The 7 things this winter made me realize

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At the time of writing this on March 22nd, spring has officially sprung in New England. Well, in one way at least. March 20th marked the beginning of spring, but someone forgot to tell Mother Nature. Today saw a high of just 33 degrees Fahrenheit, and it feels like the end of winter is nowhere in sight.

Everyone who knows me knows that I hate winter. I come as close to hibernating as humanly possible. On the rare instances where I’m outside (even if only for a minute), you can expect to find me wearing gloves, a hat, sunglasses (have to cover the eyes!), and a hood. And most likely multiple pairs of socks. This winter in particular has been especially brutal, with record-breaking snow totals in almost every area of Massachusetts.

Despite all of my complaining, this winter has made me realize seven things, and it’s made me even more excited for when spring finally arrives. Here’s what I learned: 

Why you need a daily dose of motivation

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Zig Ziglar famously said that “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” We’ve all experienced it. When motivation is at its highest, we all feel like we can take on the world and accomplish whatever we want.

But all too often that motivation wears off, and we’re back into the same slump that prevents us from relentlessly chasing after our dreams. Indeed, motivation is a practice, and everyone can find a way to practice it daily. Whether it’s through motivational YouTube videos, reading motivational quotes, or decorating your home or office with motivational swag (Startup Vitamins is my choice for this!), it’s important as entrepreneurs to find things that get our productivity juices flowing.

What do I do?

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“What do you do?” is one of the most common leading questions in conversations. Besides the weather, work is perhaps the safest go-to topic when meeting someone new, since almost everyone has something to say about their work. As an entrepreneur, I find it extremely difficult to answer this question.

Most of the time, I’ll respond with something basic and vague. “I create online programs that teach people how to make money online” is one of my favorites. Sometimes I just stick with “I do marketing consulting.” Ha! As if that explains at all what I do. Try figuring out what that means!

This past week, though, I went to dinner with a friend from college, who asked the question. Rather than giving a typical (and vague) answer, this time something different happened. Maybe it’s because I had an extremely productive week doing lots of different things (including finalizing the details of the Lofrumento Award, a scholarship that I’m giving to two high school graduates!), or maybe it’s because my brain was rattled by an all-out karaoke session during my ride to the restaurant (guilty), but for the first time ever I vocalized my hatred for the question.

If you don’t make the time to work on creating the life you want, you’re eventually going to be forced to spend a lot of time dealing with a life you don’t want.

Kevin Ngo

The “it doesn’t work for me” fallacy

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Fallacies make us human. Recently I read the book Why People Fail: The 16 Obstacles to Success and How You Can Overcome Them by Siimon Reynolds, and it reminded me about the silly and irrational ways our brains work. An example of a fallacy that’s built into us as humans is the anecdotal fallacy, which is when we use our own personal experience as representative of the way the world operates as a whole.

Despite our own small sample size, because the experience that we had feels so personal, we allow it to shape our assumptions and views of the world at large.

When it comes to starting and growing a business, fallacies come out to play every day. My favorite business fallacy is what I call the “it doesn’t work for me” fallacy. When I talk to people about what’s holding them back in life and in business, they often come up with a long list of reasons why they can’t overcome some sort of hurdle.

How to create high-quality, professional video from your house

The biggest impact in all of my marketing campaigns has been through the use of video. The internet is full of faceless and personality-less people trying to sell you the next greatest system, strategy, tool, or product, so separating yourself from the rest of the marketplace – and building trust with your audience – is a great way to increase your earnings and drastically improve your results.

Starting to implement video in your marketing campaigns is much easier than you think it is, and in today’s market of advanced technology you can have all the bells and whistles for less than $1,000. Check out the above video to see exactly how I product high-quality, professional video from my home office for less than $1,000.

Note: You can actually do this for far less than the dollar amounts that I mentioned in the video. You can replace the $500 camera with an iPhone or Android smartphone and still get 1080p video, and you can use clamp lights from Home Depot (for around $5 per light) in place of the softbox lighting kit that I mentioned.

If you have any questions about the setup or the tools that I use, just comment below!

The 5 things you must consider for every marketing campaign

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Nothing frustrates marketers more than seeing an ineffective, lazy, and pointless ad campaign. Admittedly, we’re all guilty of committing such a sin, though. We’ve all launched nonsensical advertising campaigns, and oftentimes it’s because we either got caught up in the moment and didn’t consider the big picture or we just felt like we had to take action and launched a campaign prematurely or haphazardly.

When it comes to having a successful, well thought-out ad campaign, it’s absolutely essential to consider five big picture questions.

How to instantly increase your leads

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Sales don’t happen without leads. It’s a simple fact of business, and perhaps it’s the most frustrating part of owning your own business. Without a steady stream of leads, it’s impossible to have a steady stream of sales, which means that your business won’t grow and you won’t profit.

When it comes to increasing your revenue, there’s two ways to do it: 1) make more money from your existing customers, or 2) get more customers. The unfortunate part about getting new customers is that you have to actually go out and look for them. Whether that means you need to launch an advertising campaign, promote your business, or network your way to new contacts and prospects, one way or another you need to turn random people into leads so you then have the opportunity to turn them into customers.

How to change the world one starfish at a time

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We all want to change the world in one way or another. Chances are you’ve made many attempts to change the world in your own little way before, and I’m willing to bet you’ve found yourself growing disillusioned at the sheer size of the world and your minute influence on it. It’s true – if you’re doing something small then you can’t positively impact everyone in the world. But should that stop you?