We are a curious lot, we’re hungry for information & knowledge, we want to know what to do next, always looking for that nugget, that one thing to put us on the right track. We spend hours searching the Internet for a shortcut, are we join groups or businesses thinking it will shortcut success. The shortcut, should you find one, usually doesn’t have staying power, it has a short life span. It’s not because the deal, or whatever it is you decided to join is bad, the common denominator follows you every where you go, it’s why you either quit or hop aboard the next best thing.

I spent years trying to get that shortcut, thinking I could get rich, I could do something where I really didn’t have to work that hard, and make piles of money. Most of us are lazy, we want it all without having to pay the price to get it. There are two things required to succeed in business, one is to hard work, and the other is persistence. The combination of those two brings about life abundantly, growth, excitement, reward, enjoyment, and feeling of doing something special with your time, or your life.

I meet regularly with young people wanting to start their own business, they already know they don’t want to work for the man, they want to do work on their terms. The energy is overwhelming at times, but fun to be around. The conversation always starts with, I want to start a business, or I want a job, but I don’t know what I want to do. Every time, I’m dumb-founded by this, the answer to me is simple and as plain as the nose on our faces. I always say, if you don’t know, don’t worry about it, just go do something. I tell them to go and do something, anything, and they’ll find out what they like, love or hate. The problem is they haven’t done anything, so they have nothing to measure, nothing to compare. The old guard call it experience, I don’t look at that way, I want you to get used to the idea that you will have to do hard work before you discover your passion, the thing you really want to do.

The second thing I tell these young eager minds, go home and write, write down what you love doing. It could be a hobby, it could be music, it could be painting art, it doesn’t matter, just write it down. Once they figure it out, once they see something they are willing to invest their time and no money into, they always get to the most asked question. How do I do it?

This question comes from two things in my humble opinion. One, they haven’t worked for anyone else before, and they don’t learn how business might work. Two, they haven’t learned that building a business is hard work, and they don’t have that long old age thing called experience, they haven’t failed.

The younger generations have two choices to make when they decide to start a business, they can plan with a tradition business plan and funding, or they could just start. The later brings with it failure, and that is uncomfortable, and painful. Failure tends to squash that drive, that passion, that energy to build a business. The other failure is, the business isn’t profitable the first day they start telling the world about their new venture.

There are over 100 questions a business consultant would ask new business owners, and if they answered to many questions wrong, they would tell the young entrepreneur they shouldn’t start the business. I say, don’t listen to them, just go and do something and measure what’s happening as you go. I’m not saying you should ignore certain indicators, the business should be viable, not just a pipe dream.

First young entrepreneurs aren’t sure what kind of business to start, and secondly, they always ask, how do I do it. The most asked question in my business of helping business owners.

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It seems rather obvious doesn’t it, at some point you have to deliver, you have to deliver something. You don’t start a business or any kind of venture without eventually delivering a product or service. Without delivering you don’t really have a business do you. Why would you go through the process of creating something if you didn’t want someone to see it or know about it. Sure you could create something for you and you alone, but you’re still delivering, you’re delivering to yourself.

If you’ve created something awesome, and you have a plan to differentiate your creation, you must deliver it to someone. How will you ever sleep at night if you don’t?

The only way to change the world, to make a difference, to influence others, is to deliver. Delivering can be as simple as showing up, but you will deliver something when you do.

This equation can be applied to anything, the only way to get good at it, is to do it. Read it, learn it, live it.

Create. Differentiate. Deliver.

In an early post I shared that everyone will be an affiliate of something, but that won’t be enough. The day of a single revenue source are behind us, we will need more than one revenue stream in order to survive in the new business landscape. Just selling real estate won’t be enough, or providing one consulting service, you will need to provide value added services, provide other products that are useful to your clients.

Most entrepreneurs are always looking for that next thing to sell, that next problem to solve, because they know that if they don’t keep solving problems, consumers will use the first person or business they find. The bigger issue would be, how do I stay top of mind, how do I ensure that I am found, and how do I know I’m being heard. You’ve read it here many times, make more than you consume. make more of whatever you are selling or whatever solution you are providing.

Now, it’s not enough to just slap some ads on your site, or sell more stuff than you used to, and call it multiple revenue streams. You need to think long and hard how these value added services or products will be incorporated into your business, into your marketing, and how you will handle orders….there is much to consider. You can’t willy nilly it for the sake of making a buck. Although there will be many who do just that, unfortunately I don’t have the power to make those individuals stop.

There many ways to go about finding multiple revenue streams, some simple, and some, not so simple. I like simple to be honest, here on owengreaves.com you don’t see too much complication here. I promote Headway Themes, why? I think it’s the best, if not the best theme for WordPress. So I can’t recommend the product enough. I even have a page dedicated to it, with a list of over 400 sites using the theme, I list them so you can see what others are doing with it.

What you may not know about owengreaves.com is, I also have my own webhosting company, I use it for clients and friends mostly, why? That’s another blog post, but, there are another 3 Billion people coming, many will need webhosting, I just want to be able to provide that service, and….solve that problem.

I spend the majority of my time studying trends, tons of data, and look for interesting things in human behaviour, why? So I can share with you my findings on the future of business, much is changing and most people in this space aren’t really paying attention to it. You would think, if that’s true, why do I spend so much time there? Simple, most aren’t, and I can help business owners and entrepreneurs create new ideas to adopt that future I’m talking about.

I do consulting work in many areas of my studies, think-tanks sessions, workshops, and I do alot of public speaking to ensure my message is heard. All are different kinds of revenue streams, all have a slightly different way of generating income. One or two will be your primary money shakers but, you will need a handful of ways to fill the bucket with coin.

If you haven’t given this much thought, if you haven’t sat down and looked at your business from this perspective, if you haven’t considered different products and services around your single revenue stream, you will have a difficult time surviving in coming years. The next 3 -5 years, not 10 or 20, the business landscape is changing faster than you think, and people aren’t going to tolerate you dictating, they won’t come to you, you will have to go to them. How, through a mobile device’s and virtual reality.

What ideas do you have to enhance your one revenue stream, have you considered having multiple revenue streams, 5 or 10 different revenue streams. And will these products and services be yours, most likely not, you will be an affiliate of most of them, but you will have your own. That’s where the profit margins will be greater, in your own products and services.

How do you see the landscape of business in the next 3 – 5 years from this perspective? Thoughts?

strategic_planThe past three years have seen huge growth in a phenomenon called Social Media, very few organizations understand what it is and don’t have a solid strategic way of maximizing the potential market growth. They know their staff are spending vasts amount of personal time and company time in those networks but don’t understand why and or the power of Social Media Networks.

The challenge with Social Media Networks are many but the one CEO’s and the like will struggle with is control and how they can leverage those environments. Which Network do we hitch our wagon too? How does it work and why? How do we control those networks for our purposes? You can make up your question here as it fits with the not knowing of how to harness a wild beast called Social Media.

Has the time come for organizations to take Social Media Networks seriously and should they include them in their I.T. & Business strategic plans? What’s your plan? Does your company have an I.T. Strategic Plan? Do you know what one is and looks like? Does the I.T. Plan align with with business processes?

Here is a breakdown of how an I.T. Strategic Plan might look:

1.) Purpose (Vision, Mission)

2.) Services

3.) KRA ( Key Result Areas)

4.) Objectives

5.) Action Plans

6.) Markets

7.) List of Similar Providers

8.) Current Business Relationships

9.) Key Success Factors

10.) Core Competencies

11.) SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)

12.) Budget Alignment

13.) Planning Observations

This is not written in stone but you get the idea, each consulting group will have their own framework, this happens to be mine. If you have questions or thoughts please leave a comment and I’ll try to answer your request.

No matter how or what you do and or how you use technology (Information Technology) you should have a plan and Social Media Networks could be a strategy in your plan, it depends on the perceived value of those networks.

If you would like to hire Owen to assist you in developing a positive I.T. Strategic Plan and ensure that plan aligns with your overall business strategy you can e-mail me: owen@owengreaves.com