The Bottom Up
I learned how to delegate and eventually delegated myself out of the top jobs of CEO, President, CFO, and Vice President of Finance. Now, at seventy-eight years old, I've sold all but a third of Vulcan's stock and am semi-retired with my only job currently serving as Vice President of Stock and Consultant.
In the interim, I survived many obstacles and learned many other lessons, but hopefully these five will get you started and help prevent some of you from having the same struggles that I did. And in the end, I figured it all out, just like you will.