Posts Tagged ‘positivity’

Small Rocks Can Transform the World

Friday, April 8th, 2011

James Marshall was a carpenter from New Jersey, born in 1810. In the late 1840s he was hired by John Sutter to build a sawmill near Coloma, California. The sawmill was being built to provide lumber to the Sacramento Valley.

As Marshall and his men worked to build the sawmill in the American River, they soon realized that the water in that particular section was too shallow. There wasn’t enough water coming through to turn the wheel which powered the saw. They had to shut the water off to dig a deeper trench for the water to pass through.

On Monday January 24, 1848, Marshall was inspecting a section of the river below the mill when he spotted shiny metal flakes resting on some exposed bedrock. He took the metal back to Sutter where the two tested the metal privately. It was gold.

Between 1848 and 1850, the population of San Francisco increased from 1,000 to 25,000. People poured into Northern California. Merchants popped up everywhere, supporting the miners with goods and services. And as the gold became more difficult to find, technological advancements helped the miners move and sift through an enormous amount of dirt. The gold rush truly transformed California and, over time, the entire country.

Here are a few applications from this story:

  • Only a small percentage of miners actually struck it rich, and yet people kept coming to California because of the allure that gold has. How can you better market and promote your goods and services in order to generate an increased level of appeal?
  • No one goes into the mine looking for dirt. They go in to look for gold, and yet there’s a lot of dirt that has to be moved in order to reach the gold. Ultimate success for you depends on your level of commitment, patience, and positivity. You will have to dig through some dirt, but don’t stop until you hit the gold.
  • That one speck of gold that Marshall discovered in 1848 was a small ripple that eventually generated a tidal wave of transformation throughout the country. You, your employees, and your company also have the potential to make a big impact on more people than you realize. The small investments you make today in your business can pay enormous dividends in the future. You never know. So, be aware of the kind of brand you are building. Be mindful of the people you surround yourself with. And be careful in how you treat others.
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Business Owners – What To Do When Times Are Slow

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

There are wonderful benefits to owning a company, but growing the business takes an incredible amount of work, dedication, and patience. The farmer doesn’t see the results of his labor as soon as the seed is planted. In like manner, the young entrepreneur can’t expect immediate returns on his investments. Times will be good. Times will be bad. In the years that I have been running my business I have experienced quite the roller coaster ride. During slow periods, it’s important to make good use of your time and plant sees from which future successes will grow.

  1. Don’t Be Negative. I place this one at the top of the list, because we have all experienced feelings of discouragement, despair, and hopelessness. However, it’s important to remain positive. Negativity will result in apathy, which will do nothing for your business.
  2. Attend Networking Events. When other projects consume most of your time, you can’t afford to attend social events. However, when business slows, take advantage of opportunities to get out and meet new people. The relationships you develop today will benefit you in the future.
  3. Follow Up On Existing Leads. As I’ve mentioned on this blog before, I like to use Gmail as my email client. It allows you to create labels to easily organize and archive your messages. I have an entire list of conversations labeled “Leads.” When I have a slow period, I go back through those contacts to see if there are any deals I can close. When things are busy, it can be easy to overlook an existing lead, so take the time to follow up.
  4. Brush Up On Local Business News. Keeping up to date on what’s happening in your market is a great way to find new leads. Subscribe to the local business journal, or follow blogs that provide local business content. Staying on top of current business events will help you to better understand how your products and services can help those around you.
  5. Improve Your Marketing Efforts. Re-examine your brand. How are you reaching out to others? Is it time for your website to be updated? Have you neglected your blog, or other social media profiles? Sometimes when business is slower I take a look at my demo reel to see how I might re-organize it and improve it. You might also consider creating and sending a free monthly e-newsletter (see my sign up form to the right of this page) or writing an informative article and submitting it to local publications. Think of anything that will help you get your name out in front of people.
  6. Practice Your Craft. If you are a photographer, cinematographer, writer, graphic designer, or web designer, you can take advantage of slow times by improving your skill set. Create some work on spec. Get out and shoot something. Update your portfolio. If you are an editor who really needs to learn more about using After Effects, sign up for a class and learn something new. Watch some tutorials. The quality of your work will only get better.

For a business owner, slow times can be frustrating, but staying busy and staying productive are the keys for staying successful. Invest in yourself and your business. Use your time wisely. The small seed planted today will grow into a strong plant, if properly cared for.

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    Surrounded By Positivity

    Thursday, June 11th, 2009

    Periods of uncertainty often plague both the freelancer and the small business owner. Staying motivated is key, and everyone has their own methods of self-inspiration. Many people surround their work area with inspiring quotes, just to maintain an aura of postivitity. Here’s a little nugget that I keep taped to my desk. I refer to it from time to time when negative thoughts start creeping in. I’d be intereted to know how you stay motivated.

    This is the beginning of a new day.

    God has given me this day to use as I will.

    I can waste it or use it for good.

    What I do today is very important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it.

    When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, leaving something in its place I have traded for it.

    I want it to be gain, not loss – good, not evil,

    Success, not failure in order that I shall not forget the price I paid for it.

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