Business Brain Food

Valerie Khoo’s story is all about... well… stories! In the modern world of data analysis in business, it is easy to neglect the art of storytelling as part of the marketing mix, so Valerie has tried to address this with her book, Business Power Stories. It actually debuted at number two in the Australian business-book chart (only beaten by Richard Branson), so it was great to be able to get a sneak preview of it on this week’s show. Valerie also founded the National Writing Centre in Australia, which has grown to become an international writing tutorial network that has helped 23,000 students since 2005. Judging by the poor standard of the message on many websites, a lot of businesses could benefit from this kind of training.

The book is based around the need for every business to tell eight different power stories, i.e. their ‘product story’ or their ‘customer story’. Here are some of Valerie’s tips for successful storytelling in business:

  • Customer stories are always important because they can strike a chord with the public who are reading, but this can often be more than a simple testimonial.
  • When thinking about a case study, quite simply define the ‘before’, the ‘during’ (i.e., when they were using your product or service), and the ‘after’.
  • Think long and hard about whether to write about yourself in the third or first person.
  • Don’t get hung up on telling stories in chronological order.
  • 80% of sales is based on emotion, so only 20% is based on logic. It is the stories about a person, business or product that conjure the emotion.

A constant battle for businesses/people is that they don’t think their story is very interesting. As true as that might be when they think about it themselves, there’s a high chance that some other people will have similar stories so they will be able to identify with it. Also, authenticity is often more important than simply ‘being interesting’.

In this episode of Business Brain Food you will learn:

  • How to approach writing an ‘About’ page on a website
  • The importance of frameworks
  • The different types of stories that need to be told
  • The power of targeting a specific audience

The most important thing that Jay will tell you is that some of the most successful companies in the world simply started as an idea – something that solved a problem that we could all identify with in everyday life.  You don’t need to be able to develop, build or market the concept yourself – the real money is in the idea.  So if you look hard enough at all the problems you face in everyday life, you can make yourself a billionaire just by knowing how to solve the problem that no one else has solved yet!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

The overall message is that telling a story isn’t as intimidating as many people think. There are established frameworks out there that have been proven to work time and time again. All it takes is to understand these frameworks and then fill in the gaps with your own person information, and hey presto, you’ve told your company story! If you are enjoying these Business Brain Food podcasts, then make sure to share them via social media sites or email the links to family and friends. A lot of time and effort goes into producing each of these podcasts with the goal in mind of the more people we can inspire about business the better. You can help us do just that! Until next time, have a profitable day. Cheers, Ben Fewtrell

Direct download: BBF074_Business_Power_Stories_With_Valerie_Khoo.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm AEDT

Suzi Dafnis is Community Director and CEO of the Australian Businesswomen's Network, where she has been involved for over 20 years. This week she gives us the benefit of her decades of career-coaching experience and of her own development in business, which importantly is applicable to both men and women.

Many will wonder whether there is still a need for a women’s network in this day and age, and while Suzi says that the business landscape is significantly different to when the network first formed, she also pointed out that there are still conferences where every speaker is a man, and nearly all delegates are too.  Thus there is still an imbalance.  But why? When it comes to the judgement of people’s success in business, only ‘the habit of confidence’ was cited as the main psychological difference between men and women in the workplace – even the concept of women taking time out to have babies was not seen as too big a barrier to success.  But the advice about how to create that confidence is absolutely interchangeable across men and women.  Some of the key points are below:

  • Find a greater purpose than just using business to pay the bills.
  • Always have a budget and a business plan, even at the very beginning of a project.
  • Successful people always have mentors, so find a way to surround yourself with people who understand you.
  • Find ways to hold yourself accountable. As per the above point: an informal network of people is a great way to spur you on to make progress

In this episode of Business Brain Food you will learn:

  • What ‘risk’ really means
  • The relative value of a business degree
  • The concept of masterminding
  • Effective blogging for business
  • Ben’s future plans for a daily show

Resources mentioned in this episode:

SME Association of Australia (http://www.smea.org.au) Two-hour workshops with Ben (http://www.businessfasttrack.com.au) Australian Businesswomen's Network (http://www.abn.org.au/) Darren Rowse blogging site: (http://www.problogger.net/) Facebook (www.facebook.com/businessbrainfood) Business Brain Food Facebook Group (www.facebook.com/groups/businessbrainfood) Twitter (https://twitter.com/bfewtrell) ActionCOACH (http://actioncoachanz.com/itunes) ActionCOACH (http://actioncoachanz.com/stitcher) The Australian Businesswomen's Network is quite simply a resource to empower people to be be more successful in business.  The discussion kept going back to the fact that, especially when starting your own business, you are not going to have the skills and experience to understand every aspect of the business journey.  So the people who find success are not necessarily the ones who have the most knowledge in the beginning – it is those who know where they have to go and find support who make it in the end. It’s so utterly simple: use the resources you have at your disposal, and if they aren’t enough, go out and find some more! Also, if you are enjoying these Business Brain Food podcasts, then make sure to share them via social media sites or email the links to family and friends. A lot of time and effort goes into producing each of these podcasts with the goal in mind of the more people we can inspire about business the better. You can help us do just that! Until next time, have a profitable day. Cheers, Ben Fewtrell (02) 9111 5000

Direct download: BBF073__Empowering_Women_in_Business_with_Suzi_Dafnis.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm AEDT

DISRUPT YOURSELF WITH JAY SAMIT

Businesses of any size must be able to adapt to disruption in the marketplace, and some of the most successful new businesses come about because they solve a problem that disruption has caused.  No one would disagree with how fundamental the concept of disruption/change is to being successful in business, and yet so many businesses fall down because they are scared of adapting. Jay Samit is one of the world leaders when it comes to disruption in business, having worked with the likes of Apple, Coca Cola, and General Motors.  In this week’s podcast he outlines how you could be the next billionaire disruptor and make the same impact as the likes of Ebay, Uber and Amazon.

One of the first points he makes is that only 57 of the original Fortune 500 companies have survived, which shows that however successful and secure a company appear, they can quickly go backwards if they merely stick to what they know. It’s all about spotting opportunities that come from disruption, i.e. Apple’s decision to diversify and manufacture Ipods.  And it’s only the spotting of the opportunities that is paramount.  If you’ve spotted the right opportunity then the rest can take care of itself.  In Apple’s case, all of the parts contained within the Ipod were originally manufactured by other companies – all they had was the concept and the brand. Here are some of the other interesting points to note: Technology is key to winning the game of disruption. For a small business to be able to roll with industry disruption, they must always have a clear idea of where they want to be in 5 years. The “one-world economy” is challenging the way we do commerce. It’s estimated that 40% of current jobs will be automated in 5 years. The current era of technological innovation means that there is opportunity for any individual to compete in the global marketplace.  Jay’s book, “Disrupt Yourself”, has been written to show people just how much opportunity is out there for anyone who looks hard enough.

In this episode of Business Brain Food you will learn:

How to set yourself up to become a market leader or even create a market yourself How to take a concept to market which is just an idea The concept of crowd funding How 3d printing is gradually changing the world The ‘sharing’ economy How autonomous vehicles are currently causing disruption The most important thing that Jay will tell you is that some of the most successful companies in the world simply started as an idea – something that solved a problem that we could all identify with in everyday life.  You don’t need to be able to develop, build or market the concept yourself – the real money is in the idea.  So if you look hard enough at all the problems you face in everyday life, you can make yourself a billionaire just by knowing how to solve the problem that no one else has solved yet!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

** Pace Architects Case Study (http://actioncoachanz.com/architects-case-study)

** Jay Samit on twitter (https://twitter.com/jaysamit)

** Companion workbook (http://www.jaysamit.com)

** Jay Samit’s book, “Disrupt Yourself” (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Disrupt-Yourself-Jay-Samit/dp/1509802886/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1445506817&sr=8-1&keywords=jay+samit)

** Facebook (www.facebook.com/businessbrainfood)

** Business Brain Food Facebook Group (www.facebook.com/groups/businessbrainfood)

** Twitter (https://twitter.com/bfewtrell)

** ActionCOACH (http://actioncoachanz.com/itunes)

** ActionCOACH (http://actioncoachanz.com/stitcher)

If you are enjoying these Business Brain Food podcasts, then make sure to share them via social media sites or email the links to family and friends. A lot of time and effort goes into producing each of these podcasts with the goal in mind of the more people we can inspire about business the better. You can help us do just that! Until next time, have a profitable day. Cheers, Ben Fewtrell

Direct download: BBF072__Disrupt_Yourself_with_Jay_Samit.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm AEDT

 

How To Get More Leads, Customers and Sales With Digital Marketing Expert Greg Cassar

Every business needs to know how to market themselves in the online sphere. Greg Cassar is all about empowering businesses to do just that. Having run his own online stores, he then built up a marketing agency, before deciding to become an online marketing coach. He now has a portfolio of clients who turn over AUD 500,000 to AUD 100,000,000 per year, but took the time out to give us the benefit of his wisdom in this week’s podcast.

Here are some of the key points:

** Because people are in the habit of sussing out companies online, that means that every business can benefit from online marketing.

** Build your database! It sounds obvious, but list building is an absolute must.

** “How can we help?” is a good question to induce people to give their details. It is less pushy than more obvious calls to action.

** Build your online-business persona as an authority. Don’t lose sight of this when developing your websites and campaigns.

** Consider the different end goals of each page on your website. One might be “will the user buy?”, but another might be “will the user stay and find out more?”. Adapt your message to reflect these goals.

** People often don’t read every word of a website. Make sure that the user can get the message if they just skim-read the headings.

** Facebook advertising is very powerful indeed. There is nothing else out there that can be tailored to such a specific global audience.

** “What you can measure, you can manage”. Make absolutely sure that you use the data available to you from sources like Facebook and google adwords in order to build a true picture of what works and what doesn’t in your marketing mix.

The general message from Ben is that everything you do with your online presence can have an effect. All your web content will be measured by google’s algorithms, and all of your advertising clickthroughs on facebook will be available on your dashboard etc. etc., so use this to your advantage and customise everything you can in order to build that customer base. In this episode of Business Brain Food you will learn:

** Shortcuts towards how a business can maximise their online exposure from scratch

** The meaning of the term ‘authority site’

** The power of facebook marketing

** The dos and don’ts of websites

** Google adwords as a market research tool

** A ‘tripwire offer’

** How critical drivers are key to understanding the effectiveness of your online presence

Remember, Greg started off with a few simple online stores selling things like Santa Claus outfits, and now he deals with businesses that are turning over millions of dollars every year. With a few of the simple rules of online marketing that Greg shared with us in this episode, your business could go stratospheric too! Resources mentioned in this episode:

** Periscope app – search for Ben Fewtrell

** Business Fast Track (http://www.businessfasttrack.com.au)

** Business coaching, special deal for podcast listeners (http://actioncoachanz.com/businessrich)

** Greg Cassar website (http://collective.com.au/)

** How to double your average business (http://collective.com.au/double)

** Facebook (www.facebook.com/businessbrainfood)

** Business Brain Food Facebook Group (www.facebook.com/groups/businessbrainfood)

** Twitter (https://twitter.com/bfewtrell)

** ActionCOACH (http://actioncoachanz.com/itunes)

** ActionCOACH (http://actioncoachanz.com/stitcher)

If you are enjoying these Business Brain Food podcasts, then make sure to share them via social media sites or email the links to family and friends. A lot of time and effort goes into producing each of these podcasts with the goal in mind of the more people we can inspire about business the better. You can help us do just that!  

Until next time, have a profitable day.

Cheers, Ben Fewtrell (02) 9111 5000


How To Open Over 400 Outlets In Just 7 Years

Jacinta McDonell is an inspiration to all of us. In only 7 years she has built up the Anytime Fitness brand to be the leading gym franchise in Australia, and has managed to find time to look after three children, raise big money for charitable causes, and even start her own charitable foundation, the Human Kind Project. There just do not seem to be the hours in the day to have done what she’s done, but it really comes across in the interview just how straight forward her methods have been to get her where she is today. The point she keeps going back to is being honest with yourself about what your strengths and weaknesses are, so you can simply hire people to take up the slack in the areas that are most tricky. There is no shame in realising that you can’t do everything, and you can still be fiercely ambitious at the same time. This is how her growing business just kept growing.

Anytime Fitness was a US-based franchise that Jacinta and her brother saw in a fitness trade-magazine, which they thought would be perfect for the Australian market. They quickly secured the rights to take the franchise to Australia, figuring that their mid-market offering was exactly what was missing in the local marketplace at the time. Having built over 400 outlets in 7 years, Jacinta knows a thing or two about building and managing a franchise. See below for a sneak preview of some of her top tips from the interview:

** The franchise model is great for scalability.

** The franchisees who are most successful are the ones who have the best grasp of sales and marketing.

** Differentiate yourself from the competition by making sure there is a strong refresh policy across all outlets.  In the case of Anytime Fitness, that would mean investing in new, state-of-the-art gym equipment regularly.

** Take time out from day-to-day business regularly to build strategy at board level.

** Find the right senior executive team. If you don’t like the idea of managing 50 people, don’t worry about it – just get someone in who does.

** Consider recruitment to be something that’s ongoing rather than just when somebody leaves.  By definition, a franchise is often going to be growing, so it makes sense to hire talented people when they become available, because there is likely to be something for them to do.

** If you are considering entering a marketplace, don’t be put off if your concept is different to the industry’s current way of doing things.  The key consideration is what the consumer wants, not what the industry is in the habit of giving them.

Jacinta’s charity work is also a heart-warming and interesting story.  Her foundation is as much about empowering entrepreneurs to be able to do charitable work as it is about donations.  There is also a good commercial angle for any organisation to get involved with charity work, as she explains in the podcast. In this episode of Business Brain Food you will learn:

** How Jacinta built her fitness empire

** How it is possible to achieve corporate success with three small children

** How to manage the growth of a franchise

** The importance of sales and marketing in the franchise process

** How charity work can be a win win for you and your business

** The Human Kind Project

Resources mentioned in this episode:

** ProfitLab – join this site and ask about it: http://actioncoachanz.com/l/business-coach-mini/

** Jacinta McDonell’s own website: http://www.jacintamcdonell.com

** Facebook (www.facebook.com/businessbrainfood)

** Business Brain Food Facebook Group (www.facebook.com/groups/businessbrainfood)

** Twitter (https://twitter.com/bfewtrell)

** ActionCOACH (http://actioncoachanz.com/itunes)

** ActionCOACH (http://actioncoachanz.com/stitcher)

Subscribe on iTunes Jacinta’s story shows just how much it is possible to achieve across a variety of different sectors if you are able to work smart.  It is not just about being busy all the time – you can actually change the world for you and for others if you plan it right. Also, if you are enjoying these Business Brain Food podcasts, then make sure to share them via social media sites or email the links to family and friends. A lot of time and effort goes into producing each of these podcasts with the goal in mind of the more people we can inspire about business the better. You can help us do just that!

Until next time, have a profitable day.

Cheers, Ben Fewtrell (02) 9111 5000

Direct download: BBF070_How_to_open_over_400_outlets_in_just_7_years_with_Jacinta_McDonell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm AEDT

How A Whistle Blower Uncovered $22 Million In Fraud

It is said that fraud accounts for an average of 5% of any company’s revenue, so the process of whistleblowing is certainly something that ought to be taken seriously. You might think that it’s not going on in your business, but Sylvain Mansotte’s story is living proof of just how much fraud can happen if no one has the courage to blow the whistle. He unearthed a scam that had been going on for 12 years that was worth $22 million – the largest corporate fraud in Queensland’s history.

Sylvain’s experience inspired him to create an app to make it easier for people to blow the whistle on corruption. His app, Fraudsec, is aimed at any organisation of any size, and provides total anonymity for whistleblowers, as well as allowing for completely anonymous interaction between the whistleblower and their employees. Sylvain explains in the podcast how the system scrubs IP addresses and uses QR codes to ensure there is no awkwardness in the whistleblowing process, and he also shared some useful info about fraud that every business ought to know:

** 20% of fraud worldwide is over $1 million per case.

** The average fraud is over $150,000 per case.

** Employees setting up fake suppliers and generating invoices for them is easier than you think.

** Don’t forget how fearful people will be about blowing the whistle.  If you don’t have a mechanism in place that retains their anonymity, they will probably not want to come forward and risk their job and sometimes their family life.

** Management should have a proper policy relating to fraud.

** Each new employee should be made aware of the above policy.

** Training should be done at least annually to make sure all policies are adhered to, and to strike fear into anyone who might be thinking of breaking the rules.

In this episode of Business Brain Food you will learn:

** The inner workings of http://www.fraudsec.com

** The scale of the fraud problem worldwide

** The importance on anonymity in the whistle-blowing process

** How to implement a whistle-blowing policy

** How Fraudsec is particularly useful in the procurement function

Resources mentioned in this episode:

** Business Coaching (http://actioncoachanz.com/businessrich)

** Fraudsec (http://www.fraudsec.com)

** Facebook (www.facebook.com/businessbrainfood)

** Business Brain Food Facebook Group (www.facebook.com/groups/businessbrainfood)

** Twitter (https://twitter.com/bfewtrell)

** ActionCOACH (http://actioncoachanz.com/itunes)

** ActionCOACH (http://actioncoachanz.com/stitcher)

Subscribe on iTunes The statistics speak for themselves: this could be going on in your business, right here, right now.  If $20 million can go missing in 12 years from a business that had an annual spending budget of only $6 million, then it can happen to anyone.  Don’t let it be you!! Also, if you are enjoying these Business Brain Food podcasts, then make sure to share them via social media sites or email the links to family and friends. A lot of time and effort goes into producing each of these podcasts with the goal in mind of the more people we can inspire about business the better. You can help us do just that!

Until next time, have a profitable day.

Cheers, Ben Fewtrell (02) 9111 5000


Achieving High Human Performance With Dr Adam Fraser

Every day in business – in life in fact – we face challenges. That’s obvious, right? But what is less obvious is the importance of the downtime between each challenge. If you treat it with the right amount of respect, your success can go through the roof. Play it wrongly and you set yourself up to fail, time and again. Dr Adam Fraser has done mountains of research on the topic and has kindly offered to share some of the results with us on this week’s podcast. It really is astonishing just how much more happy and successful people can be once they implement some very simple rules. In short, if you are able to reset your mind in between each challenge, your chances of succeeding at the next one are greatly increased, and this is backed up by some seriously compelling data. But how do you ‘reset your mind’? Dr Fraser has a simple three-point method that anybody can do. Having worked with elite athletes, the military, and the high-fliying corporate world, he developed the method when trying to answer the question of “what makes these people high achievers?” The answer was in how effectively they moved from one action to the next, e.g. how a pro tennis player thinks in between points is the difference between them being a champion and an also-ran. Dr Fraser’s book, ‘The Third Place’ explores this murky and often ignored part of the human psyche. In the podcast he elaborates on the methods in the book, which can do a lot more than merely prepare you for the next challenge. They can actually be the first step in achieving some of those holy grail aspirations like “work/life balance”, “being a good leader” etc. etc. Below are some nuggets from the chat:

** Between every challenge, you must: 1. Reflect on the last one. Rest your mind afterwards by doing something that brings you into ‘the now’ (a call centre worker achieved good results by pulling out one piece of jenga after every call, for example).  3. Reset your mind by then focusing on exactly what you want to achieve from the next challenge.

** Humans have a default negative bias, so there is no shame in needing to use a method like this in order to be happy and successful.

** Spending a long time at work away from home doesn’t automatically make for an unhappy family life. Your mindset when returning home has actually been proven to be more important than the amount of time you are there.

In this episode of Business Brain Food you will learn:

** The difference between ‘respond’ and ‘react’

** How to be a better manager and leader

** How to achieve a work/life balance

** How your behaviour affects others

** Why struggling is actually a positive thing

Resources mentioned in this episode:

** Business Coaching (http://actioncoachanz.com/businessrich)

** Dr Adam Fraser’s website (http://www.dradamfraser.com)

** Dr Adam Fraser’s twitter (http://www.twitter.com/dradamfraser)

** The Third Space book (http://www.thethirdspace.com.au)

** Facebook (facebook.com/businessbrainfood)

** Business Brain Food Facebook Group (facebook.com/groups/businessbrainfood)

** Twitter (https://twitter.com/bfewtrell)

** ActionCOACH (http://actioncoachanz.com/itunes)

** ActionCOACH (http://actioncoachanz.com/stitcher)

  Subscribe on iTunes It is very reassuring to know just how many good results Dr Fraser’s simple methods have achieved, but you don’t need to be a doctor to actually implement them.  In less than an hour of conversation, he has provided some of the best shortcuts to success you will ever hear.  If you follow them, you can literally change your life tomorrow… and we’re not exaggerating! Also, if you are enjoying these Business Brain Food podcasts, then make sure to share them via social media sites or email the links to family and friends. A lot of time and effort goes into producing each of these podcasts with the goal in mind of the more people we can inspire about business the better. You can help us do just that!

Until next time, have a profitable day.

Cheers, Ben Fewtrell (02) 9111 5000

Direct download: BBF068_Achieving_High_Human_Performance_with_Dr_Adam_Fraser.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm AEDT

How To Get Leads Using Video On Facebook And Youtube With Gideon Shalwick

Having online video as part of your marketing mix can really engage people. As obvious as this sounds, the market for online video marketing is still relatively immature, so there is great opportunity for you to stand out from the crowd with the right campaign. Gideon Shadwick makes his living from empowering companies to do just that. Like most of the rest of us, he started as an online-marketing novice, but through the promotion of a book he wrote, he soon became fascinated.

When his first round of online advertising delivered great sales for his book, he was a complete convert, but when he ran out of traffic, he didn’t have a clue what to do next. So he absolutely immersed himself in the art of online advertising and became an expert, soon realising that video was a comparatively untapped gold mine for building an audience and driving traffic. Gideon has helped over 200,000 people across 195 countries with their video marketing, and now through this podcast he will help a whole lot more. He discussed the many tricks of the trade he has picked up down the years, but here is a sneak preview:

** Combine both paid video advertising with your existing ‘free’ video sources, i.e. your youtube channel. See your own youtube channel as a slow burner that builds your audience and increases your ranking on youtube and google, but paid advertising can help speed this process up once you have laid the foundations.

** Don’t go overboard with fancy videos. When people go on youtube they have different expectations to when they watch the TV.  In fact, there is evidence that shows that conversion rates actually drop when an online video is too slick.

** Understand what the criteria is for ranking videos on places like facebook and youtube. It is about a lot more than just views and likes (listen to the podcast for a breakdown of the ranking algorithms).

** Any keyword phrase you want to use, try and use it right at the beginning of the title of any video.

** Don’t be put off by the concept of making an advert for a paid advertising campaign. There are facilities out there like veeroll.com that can make it very easy.

** Make your adverts short and sweet. 30 seconds is often enough.

** Remember youtube is not the only video host in town. Facebook is really majoring on their video content at the moment, and their interface to set up a video ad is arguably better than youtube’s.

The conversion rates that Gideon has achieved by using the above methods are very impressive indeed.  It is surprising what can be accomplished by using video as a focal point to drive traffic to your own website, or when used as a simple call to action for an individual campaign. In this episode of Business Brain Food you will learn:

** Why video is such important content in the grand scheme of online advertising

** How youtube and facebook rank videos

** The key rules that an online advert should abide by

** How to join up the long-term strategy of building an audience with a short-term campaign

** The increasing reach of facebook in the online video arena

** The inner workings of veeroll.com

Resources mentioned in this episode:

** Vee Roll (http://www.veeroll.com)

** Gideon Shalwick’s Youtube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/GideonShalwick)

** Facebook (facebook.com/businessbrainfood)

** Business Brain Food Facebook Group (facebook.com/groups/businessbrainfood)

** Twitter (https://twitter.com/bfewtrell)

** ActionCOACH (http://actioncoachanz.com/itunes)

** ActionCOACH (http://actioncoachanz.com/stitcher)

  Subscribe on iTunes It is so so simple to make engaging videos to boost interest in your company, and yet relatively few companies actually bother to do it.  If you follow Gideon’s advice, you can steal a march on all those other luddite companies out there! Also, if you are enjoying these Business Brain Food podcasts, then make sure to share them via social media sites or email the links to family and friends. A lot of time and effort goes into producing each of these podcasts with the goal in mind of the more people we can inspire about business the better. You can help us do just that!

Until next time, have a profitable day.

Cheers, Ben Fewtrell (02) 9111 5000


Making Your Dreams Come True With Steve Sims

When Steve Sims was sacked as a stockbroker after only three days in the job, it certainly didn’t look like it was the beginning of an extravagant adventure that has seen him arrange a wedding in The Vatican and have dinner at the feet of the statue of Michael Angelo. Steve’s company Bluefish specialises in creating unique experiences for high net-worth clients who want to live life to the full. He literally makes people’s dreams come true… for the right price of course! But Steve’s journey is an important example of how successful someone can be if they are passionate and they understand how to make people happy.

The small touches can sometimes make all the difference, and likewise, the ability to think big and tell people something is possible can be very lucrative indeed.

Beyond that, there are a multitude of insightful and inspirational points that came up when Steve discussed what made him and his company successful:

** If you fail at something, don’t be ashamed, just have a strong Plan A to dig yourself out of it, but then be open to a Plan B/C/D/E, because sometimes they can be far more fruitful than Plan A.  In Steve’s case, his plan to court high net-worth individuals to encourage a bank to give him a job ended up creating an international concierge business by accident!

** Only work with people you like.

** Successful people don’t grow up and don’t conform.  Think of what a 2-year-old does, i.e. what they want.  They’ll scribble all over the colouring-in book because they know no better, but when they get older they are told to colour within the lines.  Most successful people ignore this kind of conformity, and never really grow up.

** Set up your company and product in such a way that clients do the selling for you.  If you give them more than they pay for, they’ll sell you to others.

** Don’t forget the power of “critical non-essentials” i.e. the things you don’t have to do for clients, but that might just make a difference in the long term if you do them.

** Thought and empathy cannot be automated, so often they have more of an impact than the many other things in business that can be automated.

** Use old-fashioned methods of communication like letters… the open rate is generally better for snail mail than email.

** Or if you’re going to send an email, consider sending an audio voice message as an attachment.  That way, more can be said in less time, and it has a more genuine meaning.

** Keep your word, even if it costs you money in the short term.

By Steve’s own admission, he is not an intellectual, but if you are good with human touches and you display the passion and energy to make things happen, you can be clever in business. In this episode of Business Brain Food you will learn:

** The crazy adventures of Steve Sims and Bluefish

** The value of old-fashioned methods of communication

** What can be possible if you subvert the system

** The benefits of sharing your rewards with others

Resources mentioned in this episode:

** 20-minute business coaching (http://actioncoachanz.com/meetwithben)

** Blue Fish (http://www.thebluefish.com)

** Ugly Sims (http://www.uglysims.com)

** Facebook (www.facebook.com/businessbrainfood)

** Business Brain Food Facebook Group (www.facebook.com/groups/businessbrainfood)

** Twitter (https://twitter.com/bfewtrell)

** ActionCOACH (http://actioncoachanz.com/itunes)

** ActionCOACH (http://actioncoachanz.com/stitcher)

  Subscribe on iTunes

Steve’s made a business out of following dreams, and that came after his biggest knockback in life. Don’t ever give up on yours! Also, if you are enjoying these Business Brain Food podcasts, then make sure to share them via social media sites or email the links to family and friends. A lot of time and effort goes into producing each of these podcasts with the goal in mind of the more people we can inspire about business the better. You can help us do just that!

Until next time, have a profitable day.

Cheers, Ben Fewtrell (02) 9111 5000

Direct download: BBF066_Making_your_Dreams_come_true_with_Steve_Sims.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm AEDT

How to Create 2 Million Dollars a Year in Passive Income with Nathan Birch

It seems like a crazy dream to be able to retire from full-time work at the age of 24 and still have $2 million land in your account every year when you hit 30, but Nathan Birch is living proof that it is possible. For him it was all about setting the right goals, week by week, year by year, and more generally, working hard now to earn the right to not have to work as hard later. This seems like such an obvious mantra, but that’s why listening to Nathan is so inspiring, because every single one of us is actually capable of doing the things he does. His methods have empowered him to build an empire of 170 properties, but even for people who are just starting out who only want to buy one or two properties, his advice is indispensable.

Below is a summary of what made Nathan successful in property, which makes for a mighty fine template of how to succeed in business and in life in general:

** Have a plan with clearly defined goals, and then map out every step you think is required to achieve them (this seems so obvious, but a dream can only become an achievable goal once every step is broken down into small, achievable chunks)

** Document the goals and keep reviewing them

** Don’t be put off by naysayers (but rather than ignore them, rationalise their point and disprove it with your own logic)

** Be persistent – if you have an idea, don’t just leave it as an idea… take action!

** Don’t make business decisions based on emotion, i.e. “this property looks really nice, I could totally live here”… you need to make sure the numbers add up

** Don’t underestimate the value of properties in areas that are thought to be undesirable

** Try and take your time to find a property under the market value, which gives you a profit margin from the beginning

** It’s never too late! (Colonel Sanders was in his 60s when he opened his first KFC)

More generally, the most important thing is to really understand exactly what you want a property to do for your life.  When Nathan picked up a magazine at the age of 13, he was certain that property could make him wealthy and give him security, so he did his damnedest to make that happen by getting two full-time jobs and saving enough money to buy his first unit when he was 18.

Everyone’s story and aspirations will be different, but Nathan has proven that property as a means to security is a good path to go down, especially considering the increasing volatility of the superannuation/pensions market.

In this episode of Business Brain Food you will learn:

** One man’s story of how to build a property empire

** How to set, review, and achieve goals

** The money that can be saved by having two jobs

** What makes a good property investment

Resources mentioned in this episode:

** Ask Pat with Pat Flynn (http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/ask-pat/)

** Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield (http://www.amyporterfield.com/category/podcast/)

** Small Business Marketing with Timbo Reid (http://smallbusinessbigmarketing.com/podcast-2/)

** Beers, Blokes & Business (http://beersblokesbusiness.com/category/podcast/)

** Sales, Marketing Profit with James Schramko (http://www.salesmarketingprofit.com/category/podcast)

** Podcast Answer Man (http://podcastanswerman.com/)

** School Of Podcasting (http://schoolofpodcasting.com/)

** Internet Business Mastery (http://www.internetbusinessmastery.com/podcast/)

** Beinvested (https://binvested.com.au/nathan-birch/)

** Beinvested on Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/user/binvested)

** Facebook (www.facebook.com/businessbrainfood)

** Business Brain Food Facebook Group (www.facebook.com/groups/businessbrainfood)

** Twitter (https://twitter.com/bfewtrell)

** ActionCOACH (http://actioncoachanz.com/itunes)

** ActionCOACH (http://actioncoachanz.com/stitcher)

  Subscribe on iTunes

If you’re thinking of dipping your toe in to the world of property investment, or if you want to build your existing portfolio into something mega, then go ahead and do it! Nathan did. So can you!

Also, if you are enjoying these Business Brain Food podcasts, then make sure to share them via social media sites or email the links to family and friends. A lot of time and effort goes into producing each of these podcasts with the goal in mind of the more people we can inspire about business the better. You can help us do just that!

Until next time, have a profitable day.

Cheers, Ben Fewtrell (02) 9111 5000