Monday, May 30, 2011

Focus on what you’re good at, and nothing else!

Is it me or is everyone these days trying to get rich quick? Not only am I meeting more and more people who don't want to work hard to make money, but they are starting to get into new business ventures that they are clueless on.
I know the grass always looks greener on the other side, but it really isn't. Don't get me wrong, those lucrative businesses are making people millions of dollars, but it's probably doing that for less than 0.3% of the people in that industry.
So before you decide to jump ship and get into a new career, just for a second think about all the things you will be losing out on. Yes you may make some extra income in the short run, but if you put that time and energy into growing what you are already good at and love, you'll do a lot better.
If you want to make a ton of money in business, follow these principles:

Harsh Fact #1: Focus on what you know

If you are really good at something, focus on it. Don't stray away from it, but instead just do that and become the leader in your space. If you don't think you can make enough money focusing on what you are good at, then figure out what related businesses you can get into.
For example, a buddy of mine, Michael Dorausch, is a chiropractor in Los Angles. Although he does very well, he wasn't satisfied with the income he was making as a chiropractor. But instead of jumping into a whole new field, he decided to help other chiropractors get more customers from the web for a monthly fee.

Harsh Fact #2: Business development is the quickest way to grow

If you put me in a room with a thousand people and you ask me to close a deal with all of them, the chances are, I'll fail. But if you put me in a room with one person and ask me to close a deal with them, there is a good chance I'll be able to do so.
I am big believer that it is easier to convince one person to work with you than it is to convince thousands of people. The cool part about business development is that the one person you convince could have access to thousands of people or companies.
For example, my friend Andy runs a TV website called BuddyTV. One way that he could try and grow his user base is to do a business development deal with other TV related companies such as TV Guide, Comcast, Timewarner, Verizon… The reason this is powerful is because if you can close a deal with someone like TV Guide, you then get access to all of their customers.

Harsh Fact #3: Grow your network wisely

It's hard to put a value on networking, but it can really help your business as long as you have a strong network. Networking with people that can't provide any value to you or your business is fine in small doses, but it can turn into huge waste of time because those people won't provide you with a good ROI.
At first you may have to network with people who don't provide much value so you can get the hang of it, but you should shift your focus to networking with individuals who can help you grow your business.
Also, you have to realize that networking is a two way street. I don't care how many big names you have in your network, it'll be useless if you don't help them out as well. Because when you need their help, they'll be more likely to help you out if you've taken care of them in the past.

Harsh Fact #4: Build up your personal brand

Building up your business should always be your number 1 objective, but your number 2 objective should be to build your personal brand. Now granted, you can make millions without building up your personal brand, but it doesn't hurt to have a strong one.
When my business partner and I started KISSmetrics we were able to get our first paying customers by leveraging our personal brand. People knew about him and I and companies that followed us were willing to sign on for our product because they liked my business partner and I. In the long run that won't help you build a big business, but in the short it does help bring in revenue.
If you build up your personal brand, no matter what business you get into, you'll increase your odds of making money.

Harsh Fact #5: Expand when your growth rate flattens

It's always fun to start new businesses, especially if you have ADHD like me, but that doesn't mean you should. If your current business is growing at a healthy pace, there is no reason to expand your business into new verticals.
As I mentioned above, Michael decided to expand his chiropractic business by helping other chiropractors get more customers from the Internet. But he didn't start doing this until his own chiropractic business started to reach full capacity. There are only 24 hours in a day and there are only so many patients he can see in a day. Once he reached his capacity, he then decided to expand, while still maintaining his practice.
If you decide to expand your business, make sure you don't neglect your current business and customers. You have to maintain it while expanding.


Don't get caught up in businesses that are sexy and hot, focus on what you know. If you are passionate and knowledgeable about a specific subject, you can make money at it. You just have to get creative.
So what do you think about all these people that are trying to get into businesses that they have no clue about?


This post courtesy of Neil Patel at

Monday, May 16, 2011

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Necole Bitchie-Brand Queen


Necole Bitchie of

Necole is plugged in to the web at all times

Blogging was supposed to be a waste of time. Out of work and with no roof over her head to call her own, Necole “Bitchie” Kane—whose parents and grandmother had passed—called her aunt’s couch home and fiddled around on the Internet as a way to keep sane. Figuring her niece was just “playing around on the computer” instead of looking for a job, auntie kicked her out of her Maryland house, and Necole Bitchie, Kane’s online persona, began to blossom.

With only $500 to her name, the enterprising go-getter made the move to Atlanta to network and wound up becoming the face and voice of, a popular gossip/entertainment blog that rivals many mainstream brands in terms of influence in the online space. Since launching in 2007, the site now draws upwards of 1.2 million unique visitors per month and stands as the hub of the Necole Bitchie brand, which has grown to include a web channel (Bitchie TV), lifestyle site (Bitchie Life), T-shirt line (Born Bitchie) and another online property on the horizon ( For her mastery of the digital space and branding power, Necole Bitchie joins’s esteemed list of online thought leaders as part of our first annual Black Blogger Month.

I started blogging because…

I wanted to create my own opportunities… [Initially] I had wanted to work in the music industry and doors kept slamming in my face. Every time I would send out resumes or get interviewed I would never get hired and it came to a point in 2007 where I said I’d never send out another resume and I haven’t.

I realized blogging was a business when…

I was doing research and I wandered on to Perez Hilton’s site. I wasn’t even into blogs like that and I just happened to land on his site and I saw the ad space and I clicked on it. At the time it was like $10,000 for a sidebar ad for like a week and I was like, “What part of the game is this?” I Googled him and I saw how he started his site like in the living room or something and how it grew and I studied his story and I felt like it was something I could possibly get into, so it started from there. Just seeing somebody was actually selling ad space for a week for $10,000. That just got my mind going like, “How could I flip this? How could I make this into a business?”

My biggest influences are…

Will Smith. I read all of Will’s old interviews and watch all of his interviews that he’s done on television and I think one of the things that really got me is that he said, “I will not be overworked. If I get on a treadmill with you and we’re running, two things will happen. I’m either going to outrun you or I’m going to die.” I think that you have to have that mentality to make it because it’s about not just getting comfortable. Once you reach a certain level you always have to think about getting to the next level. That’s also why Oprah is someone else that influenced me because she beat out everybody. So she was like, “What am I going to do? I’m going to go to the next step and that’s own my own network.” Those type of people inspire me to keep going.

The best piece of business advice I ever got was… logo

B is for brand

To know your target audience. Like, every time a new blogger comes to me and asks that’s one of the first things I say. You have to sit down and define your target audience. Like me I would look at a piece of paper and I would have my picture on it and I would say, “She’s a 24 year old female, African American, she goes to the nail shop twice a week, she reads Vibe magazine, she likes this movie…” I would have her whole profile down because once you know your target then you know what appeals to them like I was doing celebrity gossip at first, but then I thought my target audience was me, well I like nails and different kinds of designs, so I started posting some stuff on nails and the [audience] went crazy…. If you don’t have a target then you’ll try to appeal to everyone and that’s when you’ll get lost and it’ll be very hard for you to brand yourself and your site when you don’t have a specific person in mind that you’re appealing to.

The biggest mistakes I ever made in business have…

All been financial. Not planning. Not setting budgets. Just spending money, like if you told me, “I think you need this,” and it sounds okay I used to not even look to see if we have a budget for that. I really wasn’t money managing. You know, money would come, money would go. It’s not until you sit down and all of the numbers are pulled together and someone tells you you spent three-fourths of your money on expenses and that could’ve been cut in half that you’re like, okay, I need to get it together. So definitely the biggest mistake is not setting budgets and not money managing.

What I learned from that was…

That going through every year, even every month, you should definitely make a budget. I only want to spend this much on graphics. I want to spend this much on supplies or marketing or whatever. It’s just very hard to have a successful business and not have a good business structure and cash flow; knowing what money is coming in and going out, especially when it’s time to look into investors or other partnerships and then they want to know how have you been spending your money in the past.

I measure my success by…

How many people I inspire and motivate everyday. When I first started working with my publicist Christina one of my main things was even if I did interviews and get in magazines I don’t want to get into them just to say, “Hey, look what I did with my blog.” I really wanted the person reading to know the back story and the struggle and the obstacles I had to overcome to even get here in three years, so every time someone comes on Twitter and says, “Girl, I just read your story and you inspire and motivate me,” that’s how I measure my success, not by how much money I make or how many people read the site.

None of my success would be possible if not for…

My aunt. By kicking me out of her house she took the crutch from underneath of me that I wouldn’t get comfortable, so without her I wouldn’t be here.



Sunday, May 15, 2011

Move your business forward with Facebook !

Using Facebook to move your business forward


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Can you afford college tuition now ..?

With the cost of living on the rise I’ve heard concerns about many expenses but the one expense which has seldom been discussed in my circle is college tuition for the little one. Have we forgotten this expense is also on the rise ? student-loan-programs-2
The good news is you can pre-pay for college with a 529 plan. Lock in the cost of college today instead of being burdened by the cost of college tomorrow.
That sounds like a winner to me.
I’ve heard a lot of parents brag about how smart their child is and I usually wait for them to brag about their college fund only to be disappointed.
If I’m disappointed by your lack of planning just imagine how disappointed they’ll be. Having smart children is great. Having smart children with a 529 plan is much better.
Let’s face the facts leaving college with more debt then you entered isn’t a very good start on the road to success and yet this is the fate for thousands of college bound students who must rely on student loans.
This was also the case for both of my parents which leaves me to wonder how can two parents struggling with their own college debt prepare for their children’s college education.  Break the cycle.
For more information on pre-paid college plans read : An Introduction to 529 Plans

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