Built To Prosper University

5 Secrets to Building an Empire

There are many people who want to be the next Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffett, Aliko Dangote, or Steve Jobs. They dream of building their own business empire. Unfortunately, many of them have no idea how to make their dreams a reality, so they are either stuck with maintaining a small business or not even starting at all.

Many people ask themselves how existing empires become so successful for many years. As a way to answer their questions, these are some of the secrets in building a strong and successful business empire:

  1. Be willing to grind.

There is no such thing as instant success in the business world. For a business to grow into a successful empire, an entrepreneur has to start from the bottom and be willing to grind. One example is Kentucky Fried Chicken’s (KFC) Colonel Sanders. After serving for the US army for years, he decided to start up his own business by peddling his home-cooked chicken across restaurants. He did not have that much investment capital on-hand, so he had to go from restaurant to restaurant. Eventually, his own chicken recipe became more popular across America.  Although it took a long time, his “finger-licking good chicken” became one of the well-known fast-food chains not only in America but also in the entire world.

  1. Create a product or service that serves a protected niche

One of the biggest secrets in creating a business empire is to create a product or service that everyone will want to buy. Take for example Coca-Cola and Pepsi, the giants in the soda industry. In spite of the fact that their sodas are loaded with sugar and calories, they both know that there will always be people who drink soda. No matter the time of the year or the location, millions of people will crave for a refreshing beverage such as soda.

Another example of a business using this secret is Nestle Corporation, whose product line consists of commodities such as coffee, milk and tea. Nestle also knows that there are many customers who want to purchase simple items for their needs, and they were smart enough to provide them just that.

  1. Deviate away from the competition.

Blue-ocean strategy is a business tactic wherein entrepreneurs create a product that is similar to competitors’ but choose to serve to an entirely different market. This business strategy is how empires thrive when differentiation and affordability create a new demand in a seemingly crowded market.

Take for instance the tech giant Apple. Back then, mobile tablets were only a pipe-dream and there was no such thing as a tablet. In addition to that, gadget users already had laptops and desktop computers, as well as mobile phones. They did not think they will need anything else.

However, it all changed when Apple introduced the iPad, the company’s first touch-screen tablet that is more portable than a laptop yet more functional than a mobile phone. The reception was overwhelming with tech critics and gadget consumers flocking to their stores to get the newest portable gadget. It also resulted in a new market. After Apple’s initial success, other manufacturers began creating their own tablets for the newly-created market.

  1. Be generous to your client and serve them well.

Generosity may be an expensive attitude of an entrepreneur to win clients, but it can benefit them in the long-run. It eventually makes clients more loyal to the business. One incredible display of generosity came from Microsoft. The tech giant earns billions of dollars from licensing royalties from computer manufacturers. As the company earning grows they give cash dividends to its shareholders and employees, which makes them a great deal happier and satisfied.

  1. Be visible and friendly to everyone in the business.

A good business leader and entrepreneur will not stay inside the executive office all the time. They will go out and make connections. For example, the founder of the Virgin Group of Companies made sure that he is around to meet and greet his employees and staff. He also made sure to shake hands with the passengers of Virgin Atlantic airline. By this example, the founder stressed that one of the secrets in building an empire is to be friendly and accessible to everyone working in the business.

If you truly are an entrepreneur that is committed to building an empire, it may take a long time but patience and dedication will nurture your dreams to be fulfilled.

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The Right Way to Set and Achieve Your Goals – Be S.M.A.R.T

People set their goals differently, depending on their current situation, resources, physical capacity and other factors. You can, however, follow some guidelines to make sure that your goals are credible and achievable. Too many people seem to set their goals without having a realistic game plan, only to become disappointed. Here are some S.M.A.R.T tips for you.

Being Specific

Goals need to be specific, so that you know which part of the process you are currently working on and the particular ways you will achieve it. Most people have goals to get promoted, get rich, improve relationships and the like, but these are very vague and your mind can become confused about what you truly mean. General descriptions usually do not have boundaries, so you always leave room for mistakes and compromise. If you want results that you can be proud of, be specific.

To be specific, you need to include the full details. Write down something like, “I will earn three hundred and fifty thousand dollars in my business by September of this year.” or “I will be the top leader of the sales division by next week.” or “I want my relationship with my spouse to grow, we will go on weekly dates.” Include the names, the position, the amount, the date and everything else needed to train your mind to start working toward that goal.

Being Measurable

Goals need to be measurable so that you can keep track of how well you are doing. To help measure your path and goal, you should include quantifiable details. For your job, you can include specifics such as the number of hours you are working, the amount you are earning, the staff you are managing, etc. For the goal of money, you can include details such as the amount you want to have as a whole or the number of companies or businesses you own. Always have important points and items to be measured so you can understand how close you are to achieving your goals. If your goal is to earn $30,000 a month, then you know you are halfway there if you’re already earning $15,000 a month.

Attainable vs Realistic

Only set goals that can possibly be accomplished. Some people set goals that are too high to reach, that they are almost setting up situations that are impossible. Make sure you only set objectives that you can reach within a given amount of time, provided the current resources and capabilities you have. Some examples of impossible goals are doubling your salary overnight, getting a promotion higher than your boss’s position, etc. Some goals can be achieved faster compared to others if you have the right tools and strategies already in place. Always include a strategic plan for big objectives.

Time-Bound

Set “lifelines” to achieve your goals. I don’t like the word deadline, I prefer lifeline. Stay specific when setting timelines and schedules. For example, indicate things like “To spend at least 1 uninterrupted hour talking with my spouse everyday starting tomorrow (indicate exact date and year)”. Setting the exact time and date will spur you to start working on your goals, instead of putting it off for another day and procrastinating. Some goals can take years to accomplish so it is wiser to break these down into smaller objectives, still complete with lifelines.

You are worthy of achieving your goals so always remember to be S.M.A.R.T while getting them done.

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4 Steps to “Get It Done” despite Your Busy Schedule

There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving and that is your own self. ~ Aldous Huxley

One of the most common complaints in today’s world is that we are just too busy to find time for the things that really matter. We are too consumed by our work and then by our responsibilities for our family and society that we get little time for personal enrichment of any kind. We do not find time to pursue our passion.

However, if we managed things in a better way, we could be able to find time for the things that we like to do. It is all about proper management.

Set Priorities

The Problem: You need to be good at your job and providing for your family, but you struggle to find “me time”.

The Solution: We are not asking you to become selfish, but when you are spending the better part of your day at work and a significant amount of time each day performing your various other obligations, schedule at least an hour every day for your personal development. Remember that improving self is extremely vital.

Your Time is an Asset

Decide what you want to do with your time each day and invest it wisely. Are you going to enrich yourself in some way? You may be planning to do something creative or just become more productive. When you know what you want and you are willing to go after it, you begin to view your time as an asset.

Make a Commitment

Just as you commit to perform all your other jobs, make a commitment to yourself as well. Commit that you will spend at least 1 hour each day enriching yourself. This time could be when you return home from your office or it can be early morning. But, promise yourself that you will spend an hour on self-improvement and stick to that vigorously.

Ask Others

Ask people you trust what changes they want to see in you. Ask them what they think you are good at. Your trusted friends and confidants will tell you the truth about what they want you to do. They will help shape your understanding on how you need to improve on your noted talents.

There is only one you in the world. Take the time to shape and mold yourself to be your very best.

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4 Steps to Develop Your Own Style

There are people who spend their whole lives conforming to the ideals of other people, while there are some people who want to develop their own style. If you are the latter type, then it does not mean that you have a large ego or that you are vain about yourself. If you have decided to develop your own style, then it is the sign of a confident personality. You are striving to be unique; there is no harm in that.

The first thing you have to do when you aspire to develop your own style is to have a full realization of your limitations and capabilities. You cannot be unique unless and until you know what you can and cannot do. Think about what you are good at, and think about the things you are not good at.

Work on Your Strengths

Always try to work to your strengths. If there is something you can do well, try and see how you can improve at it. This is what will characterize your personality. People will remember you for your talent. Aren’t all famous personalities of the world remarkable because of at least one talent? Find out what your special forte is, and work on it.

This does not mean you should ignore your weaknesses completely. Try to improve on that too. A person with an impressive personality is one who can manage various tasks, but excel at least one.

Listen to Your ‘Inner Voice’

It is also important that you listen to your ‘inner voice’. When you are planning on something, ask yourself—What does my inner voice say? And act accordingly. If you have firm conviction in a particular thing, you should probably do just that. There will be several detractors on the way, but you should only heed the advice of people who have noble intentions for you. Don’t be obstinate, but know what’s good for you and act accordingly. Be confident in yourself and your ideas.

Do what You Believe

Don’t blindly copy others. Don’t try to do something just because someone else is doing it. Do what you believe in, even though other people do not recommend it. If you are firmly convinced that it is good for you, then it probably is. Weigh the pros and cons of anything that you take up, and when you take something up, commit yourself to it.

Have Faith in Yourself

Developing your own style is not something that you can do overnight. Your whole life is a process of developing a personality or a style. Everything that you do will affect it. Integrity and credibility are the basic survival tools in developing your own style. So, you need to be careful about everything that you do and, above all, have faith in yourself.

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How To Think As Big As You Really Are by: Hasheem Francis and Deborah Francis

We live in an environment where we have been conditioned to think small, simplify our lives and to overall expect and demand less from life. The world tells us that “whatever will be, will be” and that “fate” is in complete control of our destinies. So forget those big dreams, and forget striving for a better life. Be resigned with what you have.

But I am here to declare, “Don’t let the words of others limit your vision. Do and Be YOU!”

I once read somewhere, as an experiment, someone put two advertisements in the newspaper. Both were for the same job with the exact same job description, but one of them offered to pay a salary that was double the one of the other. Strangely, about ten times more people applied for the lower paying job. Yet, the world tells us that there is too much competition for the top spots in life. This experiment clearly disproves that. It’s NEVER ok to settle for an unsatisfying or unpleasant status quo. 

People are taught to think small. And that is why they fail. The size of our success is limited only by the size of our thinking. “If you let fear run through you unchallenged, it can prevent you from thinking productively. Big thinking rewards action: always has and always will.

You can have anything you want, but you have to believe that you can achieve it. There is no one who can hinder or stop the firm resolve of a determined soul. The problem with most people is that they believe that there isn’t enough to go around and so they must not take more than their fair share. But, money and success do not run out.  All things are possible to those who believe.

So many people feel trapped in their lives of tiny dreams, of getting by, of constantly craving more and yet thinking themselves undeserving of more. Is this how you want to live your life? Open your mind, your imagination, expand the size of your thinking and your drive for success and get to work. Will there be challenges? Absolutely.  A detour is not a change in the destination. It’s just an alternate route to get there. Keep going! Will people doubt you? Absolutely. When people doubt you, just say: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do. And when you prepare my table in the presence of my enemies, make sure they get the best seat in the house.” Think big and make those dreams happen!

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