August 23rd, 2012
It’s been incredibly long awaited but I am truly delighted to announce that the DO IT! OR DITCH IT app is now available to download from the app store! Officially released on Tuesday (21st August), the app is currently in the top 10 of the ‘free business apps category’.
A huge thank you to everyone who has already downloaded and reviewed the app! Even James (Caan) got involved tweeting the following – thank you James for your support!
Download the DO IT! OR DITCH IT app now. Free for a limited time period.
Despite the apparent doom and gloom, the rate at which businesses are starting up is strong with a 30% increase in the number of businesses since 2000. This, coincided with my new role as Director of Mentoring on Start Up Loans meant it seemed only sensible to merge my business mentoring and coaching knowledge together to create the DO IT! OR DITCH IT app.
There has never been a better time to launch an app version of my bestselling book DO IT OR DITCH IT, with 29 billion apps downloaded last year and with 47% of mobile users now owning smartphones.
Thank you to everybody who has bought the book and made the effort to contact me with their thoughts and thanks. I do hope you’ll enjoy having DO IT! OR DITCH IT “on the go” and in a more interactive format.
As well as including new video content and new business building resource for app downloaders, I am particularly proud of the mini DISC assessment which provides a truly interactive snapshot of your personality type and how that might influence your decisions and actions – great to share with friends and colleagues!
I do hope you enjoy using the app, do feel free to leave your review on the app store. I’ll be checking in as often as I can.
A heartfelt thanks must go out to EBA Member, Gary Gallagher and his team at Paper Bag Ltd for all their hard work and patience over the last 12 months. This app would not have been possible without you!
Look forward to keeping you posted
Connect with Bev on Google+
August 17th, 2012
“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
I am always fascinated by the attitudes that create a winning mindset, and the characteristics that differentiate someone ‘good’ from someone ‘great’. In my experience daring to be different can lead to phenomenal success, though it is never going to be enough on its own.
The courage to step into uncharted territory needs to be supported by belief, drive, resilience, a winning mindset … and of course, a great idea!
When Walt Disney announced his plans to produce the first feature-length animation, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, it became known as ‘Disney’s Folly’, by those who were convinced that no-one would want to watch a cartoon for longer than a few minutes. But Disney dared to trust his experience and follow his instincts.
He understood his market. When the film was released in 1937, to great critical acclaim, he proved his critics wrong overnight.
Disney had another vision too, on a rather larger scale. He drew sketches of his ideas for an amusement park, where he envisioned his employees spending time with their children. His idea would eventually become Disneyland.
Disney said, “In the early days, I could never convince the financiers that [it] was feasible, because dreams offer too little collateral.” Nevertheless, he persisted and Disneyland eventually opened in July 1955; quickly becoming a commercial success.
The entertainment world thrives on new trends and reinvention and there are some great examples – Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Punk rock, Madonna, Lady Gaga have all invented, explored, expanded and re-invented.
In business too, there are those who ‘dare to be different’; creative thinkers with courage and vision – embodied by Sir Richard Branson “boldly going where no-one has gone before” (as a tourist) with his Virgin Galactic ‘enterprise’. Branson is synonymous with reinvention.
He knows that adventurousness and creativity go hand in hand. If he stopped making daring decisions his shareholders would probably worry that something was wrong: but his actions are underpinned by business sense, leadership and a clear understanding of what makes a profit; how business works.
Memorable trailblazers in every walk of life create waves and cause a rumble and make the impossible seem possible. Daring to be different sets them apart from the crowd. They change the world so that no-one remembers a time when their contribution did not exist.
Steve Jobs set out to change the world one beautifully designed gadget at a time. Devotees of Apple products aspire to own them; those who own them are inspired by using them. Jobs had a unique vision that changed the face of computers forever.
“He [Steve Jobs] has a reality distortion field. In his presence, reality is malleable,” said Andy Hertzfeld, Apple employee.
But success doesn’t come from being different for the sake of it. Market differentiation is not about being blindly optimistic; change for the sake of it is dangerous and indulgent. You need to understand what you want to achieve as well as why. Action needs to be part of a vision and a strategy.
Jacqueline Gold is the trail-blazing CEO of Ann Summers, who dared to take on the male-dominated sex industry. With steady determination she launched a network of all-female party planners who put the fun back into sex by selling lingerie and toys to women in their own homes.
One of her corporate values is ‘Daring’, which she believes is the most important quality of all.
Of course, some successes are a by-product of trying to achieve other things, particularly in the worlds of science and technology: Penicillin, Velcro, the glue used on Post-it Notes, and even the telephone, were all discovered by accident. Recognising a new opportunity is only the first step.
The person who dares, needs to inspire others with the unique potential and invest enough to support it commercially.
During the 1920s, revolutionary designer Coco Chanel liberated a generation of women from corsets and fuss, and redefined elegance for women in a style that endures today. The market for her early clothes expanded effortlessly.
Karl Lagerfeld is now at the creative helm of the company, but a Chanel suit remains a strong symbol of independent feminine chic. The brand has developed, but it is still modern and still recognisably Chanel.
“In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” Coco Chanel
The challenge for a long-established brand, such as Rolex, Burberry or Chanel, is to respect and retain the qualities that differentiate it from imitators, while continuing to evolve – without confusing or losing customers. There is a balance to be achieved between remaining ahead of the trend whilst also staying the same.
Early success often comes by learning from mistakes; learning to trust our own experience and judgement. But it is generally when someone dares to ‘let go’ and take a risk that they create something memorable and stand out from the crowd. Sometimes they dare because they have nothing to prove; sometimes it is because they have nothing left to lose.
Successful people inspire others to succeed – especially when they have overcome difficult odds to reach their goal. Their influence sends ripples far beyond the boundaries of their own profession.
One person’s courage and determination can encourage many others to raise their game – to take risks and to stretch their boundaries. Their success leaves clues for others to follow.
“There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” Robert F. Kennedy
Connect with Bev on Google+
August 17th, 2012
There is an old saying that, ‘the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago and the second best time is now’. The same could be said for getting involved with social media.
I recently held a workshop where 20% of the delegates attended in response to an announcement via Twitter. The advertising cost to me for that 20% was zero. Because of Twitter I had built a relationship with them before we had even met.
Most coaches are by nature people-focused; many are natural networkers, but many find it harder to use new media resources in a conscious way to build their business. I, too, was slow in getting to grips with social media. I have been active for only around two years.
To begin with, I shared many of the concerns that I know other coaches have. But I can assure you that being active via social media and building relationships online can be a rewarding experience for both you and your business.
One of my aims is to encourage coaches to make more use of social media, not only to keep in touch with other coaching professionals but also to start building relationships with prospective clients ; connecting to people by engaging to online groups and discussions about your profession.
I recently sent a survey out to several hundred coaches. I was keen to find out how are coaches use social media and get an understanding of their attitudes towards what could be the most important communication tool of the century.
Here is a sample of the questions I asked coaches through our online survey. I think you will find the results interesting.
How would you rate your level of ability with social media?
71.6% of the coaches who replied to the questionnaire said that they were now using social media – but only 5.5% of them classified themselves as highly proficient at using it; and 8.5% said that they were not currently using social media for business purposes.
That means that most coaches have a long way to go before becoming proficient enough to benefit from the full potential of social media.
How did you get involved with social media?
The vast majority of coaches who use social media are self-taught. Only 20% of those who replied had learnt their skills by investing in a course: almost the same number who had been helped by friends and family.
But sharing and chatting on Facebook and Twitter are not the same as having a business presence. It is good to learn from people who are successfully using social media in business, as well.
Read the rest of this entry »
June 21st, 2012
I often talk about the similarities between entrepreneurs and professional athletes. Both groups of people remain focused on being READY for success. They are Resilient, they create an Environment that supports success, they adopt a positive Attitude, they are Disciplined, and they know that the only person who can make things happen is You.
Do it! – Be Resilient
There is an old saying that, ‘If you keep doing what you have always done, you will keep getting what you have always got.’ In business marketing that is no longer true. Business owners may still be doing the same things they have always done (direct mailing, cold calling, pay per click, etc), but many are finding that the old approaches are no longer be working.
We all need to become more creative about how we find and keep our customers. Don’t panic. Don’t be rash. Try something new on a small scale and test and measure it first. A business that is resilient in a recession is one that adapts and is willing to evolve in the face of change.
Do it! – Change your Environment
Are your home, work, and social environments supporting you in your plans and vision of success? Or are there habits, people and ways of living that sabotage your dreams and hold you back? Sometimes we need to ask ourselves what we would be willing to let go of in order to achieve what we want for the future.
All professional athletes know that they need to push and challenge themselves beyond comfortable limits if they are to achieve optimum fitness and gain the chance of becoming the best. What are you prepared to do or to change, to get the result you want?
Do it! – Watch your Attitude
Successful people are upbeat people. It shows in the way they speak and the way they think. When you ask a successful person how they are feeling, they will rarely say ‘fine’ or ‘ok’.
Read the rest of this entry »
January 25th, 2012
The London 2012 website is steadily counting down the days to the London Olympics, and already the dissenters have started to grumble about the disruption it will cause.
Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber has gone so far as to say that he can foresee some theatres closing for the duration of the Games because (apart from for musicals) advance ticket sales are so low for this time of year.
I love the theatre so I must admit this piqued my interest as I thought it was a surprisingly defeatist comment.
January 3rd, 2012
Welcome to the first Bev’s Blog of 2012. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very successful and prosperous New Year.
When looking ahead to a new year it is useful to start by reflecting back on the one that has just passed. 2011 was a tough year for many businesses. Week after week the financial pages listed businesses and brands that were facing difficulties. Too many saw the shadow of the receivers passing their threshold.
But there have been good news stories too (even though these don’t seem to be given as many column inches in the Press).
We are very proud of the many businesses that are thriving as part of the EBA network.
Companies that survive the current downturn will emerge stronger, leaner and fit for business. Past successes leave clues for the future, and difficult times do too.
I often talk about the similarities between entrepreneurs and professional athletes. Both groups of people remain focused on being READY for success.
They are Resilient, they create an Environment that supports success, they adopt a positive Attitude, they are Disciplined, and they know that the only person who can make things happen is You.
December 13th, 2011
Marketing a business is not down to luck – it is a process and a skill that can be learned like any other, especially when you have a plan.
A marketing plan is your roadmap to success. It outlines where you want too be and how you will get there. Preparation is paramount.
December 6th, 2011
Move over babyboomers, there are new kids on the block.
Here comes Generation Y – the Facebook generation – who are changing the face of business forever.
New research tells us that: between 2006 and 2009 there was a 46% jump in the number of graduates describing themselves as self-employed or freelance; more than 30% of undergraduates are managing their own businesses or setting up companies while still at university; and more than half of 14-19-year-olds would like to be their own boss.
November 15th, 2011
There is a popular saying that: “Success has many parents – but failure is an orphan”. I have found that to be true.
When a business is successful there is a tendency for people to congratulate themselves for the individual part they played. Many people will think, “I achieved target because I did x or y”. They put it down to what they did right as an individual – but don’t look too closely. If something fails on the other hand, the same people are likely to become “hands off”.
Quite often they will blame external forces and will analyse what went wrong in some detail. It is no longer about the individual. This too can be useful – because we do learn from failure – but it is also important to adjust the attitude to success, so we recognise what is working and what is relevant for the future – rather than just breezing on regardless.
October 18th, 2011
I am fortunate enough to work with successful people who have reached the top of their fields in business, sport and every area of enterprise and I am often asked: “What is the one thing that sets those who are successful in business apart from those who fall short of their true potential?”
There are those who would say goal setting and planning are the keys to success, or that the power of self belief or positive thinking is the driving force. Yes, goal setting is important and having self belief is essential. I am a great believer in both of those things but you can plan, dream, create and think positively all you want and still not make your business a success.
In my experience, the core trait that sets successful people apart in every field of endeavour is self discipline.