How to Stay in Demand
According to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation (an organization that promotes entrepreneurship and education), there are approximately 10 million Americans involved in starting a new business at any given time. With that reality in mind, millions of people will take their first courageous steps on the road to self-employment – only to lose their footing when they encounter unexpected obstacles in the path. The statistics don’t lie: an estimated 75 percent of new businesses will fail. The overwhelming majority of those will close up shop within the first six months. Clearly, the mere possession of a great idea, product, or service does not ensure a successful outcome.
In his new book, If Nobody Loves You, Create the Demand, author, international conference speaker, and business coach Dr. Joel Freeman provides the skills and tools necessary for individuals aspiring to create a new business on a limited budget.
Freeman talks about his book in this short interview.
Where did you come up with the title and how does it fit into the message of the book?
Gary Paxton, the creator of The Monster Mash, Alley Oop, Cherry Pie, and He Was There All The Time, also wrote the song “If Nobody Loves You, Create The Demand” done by The Blackwood Brothers. I had never heard the song, but the title intrigued me for years. And it was kind of a motto for me for many years when the business side of things got a bit tough. When the concept of this book developed, that particular title was the only one I would consider for this book. It captured the intent and the essence of the book.
Numerous recognized experts have endorsed this book, such as Steve Forbes, Les Brown, Ken Blanchard, Ben Carson, and many others. What makes this book so different that these experts have had such a positive response?
This is not a formula book, with a get-rich-easy-and-quick theme. My experience, along with the many other entrepreneurs I admire, has been quite different. I have a specific resistance to the “millionaire minute” approach to the entrepreneurial journey. I think that it is committing literary malpractice to export that kind of a philosophy. In contrast, this book is very realistic about the ups and downs of the entrepreneurial journey. The overwhelming response I have gotten from readers is that it is a not-your-typical-entrepreneur book.
The book is filled with personal vulnerability, evocative content, and practical wisdom. There are also special sections set aside throughout the book to address specific entrepreneurial interests: graphic designers, inventors, entrepreneurial moms, teenagers, network marketers, investors, ex-cons, franchise owners, artists, filmmakers, authors, and speakers. I also address the typical pressures that the entrepreneurial pursuit places upon family life, especially the first three to five years of starting a business.
Although this book presents information and inspiration that will help anyone “scratch their entrepreneurial itch,” who will benefit most from reading it?
It is especially designed for people in the beginning to mid stages of the entrepreneurial pursuit. It is also for someone facing retirement or transitioning from one job to another, walking through the personal reinvention process looking for clarity. However, it is also for the seasoned professional who may want to use this book as a resource, giving it to those starting out.
You have a different approach to the development of a business plan. Your book emphasizes the importance a Web site plays in the success of any business venture. Why should creating a Web site be the first step in the development of a new business?
In this day and age, if you don’t have a Web site, you’re not really in business. This is one of the more creative, productive, and less boring ways to do a strategic business plan. You will need to address the nitty-gritty aspects of your business in due time; however, the process required to develop a Web site will address all of the legitimate questions you need to address before you can hit prime time with your venture. (Who? What? Why? When? Where? How?)
Once you have addressed the major questions and developed content, you not only know the all-important answers to those questions, but you now also have a Web site. The process you endured in the development of a Web site has forced you to understand what you are all about and how you are going to implement the vision that is burning within. In essence, you have now completed the public version of your business plan; your digital brochure.
One chapter in your book is devoted to the importance of “branding yourself.” What makes a good brand statement?
You must determine your main strength(s) and then you can develop a creative spin to that strength. For instance, my company brand is seven words: “Dealing With People Who Drive You Crazy!”®. That statement brings a smile to another person’s face. It’s quick. No long explanation. It fits my semi-off-the-wall sense of humor and is aligned with my passion to help people.
The brand of a company is like a zebra galloping with a herd of horses. It looks like a horse and runs like a horse – even blending in with the rest of the herd – if someone is only focusing specifically on the activity of running. But the black and white stripes of the zebra cause it to visually stand out, up close or far away.
That’s part of the purpose of a brand. There are plenty of goods and services out there, but a five to seven word brand and unique business practices – backed up with excellent customer service – can cause what you are doing to be set apart as something unique in the midst of many others doing the same types of things.
What do you want people to walk away with after they have finished reading your book?
I want readers to grasp the reality that they are in a rare and wonderful fraternity of other entrepreneurs who have their own stories to tell. I also hope that readers appreciate the fact that I gave away a lot of my personal business secrets. I want to send a message that it is important to be a giver. That’s why I love organizations like SCORE, Job Corps, Toastmasters, and so many other organizations that provide a framework for people to give away wisdom lessons to others who need a hand helping them up over the fence.
To learn more about Joel Freeman and his latest book, If Nobody Loves You, Create the Demand (Authentic Books), visit www.createthedemand.com.
Joel Freeman holds a Ph.D. in counseling and served as mentor/chaplain for the NBA’s Washington Wizards (formerly the Bullets) for 19 wonderful years (‘79-’98). He facilitates workshops and makes keynote presentations on a variety of topics for leaders in the Federal Judiciary, the music and entertainment industries, corporations, government agencies, and heads of state.
Interview courtesy of The B&B Media Group. Visit them on the Web at www.tbbmedia.com.
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