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Blog - Digital Life Mentors

Developing Your Strategic Mission, Vision & Values

Knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing (your mission), where you’re trying to go (your vision), and how you’re going to go about it (your values) are the glue that holds an organization together. It is an essential part of building your strategic foundation and developing a strategy.

You preserve these elements while your strategies and goals change and flex with the market.

You may modify your mission, vision, or values over time, but the intent stays unchanged and you will have complete clarity when making critical business decisions that impact your future.

Your mission, vision and values can sound abstract, esoteric, and downright fluffy to a lot of people, especially those who are burning to move forward with a real-world project. These people don’t want to hang back conceptualizing about people’s wishes and dreams. Don’t let being pragmatic get in the way of this important stage of building a strong foundation of consensus for your organization. If you don’t take the time to articulate mission, values, and vision on the front end as you develop a strategy, you’ll pay for it later when writing goals and objectives without a crystal clear strategic direction.

With your planning team established and your schedule set, you’re ready to move into establishing or reviewing (if you already have these statements), your mission, vision and values. To efficiently move through this phase, don’t confuse mission and vision.

The Mission is a statement about your core purpose, why you exist, and is best stated in the present tense.

The Vision is a statement about your desired state, where you want to go, and is best stated in the future tense.

While you might find values interspersed throughout both your mission and vision, an effective values statement clearly delineates the guiding principles of your organization, how you want your staff to behave and interact.

Because these three statements are foundational to an effective strategic plan, take the time you and your team need to get them right. However, don’t get stuck on wordsmithing and lose momentum in your strategy development and planning process; rather focus on intent and allow them to be drafted until everyone is comfortable stamping them final.

Questions to Ask

  1. Who are we and why do we exist?
  2. Where are we going and why?
  3. What information do we need to make our strategic decisions?
  4. What are the strategic topics, issues we need to address through this process?
  5. What is already determined that we need to build off of?

Data Needed

  1. Current plan and financials
  2. Executive and staff ideas about the possible mission, vision and values
  3. Board’s vision (if applicable)
  4. External plans that you need to align with

Outcomes/Deliverables

  1. Draft mission, vision, values statements
  2. List of strategic issues that need to be addressed during the planning process

Mission Statement

Mission statement – this part of your strategy development is your core purpose, the underlying “why” you are climbing the mountain, why you are in business. A mission statement is a declaration of your organization’s purpose and spotlights the business you are presently in and the customer/constituent needs you are presently endeavouring to meet. To build a solid foundation for a successful organization, it is essential to have a written, clear, concise and consistent mission statement that simply explains who you are and why you exist. Keep it short – Peter Drucker would say your mission should fit on a t-shirt.
Your mission statement should serve as a guide for day-to-day operations and as the foundation for future decision-making. Keep these guidelines in mind when writing or evaluating yours:

  • Focuses on satisfying customer/constituent needs: A mission statement should focus the organization on satisfying customer/constituent needs rather than on a program or service. It tells “who” your customer/constituents are, “what” needs your organization wishes to satisfy and “how” these needs are satisfied.
  • Based on your core competencies: Your organization should base its mission on a competitively superior internal strength, unique capability or resource that the organization performs well in comparison to similar organizations.
  • Motivates and inspires stakeholder commitment: Your mission statement should be motivating. Your stakeholders need to feel that their work is significant and that it contributes to people’s lives.
  • Realistic: Your mission statement should be realistic. You should avoid making the mission too narrow or too broad.
  • Specific, short, sharply focused and memorable: It should be a precise statement of purpose that describes the essence of the organization in words your constituents and stakeholders can remember you by. It should “fit on a T-shirt.” “To serve the most vulnerable.” (International Red Cross)
  • Clear and easily understood: Develop and write your mission statement on a “party level” (i.e. simple and clearly) so that you can quickly and briefly tell people you meet at a party or on aeroplanes why your organization exists. At the same time, it needs to give your team a profoundly simple focus for everything it does as an organization.

Examples

  • 3M: To solve unsolved problems innovatively.
  • International Red Cross: To provide relief to victims of disaster and help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies.
  • Boy Scouts of America: To preserve the values and benefits of wilderness for present and future generations by connecting agency employees and the public with their wilderness heritage through training, information, and education.
  • Starbucks: To inspire and nurture the human spirit — one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time.
  • The Elephant Sanctuary: A natural-habitat refuge where sick, old, and needy elephants can once again walk the earth in peace and dignity.
  • Fannie Mae: To provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the U.S. housing and mortgage markets.
  • Google: To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
  • Walmart: We save people money so they can live better.
  • Marine Stewardship Council: To safeguard the world’s seafood supply by promoting the best environmental choices.
  • Marriott Hotels: To make people who are away from home feel they are among friends and really wanted.
  • Merck: To operate a worldwide business that produces meaningful benefits for consumers, our market partners and our community.

Values

Values are enduring, passionate, and distinctive core beliefs, and they’re an essential part of developing your strategy. They are based on enduring tenets—guiding principles—to adhere to no matter what mountain you climb. Your core values are part of your strategic foundation. They are the beliefs that guide the conduct, activities and goals of your organization. They establish why you do what you do and what you stand for. Values are deeply held convictions, priorities, and underlying assumptions that influence the attitudes and behaviours of your organization. Strong values account for why some organizations gain a reputation for such strategic traits as leadership, product innovation, and total customer satisfaction. These never change.
An organization’s values can dominate the kind of strategic moves it considers or rejects. When values and beliefs are deeply ingrained and widely shared by directors, managers and staff, they become a way of life within the organization, and they mold organizational strategy.
Here are some guidelines in developing core values:

  • Keep the list of values to between five and seven. They need to be memorable to your staff.
  • Create phrases, but not paragraphs. One word is not enough to convey the real meaning of value.
  • Make these values specific, not generic. It takes more than one word to define specificity.
  • Values need to be shared. While you don’t need consensus from everyone in your organization, you do need agreement from senior leadership.
  • If it’s already stated in your mission, do not repeat it. Some values-driven language may be part of your mission statement. That’s fine, but consider not repeating what you have covered elsewhere.

Here is what Herb Kelleher, former CEO of Southwest Airlines had to say about core values. “We always felt that people should be treated right as a matter of morality. Then, incidentally, that turned out to be good business too. But it didn’t really start as a strategy. It began with us thinking about what is the right thing to do in a business context. We said we want to really take care of these people, we want to honor them and we love them as individuals. Now that induces the kind of reciprocal trust and diligent effort that made us successful. But the motivation was not a strategy, it was core values.”

Examples

strategic planning roadmap

Vision Statement

Vision statement – this statement reflects the specific mountain you are currently trying to climb – the “where.”  A vision is a picture of what your organization’s future makeup will be and where you are headed. Vision provides a clear mental picture of what your organization will look like in 5 to 10 years from now. Forming a strategic vision should provide long-term direction, delineate the organizational activities to be pursued and the capabilities the organization plans to develop, and infuse the organization with a sense of purposeful action. It serves as a unifying focal point for everyone in the organization like a North Star. It delineates the future focus and where the organization is going.
Visions are also referred to as Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals or BHAGs. Here are two examples of visions or BHAGs that were very lofty at the time they were established:

  • We will put a man on the moon before the end of the decade and bring him back. (JFK)
  • A computer on every desk and in every home using great software as an empowering tool. (Microsoft)

An effective vision statement consists of the following elements. Your vision statement may or may not incorporate all of these elements, but keep them in mind when writing or evaluating yours.

  • Futurecasting: Provides a picture of what your business will look like in the future.
  • Audacious: Represents a dream that is beyond what you think is possible. It represents the mountaintop your organization is striving to reach. Visioning takes you out beyond your present reality.
  • Motivating: Clarifies the direction in which your organization needs to move and keeps everyone pushing forward to reach it.
  • Purpose-Driven: Worded to give your staff a larger sense of purpose–so they see themselves as “building a cathedral” rather than “laying stones.”
  • Inspiring: Worded in engaging language that inspires and engages people. It creates a vivid image in people’s heads that provokes emotion and excitement. It creates enthusiasm and poses a challenge that inspires and engages people in the organization.
  • Capitalizes on Core Competencies: Builds on your organization’s core competencies. It builds on what you have already established – history, customer/constituent base, strengths, and unique capabilities, resources and assets.

Examples

  • Chemtura: To grow a global portfolio of leading speciality chemical businesses, committed to innovation and the creation of value for our stakeholders.
  • DuPont: To be the world’s most dynamic science company, creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, and healthier life for people everywhere.
  • Heinz: To be the world’s premier food company, offering nutritious, superior tasting foods to people everywhere.
  • Susan G. Komen for the Cure: A world without breast cancer.
  • Novo Nordisk: To be the world’s leading diabetes care company.
  • Pershing General Hospital: To become the provider of first choice for our community by being a leader in rural healthcare and offering innovative technologically advanced services.
  • Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic: For all people to have equal access to the printed word.
  • Mattel: To be the premier Toy Brand—today and tomorrow.
  • McDonald’s: To be the world’s best quick-service restaurant experience. Being the best means providing outstanding quality, service, cleanliness, and value so that we make every customer in every restaurant smile.
  • Amazon: Our vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.

Identify Your Competitive Advantages

A competitive advantage is simply the answer to: “What is your organization best at?” Your competitive advantage is what your organization does or potentially could do better than similar organizations. One result of a well-developed and executed strategic plan is to develop a unique competitive advantage. It is what you do best that draws customers/constituents to use your products and services instead of those of others. Successful organizations deliberately make choices to be unique and different in activities that they are really, really good at and they focus all of their energy in these areas.

A sustainable competitive advantage(s) is the foundation, the cornerstone of your strategic plan. Successful companies strive to create an advantage that continues to be competitive over time. Throughout the planning process, you will need to evaluate every part of your plan to determine whether it supports or detracts from this.This statement should be no longer than one or two sentences or a couple of bullet points. Keep in mind that you should be able to effectively explain what your company does within 30 seconds—or else you could lose your listener. Think of it as your organization’s DNA – a collection of attributes that makes you unique. Your organization exists for a very specific reason and has unique abilities, and most likely its purpose is different than any other company out there. Companies are founded for reasons as varied as something to do during retirement to making the world a better place. You might consider asking your employees for their perspective as well, when you survey them. You may be amazed at the insightful comments you receive.
Later, when developing your goals, make sure to include goals that nurture and grow your competitive advantage. You should also make sure that your competitive advantage is something that is long-lasting and not easy to duplicate.
Consider the criteria below to see if you’re on the right track:

  • Consistent difference: Customers must see a consistent difference between your products/services and those of your competitors. This difference needs to be obvious to your customers, and it must influence their purchasing decision.
  • Difficult to imitate: Your competitive advantage must be difficult to imitate. You want to have an advantage that your competition cannot easily duplicate. This might be in the form of people, proprietary knowledge within your organization, or business processes that are behind the scenes.
  • Constantly improved: The first two bulleted items above must create activities that can be constantly nurtured and improved upon in order to maintain an edge over the competition.

Examples

  • Clothing Manufacturer: Wearable clothing because “Our clothes fly off the racks.”
  • Financial Services Firm: Ranked in the top 10 percent of money managers who beat S&P nationally. Fastest-growing American Funds money manager in ’00, ’01, & ’02. The only firm ever featured by American Funds in its advisory newsletter.
  • Interior Design Firm: Increasing developers’ sales ratio by 35 percent. The only design team chosen by the top 10 luxury developers in the state.
  • Pershing General Hospital: Provides high-quality emergency, primary care, and retail pharmacy within its area. Staffs the hospital with personnel that have superior knowledge to support efficient operations. Offers the best care possible by maintaining its full staff of highly-experienced nurses.
  • Abbott: Creating a product portfolio that lowers the cost of health care.
  • Fannie Mae: Could become the best capital markets player in anything that pertains to mortgages.
  • Gillette: Could become the best at building global brands of daily necessities that require sophisticated manufacturing technology.
  • Wells Fargo: Could become the best at running a bank focused on the western United States.

Organization-Wide Strategies

An organization-wide strategy establishes a way to match your organization’s strengths with opportunities so that your organization comes to mind when people have a need. An organization-wide strategy is like an umbrella. It is a general statement(s) that guides and covers a set of activities. It answers the question “how.” It explains how strengths usually fall into two broad categories: cost advantage and differentiation. When you apply these strengths to a market that’s either large and varied or small and homogeneous in its needs, three basic strategies result:

  • Using operational excellence to provide the lowest total cost
  • Using continued innovation to provide product or service leadership
  • Providing complete customer intimacy through knowing their needs and wants

By consistently executing an organization-wide strategy or a strategy that consistently guides how you create value, you can provide a product or service that’s better than your competition.

Creating value through excellent operations

Creating value through excellent operations focuses on appealing to a broad spectrum of customers based on being the overall low-cost provider of a product or service because of the organization’s focus on efficiency. The organization implementing this strategy provides superior value to its customers by offering them the lowest total cost.

An operationally excellent value proposition sounds something like this: “We offer products and services that are always consistent, on-time, and low in cost.” Check out these goals if you’re executing this strategy:

  • To continually offer the most attractive prices.
  • To purchase and source from the lowest-cost suppliers.
  • To offer excellent and consistent quality.
  • To ensure that our company has a good product or service selection.
  • To make buying from our company easy and fast.

To reach your goals, you need to master your operational processes. This process includes monitoring outstanding supply chain management, super-efficient operations to control costs, cycle time and quality, and inventory management.
Companies that continue to offer the best buy or lowest cost through their excellent internal operations include Walmart, Southwest Airlines, Dell, and Ikea.

Creating value through product/service leadership

This strategy concentrates on creating a unique, innovative product or service line. An organization implementing this strategy provides superior value by offering its customers a continuous stream of innovative products or services. It seeks to identify emerging opportunities and continuously strives to develop and deliver new products and services.
A product and/or service leadership value proposition sounds something like this: “We offer products and services that expand existing boundaries past what was thought possible.” To execute this strategy, your goals may look something like the following:

  • To strive to be first-to-market with new products, services, or functionality.
  • To always produce leading-edge products and services that exceed the performance of competing products.
  • To maintain higher prices than competitors because of the superior product.
  • To reach new customer groups.

You need to master your innovation processes and develop an innovation culture to reach your goals. These steps include a pipeline full of new ideas, a conversion rate of ideas to production, excellent and quick product development processes, and marketing and sales departments that can bring the product to market quickly.
Companies that are always on the cutting edge of their industries include Intel, Mercedes, Sony, and Salesforce.com.

Creating value through customer intimacy

Creating value through really knowing your customers concentrate on a narrow market segment by a deep understanding of its customer and their perception of the value of the product or service offered. A company implementing this strategy provides superior value by tailoring its products or services to match exactly the needs of targeted customers. It specializes in satisfying unique customer needs through an intimate knowledge of the customers.
A customer intimacy value proposition sounds something like this: “We provide the best total solution to our customers because we make a practice of knowing exactly what they need.” Try to fashion your goals around the examples below:

  • To ensure that our customers feel like we understand them by continually engaging in market research and responding to it.
  • To provide customized products and services to meet their needs.
  • To stress exceptional customer service.
  • To install and effectively use a customer relationship management system.
  • To offer and sell a complete solution (selling multiple and bundled products and services).

Develop a customer-focused culture to attain these marks. These procedures include offering as many products and services that your customers are looking to you to provide – meaning that you completely solve the problem or need that your customers have.

The Power Of Leverage – 5 Ways To Get More From Less

The simple concept of “leverage” has the power to get you more time, better fitness, career or business success, financial control and relationship satisfaction. Despite these benefits, however, most of us don’t utilize leverage as much as we could. Understanding how leverage works is the first step in expanding your opportunities, satisfaction and overall fulfilment.

Read more

The Mindset of a Successful Internet Entrepreneur

Developing a successful mindset can be accomplished. All it takes is dedication, practice and some persistence to develop the skills required to succeed.

If you talk to successful entrepreneurs, you’ll notice their logic is different than the logic of people who are content to just work for a living, i.e. 9-5 employees. One of the simplest ways to develop a powerful mindset is to study the works of people that have an entrepreneurial mindset, and learn from their examples and also from their mistakes.

Organise Your Thoughts

First and foremost, before you begin any journey or project take the time to organise your thoughts. Focus in on what it is you are trying to achieve and set some realistic timeframes to achieve them. Actually, write down these plans and goals so that you can refer back to them at regular intervals. Set a timetable of events, and take small steps to accomplish the bigger picture. This will help you keep on track and focused. In essence, take the time to start developing the first stage of a life plan, and then follow through on it.

If you find this first step challenging, remember there is always help at hand – a coach can give you some clarity to help you move forward. Find out more here.

Internet Marketing and Information Discovery

The internet has many uses but is often under-utilised as a tool for business. We all know you can find a lot of random information on the internet however, it takes skill to break through all the distraction and really maximise its benefit. There are others out there who are ready and waiting to help you market your products to a wide audience. Investigate and take advantage of advertising your affiliate products and/or services globally – your customers are no longer just in your local area. Accepting this fact alone will set you on the right path to achieving the right mindset to become an internet entrepreneur.

Furthermore, you can acquire information instantly. For example, if you require a certain type of mentor, coach or strategy for your internet business you used to have to search through phone books and books at the library. Today, the search is literally at the click of a button. All who have a powerful mindset utilize the internet to its fullest, and no longer just ‘surf the web’ to find the raw materials or information they require. They identify what it is they are trying to acquire and don’t allow distractions along the way.

Information discovery is an art onto itself. If you wish to develop an entrepreneurial mindset you must learn how to do it. A variety of resources, available online, such as the Six Figure Mentors, can teach you how to find what you need online.

Mind Focusing to achieve the Big Picture

Another step in developing an entrepreneurial mindset is learning how to identify the small tasks that require your focus and how they fit into the bigger picture. Multitasking is often thrown around as a great skill to have, however, whilst in many instances multitasking is useful, it sometimes can distract you from the significant smaller tasks that will build the bigger picture. Taking the time to focus in and concentrate deeply on a specific task that you identify as being important can make the difference between success and failure. All who have a professional mindset have worked out when to multitask, and when to focus.

Of course, there is always help available for some of those trivial tasks that take too much time and don’t require your focus in order to succeed. Consider outsourcing these.

Final Plans

Finally, always formalise your plans. This means sitting down for a specified period of time and writing up a plan for your business to achieve the lifestyle you are after. Simply stating “make a lot of money” is never going to set you up to succeed. You have to start from scratch and jot down the steps you need to take. For example, step 1 may be to build a website.

A clear plan will help you stay focused and also allow you to refer back to your initial plans as time passes. Remember to be flexible, plans can vary as long as you are still working towards the main goals and can identify a sure reason for the variation. This will stop you wasting time on tangents that may not be of use in achieving the bigger picture.

If you are looking for some more guidance to develop your mindset and internet business, then I would love for you to click here and seriously explore the possibility. After all, I’m living proof that success online and in life, is possible 🙂

[Free Gift] The Science Of Getting Rich

I still remember the moment that Blanche (my beautiful wife) walked out of her study. She had the most stunning look on her face. I was a little puzzled. Until she grabbed my shoulder with both her arms and firmly said… “I get it!

I was a little confused to say the least as I had literally no idea what she had been doing up to that point. I asked “get what?” She proceeded to paraphrase moments from this book The Science Of Getting Rich. The words resonated so loudly with her you could literally feel her vibration. Then she said with full assertiveness and authority “I know what we have to do!” It was like Tony Robbins had literally awoken the giant within…

She had just read this book “The Science Of Getting Rich.”

Since that moment we have literally seen our online business (and our lifestyle) go from strength to strength. We have so much more time to dedicate to our kids and to help realise their online business potential.

As our mentors Stuart Ross and Jay Kubassak have both said on many occasions… “The results really start to happen when you focus on adding incredible value rather than running a business.”

And thats exactly why we are privileged enough to be in the position that we are.

Please enjoy this book – I hope it resonates with you as loudly as it did with Blanche.

I would love for you leave your comments on Facebook page or in the comments section below.

Cheers and have a great day wherever you may be.

Ben Morris
DigitalLifeMentors.com

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October 2015 Special Offer

Just a quick blog update to highlight an exclusive offer for you – that we have never offered or done before. We are making this offer to you as we celebrate an enormous month by our Western Australian colleagues Gerard, Chris and Merilee.

Today we celebrate as they earned just over $26,000 in SFM affilliate commissions for the month of September. That’s 35,000 Aussie dollars earned exclusively as elite plus members of the Six Figure Mentors!

Firstly, if you have already purchased an application to join The Six Figure Mentors, then this may not interest you and if you are already a member, then well, you already on your way – as are we.

But if you haven’t joined up yet, and its something you’ve been considering, you are NOT going to want to miss this opportunity.

Update

The following people have already taken advantage of our offer:

  1. K O’Sullivan
  2. A Richardson
  3. K Harleigh
  4. S Leech
  5. L Summers

Well done guys for stepping up and taking action.

If you want to apply to join The SFM for FREE then you need to take action NOW.

The Offer…

Between now and midnight (GMT) Thursday 15th October, we are going to be paying you back the EXPRESS & VIP applications costs to the next 10 people who sign up!

This means you can purchase a VIP application for $100 and get your money back in full!

So if you want to check out The SFM for free, all you need to do is click the button below, purchase the EXPRESS or the VIP application, fully complete the questionnaire and then let us know you’ve done it.

We will then refund the cost back to you. We can’t see any fairer than this!

By submitting your application you will get over 6 hours of training by Stuart Ross & Jay Kubassek, co-founders of The SFM / The DEA. We’ve watched the training ourselves and it’s truly awesome.

The videos will explain fully what this opportunity is all about and how it can help you to earn money online within weeks!

[button_3 text=”get-access-now.png” align=”center” href=”https://connect.thesixfigurementors.com/signup/application?id=theleash”/]

TERMS

  1. You need to fill the questionnaire after purchasing your application
  2. You need to watch the training videos in the back office
  3. You need to book and complete a free consultation call with one of our business assistants
  4. The gift will be awarded after 30 days to ensure you don’t abuse the 30 day refund policy
  5. You need to email us your pay pal details after the 30 day point to claim your gift, we won’t chase you

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To Your Success,
Ben & Blanche
Founders of Digital Life Mentors
[images style=”0″ image=”http%3A%2F%2Fdigitallifementors.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2015%2F06%2Fben-and-blanche-signature.jpg” custom_width=”Y” width=”395″ custom_width_val=”300″ align=”left” top_margin=”0″]

20 key principles to succeeding at life!

Meet Our Millionaire Mentor, author, speaker and coach – Stuart Ross here!

I’m sure you’ll agree that success isn’t measured in solely monetary terms. A true measure of how successful someone is can most often be found in how happy they are in life.

With that said, here are 20 ways to succeed at life in general. 

1. Let go of the past. Just as a balloon filled with helium can’t rise into the sky with a weight attached to it, neither can you move forward in life without letting go of what holds you back. The past is the past; leave it there, and look towards the future. For example, if you didn’t achieve your goals in 2013, now is the time to let that go and start looking forward. 2014 is a new year and you have the opportunity to use what you learned in 2013 to make 2014 your best year yet!

2. Know what resources you have. Keeping a close eye on your financial and emotional resources will allow you to go far. If you’re more patient than most, take on a tedious task that might frustrate others. Use your abilities to your advantage.

3. Always be grateful for what you have. Your abilities, your situation in life, and everything else at your disposable is something to be grateful for. By never losing sight of that, you guarantee that you’ll never take it for granted.

4. Take responsibility for your actions. If you do something well, lay claim to it. But on the same note, if you mess up, claim responsibility for that. Not only will it make you look better in the eyes of those around you, but you can rest easy knowing that you have integrity.

5. Dream big or go home. Everyone has dreams, but few have the courage to fight for them. Dream big and work towards them; the worst that can happen is that you don’t quite make it. The only thing worse than not making it is never trying to begin with.

6. Identify what beliefs are holding you back and change them. Do you believe you can’t do something because you aren’t skilled enough? Then tell yourself each day that you are skilled enough. Beliefs hold man back more than anything else, and by removing these self imposed limits on our abilities, you can succeed at anything.

7. Make a commitment to change. Be flexible. Change happens everywhere. By flowing with the change, and having the awareness that you have to change with the situation, you won’t be caught off guard.

8. Set goals and pursue them. Setting goals, both long and short term, will provide you with a road map to follow towards success. When it feels as though you aren’t making any progress and are floundering in place, you can always look at your goal sheet and see how far you’ve come.

9. Cultivate your vision. Have a clear picture in your head of what you want your future to look like. If the end of the path you’re currently on doesn’t look like that, find a new path. Make every action you take a step towards that vision.

10. You must feel free to want. Some people, despite having set a goal, feel guilty for wanting to reach it. Whether for economic or spiritual reasons, these individuals inhibit themselves from ever reaching their goals because of the guilt. You must be able to want to reach your goals – without guilt, without regret.

11. Stay motivated. Motivation must come from deep within you. All of the inspirational quotes, life coaches, and easy answers in the world won’t help if you can’t find it within yourself to keep pushing forward, even when you don’t feel like it.

12. Use a methodical approach. When you know what your goals are, do the research necessary to know what must be done next. Set steps in the pattern to follow until you reach your goals. These steps will prevent you from getting overwhelmed and make it easy for you to know what step to take next.

13. Focus on the ‘now.’ While it’s important to keep end goals in mind, you cannot sacrifice the present for the sake of the future. Keep the ‘now’ in mind, and exceed at all tasks you undertake. This will enable you to be well prepared when the future does arrive. Just as you must let the past go, you have to worry about the future only when it arrives.

14. Take purposeful action. Don’t let life push you along towards straying from your path. Use the steps you’ve created, and be purposeful in following them. Do whatever you want, but be sure what you do is what YOU want, not something you’re doing as a result of someone else. Be proactive, not reactive, towards reaching your goals.

15. Use your time wisely. There are 86,400 seconds in each day. You spend a third of that time sleeping. Don’t waste the other 2/3s on meaningless activities that don’t help you reach your goal. Using your time wisely will allow you to accomplish much more in a short time than you might have ever thought possible.

16. Don’t sweat it when you fail. Along the way, you will fail at some things. It’s not a matter of if, but when. The key is to not sweat the failures; learn from them. Figure out what went wrong, and how to avoid it in the future, and keep moving forward. Use the mistakes to improve yourself, not to beat yourself up.

17. Cultivate self discipline. To accomplish any goal, you must have the discipline to stay on track and work towards it. If you lack that discipline, it can be learned. Each time you feel yourself wandering from your task, remember what it is you want to accomplish, and ask if you’re working towards that. Soon, your focus and discipline will be strong enough that it is like second nature.

18. Make a decision to always improve. Each day you should become better than you were the day before. By consciously deciding to always improve yourself, you can make sure that you make the best use of your time and effort. Conscious, deliberate actions will improve your ability in that task more than doing it out of habit, whether that task is writing, painting, computer coding, or anything else.

19. Have faith in your goals and yourself. Believe in yourself and in your goals. Work towards them tirelessly, and don’t allow yourself to be swayed. If you do this, you will almost certainly achieve them. The reason most people fail to succeed in life is because they don’t have faith that they can.

20. Never, ever give up. Perhaps the most important advice of all is to never give up. Man is a unique creature in that he can be beaten, bowed, and bent, and still return to stand tall (just like this chap). You must adopt this mentality: no matter what happens you will not give up. You will remain persistent and keep moving forward. You will succeed.

Email List Building With A Limited Budget

Email list building is an effective marketing tool for businesses of all sizes.

However, if you have a new business or a small business, it’s even harder to create a list that gets the results you want. You need to be creative if you want to build a list with little or no money.

Create An Email List for Free

The best free email list building technique is to get another list owner to endorse you. By having a respected business owner recommend your website, service, or product to their list, you can quickly build a list of your own.

It is important to find a list owner in the same niche, or industry, so his email subscribers will be interested in what you have to offer. It’s also a good idea to go after small list owners. They are often more willing to help another small business, and there is far less competition than you would find with large lists.

Find the Right List Owner

Social media and forums help you to establish relationships with others. Through social media networks and forums, you can provide useful information that establishes you as an expert and gets you noticed by others. By being helpful, you gain the trust of other business owners. When you approach them and ask for an endorsement, they are more likely to say yes.

You also have business colleagues who may be able to connect you with relevant list owners. It’s simply a matter of politely asking for the names and email addresses of contacts they know who may be interested in endorsing your business and helping to create email list.

After you find a list owner that may be of use to you, you can offer something in exchange for an endorsement. Basically, this is a bartering system. You can offer to write marketing copy, design a new logo, optimise his website, create a marketing plan, or whatever else you can offer that the list owner wants. This is an excellent example of free email list building.

If you are on a budget, there are effective methods for email list building. Feel free to contact your Digital Life Mentor and get started right away.

An Introduction To Affiliate Marketing

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The purpose of this article is to introduce you to affiliate marketing.

If you own almost any type of website, you can potentially earn monetary commissions by referring visitors of your site to the site of merchants with whom you are affiliated.

For example, as a Six Figure Mentors Elite Partner you are able to direct your clients and other referrals to the Digital Business Lounge which offers all website services including wordpress, hosting, copywriting, lead capture pages and more

So, what do you need to know and do in order to become a successful affiliate marketer?

Just as one doesn’t open a shop or business without first identifying the kind of merchandise to be sold or the location of the business, an affiliate marketer doesn’t just build a website or Facebook page without knowing what audience to target or what to offer visitors who come to their website. There are four basic steps a person must take to start the journey toward affiliate marketing.

Choosing your type of website

First, you have to decide what kind of affiliate you want to be and therefore what kind of site to create. There are a number of types to choose from:

Blogs

These are probably the easiest types of affiliate sites to set up and one of the most popular. Blogs can be as informal, as interactive and as wide ranging as you want them to be. But no matter which direction you choose, in order for a blog to be successful these days, you must write about topics you’re passionate about and with which you have a real connection. It’s also very important to blog every day to build up your content and maintain your reader interest.

Download

Download sites are among the most lucrative type of affiliate sites, particularly if you can become an affiliate of a great number of companies. These sites are aimed at consumers who are looking to become educated in a specific field. Business coaching, Fitness, Quitting Smoking, Dieting and Professional Services are some examples of products that can earn your big ticket commissions.

Choosing your domain

After choosing what type of site you want to use to refer visitors to affiliates, the second decision to make is choosing your domain name. This name is important and will be a huge part of your online presence.  It may take time to settle on a domain simply because so many are already taken either because they are being used or have been previously purchased and are being held for later sale.

Whatever you choose should reflect the kind of affiliate site you’ve decided upon. Choosing “BestCoupons.com” when your site focuses on reviewing appliances will not only confuse your visitors, but can also lead to bad word of mouth from the Internet community and penalties from the search engines (i.e. Google).

Choosing your host

The next step is to choose a hosting service, also known as an ISP (Internet Service Provider). This host will connect your site to the Internet. You will be paying rent, so to speak, to a company to use their servers and storage capacity for all your web files and data.

Many companies offer hosting service plans in addition to domain name registration but you should first know or have a good idea of what your particular needs will be so you can choose the plan best suited to your site.

Choosing your theme

Unless you know HTML and CSS code, in which case you can build your own website, a theme will ensure that your site is readable and functional. Website themes, written by experienced web designers, can be used for free or purchased. Generally speaking, purchased themes will allow you greater customization and provide more built-in features such as easy formatting and traffic analytics tools.

Keep in mind that paid themes can provide you with a “unique” look so your site can stand out from the crowd. They are also less prone to security issues, updated more frequently, and come with a higher level of support from the developers.

You need a clear understanding of what sort of affiliate you intend on being so you can choose a theme that is suitable for your needs. That being said, you’ll most likely want a theme that allows you to grow. You may not have any intention on including video now for example, but maybe in a year or so you will.

Keystone

Deciding on your type of affiliate site, domain name, hosting company and site theme are only the first steps in creating an affiliate website. Continue investigating the process of website building and the world of affiliate marketing if you want to succeed.