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Erica Morton is a multi-entrepreneur that formed three businesses from 2011-2013 all for the betterment of the economy, business, and individual. Her businesses are EricaKelliPR, The Atlanta Business Project, and Sublime Graphics and Print that focus on Public Relations, Graphic Art, Business Development, Web Design and more.
THE SPARK OF SUCCESS
By: Erica Morton
Entrepreneurship is a rocky uphill mountain that is worth all the blood, sweat, and tears that are given to receive a lifetime of rewards. Whatever we are made to do for a living is already in us at a very young age. It’s normal to hear a singer or actor say “I started singing/acting at the age of 3”. We all have a spark inside of us that is either ignited or smothered by the rat race rituals of doing what we are told to do what we think we should be doing. By the time we take hold of the reigns that guides our lives and ride into the sunset of our own path we may be up in age. Nothing is wrong with that. It is more important to be able to realize that you have a spark and find the match to light it than to never light it at all.
I started out doing things that I thought I should be doing and would make family and friends say “she is doing so well!” but that was not the case. I worked long hours, walked wherever I needed to and took classes that I thought would help promote me in whatever job I was doing at the time. I thought this was the only way and more importantly the faces that looked back at me were of the warmest countenance anyone could expect to receive.
I decided to go off course and select a fulfilling path of entrepreneurship. I left my hometown, moved to a new city and apprenticed under many individuals whom I thought would help me solidify an entrepreneurial path. I do believe in a great mentor and that we never stop learning but selecting the right mentor or mentors is the first crucial step besides deciding to take the road less traveled. I learned what not to do from these individuals what and I thought to myself “What a waste!. These people are unorganized, money hungry, and hate what they are doing”. Sometimes learning what not to do is just as important as learning the right way to do things. I gathered up all of my “don’ts” and concluded on establishing a name for myself in the fashion and marketing industries.
By venturing out on my own and being essentially “nameless”, I had to figure out a way to matter to others and to be trusted. Here are a few core concepts that applies to any niche or industry to build up a positive name for yourself and your brand.
Nothing is about you. I know what you are thinking. “If it isn’t about me then who is it about?” While emerging from the dust of the rat race, the only thing on your mind should be solving others problems. A solid business model is always based on finding a solution to a problem and the the pay is the residual reward for your awesome solution.
Network. I am not talking about those stuffy events with name tags and trying to jump into a conversation all while not looking awkward. I am strongly suggesting starting within your own circle. Reach out to close friends and family (the ones who will not tear down your house of cards) and tell them what you are doing and who may be able to utilize your product or service. The people that you think will not be interested will, and the ones that you think will be interested will not.
Give unbelieveable value. This can easily be number one on this list. Giving value is the literally the easiest way to build trust (especially if you are unkown), get someone interested and getting someone to buy what you are offering. You may have heard the phrase “You need to spend money in order to make money”, well you need to “Give in order to get”. This can be something as simple as giving someone a few helpful ideas, giving away a product or service, or connecting someone with the right person or solution. This immediately builds trust and you become a credible go-to person and you will most definitely be top of mind when it comes time to buy.
Personalize your communication. This coincides with giving value. No one likes to get an email that says “Dear Sir” or “Dear Madam”. There are so many quick and easy ways to find out someone’s first name, what they are passionate about, and the best way to strike up a conversation. Take time to research an individual before reaching out. Look on their website for their email, look on their twitter for what they are passionate about, and look at their blog to see what they are currently working on. Taking 5 solid minutes to scan over someone’s business life will lead to a solid business relationship and possibly referrals.
These are just a few tips that I live by to this day and has helped me grow my businesses. You may have your own formalities that you use in your business model and these will blend seamlessly while building your business or breathing new life into an established business. Entrepreneurship is easy to quit but it’s just as easy to begin again. There will never be a right time. I encourage you to blow the dust off of your idea and put it into motion now. I read an amazing quote from Napoleon Hill that I look at when moments of doubt arise, “Quitters never Win and Winners never Quit!”.