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Taylor Ellwood
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Business Wizard for Eccentric Entrepreneurs
Business Wizard for Eccentric Entrepreneurs

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The first time I wrote my business plan, I wondered to myself, "What will this business plan do for my business?" I mean, in theory, my business plan was describing what my business is and how it works, but actually turning that theory into practice seemed impossible. My business plan didn't come with a manual of instructions on how to implement it.

And when I worked with my clients on their business plans, there was a similar feeling of frustration.

"Why am I spending this time putting this document together, if there isn't a clear path to actually do something with it."

Now if you've ever felt this way, chances are you wrote a business plan a long time ago and then promptly lost it in your desk, never to see the light of day again.

And that's sad, because when you put all that effort into writing a business plan, you should get something out of it beyond just stuffing it in a desk and forgetting about it.

Read more at http://bit.ly/2yr3cuw
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When I started my first business, I made all the mistakes that many business owners make. I had no business plan and I didn't have a clear picture about how I would get new clients or even how I would take care of existing clients. I was operating my business in the dark, and it often felt like I was trying to feel my way toward growing a successful business.

I was struggling a lot with actually making the business viable. I would have moments where the business seemed to be working, and then I would have moments where it was clear the business wasn't working.

You know, the feast and famine cycle that many businesses go through.

And why does this happen to so many businesses? Why isn't there a fool proof plan that just allows you to rake in the money, while taking care of your customers?

Well some people will tell you there is a fool proof plan. Set up a funnel and your business will automatically grow. Learn online marketing and the money will just flow in.

It's not quite that simple.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/2zDxzyc
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A year ago I started the crazy journey I've been on this year. And along the way I came face to face with my shadow.

There's a cliche of sorts that you end up teaching what you most need to learn, but you know there's a reason a cliche is a cliche and its because there's an element of truth to the cliche.

Over the last few days I've been meditating (using the Taoist water method) and thinking and considering this year and the lessons I've needed to learn from it.

And I think in some ways I've been teaching what I've needed to learn, even though I've already "known" it.

Because what you know becomes its own blindspot and inevitably you'll smack into it.

So what lessons have I learned:

1. There is no short cut to success in business and people who sell such short cuts are to be avoided.

2. Make sure what you offer actually fits what people need, AND make sure those people are in a place where they can actually use it.

3. If you alienate the very people you want to serve you haven't created anything so much as destroyed the relationships that may have carried you forward.

4. You will fail and that's ok, as long as you can learn from it...but if you can't learn from it, that's when you've truly failed.

Hard lessons, but I'll cherish them for the gifts they truly are.
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I'm tired of the hype and the vague promises and if you implement this you'll make 6 or 7 figures... because that's what it really boils down to.

Lots of hype.

The selling of false hope

The cutting of corners and you can get rich!

What the hypesters don't tell you is that you can't cut corners, you will work hard and you may not see results right away. They also don't tell you that the results they have, have usually been gotten through trial and error, and sweat and tears.

They don't tell you that because you want relief, and an easy solution, but there is no easy solution.

They sell you the relief and leave you high and dry when they don't tell you the truth about how much work it will take with your business.

So the next time you start to get caught up in the hype, don't kid yourself.

Take a step back, take a deep breath, and ask yourself what you can learn and if what you learn is worth the effort. You owe it to yourself, your clients, and the people who support you to look at what you're investing in from a place of rationality, instead of the emotional desire for relief.
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When I started working with one of my clients, an accountant, I remember him telling me how his business operations was a mess. No one in the office did what they were supposed to do and there were lots of toes being stepped on, which resulted in low morale, hurt feelings, and unhappy clients getting late deliverables.

After he described this nightmarish situation to me, I asked him, "What are the responsibilities for each position in your company?"

He didn't have an answer because no responsibilities had been defined. He could tell me what he wanted them to do, but a task isn't the same as a responsibility. A task is simply the work you want done, without any context or purpose defining it.

And that's where responsibilities come into play...

When you define the roles in your business operations, you also want to define the responsibilities with those roles. By defining the responsibilities, you help the person in the role under the purpose of the work their doing, and just as importantly help them recognize when they need to hand that work off to someone else, or pass it along the business operations.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/2wIER3m
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Earlier today, I got into a conversation with someone who was thinking about taking something they were passionate about and turning it into a full time business.

As the person described their hobby and the following they had, I asked them what they were doing beyond social media to connect wit their fans.

Did they have a website or email list? Did they have a plan?

And the most important question...

Did they want to take what they enjoyed doing and turn it into a full time career, and learn how to run it as a business?

Asking those questions helped that person realize that they didn't necessarily want to take what they enjoyed and turn it into a business (it helped they already enjoyed their full time work).

Remember folks...just because you enjoy doing something doesn't mean you have to turn it into a business.

And here's something to keep in mind.

Once you turn something you enjoy into a business, you take it to an entirely different level and you end up doing a lot of things you may NOT enjoy.

So get real clear as to whether or not that's what you want to do.
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What would it look like if you made the choice to engage with people who signed up for your newsletter by sending them a personal note just introducing yourself?

Today I decided to do just that, with some people who recently opted in for a workbook or a checklist.

And the purpose of the email wasn't to sell them anything, but simply to add a personal touch and introduce myself and let them know if they have questions or just want to say hello back, that I'm open to either.

Why am I doing this?

I think that if you genuinely want to create real intimacy and connection with your online marketing, you need to step out from behind the tools and let people know a real person exists who actually cares about what they're doing and who they are.

And don't get me wrong email automation can be a beautiful tool to use, as can other tools...but if someone has taken the step to give me an email, at the very least they deserve a personal touch that says, "I see you and I welcome you."
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When I started my first business, I had no idea how much work had to be done with running the business. I thought it was as simple as figuring out what services I offered and then hanging a shingle out.

If only it was so easy.

Running a business brings with it the requirement of learning a new set of skills. You go into business to do something you love and then you discover that you actually have to do a lot more than just offer the services you love.

You have to wear multiple hats. You have to wear the finances hat, the operations hat, the sales hat, the marketing hat, the technology hat, etc.. And wearing all those hats can be overwhelming, because its so much to do. And as a result business owners and eccentric entrepreneurs fall into two traps that cause business burnout.

The goal of this post is to show you how to get out of those by creating and implementing systems in your business that make it easier for you to run it by design.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/2wQB1Is
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Toughest lesson I've learned this year:

Learning gives you the illusion of progress.

You see can learn something, but not actually do anything with it.

This year I learned a lot and I implemented some of it.

The illusion of progress was seductive...I've learned x so surely something will happen.

But you really only learn when you've implemented what you've learned...and thinking back over this year so far, when I've learned the most is when I've implemented an either succeeded or failed and had to adapt and adjust.

I would take the classes and go through them and sometimes apply them...and sometimes not..,or only half apply them.

And part of the problem...I took on too much instead of really focusing.

So now I've made the promise to no more classes until everything is implemented and getting the results I'm striving for.

So are you implementing what you've learned? Why or why not?
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It's not enough to learn.

Anyone can learn.

The key is execution of what you learn. When you can apply what you've learned to your life or business or whatever that's when it becomes real.

Today I'm putting together my first work book lead magnet for eccentric entrepreneurs, because I realized something significant.

Simply giving people information doesn't help them. If there is no way to implement that information, its pretty much useless.

It's not content that is king or queen...its application.

Can people apply what I have shared and use it in a way that has a meaningful effect on them? That's the question I'm now asking with every piece of content I create.

Because content is easy to shovel out...but application and implementation...that's what your tribe needs from you.
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