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The Smashing Business Blog

The Blog from Smashingbusiness.co.uk. We're all about helping you run a "Smashing Business." Whatever your niche, we hope you find some inspiration or help here. If you'd like us to feature a particular topic just email us at hello@smashingbusiness.co.uk

Inspirational Video: Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech 2005

Ben Lumley - Monday, November 30, 2009

So we haven't had a inspiration video in a while so we thought, seeing as we could all do with some inspiration every now and then we drop this one, from Steve Jobs, in.

Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech 2005 was given to the young minds of the future but as an online business owner there is a lot from the 3 stories he tells that we can take on board and apply to our business.

Why not let us know what you think about Jobs speech in the comments

Fighting the fight of the small online business owner.

Ben Lumley - Monday, November 23, 2009

Sometimes running a small online business can be really hard. 

Most of us aren't fortunate enough to solely run our online business, at least in the beginning anyway. We work for the man from 9-5 and then come home and start working again on something more meaningful and purposeful. 

We put family and friends to one side while we busily work away trying to get our passions off the ground and take them to a place where we can walk away from the 9-5 and begin living the internet lifestyle. 

I'm in that situation right now. I'm in the exciting position to be involved in a new start-up, something I've wanted to for a while and the fact that I'm doing it with a good friend makes it even better. 

But I'm also in the position where I'm working in a very demanding day job that requires a lot of my time both in and out of work hours. It's a really good job and I really enjoy the work, don't get me wrong but it's very tiring at times. 

I've also got a young family that I want to be with and spend time with, which I don't think anyone can argue with. 

Most small start-ups are the same. It's not easy but it's what we do. Why do we do it? 

Well my answer is simple. Most don't like it, especially my wife sometimes but the answer is always the same. I do it because I know I want help small business owners make the most of their online business because so do I. 

 So if you're finding the fight hard just do what I do. Take a deep breath, think about the goal you're trying achieve and get right back to it.

How do I make quick money from my blog or website when I first start out?

Ben Lumley - Thursday, November 12, 2009

I must see this question all over the internet all the time. So many people want to know how they can start their new online business off with a bang and be instantly making money. There are loads of options out there that look to offer some amazing results to first timers offering a massive financial return for very little work.

The easy answer is no! No you can’t make quick money from an online business. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes hard work and a great deal of patience, something of which many people entering the online business space don’t seem to have.

When they don’t get any revenue in the first few weeks from their products they begin covering every piece of html real estate with click though ads, affiliate links and adsense code. Expectantly they sit back and wait for the money to pour in. And guess what? None arrives.

Simply there are no quick money fixes on the internet. You need hard work and patience. With a lot of commitment and constant work you’ll begin to make money, maybe some serious money but you won’t get there with quick fixes. 

Picking yourself up and Dust Yourself Off - The Life of an Entreprenuer

Ben Lumley - Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Sometimes life really sucks. We all know it so there's no point in me sugar coating it. Some days, the constant uphill grind takes its tolls and all of your mind is consumed with thoughts of giving up.

Today was a day like that for me. I spent all day talking to people who didn't want to listen to what I had to say and I'll be completely honest and say it was a massive chore. I got back in my car to drive home and thought "why am I bothering - I give up!" Thankfully I had an hour drive home and could think it all through which really helped me to sort my head out. By the time I got home my motivation and determination was back and I'm already raring to go again tomorrow.

Sometimes running an online business can you and your brand in front of people who don't want to know and no matter how hard you try can't get through to them. So what do you do?

  1. Give 100% to the opportunity
  2. Pick yourself up and dust yourself down
  3. Look to the future
  4. Remain yourself of your ultimate goal
Everyone has a bad day at the office whether it's your fault or not. But a successful entrepreneur just moves on and keeps going.

Resources over Resourcefulness

Ben Lumley - Tuesday, October 27, 2009

We often make excuses for failures we experience in life, whether it be at home or at work and we try to proportion blame on to someone or something else. We often do this, not because we are low, callous individuals who constantly seek to hurt others, but because as a society we generally slip into the easy option of shifting responsibility away from ourselves. It takes a special person to fess up to their failures 100% of the time, right? Well no not really, it just means that you have to look on things in a different way.

Resources

In today’s fast paced, modern, online society we have a whole bank of resources at our disposal that we can use to creative truly amazing things. Gone are the days when people work outside their cave sharpening stones all day long, now we can achieve almost anything we put our minds to.

Time:

Now we live in a world where we have more time than ever, not due to increasing the amount of hours in the day but from the respect that people can work and create things at anytime of the day or night and in any place. That is something previous generation never had.

Money:

We have more money at our disposal than ever before as well with people earning more money in their own jobs, their companies earning bigger contracts and receiving greater amounts of funding. All of this leads to an increase in resources to get the job done.  

Technology:

There is now an abundance of technology that can allow us to create bigger, better, faster, more efficient products and services that can make billions on pounds and truly make a different in people’s lives.

Contacts:

People are able to network, create contacts and maintain those contacts like never before. You can now connect with someone on the other side of the world without ever meeting them and be able to keep up to date with what they are doing and where they are.

Experience:

With the ability to be able to do all of these amazing things comes experience. As a generation we are able to experience so much more that previous generations and can therefore learn more and at a faster rate.

But what do all these things have to do with running an online business? They can also be used as excuses when we fail to achieve something. Why? Because it’s easy. It’s easy to complain that the reason you couldn’t achieve is because you didn’t have the time. It’s easy to not start off a great idea because you just didn’t have the money, either personally or commercially to kick it off. How many times have you would to do something with your business and complained when you couldn’t because you didn’t have the technology or the experience? Probably more than you care to admit.

It’s easy to blame these resources when we fail to achieve because other people can sympathise as they’ve most likely been in a similar position themselves, in the past.

Resourcefulness

5 years ago in the traditional corporate world, it was more acceptable to make excuses about resources and be able to get away with it without it affecting your job or your business. However, in the online world that can’t happen. The moment people (customers) see that you repeatedly making excuses for not providing or achieving something, they’ll go somewhere else. The Internet is now full of people who offer the same or similar products or services as you and you can bet your yearly turnover on the fact that they’ll do it right if you don’t.

In order to succeed in anything, your business, your personal life, a music instrument or even playing cards; you need to be resourceful. Resourceful people always succeed no matter what they are trying to achieve because when you’re resourceful you never run out of resources and therefore you can’t ever find an excuse to fail.

Determination:

When you’re resourceful you have determination to succeed. You’re driven constantly to achieve and will let nothing stand in your way.

Creativity:

When you are resourceful you’re creative. It doesn’t matter if you’ve not got the money or the time, you find a way. If you are creative enough and playful enough you can get your idea or your business across to anyone, however uninterested they may seem initially.

Curiosity:

If you’re resourceful you have curiosity. You are interested and intrigued by want you what to achieve. You want to play with it, tinker with it, break it down and build it up again to see how it works. You want to know everything about it and you want to know about anything else that might add to it to help you achieve.

Passion:

When you are resourceful you have passion. You live and breathe what you do. You wake up in the morning and you instantly want to engage with your passion and what you want to achieve. Passion is a tough thing in people’s mind to find and you hear people all the time saying “I don’t know what my passion is.” Well to me it’s easy. Your passion is the thing that you’d do for free if you had to. Your passion is the thing you’re immersed in the all time.

Resolve:

When you have all these things you also develop resolve. You make a definite decision on what you’re going to achieve and you set your motive for action.

It’s easy to make excuses when you fail. It’s human nature seemingly to blame others when we don’t achieve. But the difference between people who fail and people who succeed is that successful people don’t see failures as failures; they see them as challenges and opportunities to overcome. Why? Because they are resourceful.

Follow me on Twitter @benlumley6

12 Characteristics of Successful Internet Entrepreneurs by Focus

Ben Lumley - Monday, October 26, 2009
Focus, a site for business makers and IT professionals, recently posted an article that any budding online enterprenuer should read entitled "12 Characteristics of Successful Internet Entrepreneurs". Its a really interesting and inspiring read for anyone who has dreams of making their living online.

The article covers the 12 main characteristics that make Internet Entrepreneurs successful, citing some well known online greats to offer as some examples.

The 12 characteristics include:

  1. Determination
  2. Innovation
  3. Frugality
  4. Experimentation
  5. Eccentricity
  6. Simplicity
  7. Consumer-focused
  8. Iconoclastic
  9. Ambition
  10. Focus
  11. Opportunism
  12. Flexibility

Jump over to the article 12 Characteristics of Successful Entreprenuers and have a read. It's a good one and it'll be well worth it.

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