Entrepreneur Mindset: Fundamentals of Business Marketing & Consumer Behavior
Marketing companies are so valuable because they study consumers at macroeconomic levels, that enable them to build brand awareness increase your ROI (return on investment) and determine the best marketing strategies that generate future revenue for the business. I refer to them as the psychiatrists of the business world and whilst it is all well and good having the luxury of a large marketing budget for your brand or product, and access to some hot-shot marketing team, thankfully in this day and age, the success of your business start-up does not rely on having either.
If you aren’t already spending the time learning and understanding who you are marketing to and what image, vlog, blog or podcast increases your ROI on various social media platforms, then it is unlikely you will be able to sell your product or services effectively and build long-term success, regardless of your budget.
In this 5 part series, you will have access to the basic business skills and key marketing techniques required for entrepreneurial success. All of this information has been generated through experience, the professionals I have hired or worked with and key advice from the various entrepreneurs who own successful businesses. This will also cover my own research into the importance of mindset, that will play an integral part in generating revenue and establishing a ROI. If there is anything of value, you would like to add, please email me or leave a message in the comments section below so that we can help others.
Very few people, including websites dedicated to business or marketing, seem to be providing the information necessary on what it actually takes, to build a successful business from the ground up, as an entrepreneur. The examples I have found, focused more on discussing the management and administrative skillsets required to become a mid-level manager, COO or CEO of an established company.
If you are serious about creating a business, brand or social media following, then I encourage you to get humble, get busy learning, and begin implementing the advice given so that until you get to a position where you are so busy making money, that you need a consultation with a marketing specialist, you are just as informed and experienced on the topic of your demographic and consumer as the marketer you are employing and it is the creative strategy you need more.
If your business is relying on a marketing specialist to tell you how your potential customer shops, why they would choose to use your services or buy your product and how to target them effectively in order to make your company successful, then you have already failed. Why? Because what that signifies, is that you are not prepared, nor do you have any idea on what is instrumental to your business success and how it is exactly, that you plan to build on that year on year out; stop being lazy, this is 2018 and especially in the beginning stages of building your business/brand, there is no excuse for you not to have a grasp on this . As any entrepreneur out their will tell you; spending the majority of your time testing out various images, vlogs, podcasts, and blog posts; finding out what is effective at generating and maintaining their interest continuously, is worth its weight in gold.
Learning WHY someone has started a company is just as important to me as learning HOW that person built a successful business, in whatever platform, industry or economy and as beneficial as it has been for me and my readers interviewing some of the successful women in business, that I have either met through work, travel or social media, there are many other fundamental skills you have to acquire in order to become a successful entrepreneur.
The times where I failed in business in the past, was not in the creation of a business or developing a product itself but due to my ignorance and negative mindset; I did not learn how integral it was to know the psychology behind how and why people spend money, nor did I know exactly where my strengths lay and what habits I had that were extremely detrimental to my life, not just my business. As a result of assuming that a good product sells itself, I didn’t bother to utilize the tools available to me or take the time to research, as well as test various marketing strategies for my business, that would have resulted in success.
I cannot stress enough
how important this is in business; long gone are the days of creating negative contingency plans in the name of realism. The only thing you need on paper at the moment, is the ROI (Return On Investment) stats, the habitual behavioural patterns
of your target demographic and how they operate, every social media platform. The rest comes down to your execution
on what you learned to be effective and whether your business continues to grow and be successful or not is extremely reliant on your levels of self-belief, efforts, and the continuous practice of mindfulness that creates self-awareness so that if in any case, you get smart enough to realise something that you habitual do is the problem, you can change it.
If you do not have a positive mindset, how is it going to be possible for you to grow your business? How is a negative, complacent mindset going to allow you to see opportunity? Don’t misunderstand me when I say this, there is a distinct difference between forecasting market trends and forecasting the many ways things could crash and burn.
Social Media & The Consumer Mindset:
Remaining in the age-old state of mind, that feeds this notion that opportunity doesn’t come knocking on your door, comes from those who were born into the era where their effectiveness at building a successful and nationwide business was solely reliant on being privileged enough to go to college or university, having the large budget to advertise in the local newspapers and setting up shop in a prime location.
Our current accessibility to the billions of potential customers that we have at our fingertips now is outstanding; from Youtube, search engines, to social media platforms which are basically the replacements of print, tv and radio ads, allow us to reach people, worldwide, without ever leaving the sofa.
Spending your time researching and understanding the mindset of the consumer, is a free opportunity everyone has access to. The months I have spent researching neuroplasticity, mental health
, how the brain learns, how we develop a habit
, and so on and so forth, has been the most useful, most profitable
piece of information I have ever learned in my life and why?
As stated above, and I am going to repeat this a lot; if you do not create self-awareness
, if you are not practising mindful behaviour
, if you have not bothered to learn how your mind works
; from developing new habits to unlearning the habits that no longer serve you, then the chances of you being dedicated enough to learn about your consumer, your target audience, in order to build a sustainable and successful business is slim to none; you are literally leaving your success and life for that matter, in the hands of chance.
- Be wise enough to understand that you know nothing.
- Be wise enough to understand that experiencing success once, and not building on that to make sure that you are generating an income for life, is not a success.
- Be wise enough to understand that what you choose to invest your time in, shapes your mind and alters how you feel about yourself… your behaviour will demonstrate how seriously you take your goals.
When you ask yourself ‘why do I actually want to be a millionaire?’ You will begin to understand your motives, that will shift your perspective and release this unnecessary and unachievable goal you set at 22, that you’ll be a millionaire within the year; start thinking long-term so that you learn to love the journey just as much as you will love the destination. Noone becomes a millionaire so that they could post a picture of their Ferarri on social media. People strive to become millionaires because they want the freedom of choice of whether to buy that Ferarri or not, or whether to post it on social media or not.
Motives and Expectations We Place on Money:
So many people have this idea that winning the lottery must be a curse because they immediately get divorced or end up blowing all their winnings within a year. It is not the curse of winning money that makes people do this, it is their current mindset that makes people do this.
Money gives you a broader spectrum of choice; choices that they felt in this instance, were closed off to them before winning the lottery so invariably, it won’t take a person long to question whether they want to remain married to the local boy they met down the street, 15 years ago, because he was the best option they had access to, at the time and of course, visa versa for men.
70% of people that win the lottery, end up filling for bankruptcy because they buy all the material possessions they could never have before and take all the luxury vacations they can and get so caught up in the illusion that having money automatically means your successful that they don’t take into consideration, what their financial position will be as a result, in even 2 years time. They spend money from the same mindset that they had when they were working a 9-5, forgetting that they have a greater responsibility in making sure that this new level of living, can be supported long-term.
This is fear based spending
at its finest and if people invested just as much time into educating themselves on the psychology of where why and how
their current mindset
is affecting, not just their chances of generating long-term success but bettering their lives as a whole – as they do in creating the actual business and or product itself, they can begin to increase their odds of achieving that, dramatically.
When you begin to take note of your spending habits, behavioural patterns with money and start to implement the free tools available to you, even via this website in order to change that, you will begin to develop the business or the entrepreneurial mindset, that will make sure you invest your money wisely. Fact.
If I were to give you 5k right now and you do any of the following, then there lies the first setback that you need to work on and don’t sit there in denial, the majority of us have had to change our core beliefs on money and habitual spending at some stage in our lives:
- You may buy the same jumper they like in every colour.
- You may buy white goods for the house or update the bathroom.
- You buy the Gucci bag for appearance’s sake.
- You may go on an all-inclusive holiday that year rather than your standard weekend get-away.
- You will let it sit in the bank.
Why do people do this? Because in that state of mind, which is a habit stemming from whatever their environment has taught them about money and other factors like social conditioning or having to file for bankruptcy in the past. The majority of us would never think to invest that money into something that would allow them to shop all year round, or take yearly vacations because they haven’t been shown how to do so. They are the people who put that money into a savings account without even negotiating an appropriate interest rate because they think the Bank dictates what happens with their money and not the other way around. It does not even cross their mind, to use the money in a way that would improve their lives long term because it is a lifelong habit, it is subconscious behaviour that most people are unaware of. Nevertheless, there is no excuse in this day an age to have a poor mindset because we have the power and the opportunity to change that.
A current example of how this poor mans mindset is still preventing people from becoming successful long-term can be found in the majority of influencers on social media with large followings, who grossly under-charge themselves for exposing an external brand because when someone does not realise their true value, they have no clue how to price their services accordingly and end up charging less.
On the flip side, this mindset makes it an incredibly opportunistic time for people like you and me, who are prepared to do the work regardless of whether we are currently experiencing small or large scaled success and want to capitalise on that without breaking the bank. Why? Because our ROI for hiring the services of that influencer for the exposure they bring is worth the fee. They are still significantly cheaper than the jumper we just bought in every colour and that Gucci bag we want, so whilst everyone else is making material purchases off the back of one ‘moment of luck‘, or fleeting business success, the rest of us are advertising the heck out of our business, with the money the rest of them are wasting at the nightclub on a Saturday night, in order to show off.
If you really want long-term success and earn that million a year, then you would have no problem being at home, learning who your target demographic is, what each social media platform reaps the most benefits for each video you put out there, or each blog, or each podcast, so that by the time it takes for others to book another vacation from their 2% wage increase, you will have narrowed down and owned the top keywords in Google Adwords, extracted all the free information available to you and doubled your exposure by chosing to master how to invest in advertisement that will triple your revenue stream from last year.
What motivates you, exactly? If you have not asked yourself this question and written down why you want to achieve that goal of financial freedom and haven’t taken advantage of the free tools that will show you how to make that happen, then your business will eventually fail because it will take one bought of financial success however big or small, for you to drop the ball and chose that Saturday night over the growth and sustainability of your business. This is not rocket science but it is a science. There is a reason why there are only 10.8 million, millionaires in the USA, 1.1 million, millionaires in Canada and 2.4 million, millionaires in the UK because people are literally spending more time working on achieving the perception of success than actually working to create long-term success; they have completely misunderstood why they want the money, they have little self-awareness, they are uninterested in taking accountability for their current situation, status in life and undermine their own income potential.
Most people who aren’t where they want to be in life, but actively choose to follow someone on Instagram whose life they envy, rather than do the work, are just lazy. They choose complacency over action every time they scroll through a feed; you can even see examples of this on social media, and this mindset is not just limited to the person commenting but all the way to established influencers themselves, who have built a large following and generated a reasonable income from what they do but suddenly become disinterested in interacting with the people that aided their success and stop working; they get so busy thinking they are somebody that they stop putting in the work, they stop responding to the comments, they stop trying out new content. – Gary Vaynerchuk is brilliant at explaining how common this is and why mindset is important too.
Your mindset is more important than any degree;
it is what will keep you researching, learning, asking questions, hustling, remaining humble enough to say ‘we live in an ever-changing economy, so for all I can hire people to feed me information, I too should be on the computer studying the habits of the consumer, spending hours replying to people who buy our products or use our services, so that by next year, my company isn’t worth just a 100million, it is worth 300million.
‘ Your mindset is what will keep you loving the game, the lessons aka the failures
, the grind, the journey.
I worked in finance globally, for just under 7 years; ‘it was the best of times, it was the worst of times’ and before that I worked in bars and went on tour with a rock band called The Towers of London so that I could get paid to party by helping their A&R Manager from Sony. After 6 months I ended up working for one of my families companies, naively assuming that I could do no work and still get paid; what a wake-up call that was. By the age of 22, my hatred for working for other people was pretty well established and being the arrogant and uninformed kid that I was, I didn’t make enough money to deem it worth the sacrifice of my freedom which is why I targeted the world of finance because I thought ‘hey, if I have to work, I may as well get paid the big bucks’ however, for the sake of making sure this blog doesn’t turn into a book, here are the revelent stages of my career path:
- I got an internship at a financial PR company with zero experience because I had the audacity to interrupt a bunch of traders in the Hamptons one summer and was asked by their Boss to pitch the Shawshank Redemption to prove I could sell on demand.
- I spent 6 months learning what a complete cockup interns made via emailing over at J. P Morgan and thrived on the fast-paced, ever-changing drama, that this company was paid to fix.
- I worked my behind off to turn that internship into a job where the money didn’t feel as good as the daily experiences I was encountering and underwent the CISI training and CIB training that within 2 years, enabled me to become a financial advisor trainee in Hong Kong, Malta and Geneva and become involved in the start-up of a financial advisory firm in Dubai that at the time, consisted of four staff members including the CEO and therefore did everything from recruiting, building administrative processes and aiding the developmemt and growth of that business.
- By the age of 25, I became the Cheif Operating Officer which included creating the core structure of the business including its administrative processes, obtaining the line of credit from the Bahraini Central Bank and taking responsibility for the Visas I could issue which enabled our Financial Advisors to do business there, created the business plan, developed the traders’ platform, negotiated the commission rates of the insurance products we used and took responsibility for every idiot that decided to break the rules.
- By the time I was 27, I had worked my self to complete exhaustion, was hit in the face with Anxiety, PTSD, Depression and Agoraphobia which I thought was sort of hilariously ironic, considering I had made a career out of being sociable, but as incredibly painful and soul destroying and debilitating that time was for me, at least the two years I spent trapped in my bedroom, for the most part, was put to good use because I became obsessed with studying neuroplasticity, learning how to change a habit, practising mindfulness, and learned how important it is to get to know who you are and how you operate. That time, literally enabled me to put pen to paper, interview psychiatrists, neurosurgeons and scientific researchers. Use myself to test out different methods; some horrifically detrimental and some incredibly effective, along with immersing myself in medical documents and research that enabled me to completely eradicate my mental illness in just a few months without any drugs!
- Currently, at the age of 30, I am putting all of that information and what I did into a book that will be published soon, which inspired this website and goal to empower people through the art of mindfulness, entrepreneurship, healthy living and applicable lifestyle products that actually benefit peoples lives, just shy of three months ago. What has become vitally important to me, and what you will get an idea of as my brand progresses, is that I detest seeing people in positions of power, put other people down for even trying, or not providing people with the tools and information to help them thrive in life. I also hate reading about or being told that one more ex-colleague of mine, one more friend of mine, or one more stranger has killed themselves because the therapist, the psychiatrist or doctor is so focused on teaching people how to cope and prescribing medication that shouldn’t be used as a long-term cure, and quite frankly, isn’t even effective, when the research, study and cure has been on the public record since the 1970s is something I want to help bring to market.
Let me be clear about who I am:
I was never the smartest person in the room, I wasn’t even the best salesperson or had the most clients but what I did have was the respect from the right people for having the audacity to believe I had a place there without the qualifications, which like a domino effect, meant that even as an intern, full-time employees would walk past the managers office, interrupt my duties, and either ask for advice or just talk about what was happening in the office because they noticed how their superiors would treat me and if you can learn how significant the value of knowing what a powerful tool that is, knowing your own worth, observing and listening, you will never run out of oportunities in life.
Be warned, NEVER confuse drive and passion with arrogance because that is a sure ticket to nowhere.
It is important for me to add, that bravery is expensive, you will pay for every decision you make either emotionally or financially so chose wisely. I was shafted out of grade A shares and over 150k, TWICE, before the age of 26 and going from having life-insurance, a pension plan and investment properties, to being unable to turn on the hallway light, is an incredibly painful situation to be in so young but we really do face the same risks whilst working for an established business as we do own our own business, especially in this day and age.
‘Hold on…how did you manage to get these jobs?’ I figured out pretty early in life that if you behave like an employee you will be treated like an employee, and through work experience, I quickly realised the power of networking and self-branding and it all became very clear, that those that were in positions of power and earning all the money, where there because of networking and remaining focused on the end result; NOT because they had 3 degrees, NOT because they stayed in the same job long enough to be promoted and NOT because they waited in line for the former CEO to die. Therefore, I owe a lot of my career ‘luck‘ to strategic thinking; a lot of life-changing experiences, were born of being in the right place at the right time, not by accident, but by placing myself in the environments that enabled me to stand out from the crowd and having the innate self-belief that no doubt came from my mother, that nothing was impossible.
It may sound ridiculously simple, but if you learn your own strengths and walk the talk with conviction, invariably those that are in a position of power, will view that as something special because they recognise that these qualities are exactly what enabled them to achieve their position or success in life. Nevertheless, what kept me in these positions long-term was the continuous study and practice of asking those that knew better, how I could do better and admitting my mistakes. Let me tell you, building the foundations of a company from the administrative process to the traders platform, to dealing with central banks and setting up sales accounts with insurance companies, is not difficult, in fact I employed a lot of single parents, who had very little experience too but their life experience meant that their time management skills, work ethic and drive to get things done before the school bell rang was something that could not be taught in school and progressed in the company rather quickly whilst given the relevant training where appicable.
Every time an intern is told to get coffee, somewhere, an entrepreneur dies. – this notion that you have to get coffee, run errands, pick up someone’s laundry in order to earn the right to come on board full time and actually learn something useful, is a prime example of how detrimental a superior poor man’s mindset can be to someone’s future, not just your own. They are single-handedly and metaphorically beating the drive, passion and hunger to learn, out of people, They have actively chosen, to measure someone’s ability and effectiveness at running errands over teaching skills that will add value to their company.
From my previous experience as an intern, the most valuable lessons I learned, were during the times when I was taught the core administrative duties, brought into meetings to take notes and learned how that person negotiated, how to deal with clients and how to research effectively. Statistics
show that only 37% of unpaid interns get offered a job at the company which speaks volumes; quite frankly those statistics would be more relevant and important if they compared the number of unpaid interns who were actually taught skills and how the business operated, against the number of unpaid interns that spent their time cleaning desks and filling paperwork they weren’t allowed to read. Either way, there’s no harm in being told to run errands as long as it doesn’t get in the way of actually learning something of importance.
Entrepreneur Reality Check:
I was always taught that no job was below me, which is a lesson everyone has to learn in quick time; stop allowing your mindset to dictate to you that you are too good to work in Wallmart, have three jobs, or flip burgers in Mcdonalds. If all of that money is used wisely, to invest in your own future, your own business or product or invention, then that is the best investment you will ever make. If you are working three jobs so you can buy the Gucci bag then the only smart investment you are making, is to the fund of ‘keeping up with the Joneses‘.
Stop comparing yourself to the 22-year-old billionaire on Instagram as a measure of where you should be in life, or what amount of money you should have earned by the age of 25. I turned 30 last July and nearly had a nervous break down…again…not because of exhaustion or working 12-14 hours a day with no vacation to speak of in 4 years with the exception of a long weekend on a faux hen do, but because I wasn’t married, had no children; I thought all of this hard work would have paid off by now and found myself panicking that I did not have 20 million in the bank and couldn’t see Britney Spears live in Vegas. I know, pause for reaction, but I was devastated about not seeing Britney but this, was also one of the best moments of my life, because I finally took FULL RESPONSIBILITY for everything that had happened in my 20s; the shafting, the wealth, the success, the failures, you name it, regardless of what, why and who caused it, I took responsibility and when you do that, it is amazing, how quickly those experiences stop shaping your future and you start to understand that this is a game of try and try again.
- Take the time to become self-aware and educate yourself on the topic of YOU. Why is this important? I learned what I was good at, where my strengths and talents lay, what I needed to improve on, my habitual behaviour that was both detrimental and positive and unlearned what did not serve my well-being, self-belief and entrepreneurial mindset. The worst thing about ageing is the surge of fear that follows suit; get rid of it now before it consumes you.
- No money? Get comfortable sweeping the streets, whilst your peer group and the trolls watch and learn to do it with pride because if that job enables you to earn the pennies it takes to advertise your business on Adwords, then it is time well spent. That is how little a toss you should give on what other people think.
- Let me tell you from watching my family achieve this, it is easy to make a million a year in this day and age, it is not easy to get people to accept that they failed because of fear and because they got complacent and because they didn’t believe in themselves enough to live humbly in order to consistently grow their business year on year.
- I realised that just because I was a COO ( Cheif Operating Officer) of a company that allowed me to create and improve on the structure of that firm as a blueprint for other offices, did not give me the tools, nor the means to build my own company. Whether you are a partner in a firm or a manager in a sales company, is irrelevant; working for another company teaches you incredible things such as how to get it right, office politics, and the many roles that go into making a company work long term but it does not determine how successful your own business will be.
- If you have kids, mortgages, debt and great responsibilities that rely on your current job then you should be the most driven among us; miss the school play, pass on the Sunday afternoon bbq and spend that time researching, learning and utilizing the free tools available online. As a person who had a parent who missed everything because she was busy building businesses, and getting used to family vacations that consisted of her being on the phone at a top of a mountain when we should have been skiing, I can safely say, that the what I learned from her experience, the sacrifices and her unyeilding self-belief turned out to be far more valuable to me in the long haul; when you are honest with your dependants on what you are doing, as difficult as it is for you to not be there, and regardless of whether you get that big fat check that makes it all worth it, money cannot buy that kind of education or those skillsets that will be vital to their lives.
- This misunderstanding of qualifications is almost an epidemic where I am from which is the UK; if you only have experience in say, pharmaceuticals but want to work in the Zoo breeding Lamas they will go out of their way to make it impossible for you to change careers; they won’t even look at your CV. This is a prime example of how the majority of the people I have encountered think, globally, and is a great example of how key your mindset is when building your own business or changing industries; STOP THINKING THAT YOU NEED EXPERIENCE. Yes, you do not need experience. It’s a bold statement I know but experience in business is only valuable if you have the tenacity to treat every experience as one giant lesson that will better prepare you for a multitude of events that may or may not occur in the future. It is just a bonus not a prerequisite for success. It does not, dictate the level of success you can achieve, only researching the current marketplace, finding out what the consumer is looking for TODAY, and building on your long-term business strategy is going to determine the success of your business.
- The only thing you need, even if you are straight out of high-school, and by the way, there are a ridiculous amount of millionaires under the age of 18, is the audacity and tenacity – I rhyme now too – to sacrifice your downtime, so that you can learn about who the target demographic is for your business, what content produces the best ROI, why your target audience is on each, individual social media platform and their behavioural patterns.
This current mindset that feeds our belief in failure
, has somehow, become stronger than our belief in God and is unbelievably
detrimental to our future; it is the recipe for regret, it is what keeps people living in a cardboard house, working a 9-5, in the same industry for 25 years, praying for retirement. Building the foundations of any business from the ground up, are exactly the same across all industries; wine, hospitals, veterinary clinics, dentistry, beauty or fashion brands; knowing who your target audience is, optimising your return on investment through testing different marketing tactics i.e images, vlogs, podcasts, blog posts, and how to market effectively, is what everyone needs to start focussing on. You can employ the administrator, the videographer and the accountant later; that’s what money is for, that is the only luxurious investment you should be focussed on.
There are so few millionaires in this world
because the majority of people are hung up on this imaginary notion that there’s only x amount of money in the world and it gets divided accordingly amongst the top 1%. I personally find this belief absolutely bonkers and whenever I watch a political debate or read the comment section of newspaper articles online, I am reminded just how effective this myth has been in making people feel restricted and believing that they have a better chance at winning the lottery. Take Ellen Pompeo’s success
in this case – the Greys Anatomy star- who is now getting paid 20million a year for her role in a TV show; the number of men and
women who felt that she was taking away access to their share, their slice of the pie, was dumbfounding. This mindset BLOWS MY MIND,
it is so crazy to me how the majority of people actually believe
that there is a limited amount of money, in this day and age. Nevertheless
, what that actually symbolises to me, is that there are fewer people out there choosing luck and fewer people to compete with.
Again, to reiterate, they are too busy being preoccupied and insanely busy with pointing the finger from their world of ‘life happens to me, not for me’, we have the ability to promote our concepts and ideas for a third of what advertising should cost on social media. I have built an entire website around empowering people to live their passion, through the art of mindfulness, healthy living, research, interviews with successful business owners; creating free content and access to information that will benefit your livelihood and the most disheartening thing I have learned is that most of us, are just too comfortable living in fear; it takes bravery to accept that we got it wrong, that we made a mistake, to change our perspective, to look at ourselves in the mirror and question our beliefs and make adjustments where neccessary, but It is courage that will enable you to do something about it. It takes fearlessness to change your life. It takes self-love to believe in yourself no matter what anyone says and wisdom to keep asking questions.
So ignore the odds, ignore what everyone else is doing, and invest the same time you would be playing golf, drinking at the bar, scrolling through social media getting jealous as to what life someone else is living and instead, shift your perspective, find out what you are good at, get humble, and start utilising the free tools
available to you that will benefit, not put you off, but BENEFIT
your route to market and generate long-term business success.
This feels like a good time to end part 1 on mindset and hopefully, I have given you enough food for thought.
Sign up to my email list so that you don’t miss part 2: The behavioural patterns of your target audience on each platform.