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AJ Kulatunga
961 followers -
Business, Motivation & Leadership through the eyes of an Entrepreneur
Business, Motivation & Leadership through the eyes of an Entrepreneur

961 followers
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Nothing is Impossible

Incredibly blown away and deeply honoured to be featured in the latest edition of LMD - Sri Lanka's premiere business magazine. This is such an incredible milestone in my career for two reasons...

First - this is a win for all of us little peoples striving for greatness and working hard towards it. I wouldn't be in here if it wasn't for your support - liking my posts, sharing my videos and turning up to my live events. I owe you all my success. THANK YOU!

Second - Lately I've been thinking a lot about what my dad used to say when I was growing up: "You are utterly useless. The way you are going, no one will ever pay any attention to you. It's Impossible!" And technically he was right.

See the world that my dad grew up in, required academic excellence to achieve life fulfilment. BUT today we live in a very different world with an entirely new set of challenges. Luckily for me I had the courage to ignore his words and figure out a different path to achieve the same goal that he wanted. Sadly he never got to see it.

So to all the parents out there - if you're kids aren't academically gifted, please don't get angry with them and deny them a close relationship with you. Teach them how to survive the world instead, because many roads lead to the same destination.

And maybe...just maybe...they might be Entrepreneurs. And when you see the world through the eyes of an Entrepreneur - NOTHING is impossible!

- AJ~

#business #motivation #leadership #entrepreneurship #srilanka 
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Throwback Thursday to a year ago to my first proper international speaking gig. The story behind this poster is insane but let me break it down for you quickly.

For a few years I had been wanting to take my speaking overseas but I never quite figured out how to - or I just wasn't ready. Then in December 2014 I planned to go to Sri Lanka and try to get a gig, but sadly my Dad passed away and I had to shelve those plans for another year.

When I finally got my head back in the game I started reaching out to some well connected friends and family in Sri Lanka that could help me with achieving my dream. Sadly none of them would help me and gave me various reasons like “Why the hell do you want to come back to Sri Lanka? People are dying to leave. Stay there!” or “Listen man, you’re an Aussie, no one will be able to understand you speak over here.” or my favourite “Have you thought about getting a job here first? Then in a couple of years time with hard work you can try speaking at a small event.”

Stuff that!

So I did what I’ve always done. I ran my own race. Because throughout my life and my career, people have told me that I can’t do things. Yet I’ve gone and done them because I see the world differently. To me, what most people consider impossible is entirely possible. And I don’t do these crazy things to prove people wrong. I do it for myself and to pave the way for others who wish to do things differently also.

So I shot two YouTube videos and I sent out a Tweet and I managed to land this gig at the American Centre in Colombo...and the rest...well you know ;-)

Those who believe it cannot be done, shouldn’t interfere with those doing it already!

Dream, Build, Inspire, Lead!

AJ~

#Entrepreneurship #creativity #innovation #srilanka #tbt #success

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Wishing all the cool peeps around the world a very happy 2017. Last year wasn't a great year for many people, so I thought I'd share some ideas on how to make things better in 2017. Rock on!

#inspiration #motivation #leadership

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What's the best advice you ever got? 

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What's the best advice you ever got?

#leadership #life #success #entrepreneurship 

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Stunned to hear of the passing of the legendary Max Walker. While the world knows him mostly from cricket, I knew him through National Speakers Association as an amazing storytelling and someone larger than life. Thank you for your wisdom and for teaching this young fella a thing or two about how to captivate an audience. Rest in Peace Mate. http://www.theage.com.au/sport/cricket/max-walker-dead-at-68-20160924-grnplu.html
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How to Regain Control of Your Business

Last week I was talking to my friend, Sharon (not her real name ;-) ), who runs her own business and she told me the most alarming thing.

She said that she gets up every morning and dreads the thought of going to work because she's so stressed out from the minute she wakes up to when she gets back home again.

"What makes you so stressed?" I asked.

"Everything!" She replied. "The work. The clients. There are so many unknowns in the business and I'm not sure what is going to happen next and that's why I'm so stressed."

"How long have you been feeling like this?" I asked.

"To be honest I can't remember the time when I wasn't stressed. It's always been like this since I started."

But I remember when Sharon started her business. She was excited. Really excited.

So what happened?!?

The Curse of Business

Sharon's problem is a common one for the first two types of business people: Providers and Business Owners.

When everyone starts a business they are in complete control of their life and their business and they start to build up their customer base.

Assuming the business is viable, they get to a point where they are so busy servicing customer requirements, that they relinquish control of their business. At this point the business ends up controlling their life instead. They end up being a slave to their business.

It's a common problem that I talk about in my book "3 Keys to Business Survival". (If you haven't gotten a copy yet you might want to download a digital edition here: http://blkmgk.com.au/3-keys-to-business-survival/ #JustSayin ;-) )

The Solution
So if you or someone you know is in a similar predicament to Sharon, here's the one crucial thing you have to do to regain control of your business.

You have to ask yourself one key question:

"What do I actually want to be doing?"

And it might not be an easy question to answer straight away. Give it some time and a lot of thought.

And please don't say something stupid like "sit on a beach and relax with a beer" because that's what holidays are about - not building up a profitable business that has a real impact on your customers.

Figure out what you actually what to be doing in your business - how you want to be serving others in exchange for their money - and also what type of customers do you actually want to be working with.

When you find the answers to these questions you then need to work out how you can re-design your business in such a way that supports what you want to be doing.

No one should ever be waking up and dreading the thought of going to work.

I go through this little exercise every six months to make sure I'm on track with my purpose of "Growing more Entrepreneurs to change the world".

And right now as I'm looking to take on new clients to help grow their business using my crazy Entrepreneurial tactics, I'm doing this exercise myself.

So for all of you in a similar situation to Sharon, please do yourself a favour and ask yourself this key question and regain control of your business.

Hope this inspires you to take your business to new levels this week.

Have a great week Entrepreneurs!

AJ~

P.S. I write about business, motivation and leadership through the eyes of an Entrepreneur. If you like this post leave a comment below and I'll add you to my notification circle so that you can receive inspiring ideas to make you a better Entrepreneur.

#entrepreneurship #business #motivation #success

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With frightening political events unfolding in the US, Australia and now the UK, it seems like our western world "leaders" are focused on dividing humanity into two camps. You might be looking at these world events unfolding and think "This doesn't apply to me," or "I can't do anything about it," but you would be wrong.

Let us remind ourselves that what helps us survive and thrive during uncertain times is our ability to come together as human beings to conquer challenges. I say this because despite all this meaningless rhetoric being voiced around the world by "leaders" attempting to divide us, there is still an underlying code in our DNA that unifies us to help others.

Notice what happens during an accident or a natural disaster.

During the day, people might be absolved in their own little world, complaining about anything and everything on the planet...BUT all that is shoved aside in one moment of sheer bravery and relentless compassion, as people rush in to help those in need.

I witnessed this first hand during my recent speaking tour in Sri Lanka when the country flooded, causing many to lose their homes and some to lose their lives. A nation divided by race, political and socio economic circumstances, put aside their dividing beliefs and came together as human beings to help fellow humans in need.

It's moments like these that remind us of what is possible and what we are capable of achieving as a race when we work together.

And it is that same human spirit we need to tap into now more than ever.

Believe in the power of humanity, but also embrace that same power within yourself on a daily basis.

Rise as a leader.

Gather those around you.

Awaken your Entrepreneurial Minds and create inspirational ideas that solve these problems.

The critics amongst us might dismiss this as an overly simplistic solution, however I would suggest that the situation that we find ourselves in right now is the results of years of "overly complex" thinking. Therefore I propose we try this alternative method and see what happens.

As we commence however, we must not operate under the false illusion that this will be an easy process, for it won't be.

BUT it is a step forward in the right direction - And slowly and surely as more steps reveal themselves along this journey, things will start to change for the better.

For those of you questioning your credentials and capability as a leader, remember you do not need a formal title or academic qualifications to lead. The truth is that change begins upon the moment of decision. You just have to decide if you want to help make the world a better place and act accordingly in whatever way you can.

Remember...nothing is impossible when you see the world through the eyes of an Entrepreneur.

AJ~

#entrepreneurship   #inspiration   #motivation   #leadership   #management  
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How to Stand Out From The Crowd

When you attend a traditional marketing seminar or business coaching session, the “experts” will often ask you “What makes you stand out from the crowd?” Sometimes they phrase it differently like “What is your unique value proposition?” or “What is your Unique selling proposition?” or even “What is your unique competitive advantage?” The goal of answering this question is to figure out a way for your products and services to stand out from the crowd but there’s a problem with that.

Most of the time in many industries, products and services themselves don’t stand out from the crowd. Take rental cars for example. If you take a look at the various key players in the market, they all appear to do exactly the same thing by offering similar vehicles. Sure they might differentiate on deals every now and then but fundamentally they are all the same. It’s the same with many businesses offering professional services like lawyers, accountants, marketing consultants etc.

So how exactly do you differentiate your products and services when essentially they are exactly the same thing as everyone else out there?

The answer is to stop looking at your products and services as points of differentiation and look at yourself instead, because your greatest ability to stand out amongst your competitors within your marketplace is you.

The Know, Like and Trust Factors

People like to do business with people that they know, like and trust and if you start focusing on bringing yourself into your marketing you will start to see an increase in your sales inquiries.

Now just one small caution with this technique.

When I say bring more of yourself into your marketing, I don’t mean start quoting your resume and qualifications on all your marketing materials. I mean you need to bring more of your personality and your beliefs into them.

With this in mind, whenever I run my marketing sessions I ask participants “Why do you do what you do?” And if the answer is “To make money,” I know their business will not be a success. We then go on to examine what problems their products and services solve and why are these problems important to them.

When you really think about the answers to these questions you start to come up with pure gold information that allows you to produce quality marketing content to help you stand out from the crowd. You start to develop a story that can be used to help you generate awareness of your business in the eyes of your target market.

So to recap quickly, here’s what you need to answer...and be brutally honest with your answers:

What problem does your products and services actually solve?

2. Why do you want to solve that particular problem? Is it because you have experienced it before and it annoyed you enough to motivate you to solve it? Is it because this is a cause that is dear to your heart? Your answer had better not be “I want to make money” because no one gives a sh*t about your desires to increase your bank account.

3. What examples (case studies, stories etc) of this problem can you find both online and offline within your market that could be solved by your products and services?

When you have all your answers you can start producing meaningful content through blogs, images, videos, audio recordings that demonstrate why you do what you do and how your products and services solves these problems.

Remember the ultimate goal with developing your unique value isn't really about developing your unique value, it's about developing awareness within your market that you solve problems in a particular way. You need to be known for what you do.

The magical thing about this approach is that it doesn't matter how many competitors are in your market because at the end of the day none of them are you. No one else has the same ideas, beliefs and values as you and the way you articulate them. That’s what makes you unique.

I hope this inspires you take your business to new levels.

Have a great week Entrepreneurs!

AJ~

P.S. I write about business, motivation and leadership through the eyes of an Entrepreneur. If you like this post then leave a comment below and I'll add you to my blog notification circle so you won't miss out on ideas to help you grow your business.

#business   #entrepreneurship   #marketing   #startup  
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3 Iconic Leadership Lessons from Prince

I just woke up to the news that pop legend Prince had passed away. Whenever a famous artist passes away I try to think about what their life meant, did they leave a legacy behind and if so what was it.

So here are three leadership lessons from Prince that I think we can all take away to help make us better Entrepreneurs who want to change the world.

Stand out from the Crowd

During the 80’s Prince became the colour purple. These days we would refer to it as “branding” but that would be a gross limitation of what he did. He truly embraced the colour as part of his identity, especially after his album,song and movie - Purple Rain. In tribute to his passing, the I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis will remain purple tonight.

Your survival in business depends on your ability to stand out from the crowd and offer something truly unique to your customers - whether that’s products and services or even just an amazing customer experience. Figure out a way to stand out from the crowd. Prince nailed the experience time and time again because he was focused on chasing something much deeper than sales.

Don’t Play the Game, Own It

In 1993 until 2000, Prince changed his name to the symbol for men and women as a creative way to escape the legal limitations of his contract with Warner Bros. They wanted him to limit the release of his albums and as an artist constantly creating music and wanting to release it to his fans, there was a major conflict.  As the symbol is unpronounceable, during this time he was known as “The Artist formerly known as Prince”. He didn’t care what Warner Bros thought or what the media said about him because he believed in what he was doing and he stuck to his guns.

Another time comedian Dave Chappelle started doing impersonations of Prince. Rather than get upset, Prince took Dave’s photo of him dressed as Prince and used it for his new album cover. Chappelle described it to Jimmy Fallon as a “Prince judo move right there. You make fun of Prince in a sketch and he’ll just use you in an album cover. What am I going to do, sue him for using a picture of me dressed up as him? It’s impossible! That’s check mate right there!”

Sometimes in life and in business we find ourselves in situations that cause us to be angry and frustrated. If we channel these feelings into thinking about creative solutions to overcome these issues then we don’t just play the game, we own it! Prince definitely owned the game for many decades.

Make Sure Your Work Outlives Your Lifetime

Just yesterday I saw this beautiful cover of Prince’s “Kiss” performed by two girls and a random stranger on a subway. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6T-wzCX1RFU

It was friggin cool and I couldn’t wait to get stuck into it this weekend when I practice guitar.

Then today I wake up to the news that Prince passed away. The only consolation is that his work will live on much longer than his lifetime and that is something truly beautiful.

As business people we run a business and make a sale because that’s what we do, but as Entrepreneurs we have so much more to offer the world through the way we think, feel and behave. Go beyond your business and make sure your work outlives your lifetime.

Rest in Peace Prince, you truly left before your time and the world shall miss sharing in your journey to greatness.

Dream, Build, Inspire, Lead!

AJ~

#Prince   #business   #motivation   #leadership  
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