Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Many products, companies and strategies appeal to the 16 year old in us. We have evolved since the first video game and as a result find a lot of that material archaic. I find that as people we grow but keep our approach similar to where we had started.
Is your audience developing as individuals, or are you targeting a group in a particular space and as they develop they no longer qualify as clients?
There are exceptions, where focus is based on a certain individual and as long they are there then you are in business. This is where most companies miss the mark, for me that is. They stop listening somehow and continually do what worked before.
We only stayed because a friend was hosting. Is that how most people run their businesses?
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
If you were to design a "different" business event, what how would you do it? I guess we've been in the planning for a wee bit too long to think outside of it.
A few questions:
1. What would you be prepared to pay for a 3 hour seminar?
2. Where do you go to find information on stuff that's happening in your industry or business development in general?
3. Why do you attend a business event?
I would really appreciate you involvement. We've been to a number of business events most of which are the same. My guess is that most of them aren't designed by entrepreneurs, but with entrepreneurs in mind. I'll keep you in the loop about developments.
I was reading about a talk some politicians made relating to the economy and some other significant things. We very often miss important things because the message doesn't speak to us. Quite frankly I'd much rather watch a dung beetle at work, with a peg on my nose, after I after it.
Most marketing messages don't speak to the people intended.
Things I consider when talking people are:
* Does this speak to "a" person? Or have I become verbatim?
* What do you "the prospect" get from it?
Don't get up with your own hype. Unless you are in parliament and have the national broadcaster air your speech. The people don't have to fall asleep listening to you.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
There are far too many people to thank but you guys know yourselves. Some of you are :
- Telana Simpson
- Horoun Kola
- Noto Modungwa
- The guys at Sophiatown
Like I said you guys are far too many to mention in one post most of all the value you added.
See you again next year. . .
Monday, October 20, 2008
theory behind websites.
Most companies and individuals are of the theory that websites do
something on their own. The world would be great place if they did.
The current notion, in our clientbase is:
* Design a website.
* Go live.
* Leave the content there.
* Go about your business.
The fact is websites are about the content, content, content and
updating that content regularly. Our current client has a lot of such
content to work with, but requires direction in packaging it. This
gives us more to work with as packaging makes for designing an online
No one is interested in websites, especially me and I work with them.
It's the content that keeps me going back. Your offline personality
has to link back to your online brand. Blogging is also becoming an
old tool but still very relevant as it keeps things fresh.
Imagine that you are creating another you that has to be responsive
and make new friends. A clone. . . You need this other you to grow in
the online environment and be referenced in other discussions.
My current facts about online personalities:
* Update your content regularly.
* Don't assume people know you.
* Websites are not interesting.
* Offer value online.
* Explore other online tools.
* Find places to direct readers to you. * Remain humble or learn humlity.
This is only based on my experiences and learnings up to so far. We
learn new stuff everyday though as people bring new challenges and
adventures to work with.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
We got a review from Haroun Kola of Conscious Vibe, gave a short review, which I’m not taking the credit for. Noto, Thongwane, Oupa of SilverMoon, Nigel of Cinergi Corporate Finance, George, Lumkile and everyone who was there. All of you guys rocked and it’s your support that made it happen.
Telana’s talk, which I’ll be posting on later, was enlightening. She added a different perspective to the subject, which is fast becoming old, of innovation. Read her blog here.
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Saturday, October 04, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Chris Brogan in his book: Personal Branding for the Business Professional which you can download here, outlines a few strategies of positioning yourself as an experience. If you have valuable content, like he does, then you already have one foot in the door and become a point of reference.
He also has some useful online tools to track feedback which a bootstrapper might find useful.
Suddenly offering an experience has been made easy packaged into 2 hours of interactive reading.
Bricks and mortar will still have a market though.
Friday, September 12, 2008
These would serve as bite-size loaded talks and we'll post them here. After my last post about people changing things below the radar, I realized how busy some of these guys are. Well one would be if they were to alter the world as know it.
These will be our Netweb / aQuaNova mini talks, as soon I find someone willing to give me the time of day or night. But I might first need to figure out how to work this video camera, gadget thing.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Thank you all for making it. Our speaker Lantz of afromedia.co.za delivered an enlightening talk on web applications. You can view his powerpoint presentation here.
Telana of One Matchstick and Inner Coaching. She's currently trading a hot-air-balloon-champagne- breakfast and was also there.
Sitting quietly next to her was Andy, who makes it look easy to run an online company.
I'll be posting the audio and my powerpoint preso as well once it's been edited.
Thank you all guys for making it happen. I hope to see you again on 1st October.
Andy have fun at the conference in October.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Lantz is very knowledgeable about online applications and fishing. If you get him off his computer long enough to talk to him.
Reserve your seat and pitch. You might walk away with the bottle or loads of information on marketing your business and branding yourself.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
I’d like to speak to them, find out what makes them tick and how they continue to do such amazing things. The tons of experience they’d share would be very valuable to the online community.
Some of these guys are:
Sarah from represent
And many others
So if they have sometime to spare soon I’ll chat to them and post our conversation on this blog. If you anything about these guys you’ll understand, but if not you’ll know after I’ve spoken to them.
The thing is they do some pretty inspiring things and what they have to share can alter our thinking.
I’ll be posting about such people on Wednesdays. And anyone else who does inspiring stuff.
With this in mind we designed the Netweb as a series of talks and networking events. This is for the exchange of experience, contacts and marketing yourself as the story behind your business/profession.
Netweb sessions consolidate both on and offline resources to develop people. What you do with the resources is up to you. The growth of a company I believe is determined by the events which occur during its existence. The same goes for people.
So if you want to accelerate your growth by being there as things happen, then the Netweb is for you. If not, then perhaps you should read the next post.
We have no inclinations of taking over the world. It would be great to know someone who can make that possible though.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The upcoming Netweb sessions is designed with this in mind. Who you know counts and is in most cases the reason for your progress.
Imagine for a second that all your questions can be answered by people directly around you in your circle. If of course you asked the right questions. Wouldn't that make all the difference?
Increase your 20% with relevant people. It's not about the numbers.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
With the current information overload only a few of the millions of ideas actually make it to our reach. This got me thinking that timing plays a very significant role in how ideas make it to people.
Those who know create exposure to the masses with relevant ideas get the front seat.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
The guys at that place rock and it's just an awesome place to hangout when in Newtown.
This event will prove a lot of the stuff we've been talking about with other entrepreneurs, that brands are people to begin with. Unlike the argument I've heard from some guys around my circles that funding builds a company.
The date will be confirmed soon. . . .
Thursday, July 10, 2008
There's a cool place called Sophiatown in Newtown that I'm working on getting. The guys who run the place are cool and their waiters are great. Anyone got other ideas out there?
Thursday, July 03, 2008
You build credibility through the value you add in your industry, company and even your community. When you hear the name Mike Stopforth your mind connects him with the 27 Dinner and creates conversation. Which reminds me of something Rich said recently, that the market will carve your offering according to individual needs.
Instead of setting out to be different or innovative, create conversation about yourself. We are all more likely to pay for a service offered by someone we've heard about. If your selling point is the difference. What happens when someone else offers the very same service as you?
The fact that people know what you do and how you do it doesn't mean they'll be able to.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
If you know the networking events you've been don't quite cut it. What do you think was missing for you?
We still meeting with a few sponsors and will be updating you with the developments.
Friday, June 27, 2008
I meet quite a number of so called "entrepreneurs" or at least they call themselves that, who are waiting for finance to start their business. Shouldn't a business start first, slowly fund its projects and then source funds to expand?
Questions to ask to rid yourself of the illusion:
1. Do I have a product?
2. Have we stoppped creating and are now waiting for finance?
3. Is there something a client can get from us?
Design a product or service people can buy and slowly fund yoiurself.
Afterall I don't work at a funding institution. . . .
Friday, June 13, 2008
Focusing efforts improves the marketing of new businesses and makes a company be known for something. If what you do is the extension of your character and this made evident in your company, then clients don't need convincing.
There isn't much "company" in an emerging business and service defines your strategy, which is also the selling point of your pitch.
You are the selling point of your service.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Most black guys I've spoken to don't know the first thing about blogging, which is why I would agree with Ismail D that a wee bit of education is important. But blogs tend to serve as the backdrop of a brand or something related. So the question of where the black bloggers are proves that guys are unaware of what's happening. The large number of blogs registered daily also makes it almost impossible for a newcomer, without a brand, to be recognized online anyway.
The web is exclusive to an extent and as a result increases the popularity of a few known individuals. It's this unintetional yet significant exclusion that makes all other bloggers, besides the black guys, become part of the background. Nic Haralambous got it right his post when he said we are online professionals neither black nor white.
It is true that some of the most popular blogs are written by white guys, but they've also been exposed to it more than anyone else. Mandy raised a very significant point about this in her post, which began this conversation and I think it should continue.
I'm sure one of many black bloggers, but the blog should speak for itself not my skin colour.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
After reading his book a few months ago it hit me that we had lost the fun we initially when we started. In all the things we build as a company, after all has been said and done, the basics that make any business succeed should be in place.
In reconnecting with your purpose you are then able to reject the work you shouldn’t be doing and focus on what makes you succeed.
Some significant questions he raised are:
- What is your purpose? (as a company)
- Why do you do what you do?
You can read his blog here or get the book.
It’s refreshing to find entrepreneurs that aren’t stiff and have me yawning as they speak.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
When developing a product which is a service offered, then you're selling the experience of what you've designed. In most instances the business I've lost was due to over-defining my offering without letting the experience speak for itself.
The product you offer:
- should be an experience your client wants use.
- must be the solution and do what it's meant to.
Once your prospects understand the solution you provide them, then their more likely to deal with you. We all link things with other similar services and products we know, which makes yours fall within the same category.
Are being the solution or only telling your prospects you will be?
Howard Mann (who'll be South Africa soon) described this as : Reaching the Top 3% of your Industry.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Young people aged between 16 and 40 are the very ones that freed most parts of the world so that we now have human rights. The era we live in requires us to be more vigilant in preserving the rights of less fortunate people around the world.
With the web being a powerful tool, blogging against human the abuse of human rights, it can be utilized to speak out and spread the word.
Can you imagine a world where you cannot speak your mind without the fear of imprisonment? Some people live in it. . . .
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
When designing a website one has to know :
- what the site is meant to do.
- what you’d like to achieve with it
- what the end user receives there or cares about in relation to your website.
The days of being one of few companies online are long gone, now anyone can have a website. And frankly no one cares about websites only the content there.
Is it more important then that a website is user-friendly and content driven as opposed to making it more eye-catching ?
People to my opinion care more about the content than how your website looks, though it shouldn't feel like sand behind the eyelids.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
In realizing and knowing that you are the needed change then your work becomes a personal activity. Everyone has their own story, which increases the fluidity of what you do and by this attract the relevant people to your cause.
Instead of going toward either the extreme of fitting-in or differentiating yourself completely from everyone else, which in turn makes you a recluse. Find your the magic in your yourself. . . . That is what differentiates you.
Friday, May 09, 2008
I'm not a firm believer in branding as, has been endorsed by popular jargon, but what I do encourage is that we create a need through product offering.
This ensures :
- that your client realizes and knows the value you add from the onset.
- a personalized service for an individual.
- you become partners with your client.
In my conversation with Mnqobi Nyembe, who has been in youth development and has done awesome work thus far, we reached a point where it had to be concluded where self starts and business ends. He's the kind of person whose experiences have contributed in fueling passion and his work is exactly that.
In packaging yourself you have to realize the services you'll render as a brand/individual, which don't need to have conventional elements fused into them.
That conversation was eye-opener and got me thinking of all the things that can aligned with my personality/brand/service.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
If it happens I always consider the facts of why it would and act on them, as inaction is the primary cause for the new death of new, potentially, life changing ideas. It is a given that at times we become own worst critic and can be our own raving fans also.
So whenever there seems to be negative self talk consider acting on that new idea. . . . The world needs it.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
We later found ourselves busy instead of working effectively. If you find yourself in this same place then ask yourself: Is this worth the time and money it promises?
There seems to be a lot of promises coming your way when you're focusing. Now we know that effectiveness means avoiding what you don't do and defining yourself through it.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Journalists are questioning and opinionated in their nature, which I think is the very reason they had the out to lunch column in the first place. Most of the articles written by David Bullard straddle controversy anyway. If you read this article which led to his canning then maybe someone might shed some light for me.
He looks only at the possibility of a South Africa without the arrival of settlers. Is this a more controversial issue than. . . . . . Just now someone comes looking for me too.
Monday, April 07, 2008
I normally go back to things I've read and relive the excitement as a means of fueling my enthusiasm. One of the reads I'm delving into is Seth Godin's Flipping The Funnel, which clearly states how you can turn people from strangers to customers who bring you more customers.
It's worth reading and re-reading if you're looking for ways to get beyond convention. If not then this post's not for you.
Friday, March 28, 2008
2 of the the people I met are Telana Simpson and Jo both from different industries yet proving that creativity is the common thread among the next generation of world leaders.
Mike is doing awesome work for business in SA and continues to grow the dinners, so if you know networking is key for your growth then attend one of their events and see for yourself.
Was Superman a nerd? Then I've just been turned into one.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
looking in, there are so many opportunities. We think we’ll be the ones to
revolutionize our industry and time, when in fact we should first be the best
at what we do.
Reaching the level of doing what you do at highly optimum levels first requires
that you clearly define what you do and reject what you don’t. At the moment in
South Africa there are loads of business opportunities and the fact is this hype
will soon end. But the only true entrepreneurs and logical thinkers will know
that the end one thing marks the beginning of another and another and another.
. . . .
First be known for what you do and make improvements to yourself where that’s
concerned then only thereafter create a set of rules that everyone else will
Thursday, March 20, 2008
When working with a client it is ideal to draft a contract that is inclusive of both company T&C’s. This means there is involvement right from the beginning and you can avoid unnecessary hiccups.
I am aware that watching paint dry is more exciting than red-tape and can affect human relationships. It was once referred to as the scissors with which snip corners of interaction. But once this has been customized then a pleasant partnership can be established.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Only you know how much you invest your time and utilize resources of significance to you and this pays off. Ideas are free I’ve heard on countless occasions, but once these are made tangible can have value to them.
Investing on your idea, which later becomes experience that the public buys into is determined by you. This can be in the form of time, money, association and refining your concept. Once concluded then you can proceed to implement the work required for the reward determinable by the experience offered.
The value perceived for your service is what people will give in exchange for it. Investing in your concept is determines what and how many people will pay for it.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
In making decisions about mentoring and your mentor there's a post on Goodnight Entrepreneur which led to this one.
I have found that newer entrepreneurs have very valid ideas for development, which aren't backed by the experience and subjective thinking.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
How do we even begin measure creativity between two of similar products or companies?
I have seen that most people who describe themselves as innovative are not, because you should be the living definition without saying it. So, what I ask myself lately is, am I being unconventional now or acting outside of known convention? This in itself could be a bit a premature but the fact is looking as though you’re out-of-a-box doesn’t mean you are out of your own.
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Reaching the objective of any work is dependant on how well relationships are between client and service/product provider. Social skills are key and these can be formulated through regular interactions.
If a service is to be offered efficiently, it will be traceable to how parties cooperate with each other. “Small companies” have an advantage as their company vision and image doesn’t get watered down through constant interpretation.
What excites me most, a wee bit more than having my desert as the main course, is that I’m able to continually revise my approach to suit individuals.
(Part 2 coming soon)
Thursday, February 28, 2008
The “real entrepreneurs” seek to outdo themselves not anyone else, which only begins by doing what you do. I might be opening a can of academically flawed but intellectually sound worms. Companies that lead in their market don’t do so by following a concept spearheaded by their competition, but design products and offer services that are better than their last.
Monday, February 25, 2008
I was speaking to Lantz a few moments ago and thought we should organize a course/tutorial entailing online content management as well as blogging resources. This will increase marketing outreach while providing information on managing your blog and keeping track of traffic. The web serves as a viable method of keeping/making contact withprospects and placing yourself strategically ensures that you attract relevanttraffic.
What are your thoughts around this? Is this an event that can be viable for you as a business or individual? We haven't yet confirmed a date for this event, will be inviting somebloggersand possibly a blog/web directory.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Why do some brands spend millions on marketing, endorsements and being on every billboard, while their contemporaies lag behind? I'm discovering that there's whole host of resources out there that make small companies more noticeable.
Consider spending sometime doing reasearch on how you can change your company's general public perception.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
With time we become so comfortable with our last accomplishment / award / breakthrough that we no longer repeat the same set of steps or behaviours. Last night we had an interesting discussion at home that led me to saying I always raise the bar on myself, the last time I did it no-longer counts.
Create inspiring days at all times. . . It starts with the imagination and we all have this.
Friday, February 15, 2008
He was really passionate about it and it wasn't the same as everything else I'd been to, where the speaker tries to motivate you, where it actually looks like they want a confirmation from you. It was exciting sitting there watching - as part of a very small audience - and feeling like jumping off my seat to work on things. Which is why it's so appropriate to write about this now after a week of his talk. It added value and if you work first from the basis of adding value as the purpose for any service, then it makes sense for people to use it.
I must say that I'm a wee bit sceptical about many speakers as it's really becoming an old tactic - yes a plot - to get people to listen things that wont add any real value thereafter.
The same mind that was grunting like an ape put Neil Armstrong on the moon, is writing this post and also reading it. Did you ever meet someone so exceptional at what they do, that want do it?
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
If you have a busines to run and have limited time - do you really read all their content before getting into it? It was a long read for me and as I write this post am a bit reluctuctant to use it- there seems to be a lot to know, especially if you're not tech savvy and realize the internet is one of your bases for marketing. On the one hand open source is great but it seems you need spend a lot of time reading through stuff and having someone implement it for you anyway.
It sort of takes away the fun of having done every single function in your comany including the website. When I have 4-hours to read, probably another day to implement Wordpress and some time to read through their forum regularly - I look forward to doing it. It just wont be soon though.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Lantz made a few recommendations - still does - based on my enquiry and noted that I should be consistent with my weapon of choice. Getting web traffic can be made easy through consistency and improving the mode selected. His expertise in developing and suggesting implementation plans have been the source of most of our online marketing mediums.
He is my "go to guy" who always offers new suggestions on what is slowly becoming the old web. Do you find it exciting being online? It just tends to feel like work at times if the routine doesn’t change. But if you know someone who makes it exciting to do it, then it just gets better all the time.
Technology for small business – and probably business in general – becomes another department on its own. But if you have a new business to run with a busy schedule then diverting your focus might be of more detriment than good. So who’s your go to guy or do you even have one?
Saturday, February 02, 2008
More will be posted about the seminar as more value and developments are added. But very briefly the seminar will be about marketing for you and your business. After numerous meetings and debates with the speakers we have concluded that people want to connect with other people even at buisness level.
Have you ever been to a seminar and thought you'll meet a lot of interesting people, but didn't have the nerve to introduce yourself to more than 10 individuals? Well I have . . . And the first few times I went to networking events I was lucky if met people in 3 other tables except my own. Both the speakers and myself will ensure that people make an exchange with a minimum of 15 people.
Friday, January 25, 2008
People are interested in other people thereby buying a concept that is closely linked to them as opposed to a similar quality product marketed to the same target. I figure that if the concept is current and continually refined then people will come back for more.
Friday, January 18, 2008
He is one of the you people want to meet and know you’d like to engage in conversation about their achievements and what their driven by. Or at least I wanted to meet. Have you ever thought that if you met a certain person you’ll know exactly what to ask them? This is was one of those encounters and you could tell he is genuinely interested in developing young entrepreneurs through his experiences. Sadly though there were time constraints that didn’t allow this.
He is one of the founders of the first black-owned BMW dealership in the Johannesburg CBD and they’ve also opened the first black-owned Volkswagen dealership. The energy he emitted during that short conversation was inspiring and enough set to aflame my desire to achieve the dream.
There is a TV advert done by Litha where he says: “When I was a little boy I dreamed of owning a BMW, but now at given time I own 40?” It’s quite a tear-jerker. . . . . Live your dream.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Shamillah Wilson of Sowilo Leadership Solutions introduced me to methods by which I can replace my own negative thoughts and actions with progressive actions, therefore the outcome. This process was fascinating as it allows you to direct yourself through daily, weekly and monthly actions plans that you implement, which contribute to your objectives. The results you attain are directly connected to the energy you emit and actions taken, which means everything you do has an impact on what you will achieve.
She enables you to realize a range of strategies by which you can approach your goals and understand where you’ll be once it happens. Did you ever want something and later realized it wasn’t fulfilling? Well I have, but understand now that it’s part of my development as a person and entrepreneur.
Are you being creative to get where you want to be? In most instances we want to arrive at a certain point of our lives, but don’t see how we are being to remain where we are. Having understood that planning to reach a certain place of my life requires vision it was disconnected to the person I have to be to accomplish that. So being in line with who should be to get there has to be reviewed at all times.
Are you always being who you know you should to get there?
Monday, January 14, 2008
It has now occurred to me that I should talk about people I meet, especially if you have a great business concept and are driven to succeed with everything you’ve got. If you want to create progress in the lives of other entrepreneurs through your experiences, then I’ll write about you in this blog over the next month.
I started this blog to add value to business people and one way of doing that is creating a conversation about you, your business concept and experiences yet while building your dream.
This connection between you and other entrepreneurs will prove that no energy projected is in vain. Have you ever thought that some of your hard work is not paying off? Well, I have but know now that some of it will benefit me later. This realization has led me to wanting to meet as many like-minded people as possible.
I’d like to meet more people who live only by the drive of their dream and those who have built on that foundation.
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Last month Thom Singer of Some Assembly Required (http://www.thomsinger.blogspot.com/) was blogging about celebrating your passion, which really had me stoked. I always thought there must be a single thread that is common among successful entrepreneurs and he proved this.
I'd really like to know from him what it is that keeps his energy levels so high and keeps him this excited about what he does. Most young business owners I've met are easily discouraged, which means there's something they don't know that only few do and Thom is one of these individuals.