Entrepreneurship: How to Achieve Success Today
- 1.5 hours on-demand video
- 1 article
- Full lifetime access
- Access on mobile and TV
- Certificate of Completion
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- Know How to develop a business plan
- Self-Discipline themselves in order to accomplish specific, written goals (as taught by best-selling author Brian Tracy in chapter 1)
- Know how to distinguish leadership that makes a difference (Chapter 3)
- Develop a rewarding referral system that keeps on giving (Chapter 6)
- Develop video-based training materials for employees so that they can save money and time (Chapter 8)
- Turn obstacles into opportunities (Chapter 10)
- Steer the "ship" into the right course- Blue Ocean strategy techniques (Chapter 12 written by me)
- Know The 7 Traits of Success (Chapter16)
- Learn about Effective Marketing Strategies (Chapter 18)
- Have mission-driven success strategies incorporated into their new business (Chapter 23 written by Emmy-Award® winning authors Nick Nanton and JW Dicks)
- And much , much more because I plan to add a video every month and do live Q and A's with my students as an added bonus!
- We will also discuss Planned success (Ch 25), retirement strategies (Ch 17), and the 4 C's of Success (Ch 13)
- English and access to Microsoft Word
- Access to the internet and Amazon if you want to get a hardcopy of the book (e-book is included free with course)
- A Physical Notebook
This course is for anyone starting a new business and whoever needs motivation on marketing and managing an existing business. We discuss the various things business leaders should do including how to map out a business plan, how to hire and fire employees, and how to lead by example. It includes the best-selling book from Amazon: Success Today with Brian Tracy and Dikran Iskenderian. Topics include self-discipline, leadership, retirement investing, real estate, and the 7 Traits of Success. We will discuss the topics contained in the book and go over them in great detail!
- This course is for anyone starting a new business or wanting to save an established business that seems to be failing.
- My target audience is anyone who loves to learn more about entrepreneurship, motivation, marketing, and the toolset you need in order to succeed in a new venture. We will go over material that has been used thousands of times by millionaires like Brian Tracy.
- This is NOT for "new age" or motivational "guru" type students who a think a "secret" is what will set them free. We will be going over detailed course materials such as a 291 page book and will only seek honest answers .
This excerpt is from my book, Success Today with Brian Tracy. For the full book see the end of the course.
THE BUSINESS OF LEADERSHIP
THE BUSINESS OF LEADERSHIP
BY DIKRAN ISKENDERIAN
Some leaders are born and some are made. We all have God-given talents and abilities. However, if we really want to become awe- inspiring leaders, we must constantly study leadership by reading books and attending seminars. We must become what we study and lead by example, not just with words. As one of the leaders of my family’s chain of restaurants, I am always studying the best books I can find about leadership and marketing.
Some of the most memorable leaders throughout history have been transformational leaders, like Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King, Jr. They had a profound impact on history. The principles they taught have endured long after their death. Their lives were so meaningful that they changed peoples’ entire worldview. Not everyone can be a transformational leader. That’s why it’s important for aspiring leaders to evaluate their skills and see what type of leader they should be.
There’s a difference between being a leader and being a manager. All great leaders and managers treat their employees well. They pay them better than the competition and give them opportunities for growth. The best team members are those that smile naturally and have a great personality. These are important traits because personality can't be taught. If someone is not smiling or they’re constantly bitter, you can’t change that. As long as people are intrinsically positive, they’ll make great employees. Every good leader and manager should constantly
strive to make people better by always training them. This is why it’s important for leaders to never stop learning.
Management implements what the leadership plans. Managers are like car mechanics who make sure the car is running smoothly—that the oil is right, the temperature’s right. For example, a restaurant manager’s job includes:
1) Maintaining great food quality 2) Providing excellent customer service 3) Making sure employees are treated with professionalism
Good managers can help reduce overtime while simultaneously making sure people are paid fair wages. Leaders are responsible for hiring the right kind of people and writing the company’s vision and mission statements, outlining clear goals and communicating them with the team, and dealing with rapid changes in the environment.
Good business leaders focus relentlessly on the customer. Leaders should always be learning, taking classes and making the most of their God-given talents. Managers, employees and customers can’t do that for us.
The managers, in turn, should watch out for the business as if it’s their own. Success for them should be the company’s growth. If they see the company has the potential to grow and they communicate that to the leadership and help them create that growth, that’s the definition of success for them. Managers want to make more money, too, but how can business owners pay them more if the business is not growing?
It’s best to shift most of your time and energy on serving your best customers. There’s a saying that 20 percent of your customers often provide 80 percent of the value to your business. This is known as the Pareto Principle. In the restaurant industry it’s more like the “99-1 rule.” That is, 99 percent of customers are awesome, but you always have the worst 1 percent who constantly seem to be complaining. You have to fire the worst 1 percent of your customers. They are the ones who destroy employee morale and slow down service for everyone else.
THE BUSINESS OF LEADERSHIP
I am probably more of a conceptual, artistic kind of leader. The restaurant business often tends to be modeled on the military style of leadership. And, just like the military, there is a very well organized hierarchy of positions. There are rigid rules and procedures, methods and protocol that must be followed. Being creative doesn’t come easily in this kind of environment.
Following mundane rules is a responsibility for management, not leadership. Leadership has more to do with vision and entrepreneurship— starting and shepherding new businesses and creating new industries that did not exist before.
Cirque de Soleil is a good example. This Canadian company began with the revolutionary idea of wanting to launch a circus without animals. At first, people couldn’t understand why anyone would want to run a circus without animals. At the time, it didn’t make sense, but they quickly became one of the top entertainment companies in the world. Its owners became billionaires by asking a simple question: What are the worst parts of a circus?
Many circuses were abusing animals, so animals were taken out of the equation. Instead of animals, live music with staged acrobatics, grandiose costumes, mystery and magic were brought in. That’s what people wanted to see, and the extraordinary success of Cirque de Soleil showed that the public supports and loves the concept behind any business that operates with integrity.
There’s a book that I highly recommend, written by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne called Blue Ocean Strategy. Their concept looks at what customers want and gives it to them by creating a new industry instead of competing with existing businesses. By creating a brand new niche it destroys the competition because it doesn’t even have direct competition. This book teaches you how to come up with a concept, do your research, put together the best team you can to implement the idea and get out of the way.
Suppose that I have an idea for a new kind of nail salon. In doing the research for it, I ask women what they hate the most about nail salons. It turns out that a lot of them don’t like the fumes. They also don’t like
the fact that many of the employees in nail salons can’t speak English. They hate the fact that the seats in nail salons aren’t very comfortable. “I wish there were wide-screen TVs,” some of the women say. “I wish I could get a nice cocktail.” Others want comfortable sofa-like seats that give massages. A few even want private rooms in order to host a special event for their best friends.
I also ask what they would want more of and I get responses like: “extended hours,” “dead skin fish treatment,” “friendly and attentive staff,” “better brands of color and organic nail polish,” “fresh smoothies,” and “live music spun by a DJ on the weekends.” I would never be able to come up with these ideas on my own.
After doing the research, we must start coming up with solutions. One way around the fumes may be in an open-air setting or better ventilation. If nobody has done anything like this before, it would give me confidence in its future success.
If I started such a concept and it was based on sound market research, I know it would be a solid place to start. I know that if I get such a concept up and running, I wouldn’t be the one managing it. That’s because I’m not—and can never be—a manager. I’m the person that usually comes up with the ideas but not the best at implementing them.
But even the best idea, the best product, needs to be marketed well and have the right team. It’s safe to say that in business there can be no success without great marketing. Take Apple for example. They display their products on billboards against a background that is a clean, white opaque. In fact, all you see is the product and a tag line—an iPhone 6, say— hypnotizing you to buy it. It’s almost as if the viewer has no choice.
It’s important for an entrepreneur to find a niche and create a culture around it. Look at what you’re good at and try to come up with something no one else has created. If we really do what we are best at, it doesn’t even feel like work and life actually becomes fun and full of adventure. Then figure out your target market—the kind of customers you’d like to sell your product to. I have found that once we do this, the key players and new team members seem to magically appear and help us attain our goals. Success Today, for example, is the product of the hard work and energy of a few key people. Hopefully being part of this book and the publicity we generate will help me become an instructor.
THE BUSINESS OF LEADERSHIP
I am at a point in my life where I am very happy with all I’ve accomplished. My new happiness will come from writing books and teaching people, which has always been a lifelong dream. You would find me almost daily looking through books at Barnes and Noble, so imagine the thrill I would feel when one of the books on the shelf happens to be mine! What a dream come true! Through teaching and training others, not only will I realize my full potential, but will make new contacts and meet interesting new people. I want to challenge myself intellectually; making a little extra money on the side is just a bonus when you're doing what you love.
Having read hundreds of books and articles over the years, the time has come for me to transition from student to teacher. Instead of just reading and listening to books and CD’s, I will be making them. What a joy it will be to know that I am helping people and the books I write can positively impact people's lives long after I am gone. It’s a true sense of immortality, which is why so many people dream of getting their work published and leaving a legacy.
Since I’ve been doing this for so long, I feel as though teaching is the next evolutionary step in my growth. The best way to learn is to teach, and so I would be learning and growing myself as I teach others. I plan to eventually teach a class at UCLA Extension, having received my own certificate in marketing from there, with distinction. After that, I plan on teaching at seminars and attending various professional conferences.
I have created a new web site: www.therestaurantmarketingexpert.com to help me launch this second career. Among the topics I wish to teach are: branding, leadership, marketing and sales, and social media. When I first began our social media page, we had about 120 followers. We now have over 60,000 fans on Facebook and thousands more on Twitter, as well as tremendous growth we’re seeing on other networks. This took years of dedication and interaction with thousands of customers.
So to recap, the keys to real and permanent growth are: 1) Finding your niche and know your audience. 2) Creating and maintaining the right team. 3) Ensuring great service and marketing.
You have to consciously make time for yourself and explore the artistic side of you; we tend to forget the imaginative side of ourselves as we get
caught up in our daily routine. If you ignore that side of yourself, you’re not going to be very happy. I keep myself busy through my artistic projects. When I get too stressed working on our restaurant business, I go to my creative side: painting, artwork, and photography.
You have to make time to socialize, meet people and network. We can accomplish this by meeting three to five new people each day. If you don’t network consciously, it will never happen.
A person’s artistic side is tied to their emotional intelligence. Just like leadership, some people are born with better emotional intelligence than others, but everyone can become better at it. The key to improving emotional intelligence is relating to people—talking to them and interacting with them. Taking some psychology classes is also a great idea. Learning about psychology enables us to study what’s behind the human mind and what motivates us. Everyone has a reason for doing things, even if it doesn’t seem to make sense.
To me, one benefit of having a high "Emotional IQ" is that you would be more in tune with people’s reactions. You can’t force yourself on others. For example, if you’re at the airport and people are in a rush, they’re not going to be very receptive to any marketing efforts. You have to know what mood a person is in and what they want to hear.
Emotional intelligence is about becoming a better listener and showing more empathy for others by acknowledging their feelings. Unfortunately, many of us entrepreneurs are poor listeners. It’s about letting people talk about themselves instead of talking about yourself. It’s no wonder that the first rule of marketing is to listen to your customers.
It’s also important to look people in the eye, especially these days when so many people whip out their smart phones and start talking or texting in the middle of a conversation. That’s rude. Give your cell phone a break and focus on people during conversations.
Reciprocity is an important principle to understand and practice. For example, if you immediately ask someone whether they would like to buy a house from you, that person would probably wonder who on earth you are and what you’re talking about, given that you barely know each other. Such behavior turns you into the personification of spam, and people hate that. But if you go up to the person and invite them to a free
THE BUSINESS OF LEADERSHIP
weekend hiking trip, you’re likely to become friends. Do something nice for someone before you ask him or her to buy something from you. These are the things that lead to symbiotic relationships, which is what we want.
I have learned to practice reciprocity by showing empathy towards others. I ask people about their day, their families and their vacations. I’m alert to their upcoming anniversaries. Even if I know nothing about them—or feel they don’t have the time to talk—I just smile at them as frequently as I can. Never underestimate the power of a genuine smile.
Above all else, a leader should always seek wisdom.
Proverbs 3: 13-18
Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed. ~Proverbs 3: 13-18
Dikran Iskenderian has a Bachelor of Science degree in Management and a Master of Arts in Leadership from Woodbury University.
He studied in the United Kingdom at Oxford University where he obtained a Certificate in Global Enterprise Management, Organizations, Environments, and Political Economy in 2003. Later he received a professional Certificate in Marketing from UCLA, which was earned with distinction.
He co-owns Zankou Chicken with his family. They have 8 locations and continue to grow. He is the Director of Marketing, having helped to create the 50th anniversary logo and its now iconic design as well as the company’s website and catering menu. He currently runs the restaurant chain’s marketing department and social media campaign.
Dikran is also an amateur painter. He loves graphic design, meddling in traditional media such as acrylic, charcoal, and oil. His hobbies include creating fine-art style photo albums.
Watch for Dikran’s next book, tentatively titled Restaurant Marketing: The Secret is in the Sauce, available in 2016. Based on his 25 years of experience working in the field, it promises to save future restaurateurs time and money.
He loves teaching and speaking. This is his first book. Follow him on Twitter at: RM Expert and on Facebook at: Dikran Iskenderian (business person).
www.dikraniskenderian.com www.therestaurantmarketingexpert.com www.zankouchicken.com
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.