All posts by Mike Mann

What’s Your Working Style: 4 Unique Styles

Anyone who’s paying attention to what’s going on in their company, either at a department level or companywide, knows that there are a few key people who make things work. You’ve probably noticed this on your own team; people have different work styles and some are more important to the team than others.

But the truth is that it’s combinations of different personalities and work styles that create a work environment that breeds successful ideas, executes well and prevents dysfunctional attitudes from poisoning the well. To generate that environment, you need these five working styles on your team.

The Soldier

Head down, Red Bull in hand, headphones on, getting done whatever job is in front of them—the Soldier is the workhorse of any team he finds himself on. Soldiers are producers, results-driven individuals who take satisfaction in checking everything off of their to-do list. Give them a goal, and they’ll set about making it happen. They don’t want to spend a lot of time strategizing; they just want to dive in and start working on a project.

Often traditional, resistant to change and focused on stability, Soldiers crave consistency from others and demand it from themselves. When they find a method that works, they’ll stick to it. Often, Soldiers are labeled as perfectionists. They often see relationships with others as a distraction from the task at hand, instead preferring to work on their own, without interference or dependence on other members of the team.

The Scholar

Innovative, visionary, and contemplative, Scholars are long-term planners who excel at exploring new possibilities and digging into the cutting-edge of everything. She develops well-thought-out plans for solving individual problems, weighing the costs and benefits, viewing every angle of the problem and has a back-up plan for multiple contingencies.

Scholars can be effective team leaders, but more often than not they’re more focused on the actual strategy and problem-solving part of team leadership rather than actually managing others. The ideal position for this working style is an analyst or strategic planning position. Set them upon a problem when you want a quick solution that you can then delegate to others to execute.

The Chief

This working style is a natural coordinator, natural leader, enforcer and organizer. Chiefs want to execute everything according to plan, and aren’t shy about giving direction for others to make sure they do it. Obviously, this style makes for an ideal team lead.

Chiefs are adept at directing others, taking abstract ideas from Scholars and applying the right team members to each particular task within those plans. They’re good at prioritizing and developing an organized structure out of seeming chaos. A Chief is focused on dealing with urgent demands first, and they want self-motivated team members to come up with solutions and implement the details of a plan without micromanaging.

The Empath

Empaths are adaptable, adjusting to change quickly and re-sorting their priorities according to the needs of the team as a whole. They like flexibility, not rigidly structured procedures. This preference leads them to run with changing requirements and unexpected roadblocks.

Empaths are relationship builders. They listen to others and incorporate their ideas and preferences into the way that they perform their tasks. If you’re coordinating with another department or team, this working style should be your ambassador. Empaths are often the glue that holds a team together and helps maneuver them through stressful times.

Building a Team

Don’t take these working style profiles the wrong way. Nobody’s personality or work style is static, and plenty of people have a little bit of each of these working styles in themselves. The key is to make sure that critical team roles are filled by the right people: a Chief as your team lead, Scholar as the strategist and first line of delegation, and Empaths and Soldiers manning the front lines to execute critical tasks.

You’ll know you have the right mix when things feel like they’re just clicking, even when it’s stressful. You’ve hopefully had the experience of working on a team like that. And if you haven’t, these profiles should help you select new team members that will make the difference.

Get the Right People on your Team

Once you have designed a profitable business strategy, it’s time to find the right people to execute that strategy. The right people will follow the plan and grow your business. The wrong people will only do enough to look like they are working and take home paychecks they haven’t actually earned. You will know the right people because of the enthusiasm and confidence they show. They will focus on how to make millions in profits.

Hire the Right People

The right people are enthusiastic about your business and internally motivated. They will push themselves to succeed before you need to push them. They will be teachable and also willing to learn new skill sets on their own. They will care less about their pay and more about getting the job done. They will be polite when suggesting alternatives and give you the final say. Most of all, they will respond well to your directives. The right people are not offended when you correct their work.

When you start a new business, your first employees are going to be partners. As exciting as it is to call a business your own, being a sole owner leaves you open to risk. Business partners assume some of that risk in exchange for a portion of ownership. When choosing partners, you must be extra cautious. You are unlikely to find highly motivated and committed partners through an ad on the Internet. Instead, look in your own professional network at people you have known for years. They often make the best partners or will have connections with other great potential partners.

Incentivize Hires in Your New Business

To ensure that only the right people apply to your new business, offer stock options along with modest salaries in your compensation plan. The modest salary ensures that the uncommitted don’t apply, and the stock options ensure that those interested in growing your business do apply. It may make sense later to change this compensation strategy, but it is an excellent one for starting out.

Bonuses for extra performance are also important. Employees who work extra hard to grow your company should be rewarded. Their efforts will set an example for others and raise the productivity of the whole team. Besides, it only makes sense for them to get a share of the profits that they personally made.

Avoid Corporate Politics

One thing the right people will not do is engage in political games. The last thing you need is to have employees competing with each other. You cannot beat your competitors if your employees don’t work together. Achieving success is a shared responsibility. You run a serious risk if you talk about your business as “mine” because it encourages employees to compete to be your “second.” I always say “we” when speaking about my businesses because that’s how to make millions—by uniting your employees behind the shared goal of making as much money as possible.

Fire When Necessary

At some point, you will have to let somebody go. Don’t let your resources be drained and fall behind the competition by keeping people on board that don’t enhance the organization.

To make millions, you need the right people on your team. You need partners and employees who will make growing your business their top priority. With their help, you can beat your competitors and achieve lasting success.

What are Best Practices?

My business book describes many “Best Practices.” A Best Practice is an ideal procedure for your business. It might be a certain hiring strategy, a certain production plan, or a certain marketing technique. You must employ a Best Practice in each of these areas to be successful. Get the right people on your team, find the most efficient way to produce your goods or services, and get your target audience to buy what you sell. Together, multiple Best Practices make up a business strategy that puts you ahead of your competition.

How to Identify Best Practices

To identify your Best Practices, test everything you do in your business. Document every procedure in your company and check it for efficiency. Make certain everything your business does is effective. To identify the Best Practices of other companies, study them and figure out what makes them successful. When you find their strength, you should figure out a way to imitate that strength or to capitalize on your existing strengths to surpass theirs.

The business book MakeMillions.Com highlights several excellent Best Practices for you to start with. Some of them are:

  • Pay attention to details, especially when communicating!
  • Be polite and patient with customers and clients
  • Work quickly and constantly strive to improve your practices
  • Spend 85% of your time on profitable activities and the remaining 15% on improvement
  • Make sure you and your team are constantly reading to stay up on new practices

The Origin of Best Practices: Kaizen

The concept of Best Practices actually comes from the Japanese term “kaizen,” meaning good and continuous improvement. Kaizen includes five principles: tidy, orderly, clean, standardized, and sustained.  An attractive and organized workplace that is free of clutter is key to maintaining productivity. Employees in such an environment will naturally be more efficient and effective. Then you can work to find what is most efficient and effective and make that your standard operating procedure. Once that standard is in place, you must work hard to sustain your success.

Best Practices depend greatly on context and will change as your industry changes. To sustain your success, you must review and revise your Best Practices often to make sure they are still best for your circumstances. To stay ahead of your competition, you will probably need to make changes in your products and services, your marketing, your business plan, or all of the above. Each time you make a change, your business will be stronger for it. You will be able to leverage your business to meet your goals.

Leverage your Best Practices for Success

Once you have identified the Best Practices for your business, you must use them to leverage your success. To implement a Best Practice, document it by describing the practice and offering a brief explanation of why it is best. You will remember the Best Practice better, and your team will be able to adopt it more easily. Once you and your team have adopted good procedures, you can focus on growth.

Your business strategy must constantly evolve as the market changes. Your target audience may grow, shrink, alter their preferences, or change in other ways. You must adapt with them in order to keep your edge in the market.

Everything you do in your business must be bankable. While there are some necessary activities that do not make money, the vast majority of what you do should generate strong profits. When you get to this level of operation, you will never need to worry about breaking even. Instead, you will be able to focus on staying ahead of your competition and keeping the market share you need to succeed.

Take Nothing for Granted: Choose a Good Name!

To set your business up for success, you must choose a good business name. The wrong name can set you up for failure regardless of what you do, while the right name can give you a huge starting boost. Your name needs to be easily found online, and it needs to describe what you do. It must also be catchy. Your name must survive for years while your company gets established and builds a reputation.

Choose a Business Name and Logo Your Customers Like

You need to reach out to your target audience and find out what name will draw them in. Use MTurk.com to find out what name consumers may like. For $50, you can get hundreds of votes on a business name that will bring customers in. However, do not assume just because you’ve never heard of the name before that no one is using it. Even if you can trademark the name with the US Patent and Trademark Office, you should make certain that no one in another country is using the name.

Choosing a memorable logo is just as important as selecting a good name. Use MTurk.com to find out what logo is most appealing to your customers. You must also scour the market to make certain your logo is not too much like any other company’s logo. It is not wise to deliberately choose a logo like your competitor’s in the hope of stealing customers, as that will probably land you in court.

Leave Yourself Room To Grow

When you file for incorporation, the form asks you to describe what your business will do. Leave yourself room to grow by listing “to engage in all lawful activity” as the purpose of you business. If you limit yourself to “selling widgets,” it will be illegal for you to expand your business beyond selling those widgets. You may find years down the road that you need to change industries to keep your business alive. For example, IBM is now primarily a consulting company. DuPont began as a gunpowder company but now makes all sorts of synthetic chemicals. Like them, your business may have to change drastically as the market changes.

Keep Improving and Take Nothing for Granted

Upon opening for business, you must constantly recheck everything you are doing. Keep a close eye on the market. It will change daily, as will the preferences of your customers. What sells products today may not sell them tomorrow, so don’t take even your most successful marketing campaigns for granted. Try new sales strategies regularly and measure the results.

Don’t assume that the way you began operating is the best simply because you are meeting your costs. New and better ways of manufacturing products and providing services are constantly being invented, and those who adopt them gain a strategic advantage. You must constantly watch your industry—and even other industries—for any new trends and respond accordingly.

In order for your business to succeed, you must choose a good business name, write a flexible plan, and assemble a great team who know how to constantly improve their work. Your success will come as you follow Best Practices and constantly watch the industry and your target audience to keep up with changes that will come.

Take Nothing for Granted: Write a Plan!

The market changes rapidly, and you must constantly change with it. You can never take anything for granted, especially what happens within your organization. Your business will never make millions unless you constantly reexamine every process in your company. Never assume that you will be profitable tomorrow because you are profitable today.

Get the Right People on Board

Your team is crucial, and you cannot succeed without them. Make sure you hire the right people, and make sure that they fit together well. If any member of your team does not buy into the vision of your business, they will hold you back. Motivation is more important than their skill level. Of course they need to have the skills, but they also must want to build your company. They must also be able to follow your lead without always needing to be told what to do.

Offering stock options is a great way to find employees who are truly committed. Skilled applicants who are willing to take a lower salary in exchange for stock options will be motivated to help the company succeed. This approach will also help minimize your losses if your business venture fails for some reason.

Write a Business Plan

No business is going to make millions without a well-prepared plan. Not only do you need to be able to show your plan to investors, but you need to be able to review and revise it constantly. Writing it down can reveal key weaknesses you need to fix. If you do not see any weaknesses as you write it down, look again. Never assume that your plan is the best it can be.

Write your plan for investors and not just employees. Keep your plan simple and easy and never assume that your readers know what you are talking about. Make certain that each sentence in your plan can only be interpreted one way. Since each investor will look for different things, your plan must be very detailed but easy to navigate. To help them find what they need, use a lot of headings so that readers know exactly where to look. Try to explain as many things in graphs and charts as you reasonably can. They are much harder to misinterpret than prose, and many investors prefer looking at them to reading anyway. Avoid too many buzzwords and explain any you do use.

Execute Your Plan

With a good team and a solid plan, you are ready to make millions. Your plan will detail your Standard Operating Procedures and provide your employees with the direction they need. When you put it into action, you may decide that adjustments need to be made. Make sure you write those adjustments down in your plan for your investors and new employees to see. New employees should know exactly how your company works by reading the plan, which will save you on training time.

When you choose the right people, write an excellent business plan, and put it into action, you set yourself up for success.

Finding the Right Industry for You

If you want to start a business, the ideal industry is one that you both have previous experience in and a high degree of knowledge about. However, this may be impractical if the industry is oversaturated or is not a good source of money at the moment. In such cases, you need a backup plan.

The Right Backup Plan

Most people make the mistake of choosing an industry they have experience but little interest in, but it is actually better to do the opposite. If you need a backup to your ideal plan, it is better to go with a field you are passionate about but lack experience in. You can always educate yourself in the industry as you get started. It’s the passion you feel that will provide the drive you need to be successful.

You should begin by looking for an under-served market that strongly interests you. Identify a need in that market that you can train yourself to fill. Then start reading everything you can about that industry, particularly in trade journals and business periodicals. Find people who are willing to be mentors for you as you get started.

One possibility you should consider is to find a specialty role in a particular industry. In an oversaturated market, for example, you could specialize in a particularly difficult skill that few people in that industry possess. You could also fill a supporting role in an industry that interests you, such as marketing computer software rather than programming it.

Transferrable Skills

You will find that a lot of skills from your previous work experience will transfer to your new business, even if you have never run a business before. All businesses require strategic planning skills and an ability to analyze problems. They also all require an ability to multitask and manage time well. No matter what field your previous career has been in, you have probably learned these skills to some extent. You have hopefully become proficient in communicating and interacting with others. With these traits, you can become successful.

Some specific skills transfer readily from one industry to another, such as statistical analysis or working with databases. Nearly every industry now uses statistics in some way, and every company has some sort of database. Other transferrable skills, however, are not as obvious. For example, if you previously worked in tech support, you learned many customer relations skills that you can apply to client management. If you were a car mechanic, you learned some complex problem-solving skills that could help you enter the IT industry.

The Importance of Research

Before you start your venture, you need to do some market research. Businesses only survive if they produce products and services that people want. Figure out who your target audience is and incentivize them to participate in a survey. In this way, you can find out what they want and what will motivate them to buy what you offer.

When you plan your survey, try to survey a variety of people and get a large sample size. Prepare your questions carefully to differentiate between segments of your target audience. Marketing efforts are always more effective when they are targeted toward specific groups. Your survey can help you determine what groups from your population you should focus on in your business. This way, you will be able to begin operations without making too many uninformed guesses.

Having picked the right industry and done proper research, you are well on your way to a successful start. From here, the key is to stay motivated and passionate about what you’re doing and give it your all. It is time to turn your research into a business plan and start looking for the capital you need to begin working. Success will come as you apply your passion to your chosen industry and use your market research as a plan of action.

Mankind is Your Business

If you read A Christmas Carol or watched one of its many film adaptations during the last Christmas season, you may recognize the statement, “mankind was my business.” If Ebenezer Scrooge were a businessman in today’s world of social media, he probably would not be very successful. Businesses must focus on people to be successful. You can offer excellent products and services, but if they don’t fulfill a need, you won’t find any buyers. On the other hand, if you meet people’s needs, they will come back to you, and they will bring their friends with them.

Focusing on People

It is people who make your company profitable, not products and services. Customers, employees, and investors are the most important resources in any business venture. Your products and services are solutions to your customer’s problems and sources of revenue for your employees, investors, and you. Thus, products and services are means to the end (making a profit), and not the end itself. While most business owners already know this, it can be easy to forget when bogged down in day-to-day operations.

Employees and investors want you to make as much money for them as possible, while customers want you to make as little money off of them as possible. The tension between these two groups will always be felt in business. Because you know your employees and investors personally but not your customers, it is easier to pay them their due attention as people. In the end, however, you must make your customers happy in order to pay your employees and please your investors. If you give the needs of each group—customers, employees, and investors—their due attention, you will be able to find the proper balance.

An “Organic” Approach to Business

In search engine optimization, the term “organic” refers to links to your site that people naturally create when they mention you in their blog or talk about you in online news forums. The term “organic” also applies when they ‘like’ you on Facebook or tweet about you on Twitter.

The Best Practices of Internet marketing require companies to focus on their customers as people. The same techniques that produce organic links to your website also produce pleased customers. Companies that don’t focus on people don’t get the organic links and social media chatter they need to rank on the Internet. And therefore, they are not visible to customers. On the other hand, companies that do focus on people will gain both organic links and social media attention. They will earn customer trust and referrals.

The Right Way to Please Customers

An “organic” business approach is one that pleases customers. Many customers have high expectations, and it can seem daunting to please them. However, there are ways to meet and even exceed your customer’s expectations that won’t break the bank.

First, do market research to find out what your target audience truly wants. Then, make it your whole focus to design products and services that go beyond your customer’s wants. This will pleasantly surprise them, earn their loyalty, and connect them with your brand. After that, you must keep producing high-quality products and services that will maintain that connection. This approach to business may be easier said than done, but it is essential to a people-centric focus.

When you meet your customer’s needs, they talk about you. When you meet their needs spectacularly, they actively market for you!

A Long-Term View

If you’re not looking ahead, you’re falling behind. At all times, you must be looking toward the long-term future of your business or charity. This requires intense focus, hard work, and an ability to multitask. You must set demanding goals and simultaneously pay attention to the big picture and small details. Above all else, you must have full confidence in yourself. There is no room for self-doubt in business.

Setting the Right Goals

While goals about next month’s revenue or this year’s product sales are important, they are not enough. You must also set goals for the years ahead. A successful business plans three or more years ahead and sets appropriate targets to meet along the way. If you are not constantly working for a goal beyond the current fiscal year, you may lose sight of your vision. Meanwhile, your competitors who do focus on the future will rush past you and claim more market space.

Your goals should challenge you. If they seem easy to achieve, you will not reach your potential. The best goals will seem a little beyond your ability—the route to the finish line will not seem totally clear. James Collins and Jerry Porras defined such goals as “BHAGs” in their book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies. BHAGs are “big, hairy, audacious goals.” BHAGs encourage creative thinking and problem solving that will open doors to new possibilities. You can only become aware of opportunities if you are looking for them. Along the way, set achievable targets that will serve as mileposts on the way to your BHAG.

Splitting Your Attention with Focus

There are only so many hours in the day. Most people work as many of those hours as they can. The only way to get ahead is to be more efficient during those hours by using Best Practices. To do so, you must focus on many tasks and projects at once. You also must take care when splitting your attention to look at details. By nature, multitasking leads to a quality loss unless you take care to avoid it. Focusing on details enables you to maintain top quality on multiple projects.

When examining the details of many projects at once, it can be easy to forget the big picture. You must always keep your ultimate vision in mind as you look at each individual project. One way to accomplish this is to limit your projects to only those that accomplish your BHAGs best. Being the best in your market space is what makes you successful, and that requires a big-picture view to achieve.

Maintaining Your Confidence

Confidence comes with direction. If you have set a BHAG and appropriate milestones along the way, you set the stage for confidence. Confidence also comes from knowing your talents and knowing the industry. Staying up to date by reading articles and going to conferences is a critical part of maintaining your confidence and keeping your skills sharp.

However, you will make mistakes. It is crucial that you do not let mistakes shake your confidence. When you feel confident, you can make decisions faster and respond faster to the demands of our rapidly changing economy. If you feel self-doubt, your decisions will always be made after hesitation, and your more confident competitors will beat you to the finish.

Winning Success

With a solid plan, challenging goals, and confidence, you are on the path to success. When you split your attention between the details of each task and the overall vision, you ensure that you stay on that path. The only ingredient remaining is motivation, and that comes with passion, which we talked about earlier. When motivated, you will reach your goal. To stay motivated, you must find something that drives you. For some, it is charity. For others, it is providing for a family. The best motivator comes from deciding what you most want out of life and making it what you work for.

Please share your thoughts on what your vision is. What goals do you set, and what motivates you to get there?

Buying and Selling Domains

One of my companies, DomainMarket.com, operates under a set of principles that has proven successful again and again. My team buys domains that are very keyword heavy, intuitive, and easy to spell. Some of those domains are simply sold to other customers later. With others, we actually start a company with that domain name and then sell the whole company once it starts operating profitably and smoothly.

How do we indentify these names that we buy and sell? Well, that comes with experience. We look for highly brandable names that people will search for in the future. There are literally millions of niches in the marketplace, and we have only scratched at the surface of the possibilities for good quality domain names that fit our criteria. If you look at DomainMarket.com, you can see countless examples of what we’re talking about. Suppose you want to go into the religious travel business. You can purchase the domain SacredJourneys.com from us, which is perhaps the most intuitive name out there for this type of business. The vast majority of our domains are similar—they are already optimized for a given market because their names are based on keywords in that market.

How to Buy a Domain

The easy part of buying a domain is finding one to buy. With some domains, finding the owner is easy (particularly if it’s owned by BuyDomains.com or DomainMarket.com); with others, finding the owner can be challenging. After locating the owner, you simply negotiate a price and sign the paperwork that reregisters the domain name to you. You want to complete the purchase quickly. Also, be aware that oral contracts are usually binding, so you need to be able to back up whatever you offer.

Upon gaining the domain, you do not want to just sit on it. Obviously, you have no intention to if you’re buying the domain for yourself. If you are buying it to sell it to others, you want to make money with it in the meantime. A cheap way to do this is to use it for lead generation, perhaps by linking it to other domains you own. Our preferred method is to start a small skeleton company with the domain and nurture it until the company is successful enough to add tangible value to the domain.

How to Sell a Domain

The best price to sell a domain at is completely contextual. It often depends on the domain itself, how well known the buyer is, and how strong the financial industry is. A domain purchase price is based more on willingness to pay than on supply and demand. The seller will guess the buyer’s maximum willingness to pay and try to secure that price.

If you want to make your domains easy to sell, they need to be easy to find. The best way to make them easy to find is to have a central sales domain and use lead generation to link all your other domains to that sales domain. This way, your domain list can be found more easily, and if a potential buyer happens to land on the domain they wish to buy, they can easily link to that domain list and make a purchase right away.

Why Buy a Domain

At this point, buyers may be wondering why they should buy an intuitive domain from a domain market rather than simply using an unclaimed but less intuitive site. The answer lies in how easy it is to optimize the domain. It can be much harder to get a less intuitive domain to the top of search engine rankings than a more commonly searched domain.

Suppose someone is looking to travel to a small island resort for their vacation. They don’t want to go to a big tourist trap with huge hotels right on the beach. They might search for “private island vacation spots.” If your domain is PrivateVacationIslands.com, it will probably show up before IntimateIslands.com in the search results purely because it matches their search terminology more closely, all other things being equal. (Of course, search engine optimization will factor in here as well.) And both domains are likely to appear much higher in rankings than WannaPrivateIlesVac.com, which is neither intuitive nor easy to spell. In fact, it’s not even easy to read since capital-i looks identical to lowercase-l in most fonts! Furthermore, “vac” is often considered short for vacuum instead of vacation.

Not only do search engines find a keyword-heavy and intuitive domain name more easily, but so do people. If you want a website that truly generates money, you need it to be easily found and easily remembered. Then customers will come back to it again and again. Don’t forget that many customers happen upon your site while researching options with no intention of buying yet. If you stand out from your competitors due to a memorable domain name, they are much more likely to return to you once they are ready to make a purchase.

Domains names are critical. Making millions and encouraging change can only happen when you get your message in front of lots of eyes. A good domain name can do that—not just once, but repeatedly.

Passion for Your Work

Starting and growing a new business is not to be undertaken lightly, nor is it for everyone. It requires a huge amount of passion and internal motivation. The importance of being passionate about what you do cannot be overstated. Whether you are starting a new business or working for someone else as a career, you must be passionate about what you do.

The Importance of Passion

If you want to be successful in any venture, you must be passionate about it. Anything you undertake—a business, a career, charitable work, or a run for office—will eventually falter if it’s not constantly fueled by passion. The late CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, once said that passion is by far the most important element of success. He suggested that one can be happy at a job others consider menial if one enjoys it. In addition, Daniel Pink emphasized passion in a Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED) conference when he stated that internal motivation matters far more than pay when it comes to doing one’s best.

Steve Jobs and Daniel Pink are echoed in recent research on zookeepers that finds they are more satisfied with their jobs than the average worker. They enjoy taking care of animals so much that they are willing to take a really low salary ($10,000+ less than a public school teacher) so they can have the privilege of taking care of animals all day (Source: Thompson, Marriott School of Management, 2010). Those who are passionate about what they do will help grow your business. People who are not passionate and who you must constantly motivate won’t; they will drain you dry.

Finding Passion

If you are trying to find passion within yourself, get ready for a long journey. It takes a lot of experimenting to find what truly motivates you. Simply being passionate about accumulating money is not enough. You need to be passionate about what you do to accumulate it. When you find a role that keeps you constantly excited and engaged, you have found your passion. Your passion may lead you to becoming an entrepreneur.

As an entrepreneur starting your own business, keep in mind that your business can only succeed if you get the right people on your team. They need to be just as passionate as you are about what you do. They will probably lack your entrepreneurial drive (which is good; otherwise they would start competing businesses), but they cannot lack passion for what your business does. Make certain each person on your team firmly believes in your product or service and your goals for success.

Maintaining Passion

Running your own business is a full-time ordeal that will always include elements you are not passionate about. Maintain your focus on the elements that will drive the business and don’t let tasks that seem unpleasant slow you down. Your passion will keep you striving to perform at a high level no matter the task. For example, the domain market requires both a passion for sales and a passion for intense market research. DomainMarket.com is successful only because its employees are passionate about both. You must be passionate about each critical aspect of your business to be successful.

Look ahead to see what skill sets in your business require passion. You can find people who are passionate about accounting, human resources, and technical support. If they share some degree of your passion for your overall product or service, they will be excellent additions to your team. By depending on your team to maintain their passion for their respective responsibilities, you can more easily maintain your passion about the overall vision of your business.

Fighting with Passion

Your secret weapon against your competitors is your passion. Unless you are venturing into completely uncharted market space, you will already have competitors (and if you open new market space, competitors will arise quickly). Most industries are already “over-saturated”, due to the laws of supply and demand. If you want to compete, you must crush your competitors and/or increase the demand. You can achieve both through maintaining a high degree of passion. Your passion will motivate you to work harder and smarter than your competitors. If your passion is contagious, you will also make your customers passionate about your product.

Growing Passion

Because of social media, the most important advertisements of your product or service are your customers. If a consumer hears about your product or service, their first reaction is to go to someone else for information about it. They are unlikely to trust anything you say until more than one of your customers tells them that you are great. Then they will come to you, listen to how your product or service will fit their needs, and try it out. Upon discovering that it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, they will share it with their friends and grow your market share.

Make the cultivation and careful use of passion your goal. No other element will ensure your success like passion will. What do you do at present to maintain your passion, cultivate passion in your employees, and inspire that passion in your target audience?