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Thursday, August 30, 2012

What do you fear? Part 1

Original artwork by Leonard Wilson, Jr.

"Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure." - M. Williamson

In Chapter 4 of My Flexibility Manifesto: Following Your Passion 2 Success, I discuss fear. In my research, I discovered that most people fear failure.  Digging deeper, I realized that the fear of failure only touches the surface of the problem.  By stating "I fear failure, an individual is confessing the fear of something bigger.  More than likely, fearing failure is a coverup for fearing the possibility of disappointing someone.  

That someone could be yourself, your parents, your friends, your family, your peers, your sorority sisters, etc.  The definition of failure is socially constructed; society created it.  Thus, society through media and interpersonal connections inevitably built pressure on you to achieve certain goals.

It isn't unreasonable to consider that a majority of our goals are socially constructed.  Through our interactions with information and people, each individual is expected to be something (of importance and significance).  No one wants to be a "loser" in the eyes of our social circle and family.  Furthermore, it does not matter if that something that people expect from us is positive or negative.  Unfortunately, some people are expected to fail.  It is dependent on the individual (you) to meet those expectations or reject them altogether.  

Part 2 will discuss how to overcome your fear of failure.  

If you have not had the chance to read my recently published book, I am giving the PDF version via email for FREE.  Simply email me at Leonard.Wilson.Jr@gmail.com, with the subject "eBook reviewer."  I only ask for an honest review in return that you would write on Amazon.  If you are interested in the Kindle or paperback version, those are available on Createspace and Amazon.  Thank you.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

What customers want from all businesses

A satisfied customer shows her satisfaction.

If you plan to be successful in creating a service-based or product-based business, you have to consider the customer's experience in purchasing your product or service.  Here is a list of traits a customer looks for:

  1. Low Price: Pricing ties in directly to public perception of a company and its products or services. For example, Apple offers higher costs products that are of high quality.  Because of the expected higher quality, people are willing to pay top dollar for an Apple product.  However, Apple may lose potential customers because of the products' higher costs.  On the opposite end, more people may buy Dell products than Apple products because of the lower costs.  The lower the costs, the more affordable a product line becomes and reaches more potential customers.  Apple has a different business strategy and focuses on a particular segment of the consumer base.  They prefer more affluent consumers than Dell.  Dell wants to be in everyone's home, thus they charge lower for their technology products. 
  2. High Quality: This speaks for itself.
  3. Top Customer Service: Although Apple is mainly known as a product-based business, they implement a strong customer service philosophy.  Therefore, their goods are known as facilitating goods.  A facilitating good is any physical entity accompanying a transaction that adds value.  The masterminds at Apple are always asking "How can we add value to our customers' lives?"  If you create a business that focuses on this single question, you will stand out in any industry.  Guaranteed.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Guest Post: Andrea Wilson, CEO of DopeAzzHeels




If you didn't know, creativity, entrepreneurship, and rebelliousness runs in my family.  My sister, hence the same last name, designs footwear (samples of her work featured above).  She can take the simplest pair of heels or sneakers and add her magic to them.  Amazingly, she has built contacts and relationships with reality television stars from Bad Girls Club featured on the Oxygen network and various artists.  I asked her to inform my readers how she did it.  Enjoy!  Sis, take it away.


Before I started my own business I attended school full-time and I worked full-time. I remember sitting in class not being happy with where my life was headed and seeing that I have always had a love for fashion and art, I decided to start my own business. Traditionally, as a child you are taught after high school you go to college. Although I did not want to disappoint my parents, I knew I would be happy waking up the rest of my life with a fashion based career. Faith played a huge part in this decision. Society stresses to everyone you must have a college degree. I took the nontraditional route, instead of listening to society I took a leap of faith and God caught me. To everyone following their passions, I just stress to pray and never give up. At that moment you feel yourself giving up could be the moment you hit the big break you have always wanted. When chasing your dreams, you have to give it your all, 100 % dedication and surround yourself with positive people that will push you to the next level and eliminate those that don’t! 

How can people reach you for shoe orders?

My email where people can send custom shoe requests is Dopeazzheels@gmail.com.

Then I have a big cartel site that's under construction at

http//www.StilettoMonroe.bigcartel.com

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

How to deal with difficult people

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion." - Colossians 3:12
Last night I shared a necessary venting session with my beautiful wife.  Like anything of importance in my life, I need to express myself through writing.  Thus, I am sharing with you a very disturbing event that recently took place recently in my life.  

Some of you may know that I am a graduate student in a MBA program in Memphis, Tennessee.  I attend Union University, a private, Christian-based University.  Thus, the students and professors are expected to behave in Christian-like behavior.  Currently, I am taking an Operations Management course that meets for eight-weeks, one night per week. The scheduled class time is 6:00 P.M. through 10:00 P.M every Tuesday.  This class has been going for four weeks now.  The major complaint that I and some of my classmates have is the excessive story-telling that the professor uses during every meeting.  

On this particular night, the professor had a short chapter to discuss and teach.  The class already read the chapter before class as assigned.  Thus, the only duty of the professor is to add to the chapter and clarify any confusion.  Nonetheless, the material could have been thoroughly covered in about two hours time.  How do I know this?  Well, first, I read the chapter.  Second, I possess a master's degree in teaching.  Third, I taught for two years, which required extensive lesson-planning and quality instruction.  Thus, I understand how to instruct a classroom; I can not say the same for this particular instructor.  He literally wasted two hours of the instructional time with superfluous stories about his professional experiences as a consultant.  

I regress.  I recognize that every graduate student is different.  We have different expectations and toleration for frustrating circumstances and boring material.  For me personally, I felt insulted that this instructor choses to waste valuable class time and our time as adults by telling us stories I personally consider superfluous.  I recognize that not everyone feels the same way.  Moving forward, the cohort MBA class is suppose to have one break for 15-minutes and we would be dismissed 15-minutes early.  This time arraignment came directly from the professor's mouth.  Besides wasting a large portion of our lives with his "old-war" stories in manufacturing and business operations, he waits until the last minute to give us the most important information of class.  Why?  Where is the logic supporting this practice?  As a teacher of working adults taking a long night-class, why would you delay the most valuable information until they are sleeping, hungry, and barely focused?  It makes no sense.

Subsequently, as I anxiously wait for him to discuss the mid-term exam (coming next week) and team presentation (week seven) information, he continues to babble with long, boring, often off-topic stories.  As times elapses, I glance at my watch, it is now 9:45 P.M.  At this time, I am hungry, anxious to see my family, and frustrated at the lack of on-topic information presented.  As he finally discusses the exam, he does not tell us what will be on the exam specifically, but like a high school teacher, he informs us of the actual exam structure such as multiple-choice questions, essay questions, etc (which is already listed in our syllabus and has been previously discuss on the first meeting of class).  As quiet as a mouse, I grab my things and silently move towards the door.  Suddenly I hear, "Where do you think you're going?"  I stop, turn around, and respond "It's 9:45, I have to go."  His response is "We still have to talk about team stuff."  I shake my head, "It's 9:45, I have to go."  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Great information, reasonable price, eBook to help you find or create work you love

My Flexibility Manifesto: Following Your Passion 2 Success is available for purchase.  I promise you will love it.
Add to Cart
Print copy available at https://www.createspace.com/3942348.  

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What is better for solopreneurs? A product-business or service-business?


"If you are true to your authentic self, there is no competition."  -- Shayna Rattler, owner of Success Unlimited, LLC

My entrepreneurial goal is to create a business that allows me to be hands-off.  I want to work on the business, not in the business. To elaborate, when I owned and operated Wilson’s Chem-Dry of Bartlett, a carpet-cleaning franchise, I was working in a business.  I bought myself a full-time job disguised as a business opportunity.  Without any employees to delegate tasks to, I was responsible for marketing, accounting, customer service, carpet cleaning, equipment maintenance, etc.  I loved the autonomy; however, I quickly grew mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted.  That exhaustion led to a decrease in motivation, lack of business growth, and feelings of burnout.  Several months later, I was tossing business brochures in the trash.  So as I increase my focus on building my business acumen through graduate studies, business books, podcasts, and workshops, I am currently overwhelmed with several business ideas that focus on products, services, and mixtures of both.  

As a fan of business innovators Chris Guillebeau, Dan Miller, and Tim Ferris and their respective published works, I am leaning towards a product-business.  So, what does a product-business mean?  A product-business produces a tangible good like a cell phone, a laptop or a coffee maker.  When running a product-business, your business has minimal contact with clients.  Because you produce tangible goods, the quality of your business is easy to measure.  Additionally, a product-business relies on equipment-intense production.  

What specifically appeals to me about a product-business that you should consider in your own business pursuits?  As previously stated, I do not want to create a business that requires me to do all the work.  That is too draining for me at the age of 28.  Ideally, I could hire employees, but that requires me to manage those employees, train those employees, and pay those employees.  That is too much of a headache.  I desire a business that generates revenue without the need for employees.  A product-business is not labor intensive and does not require extensive contact with clients.  Perfect.  A business that is automated, runs smoothly, and systems-dependent not owner-dependent is a strategic business built for long-term success.  A strategic business must be properly designed to be able to function without an owner.

Thus, the ultimate business goal for any entrepreneur, specifically a solopreneur, is to design a highly profitable business that runs automatically while you manage it and worth a fortune when you sell it.  A service-based business that depends on you will not be worth much without you.  The probability that anyone would want to buy a service-based business dependent on ownership will not bring you wealth.  

A great example of a produce-business or product-based business is Dan Miller’s 48 Days website.  On this website, Dan has a valuable online store front that features books, compact discs, DVDs, personality profiles, workshops, and more for sale.  Thus, Dan earns profits while he sleeps, blogs, writes books, records his podcast, interacts with clients, etc.  That is a systems-based business that requires very little of the owner.  He has a system in place to sustain his business and to grow it.  Additionally, he has an affiliate program (that I am a part of) that brings in more traffic to his website and products.