Unwilling to Quit

When I first started my Digital Marketing Agency (EZMetrics, LLCI would take every shot or opportunity presented to me; I still do. However, I learned very quickly that when taking every shot or opportunity, I would miss a lot of them. Big grand ideas would be crushed by the weight of failure and defeat; before I knew it, I felt like I had just gone 5 rounds with Mike Tyson.

So, I added a screensaver and lock screen to my laptop that said, “Unwilling to Quit”. It was my daily reminder that I, Jacob Salem, am Unwilling to Quit no matter how many times I fail.

One major key to success is failure. When thinking about success, it is easy to gloss over the numerous failures that you have had to overcome in order to get you where you are today. The more you fail, the more you begin to learn about yourself, your support system, and the flaws within your business.

We will all fail at something in our life at some point. We all have had a bad day that led us to make decisions that could have been altered, but that does not make everything a failure. It does not matter how many times you fail, inevitably, the feeling of worthlessness comes creeping up in the back of your mind. Please, let me remind you that you are not a failure. You are an expert, and you have something special inside of you that God wants to bring to fruition, but He cannot do it without your work, your effort, and more importantly, your commitment to push through your challenges and setbacks.

Zig Ziglar said it best when he said, “Failure is an event, not a person. Yesterday ended last night. Today is a brand new day…and it’s yours.” ~ Zig Ziglar

Through failure, you begin to learn. Failure by design is meant to give you skills to progress you to the next level.

First, you learn about yourself. When you feel defeated, you may begin to suppress your feelings, and try to immediately rebuild. It is important to understand the effects that failure can have on your emotions. It is crucial that you reflect on your failures so you can learn from them.

One of the largest challenges that entrepreneurs face is not that they don’t have the ability to succeed, but they ignore the failures that they will face. Failure will pave the way to you becoming successful.

You will need to have a strong support system to rely on as you begin to fail. It is important that you have people you trust, that will encourage you to get back up and try again. This support system can vary, this may be a family member, long time friend, or a mentor. Continue to pour into others for support as you go through hard times within your life or business.

Lastly, when you fail, you will find weaknesses within your business. Failures will open your eyes to areas that you need to improve on. It does not matter where you currently are in your life, you have to continue to try new things. You cannot stay stagnant in hopes to never fail.  The key to success is simple, learn to embrace and learn from failures to improve as a whole.

“Fail early, Fail Often, Fail Forward.” ~ Will Smith

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What is the difference between working on your business vs in your business?

Let’s face it.  You started your business because you love what you do, and you’re extremely passionate about it. Therefore, it can be extremely easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations of your business. You may want your hands on every part of it. So much so, that it can consume a lot of your time.

While it is important to focus on your daily tasks, especially in the beginning, it is also crucial that you plan for the future. As an entrepreneur, you are the visionary of your business. You must keep your eye on the prize, your dreams within sight, and your goals written down.  If you don’t, growth will be a bit more challenging.

Ask yourself: what made you want to get into this business to begin with? Why do you continue to go to work?  If there were no obstacles like money, time, or personnel, what would your business look like next year – in 5 years – in 15 years?

Of course, it is important to be driven and feel like you have a purpose at work. But, the line between purpose and daily tasks can become blurred over time if you lose sight of your goals and dreams for your business and life.

In order to truly live out our purpose and calling, we need to feel fulfilled and well-rounded in both business and personal life. At first, this can feel awkward, even stressful to begin. With practice and discipline, you will become more and more proficient at outsourcing and finding great people to come alongside you so that you can spend more time in your zone of genius.  

So what is the difference between working ON your business and IN your business?  Working IN your business tends to be busy-work that do not necessarily require your gifts and talents. This could be things such as invoicing, scheduling, answering customer service, etc.  Working ON your business involves vision-casting, goal setting, automating processes, etc. Both are required. All is needed. However, you cannot do it all. Nor should you.

When you take time for yourself, you are able to reflect on what has gone well in your life and business, what areas need time and improvement, and come up with new ideas. When you dive into dreams you begin to see how you can make those dreams become your reality. When you are constantly working on the daily tasks, you constrain yourself and could potentially stunt the growth of your business.

Most people want to own their own business to be their own boss and have more freedom. While this is true that you become your own boss, if you’re not careful, you can also spend that freedom doing more work than you need to do.  

You and your business are both a work in progress, therefore, create time in your schedule to refresh!  

Balancing Family, Friends, and Your Business

Everyone wants to be an entrepreneur, but it is hard to understand the impact that this will have on your friends and family.  When you take the next step of becoming a business owner, you can lose friends and your family relationships could weaken — without balance. This is because some entrepreneurs are so consumed with the role of creating a business that their business begins to consume their life.

Have you ever felt like when you are not at work all you can think about is what you need to perform in your business?

Have you begun to outgrow people as they do not understand your busy lifestyle?

Do you feel like you do not have time for small talk or to get caught up with friends?

A startup can consume your life — if you allow it to.  

You need to leave time for your own personal growth and spiritual growth. You can do this by prioritizing your time. You should create time in your schedule to spend in your faith and with your family.  

You can balance your family, friends, faith, and your business, and when you do, you will find that everything feels like it is happening with ease.  You will begin to see how the benefits of one area reflect in other parts of your life.

Zig Ziglar used a tool when he explained this concept called the Wheel of Life. In his presentations, he would hold up a wheel with 7 spokes.  Each spoke represented different areas of life one has to balance: Mental, Spiritual, Physical, Family, Financial, Personal, and Career.   When one is out of balance, it affects the other 6.

When you are spending time with your family, turn off your phone and laptop. Even though this can be extremely hard to do, it is important that you continue to build stronger relationships within your family and balance work vs. home in a way that is appropriate.

For your mental “spoke”, take for example your friendships.  You are in complete control of who engages with you. If you do not want to talk with someone, then you should not respond. If your friends are not encouraging you or celebrating your wins with you, you should eliminate them from your life. It is very easy to get run down within a business, therefore, you need to keep those around you positive and protect your energy as much as possible.

Even though it can feel challenging to make time for family and friends, it is crucial for your own growth and success!

Growing Your Business

You have made the next step to create your business, but now what? Even if you have an amazing idea, product, or service, if you do not have people to buy, your business will not survive. How do I grow my business? This question is easier said than done, but it is important that you commit to following these steps.

Verification Through Testimonials: It is important that your potential customer can trust you and see how you have impacted other customer’s lives for the better. This means that you need to get video or written testimonials from customers who have used your business in the past. This gives the potential customer the ability to see how others liked the service or product. The customer will be more likely to buy if they are assured that your business will help them succeed. If you are at venue where people have used your business, grab your phone and ask them, “hey, would you be willing to give me a short testimonial on your thoughts regarding…?” These videos create PROOF that your business works!

Creating a Promotional Strategy: If you are just starting out, find one platform to leverage for marketing, and do it well! You can do this in a variety of ways. You can create Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Email Outreach, Create Partnerships, etc. The options are endless, but you need to commit to at least one strategy, consistently, in order to PROMOTE your business!

What is Your Core Product or Service?: You need to ask yourself, “are people currently buying this product from a different business?” If the answer is “yes”, you need to study what your competitors are doing. Observe what works, and what has failed. This will give you a headstart so that you do not make the same mistakes! Additionally, if you are just starting up, commit most of your productivity time to your core product or service. It is important to execute one service exceptionally well vs. three services mediocrely.

As an entrepreneur, it is important that you stay committed to your success! COMMIT to your core product or service to become the most reliable business in your market! Additionally, begin to grow your following through testimonial videos. This will give your customers a business that they can TRUST!

Committing to Your Success

We all have at least one good idea that we can make become our reality. If this is true, then why are there not more successful people? Unfortunately, there can be a large amount of obstacles that entrepreneurs face. Even though becoming successful can be an uphill battle, it is important to not make excuses and to act on your plans.

Time: You may feel that you do not have any spare time for yourself to help grow your business and ideas. This might be true that you are sparse on extra time, but if you do not start accomplishing your goals, someone else will accomplish them in your place. Most people take too much time planning and waiting on others. You need to hire the right people to help you accomplish the projects that you cannot. While the other person that you hired is working on your task, do not wait for them! Continue to work on your end goal instead of focusing on where you are today.

Commitment: You need to make a full commitment to your business. This does not mean you need to quit your job as it may not be financially feasible. You do need to commit mentally and set goals for yourself daily. For example, you could commit to filming one video a week, or posting twice on your business social media page, or calling five leads each day. The possibilities are endless and will vary depending on your business. Lastly, it is important to create a schedule that is a roadmap of your entire day. This gives you the ability to commit to each task at the time scheduled so that you do not go off-course.

When you first begin to market your product or service, you will need to be PATIENT with your results. It takes time to produce exposure and leads but this is not time wasted! You should be IMPATIENT with your activities; continue to try new things. Many of your ideas will fail, but it is important that you continue to try new things. If an idea fails, have a backup plan so that you can avoid waiting and proceed toward your goals. If you continue to stay on the same path, you will never succeed. It is important to continuously look for opportunities to better your business.

Selling Your Expertise

Each one of us has the ability to sell our expertise, but how do we do this? Throughout our lives, different events have occurred that shape us into the individuals that we are today. These experiences make us become more knowledgeable in a variety of topics.

Think of one topic that you excel in; this means that you know something that not everyone does. You have ability to teach and inspire others, best of all you can create your income while doing it!

You have untapped knowledge in your brain, you have the ability to vocalize your thoughts, now all you need is an audience. It is easy to get run down by pitching your amazing product to anyone that will listen if you’re constantly being rejected. Yes, you may get lucky and find someone that is willing to buy your product but, at what cost? Most speakers are pitching to the wrong audience.

Let’s think about this more…

If you are selling a self help motivational service, you would think you should pitch your service to struggling individuals that are not prospering financially. The reasoning behind this would be that your product will help encourage the individuals to make their goals become a reality. If you are thinking this way, you need to alter your way of thinking. You need to pitch to the wealthy and successful individuals. They have already made it, and they became successful by learning from others.

They made the decision to invest in themselves. The successful individuals will be more likely to buy your product because they have seen it work before in their lives. They are already convinced that self help is a good investment, and if you simply show them how your service will get them past the plateau they’re in so that they can up level their business, the sale is simple. You’re providing a solution who already values what you have to offer.

It is important that we change our way of thinking; we need to think logically on who will PURCHASE your product instead of who NEEDS your product. If you do your research and pitch to the right group of people you will begin to see your sales increase!

Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Open Rate

1. Create an Engaging Subject Line: When looking at your open rate, the subject line means everything. It is important that you intrigue your potential customer’s eye with a short phrase that makes them want to open your email. Companies have been using email marketing for years, but in some ways, they have failed to progress with the times. In your subject line, it is very important that you do not use all capital letters. This makes it more likely that your email will be sent to spam. A way to combat low open rates is by create interesting subject lines. This can be done in countless ways! You will have to use trial and error to find out what works best for your email list. A few ways to increase your open rate is to start a conversation within the subject, making the email look more personable. You can follow that conversation throughout the entirety of the email. Use a deadline alluding to urgency and instilling the fear of missing out. You can create a funny pun or joke, but make sure it does not go over the reader’s head. Lastly, people are drawn to numbers, so including numbers in the subject the email is a great way to make your email more likely to be opened.

2. Optimize Your Timing: Timing has a very large effect on your open rate. Studies have shown that Tuesdays are a popular day to send and open emails. You should try to avoid emails during the weekend. Individuals want to rest on the weekends and your emails may be seen as an annoyance. Timing for every organization will be different so it is important to perform split tests. Throughout other studies that have been conducted, it was concluded that the best time to send an email is late morning to early afternoon!

3. Make Your Emails Personable: When writing an email, it is important that you are seen as a friendly face and not a corporate boss. People are more likely to read emails that are personable. This can be done by customizing your greeting and signature. Additionally, do not speak over your audience – use a vocabulary that your reader can understand.

Keep in mind, most people do not look forward to reading emails. They usually push off reading emails, which is why it is important to create amazing content that your customer will look forward to reading. It is important to be consistent when writing emails so that your customer continues to want to learn more.

At times, it can be discouraging to see a low open rate, but it is important to keep your head up and continue to create more enticing emails! You can bring value to people’s lives through emails, all you have to do is get opened!

 

What’s the Buzz with Facebook Retargeting?

Facebook retargeting is instrumental to your success because it is EFFECTIVE!

A large amount of time and money is spent on Facebook growth. Facebook is an amazing platform where you can grow your business and social following. It is very important that you create compelling ads that attract future customers, but you also need to target the correct individuals. Unfortunately, some businesses are marketing to all Facebook users, instead of segmenting their customers and retargeting them with similar offers.

Let’s think about this…

You wake up in the morning and you open up Facebook. You begin to scroll through your feed which is filled with your sister’s birthday photos, your best friend from college moved into a new house, and then you see a comfy red sweatshirt. You click on the image and look at the sales page. The sweatshirt is only $20 dollars, so you put it in your cart. You think to yourself that you could use another sweatshirt and comfort is key!

You look at the clock and see that you are late, you were unable to check out and buy the sweatshirt, but it is still sitting in your cart. This isn’t a problem because you probably didn’t need the sweatshirt to begin with.

The next day, you are scrolling Facebook again during your lunch break and you see the same sweatshirt with slightly different copy.

This is retargeting! You have already showed your potential customer this item before. Therefore, you bypass the initial step of exposure. Then you give the potential customer a limited time coupon code. This makes the customer more likely to purchase your item and then projects your product further into their minds. There you go, you have just made a sale because of retargeting!

This is the importance of retargeting, you have the ability to expand your company’s business and service with Facebook. If you continue to show the same offer to the same group of people your exposure and sales will increase!

 

Why Honesty is the Most Important Intangible in Your Success


Honesty and integrity are by far the most important assets of an entrepreneur.
– Zig Ziglar

Have you ever noticed that being honest to others seems like a no-brainer, but we can justify being dishonest with ourselves without hesitation?  Honest about your knowledge of a certain subject, realistic about your competency with a particular job, or transparent enough to admit your mistakes.

Being honest exposes ourselves to the reality of what is going on around us.  It’s where the phrase “calling it like it is” comes from, and those who can be real with themselves and their business on a daily basis are bound for success. 

Here are some examples of why transparency is so valuable:

Develop Accountability

First and foremost, being honest with yourself and your business will develop personal accountability.  Personal accountability is the intangible you need to build your business from the inside out: if you pull all the strings of your business, then you have all the power to make it succeed. 

Zig Ziglar said, “You must manage yourself before you can lead someone else.” 

It strikes at the heart of what transparency brings to the table for your business.  Once you develop accountability within yourself you can begin encouraging the same standard in others.  Soon enough, your team will be full of honest and hard-working employees who call it like it is. 

You Learn About Yourself

Another great attribute of transparency is that you can learn how you react in stressful situations, when the chips are down and someone needs to take accountability.  Is it going to be you?  Maybe it should be in certain situations, but it could also be someone else who needs to step forward. 

Being open and honest makes it easier for you to see where things went wrong, and furthermore, what you can do to prevent it from happening again.  It also helps you get an idea of how much actual work it takes to execute a given project.

What about when things are going well? 

Success should be greeted with the same kind of ruthless honesty at play when times are tough.  A successful sales campaign deserves plenty of a rewards, congratulations, and analysis.  Part of being transparent is acknowledging the success of others, giving them the plaudits they deserve, and learning from others. 

All too often businesses see accountability as a way to explain away their mistakes.  It should be the other way around.  A culture of accountability within your business will strengthen teamwork, and teams need to stick together in the good times and the bad.

Gives You a Chance to Improve

Nothing helps you with personal self-development as much as making mistakes.  Everyone makes them, but it’s those who can learn from them that flourish in the world of business.  When you are honest about what you did (or did not) do, you have just taught yourself how to avoid making the same mistake in the future. 

It might be hiring someone without calling all of their references, or giving someone more responsibility because you don’t have the time.  If these decisions lead to problems down the road, at least you can rectify them and strengthen your operating procedure going forward.

Psychological Growth Will Produce Business Success

A lot of people start out in the business world with some naivety.  They may think they have what it takes to make a million in the first year of their business – but does it happen?  Usually not.

A vast majority of success stories come from people that have failed over and over again before finding a niche that works for them and succeeding.  Do these success stories look back in anger on their failed business ventures?  Absolutely not. 

Ask anyone in business about the trials and tribulations they faced in the early days and they will say it was the adversity they needed to learn about themselves and develop the character required to make a business that succeeds in the long-term.

What Makes A Great Leader?

When talking about business leadership, many different characteristics come to mind.  A leader can be silent and put the focus on doing rather than showing.  A leader can also be assertive and full of excitement and gusto, relaying their energy and enthusiasm to their team to push them forward.  These are the two poles of leadership characteristics, and in most cases, business leaders display a little bit of both depending on the situation or context.

Then you have leadership styles. Wisetoast has put together a list of 12 common leadership styles among business leaders today.  These styles each take a different focus, whether it’s:

  • Autocratic
  • Democratic
  • Strategic
  • Transformational
  • Team-Oriented
  • Cross-Cultural
  • Facilitative
  • Laissez-faire
  • Transactional
  • Coaching
  • Charismatic
  • Visionary

That’s a lot of style jammed into a single list.  Do you resonate with a few of the types above?

The truth is, humans are fluid.  We do not just fit into a specific box or “type”.  Someone can be an autocratic leader one week and a democratic leader the next.  We each have distinct personality traits from our character as adults.  In order to harness great leadership then, the focus should be less on style and more on personal attributes. 

Here are 5 attributes of great leadership that you can nurture no matter what personality type you are: 

  • Flexibility.  Being able to adjust plans and schedules without getting flustered is an important skill.  It takes composure and a realization that you can only control a small fraction of things in your vicinity – the rest is up to others, whom you have to trust.
  • Strong Communication.  Always being clear and remaining in touch with your team is important.  It can be a simple “hi, how are you?” or a detailed email about a new project.  Whatever the content, the motive remains the same, and that’s the key.
  • Courage.  Being able to overcome obstacles and remain confident is a requirement of great leadership.
  • Humility.  Appreciating the fragility of life and your place within it will help you make choices for the group, rather than for yourself.  A humble person is also able to admit mistakes. 
  • Organized and Responsible.  A leader must be on top of all responsibilities and organize people throughout all stages of a project. 

Contrary to what some people say, leadership is not something a few people are born with and the rest of us are out to lunch.  Hard work and vision are the key to becoming a great leader. 

Find a way to center your business culture around models of great leadership, and cultivate and environment that induces employees to take on more responsibility.  With responsibility comes accountability, and learning how to be accountable is step 1 on the road to great leadership. 


Zig Ziglar said, “You don’t build a business – you build people – and then people build the business.”

It all starts at the top.  As a leader within your business, it’s on your shoulders to set the tone and be a great leader for the team by focusing on these attributes and how you can educate, equip, and empower your team to build your business.