Are you Listening?

 

are you listening

 

I love to learn, especially about entrepreneurship and small business! I read book after book on the subject; I don’t usually read fiction unless it’s something like “All in Startup” which is fiction inside non-fiction (more on that in a later post). I attend professional development seminars on the subject and participate in frequent webinars. So when I exhibited at the American Camp Association Tri-State Conference last week one of my main goals was to learn. Learn if they were the right customer for my products, learn what their needs were, what problems they have that need solving and learn what ideas they had for product improvement and development. Having those goals in mind before even attending the show put me in the mindset to listen to the persons who visited my lemonade stand booth and wow did I learn!

 

Here are 3 big product ideas that I learned from the attendees: 1) They would like a Spanish version of the Biz Ops Game, 2) They would like the Biz Ops Game adapted for Camps (i.e. a Camp Ops Game) to train their staff, and 3) They would like to buy the lemonade stand that I made out of PVC pipe. Each of these ideas is very doable and without the time of developing brand new products and so they are now on my list. I also learned that the Biz Ops Game makes a great rainy day activity for camps; now I have a new way to sell the game. I also learned that e-seedling is confusing to the camp audience – many visitors asked if I had something to do with gardening. If you are going to be clever with a name – you need to think about your audience and make sure it’s clear. So I learned how to explain exactly what E-seedling does; empowers youth through entrepreneurship (hence the e is for entrepreneur and seedling is the youth) and that the More Than a Lemonade Stand book is a do it yourself youth entrepreneur curriculum that can be implement as a whole or individual activities (oh and don’t bring that much candy to give away unless you want to bring it home).

 

I also learned some tips from the other exhibitors: 1) have an information sheet for visitors to take with them (I was directing them to my website), and 2) put the game sheets in a binder so they aren’t accidentally walked off with.

 

It’s amazing how much you can learn just by listening to others and yourself! Being a Covey Facilitator for the Seven Habits of Highly Successful People I have heard this quote many times and agree that it is true. “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” 
― Stephen R. CoveyThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

 

Now I ask; are you listening?

Young Entrepreneur Lemonade Stand

The Aha Moment that I’m sticking too!

Have you ever been someplace and all of sudden that light bulb goes – you know it – that ‘aha’ moment. When I was at Brendon Burchard’s Experts Academy last fall – I was working in a small group and explaining the youth entrepreneur camps I’m working on  by using the words, “it’s More Than a Lemonade Stand” and someone in our group said “that would be a great name”. I thought to myself, wow, she’s right – and the More Than a Lemonade Stand Youth Entrepreneur Camps and Training were born.  One thing that Brendon told us, that really stuck in my head, was to pick one thing and stick with it for two years.  I do have to say that was really good advice – I for one have no lack of ideas so it will definitely be a challenge- but I think what it does for me is help me stay focused on what my goal is. This has actually helped me move toward it faster than I ever imagined possible. Sometimes it feels like it’s moving a bit fast, I just signed my first book publishing agreement with Morgan James publishing and I am learning so much about the publishing industry, editing, and publicity all while writing my book (and working full-time so I can actually afford to do all of this)!  I’m so grateful that I’ve been fortunate to learn so much in a short time from experts in the industry and hope to continue on my journey in the next 2 years (and beyond).

Lemon

Are you building your platform?

I’ve been back a week from Author 101 University and I finally sifted through all the materials and started getting to work on the 3 things I wrote down to focus on: 1) Build my platform (more on that in a moment), 2) Finish writing my book, 3) Follow up and write thanks with contacts.  If there is one thing I learned at Author 101 University (besides you must have a book proposal if you writing a non-fiction book) is you need a platform!  Basically, if you want someone to publish your book, you must have a following (a platform).  We learned at Author 101 that there are many ways to go about building your platform.  We learned that you need to get out and share your expertise either in person or online (or both)!  Free content is a good way to start building your credibility, making an impact and building your platform.  So, in addition to writing the book (thankfully, I already finished the book proposal), I will be putting together some free content to help others with entrepreneurship.  I also have a few ideas for a kindle book which we also learned could help build your platform.  So, what are you doing to make an impact and build your platform?