3 lessons J.K. Rowling taught me about sales opportunities(Entrepreneur.com)

By Ken Dunn April 28, 2016

Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/274812

Since 1997, J.K. Rowling has been captivating audiences with the story of a very special boy, and his very famous scar. Recently, Rowling was voted the most influential author on Reader’s Legacy and to celebrate, our company began running a 20 percent off sale from April 25 to April 30 on each of her books.

As we began marketing for the sale, I began to research more about the author behind one of the greatest series in literary history — and what I learned blew my mind! Rowling came from humble beginnings — a single mother who was barely making ends meet, and practically overnight became the most well-known author of the 21st century. How did she do this, you might ask? Through something all sales people should know about — opportunity. Here’s what I learned:

1.Opportunity must be found.

Before becoming the world-renowned author she is today, J.K. Rowling was a single mother, who was out of work and barely making ends meet. It was on a delayed train to London that fate would intervene and images of a boy wizard in a mysterious world flooded her mind.

With such a story brewing inside, Rowling chose to look at her unemployment as an opportunity to write in stead of being stuck on a situation she was bound to. In sales, you have to adapt the same mindset and seize the moments you have in order to create the leads you want.

This means you stop looking at how things are, and instead look at all situations as opportunities to grow your business. For example, instead looking at long flights home as painful and boring, look at them as hopeful opportunities to make connections for future sales.

  1. Opportunity only comes with adversity.

Harry Potter was rejected by 12 different publishers before being picked up by Bloomsbury Publishing in 1996. Originally, publishers were not crazy about the sheer size of the book, let alone the tale of an orphaned boy making his way through a world of witchcraft. No matter the amount of rejection, Rowling believed in her work and did not allow herself to stop submitting her to publishers until it was finally taken to print.

Sometimes, as you pursue sales, you will come across potential clients who do not like your message or the items you are trying to sell. That’s OK — don’t let it keep you from pushing forward. With rejection comes growth, and with growth comes success — which leads to prosperity.

  1. Opportunity only comes in the form of others. 

Rowling’s Harry Potter would not be the powerhouse it is today if not for her stellar fan following, also known as “Potterheads,” who have stuck with her to the very end. For salesmen, word-of-mouth can make you or break you. It is imperative when generating leads that you take the time to listen and get to know who you are working with. Doing so will make them feel cared for, and when they’re cared for, they will begin to care about you too. When you provide outstanding service, people notice — and their contacts soon become your clients.

Though the moral of Harry Potter may not apply to the message above, the moral of the story that is J.K. Rowling’s life does. Whether you’re a business expert, an aspiring writer or a stay-at-home mom, opportunity is everywhere and is yours for the taking. Keep your eyes open — and go for it with gusto!

7 reasons to start a business while in college(Entrepreneur.com)

By: Josh Steimle April  28, 2016

Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/273689

I started my business in 1999 while a student in college. There were pros and cons, but I’m largely thankful for the experience and would recommend it to other aspiring entrepreneurs. Here are seven reasons why.

  1. Low risk, high reward

What have you got to lose? You don’t own anything, you have few commitments relative to later in life, and the worst case scenario is that you go back to doing what you’re doing now. This isn’t to say you should take a casual approach to starting a business. Your years in college will be over before you know it, and suddenly the risks will be larger. You probably have time to start one serious business venture per year of college and within 12 months figure out if it’s going to work out or not. Maybe you’ll get it right the first time, maybe you’ll pivot, maybe you’ll quit and start something new. The sooner you can test your ideas, the better.

  1. Campus resources.

Universities have access to the fastest internet connections, free consulting from professors who often love getting involved in student run startups, meeting rooms, and many other resources you would pay dearly for outside the campus. The truth is you are paying dearly for these campus resources, whether through tuition or taxes, so you might as well take advantage of them.

  1. Real-world education.

You can only learn so much in the classroom. The startup world is a great bridge between material taught and applied concepts. “There is no better way to accelerate your growth than to build a company,” says student entrepreneur Jordan Gonen, a freshman at Washington University in St. Louis. “It is 100X harder than anything that happens in a classroom, but also 100X more valuable than any textbook lesson.”

  1. Accessible customers.

Students are a valuable resource for testing out your ideas. They’re cheap, and they tell it like it is if they don’t like what you have to offer. If you can get students to pay for something it’s a good sign your product or service is viable. Students are also connectors. They have the power to manufacture virality.

  1. Mentoring.

When I was a student I could get access to anyone. All I had to do was contact a CEO’s assistant and say “I’m a student at BYU and I’m starting a company and I’m interested in getting some advice from so and so.” Successful entrepreneurs love to give advice to young entrepreneurs. They’ll make time that they wouldn’t make for anyone else, and they’ll speak more openly with you than anyone else because they don’t see you as a threat or someone with an ulterior motive.

  1. Co-founders.

It’s true that college students lack experience, but think about it this way–the successful entrepreneurs of tomorrow are in college today, and when are you going to have a better time to recruit them than today, when they don’t yet realize what they’re capable of? The next Zuckerberg may be the guy or gal sitting next to you in your finance class looking bored.

  1. Career building.

Even if you start a business in college and it fails, it’s a huge plus on your resume. Starting a business shows that you’re proactive, creative, and driven–just the type of employee successful companies are looking for. Startup experience while in college can put you on the fast track to leadership opportunities at another company if you decide you’re not ready to be a full-time entrepreneur and want to get some work experience under your belt first.

Are there negatives to starting a business while in college? Sure, you might spend some money launching your business and you’ll definitely lose sleep. But these investments will pay off in other ways both tangible and intangible, making it a rewarding experience you’ll always be grateful for.