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Select a business that has little overhead

The Rabbit’s son was getting ready for class but first he went by his business professor’s office to ask him his thoughts on starting a business on campus. His professor said, “One of the things that you need to remember is to start a business that has very little overhead to test out your idea. Once you have a good and viable business model, scale rapidly. I understand you of all people want to move fast, it’s in your genes, but just get down your business model then scale.”

Lesson: This lesson was inspired by the Teach a CEO post “10 Tips to Starting A Successful Business During College.” Just like the Rabbit’s son learned, in business and especially in college it is important to reduce overhead until a sustainable business model is established.

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Offer Employees Feedback

The Chameleon followed everything that the leadership did and while he was always an average sales rep he never heard from his boss things that he could do better. Every day at lunch he would tell his co-workers, “I just wish I knew where I stood and what I could improve upon so that I can do better. I thought that was part of being a leader, telling us how we were doing and how we can improve.”

Lesson: This lesson is from the Rescue a CEO post “How NOT to Motivate Your Employees.” For leaders and managers one of the most important lessons is to offer you employees feedback. Understand what their goals are and help them to reach their goals. Also, make sure that you offer constant feedback so that employees know “where they stand.”

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Build Painkillers, Not Vitamins

The Bear had a really bad toothache that left him in bed for a week. Each day his wife would come by and bring him soup for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Along with is soup every day he would take an aspirin and said to himself, I would pay $1,000,000 to anyone that would help take this pain away.

Lesson: Potential customers are the same and want something that takes away the pain and is necessary rather than something that is voluntary. This is lesson is via The Startup Playbook by David S. Kidder. As he writes “this is an old mantra from the venture-capital world, but it is always a bit startling to me when I meet incredibly talented people chasing ideas that  are simply features, or partial services that couldn’t compete in mature markets. In the minds of the customers these types of offerings are elective, like deciding whether or not to take a vitamin…. On the other hand, if there is a large market of potential customers who can describe their specific pain to you, your job is to create the painkiller that will take away the hurt forever. Once customers start on your service or product, they never go off of it. It becomes a necessity.”

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In Business Find Your Balance Between Big “Fish” & Little “Fish

The country mouse saw his old friend the city mouse while shopping downtown. He insisted the city mouse join him and his family for dinner. The city mouse accepted the invitation and they headed to the country. The city mouse took a look at the table and shook his head at the small amounts of food served. He decided to invite the country mouse to his home downtown for a lavish meal the next night.

The next day, the country and city mouse headed downtown for the scrumptious dinner that was awaiting them in the alley. The city mouse showed the country mouse to the dinner and the country mouse could not believe his eyes. The amount of food was plentiful and much more than they could devour. As they sat down to eat, a cat showed up. The two mice ran to the nearest hole and hid until the cat was gone. They headed back to the table to start eating. Again, another cat approached them. After this went on a few more times, the country mouse packed his stuff and headed back to his home.

Lesson: While having luxury and the finer things in life can be enticing and a simple life makes things much easier…the trick in life and business it to find a good balance. Working to the point of gaining the “big fish” clients or accounts will provide you and your company success, but this cannot come at the expense of those smaller cornerstone clients. These modest accounts may not rake in the revenue, but they will be far less stressful and will usually consume far less resources, such as your time and energy. So, as you begin to see the success of your business, never let where you stated from be far from your thoughts and those “little fish” who helped you get there. Find your company’s balance between its fat city mouse future and its modest country mouse beginnings.

This post is courtesy a contributing writer to CEO Blog Nation. 

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Horseplay & Joke Policy at Work

Some boys were hanging out by the pond. Playing foolishly around the pond, the boys decided to skip stones on the pond. After getting bored with skipping stones, they saw some frogs by the pond. One of the boys said to the others let’s throw some stones at the frogs. All the boys started hitting the frogs with the stones. As they were playing around, frogs were getting hit and dying. One of the frogs poked his head up and said to the boys to please stop. The boys may be playing a silly game, but it was death for the frogs. The boys stopped throwing rocks at the frogs realizing their idea of fun was killing the innocent frogs. The boys left the pond upset realizing why they were joking and laughing, they were killing the frogs in their favorite pond. No longer would they be able to have fun and play with the frogs.

Lesson: We sometimes do not realize the hurt we can cause when joking around or playing when we should be busy doing more productive things. At the office, it is easy to make what feels like friends, but you may not really know him or her outside of the workplace. Therefore, we may joke and laugh at his or her expense, but while we are having fun, they may be in pain or upset from our jokes. This can be especially dangerous in the workplace. Practical jokes are not meant for the office and can lead to bothersome or to tragic ends. When others are trying to focus on their work, playing around can be dangerous to other people’s safety, such as accidents, lawsuits, or even a workplace-shooting down the line.

Instead of playing around and hurting others, it is important to remember how the other party may feel. Some people are more sensitive than others are and can take it much harder. Remind staff members about how others feel and may react to their words or actions. For safety purposes, it may even be a good idea to implement a “horseplay and joke” policy before things get out of hand.

This post is from a contributing writer to CEO Blog Nation. 

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In Business Repair Relationships

An ant was walking by the river ever so carefully when it accidentally fell in. The dove saw that the ant was struggling in the water and looked for a twig to throw down to the ant. The ant managed to grab the twig and float on it until it reached the shore. Once the ant landed on shore, he felt happy that the dove that was passing by had stopped to help him. Just as the ant was walking away, he saw a hunter getting ready to shoot the dove down. Just as the hunter was about to shoot, the ant went and stung the hunter as hard as he could. The hunter missed the dove and the dove flew away safe.

Lesson: You never know who could end up helping you one day. We often get in arguments and conflicts with customers or coworkers. While most of the time these arguments pass on, some can linger and be detrimental to our business. It is important to mend these relationships as you never know what the future holds for you. When you have conflict with others, you burn those bridges.

The same people you may have struggled with in your past could present themselves again in the future. This is why repairing relationships is so important in business. Those people you once had conflict with could benefit your business in the future. Should you have left the conflict as is, they can hurt you in the future. Helping others can be a way to secure your future. When you help others achieve their dreams, they will be more supportive of you later on. Even if you have things going on and cannot be of much assistance, always do as much as possible to help one another. You will be more successful by doing this. You never know when you will need help from one of these people. 

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Innovation is sometimes a result of desperation

A crow was flying through the desert. He realized he was so thirty and may not make it much longer if he did not get some water. The crow flew around hoping to find anything that could relieve his thirst. Finally, the crow found a pitcher that contained a few drops of water. Knowing he would die, if he could not get those few drops of water, the crow was determined to get it somehow. He looked around for some rocks and collected enough to place into the pitcher. He then was able to bring the water up enough to take a few drinks. Without thinking about how to get water, the crow would have suffered from dehydration and ultimately death. Since the water was a necessity, he was able to invent a way to get the water to survive.

We often question how we may make it to the next paycheck or what are we going to do if our sales are not up. When stuck in these predicaments and forced to invent new ways to solve our problems, we then can come up with the greatest ideas. Often, when things seem to be going well, we do not invent new ways to come to our solutions. It is only when we are faced with a need, that we can come up with answers to our problems.

When dealing with difficult problems, many people often come up with the best solutions and ideas. A company can turn themselves around and increase sales with a great brainstorming session. When struggling to get to the next paycheck we will often think of ideas to earn more money to make it to the next check. If we had not been in that situation we would have went on with our lives not thinking of new ways to gather extra income.

This is a guest post from a contributing writer to CEO Blog Nation. 

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Use Money Properly

A miser once had a piece of gold. Instead of spending the gold on something valuable, he decided to dig a hole and bury it. Each day the miser would go back to the site where he buried the gold and look over it. Always making sure the dirt around it was left unsettled; the miser knew his gold was still there. A man saw the miser visiting the same site every day and became curious. The man decided to check the spot out when the miser left. Sure enough, he dug deep and found the gold. He took off with the gold.

The next day the miser went back to his same spot and the gold was gone. He stood there sobbing until a man approached him asking what was wrong. The miser explained he had buried his gold there and someone had stolen it. Knowing he had the gold was a great joy to him. The man heard what the miser was saying and offered some advice. He asked him to go bury a stone in the same spot and pretend it was his gold. Since the miser was not using the gold, a stone would be the same thing to him.

Lesson: Money is only of value if used properly. We often find ourselves working diligently to hoard money for later. When later never comes, we end up working all that time for nothing. It is important to use money wisely. The value of money is not used wisely unless it is done with some thought. Do not blow it on expensive coffee every day. While it is important to splurge at times, it is also important to pay off debt and be a slave to no one. Use any money you receive thoughtfully and not carelessly.

This is a post from a contributing writer to CEO Blog Nation. 

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Focus Your Thoughts on The Present

The milkmaid was walking down the street. She was headed to town with a pail of milk on her head to sell to someone in the market. While she was walking the milkmaid started thinking about all the things she could buy with her milk money. She decided to buy some chicken that would lay lots of eggs. With the eggs, she could sell them for even more money in the market. Once, she had all the money, she could then buy some new clothes. All the boys would see her and want to talk to her. She then thought, the girls would be jealous as she walked by and tossed her hair. Mimicking the motion she would do as she passed the girls, the milk tumbled off her head. The milkmaid no longer had any milk to sell to anyone in the market and could not buy the chickens or the new clothes. She ran home crying to her mother who told her it was not wise to count her chickens before they hatched.

Sometimes, we get so lost in our thoughts of all the things we want to buy when we receive a paycheck or even a tiny bit of money. The money then is swallowed by bills, unexpected items, or never comes. Rather than focusing on what you plan to buy, you should be focusing on how to earn the money and placing all your effort in the work. When we focus on the work and do it well, the money will eventually come. Should it not come, we are not as upset as we would have been had we already had it set in our mind everything we were going to buy. Purchases should be planned but only with the money that we currently have and not money we plan to have in the future. 

This post is from a contributing writer to CEO Blog Nation.

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Quality over Quantity

The rabbit decided to do a little spring cleaning for the day. She noticed sever pairs of shoes in her closet that was not being worn. She loved them all and hated parting ways with any of them so she decided to throw out one of each. This way she could still keep her shoes but lessen the number by half.

Once the cleaning was done and the bag of shoes was thrown out, she decided she would go for a walk around the forest. When she went to put on her shoes, she noticed the mismatch. Oh, no she thought and began crying that she had no full set of shoes to wear out for a walk. The rabbit had to stay inside until she was able to buy a new pair of shoes.

Lesson: Quality over Quantity. When it comes to building an inventory for customers, it is important to think about the quality of your products over how much inventory you have. You may have every different sizes and colors of a product, but if it is not useful to a customer, they will not buy it. Rather than focusing on how much of an item you have, you should look at what sells better.

Having a lot of inventory is only important if it is selling. If you have too much inventory in stock, you could have used that money to help pay for other things that will make your business grow. Focus your business finances on the items that are selling. Should you have a little extra then you can start trying out other items and services to sell. The quality of an item is far more important to a customer than the quantity. If you have quality goods, customers will be more likely to purchase them from you.

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