Sep
2016

Top 3 Inspirational Quotes

Hands up all of you who’ve ever heard the complaint, ‘that’s just too inspirational.’ Exactly, no one has ever said that ever. No matter how driven we are, or how much experience we have as entrepreneurs, we could all use a little inspirational picker upper from time to time. As such, I’ve decided to share my top three favorite inspirational quotes of all time with you. Here goes:

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu

While it’s certainly not hard to see why a quote from philosopher would make the list, Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu is no ordinary philosopher. Lao Tzu is easily considered one of the greatest eastern philosophers of all time, and the father of Taoism (also known as the school of Tao).

This quote is such a great one as it provides a practical solution to a reality that many of us face when we are trying to get something started or meet a goal. That is, we get overwhelmed with all that’s to be done and lose sight of the fact that we need to just start.

“Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

Sir Winston Churchill was an inspiring 19th-century born and 20th-century British statesman, orator and author who served as England’s Prime Minister during the years 1940-1945 and 1951-1955. Sir Churchill is credited with leading the people of England back from the brink of defeat and on to victory during the second World War.

The above quote is one of his most popular quotes and one of the most success quotes around today. The quote speaks to his resilience and is reminiscent of the hope that he was able to bring alive in others whenever he spoke.

Sir Churchill’s quote is important as it speaks to the inevitable – the fact that we will face failures. It does, however, bring with it the hope that success is sure to follow as we press on and not get disheartened. The quote is particularly potent as Churchill’s life embodies its essence.

“Make each day your masterpiece.” – John Wooden

Dubbed ‘the wizard of Westwood,’ John Wooden was an American basketball player and coach who lived to be 100 years old (1910-2010). Wooden was credited with a total of 11 national titles and an unprecedented 12-year NCAA winning streak as head coach at UCLA.

Wooden is also renowned for his short inspirational speeches to his players (which have included the likes of Bill Walton and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) and his famous pyramid of success. His life and career is the picture of someone who committed to making each day a masterpiece. This quote is about giving every moment of each day, your best, and it is that much more powerful coming from a man who has himself lived this ideal.

There you have it, my top 3 inspirational quotes!

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Aug
2016

Entreprenuership in 2016

Undoubtedly, entrepreneur is a buzz word these days. It is a title that many use to describe themselves, but only a few can claim success in their forays into the challenging world of entrepreneurship. To differentiate yourself from the crowd and truly leave your mark, there are several guidelines to focus your attention on.

First, it takes a specific type of person to become a successful entrepreneur. You must have unflagging motivation to pursue your business model. Entrepreneurship is hard work, and obstacles are almost inevitable; if you are easily discouraged, it will be a challenging pursuit. Thus, if you are not capable of keeping yourself motivated and do not have the determination to see your business plan through to completion, than entrepreneurship is probably not the correct endeavor for you. Furthermore, you must be able to maintain sharp focus on your goals.

Many people dabble in entrepreneurship, but due to family obligations or risk aversion, they keep a full time job as well. This does not bode well for the likely success of your new business venture, as this split focus leads to important steps getting overlooked and critical deadlines being missed.

Maintaining this laser-like focus will require a lot of discipline on your part. You will often be the only one holding yourself accountable; there usually isn’t someone looking over your shoulder and pushing you to meet deadlines. If you do not have the discipline to push yourself and work long hours to ensure your new business succeeds, than failure is a more likely outcome. You will need to ensure that the flexibility of operating your own business venture does not impact your focus on or dedication to the job. Finally, regardless of how motivated, focused, determined, and disciplined you are, you cannot be a successful entrepreneur without careful organization.

There are often severe legal and financial implications of failing to carry out certain actions (like filing forms, fulfilling contracts, etc.). If you cannot keep your responsibilities organized, it will be almost impossible to execute your business plan successfully, no matter how hard you work. If you are not by nature an organized person, hire employees who can fill this critical gap.

Even if you believe you possess the necessary traits to become an entrepreneur, you are unlikely to fulfill this goal without a good idea. Do not become an entrepreneur because it seems trendy, fun, or flexible; only pursue this path if you have a good idea that you are passionate about. Your service or product should fill an unmet need, and ideally, be related to your field of expertise.

If you think you have a good idea, engage in exhaustive research, host a focus group or conduct an informal survey to ensure your idea is understood and creates a product or service that would be utilized by others. When you have confirmed your idea is a good one, couple it with all the determination, motivation, focus, discipline, and organization you can muster, because even the best entrepreneurs will encounter tough challenges on their road to success.

Jul
2016

Ali Mayar’s Favorite Apps for Travel

Traveling around the world can be quite an exciting adventure. However, you can make it even more enjoyable by downloading some helpful applications. The following are my favorite travel apps to use whenever I travel anywhere. They can help you on your journey, as well:

1. Find Nearby ATMS With AllPoint

One thing that you will always need on a trip is money. Therefore, the AllPoint application is a necessity for you if you have an AllPoint card. The application allows AllPoint cardholders to find the ATMs that are closest to them. It comes in quite handy when the funds run out, and you want to replenish them without burning all your fuel to conduct a blind machine search.

2. Book a Hotel ASAP with Hotel Tonight

The Hotel Tonight application is perfect for booking immediate hotels. It is free in the Google Play store, and it is spectacular. It searches for last minute hotel deals for you so that you never have to pay full price to book a hotel again. People who used the application gave it a rating of 4.3 stars out of five stars for its usefulness.

3. Google Translate?

Yes, you will want to download Google translate onto your mobile phone if you are traveling out of the country. It can help you get through those rough situations when you come across individuals who do not speak your language. The person can speak into your phone, and Google translate can decode it for you.

4. Weather Pro

Weather Pro is a great application to have if you spend most of your time doing outdoor activities. The application lets you know details such as wind speed, humidity, cloud formation and more. It is useful because it can provide you with a full picture of what your vacation will be like.

5. Get a Comfortable Room with Airbnb

Airbnb is a wonderful application to download if you prefer cozy rooms inside of homes instead of hotels or motels. Airbnb will connect you with hosts around the world who can accommodate you during your travels. The payment system is secure and quick, and you get to read reviews before you book a room. It’s the perfect app for getting to know people in new areas.

The previously mentioned traveling apps can help you enjoy your traveling experiences more than you already are. They can turn a good trip into a great trip.

Jul
2016

What I’ve Learnt From Being A Business Owner

Owning and operating my own business is in many ways one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done. Still, it hasn’t exactly been what one would call a walk in the park. There has been ups and downs, and many life lessons that will forever stay with me.

1. Great sacrifice precedes great reward

The rewards and successes of persevering and triumphing in business are well known. Still, actually persevering is not something everyone is able to do. This is especially true in the early stages when budgets are their most meager and profits if any are smallest. Persevering in business by learning to make temporary sacrifices now for the ultimate goal is a lesson that is transferable to other areas of one’s life and development

2. Pay attention to building relationships

Businesses are in essence about people, and they simply can’t survive without stable relationships. More than merely networking for the heck of it, solid alliances, professionally and personally, can help businesses thrive. Many of the deals and breakthroughs I’ve had in business have been as a result of relationships that I’ve formed in and outside of the boardroom. Both the quality of one’s personal and professional alliances can affect how you present yourself to the business table, and ultimately your success in business and life.

3. The best things don’t come easy

Everything that is worth anything in life and business is worth fighting. High-value experiences and rewards will require high-value efforts. It is for you to first become clear on your objectives, decide what matters to you, and put in the effort required to acquire the same.

4. Balance is important

It really is true, even as adults in the business world, that all work and no play make Jack a dull boy. When I just started out in business, it was deceptively easy to work tirelessly at building my business. However as time went on, even before I began to reap the rewards of my efforts, I realized how important it is, to slow down sometimes, and take breaks. Rest and relaxation began to add to my personal and professional productivity, instead of taking away from it, as I had wrongfully assumed it would.

5. Ignorance is not bliss, endeavor to know more

As cliche as it will, sound knowledge is power. The more I knew in business, was the smarter and more efficiently I was able to work, securing for myself and my business the successes and rewards I desired. Similarly, this principle of gleaning knowledge helps in all other areas of life, as what you know will determine how you operate and apply yourself.

Jun
2016

The Inspired Entrepreneur: Four Books That Inspire Me Everyday

For those of us who have committed ourselves to the process of self-actualization, inspirational books are lifestyle staples. It is imperative to remain inspired, both in personal and business affairs. I have come to rely on a specially curated group of inspirational books that have aided me in different areas. The books that inspire me daily have a few characteristics in common. These books are often smaller in size than many of the traditional self-help or self-actualization books, making them more portable. Portability is particularly important when one considers that I use inspiring nuggets from them each day. My favorite inspirational books are unique in angle, are memorable and are fairly easy to read, as they are written in a simple and straightforward style.

Here are four of my favorites.

1. Who Moved My Cheese by Dr. Spencer Johnson

Who Moved My Cheese tells the delightful story of four characters – Sniff and Scurry (mice), and Hem and Haw (little people) all of whom live in a maze, hunting for cheese. As cheese runs out from one corridor to the next, the story details how the characters respond to change. The story of the characters has stuck with me as I challenge myself daily to remain flexible in the face of changes in both my work and personal life.

2. The Power Of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale

This book was where it all started. One of the classics of the positive thinking school of thought, this book was the first of its kind I ever read. I found it straightforward, with great real life anecdotes, told to reinforce the power of positive thinking at work. I often remember stories and phrases from this text as I go about my days. These help me to remember that I open myself up to greater abundance and success when I keep my mind anchored in a positive place.

3. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel

With quotes like “Not enjoying what is happening right now is living in the past and being half alive,” Don Miguel’s The Four Agreements is one of those inspirational books that focus on us living in the now. This book reminds me of the importance of maximizing the moment.

4. Habit Stacking: 97 Small Life Changes That Take Five Minutes Or Less by S. J. Scott

Entrepreneurs can only be as successful as our daily habits will allow. Even with this knowledge, forming new habits is not easy. With this system of habit stacking, however, we can all form new habits more easily. Best of all, forming these habits need not take more than five minutes of effort at a time. The system is a revolutionary one and very doable. I have found it effective in helping me to make the changes I want to make in my life and work, and forming new habits.

Jun
2016

Four Entrepreneurs that Inspire Ali Mayar

Looking for your next big inspiration? When it comes to successful entrepreneurs it can seem like only those with a few million in seed money can succeed. However, more often than not, working for yourself and building a successful business require more than great ideas and luck made of venture capital. Hard work and drive are the real secrets to success. Search no further than these four amazing entrepreneurs whose journeys to success are sure to inspire you.

Blake Mycoskie

The found of Tom’s shoes, Blake Mycoskie revolutionized the way we think about businesses. Like many entrepreneurs, Blake recognized an unfilled demand in the world and sought to offer a solution. What makes Mycoskie’s story different is that he didin’t recognize a demand from American consumers, he was witnessing how poverty deprives children from basic necessities like shoes. His next step would kick-start the proliferation of a whole new kind of company, the “b-corporation”.

A b-corporation is less focused on profits and more on using capitalism to help others. Tom’s shoe’s introduced the idea of a “one-to-one” program where for every pair of shoes sold, a pair of shoes is given to a child in need. This innovative business model garnered his company incredible popularity for its positive mission and gives us a look into business models of the future. In an incredibly competitive marketplace, providing an alternative to the status quo can be an incredibly effective and disruptive approach. Since the founding of Tom’s shoes the company has donated over 10 million shoes to children in need. Today companies like Warby Parker have adopted the “one-to-one” business model with great success.

Jeff Bezos

A list of inspiring entrepreneurs could hardly be complete with mentioning with incredible success of Jeff Bezos. As the founder of Amazon, Bezos has revolutionized the way we consume in the Internet age. The secret to his success lies in his willingness to take risks on a new idea. Back in 1994 the Internet was a fledgling concept, with few businesses even hosting a web page. Bezos saw the potential for an emerging market and left his six-figure Wall-Street salary to start Amazon. Sometimes the biggest risks are the best ones.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin

Another titan of the 1990’s Internet boom, Larry Page is one of the cofounders of Google. Thanks in part to a great education, Page was schooled in computer science during the formative years of the Internet. Sergey Brin was a Russian immigrant who came to Stanford to study computer science. After meeting his fellow collaborator Brin at Stanford, Page gambled his successful academic career on one geeky computer science idea.

The concept was known at the time as a “web-crawler”, and it’s application was immediately apparent. Page and Brin started exploring web-crawling software on their crappy home computers as a way to crash Stanford’s network. But quickly they discovered their work had yielded one of the world’s first search engines. Thanks to help from investors the two were able to transform a college computer science prank into one of the most successful companies of our time. Stick to doing what you love as an entrepenour and the results may surprise you.

Mar
2016

My Featured Interview Covered by Yahoo Finance

Just a few weeks ago, I was sharing my personal story on the executive interview site RookstoolInterviews.com. I was given the opportunity to talk about everything, from how I got started, to my first big break, to the necessary steps it took to ultimately become successful. An eye-opening and overall really enjoyable interview and experience.

A few weeks pass and I learn to find out that the above mentioned interview got covered by Yahoo Finance. Really amazing to see an already great interview get written up into a live and distributed press release. Goes to show hard work does pay off. Continue pushing yourself to achieve greatness! You can read the full press release on finance.yahoo.

Feb
2016

How to Stay Healthy as an Entrepreneur

Let’s be honest here: being an entrepreneur can take its toll on your health in the long run. Running a business is very demanding and it not unheard of for owners to work extra long hours with barely any time for exercise or meal planning. However regardless of how difficult it is, it is important for an entrepreneur to look after his or her own health. If you can manage to do so, your overall productivity, energy levels and happiness will surely increase. Learn more about how I stay healthy plus time manage with this interview on Five Hundo .

Nobody is saying that it’s going to be easy but it certainly is far from impossible. Here are some strategies to help you out:

Exercise first thing in the morning

Insert some form of physical activity into your mornings. If you say that you don’t have the time, you can simply wake up an hour earlier. And just like that, you already have more than enough time to exercise. You don’t have to hit the gym either because walking or jogging every morning should be a good place to start. As this becomes a habit, you’ll find that you will feel free and more energized throughout the day.

Turn your commute into a workout

If there’s a shower in your office, you have no excuse not to turn your daily commutes into a workout. Perhaps you can jog or run to your office or you can ride a bike. If there’s no shower, then just have it the other way and run from work to your home.

Make healthy food choices

Any food that you cook at home will be a lot healthier than anything that you can get from a restaurant. For starters, eliminate sugars from your diet so no more sodas, energy drinks or any sweets for you. Cook in bulk during the weekends so you can plan you meals for the rest of the week. Take it with you at work instead of going to fastfood chains and restaurants.

Get enough sleep

Sleep is one third of a healthy lifestyle so it’s not something that you can afford to miss out on. To ensure that you get optimal sleep, train your body to establish a sleeping routine. Sleep and wake up at the same time every day to set your body’s internal clock. Eliminate poor sleeping habits like consuming caffeine so close to bedtime and taking your gadgets like smartphones and tablets to bed.

For more advice on becoming an entrepreneur please take a look this section of my website .

Feb
2016

Five Tips on Taking Your Business to the Next Level

Today’s tumultuous economy is tough for everyone, especially for business owners. More and more entrepreneurs are finding themselves stuck in the rut with respect to their businesses. At some point, it is much common for businesses to hit a plateau. Although this can be attributed to many different factors, it’s almost always a source of frustration for business owners. If you are a business owner who’s currently stuck in a rut, you are probably looking for ways to give your company a jolt – things that will make your company grow. Learn more about my expertise in business with this recent interview.

Not sure where to start? Here are some tips that will help give your business a much-needed push and reach the next level:

Focus your marketing to current and past customers

Your first marketing priority should be your current and past customers. These people have already chosen to do business with you and it’s likely that they’ll do business with you again in the future. Instead of spending most of your marketing bucks in attracting new customers, you should look into increasing your business’ customer engagement and customer loyalty.

Get into social media

Social media isn’t just about posting statuses and selfies, it is a platform for business as well – a pretty significant one at that. Millions of business are benefiting from the power of social media. If you’re not in any of these social networks, you are sorely missing out because it can help build your online presence and brand reputation.

Consider mentorship

At times, the solution to being stuck on a business plateau is to employ an outside perspective. In this case, you can’t go wrong with getting a mentor. A mentor is someone who will help get your business to the next level using his or her knowledge and experience.

1-Up your customer service

In relation to building customer engagement and loyalty, excellent customer service is something that you can’t afford to overlook. Top-notch customer service leads to happy and returning customers. If you don’t know how to proceed, ask for feedback and act on it. Happy customers will also serve as excellent marketing channels through word of mouth.

Learn to delegate / outsource tasks

If you are still doing everything in your business, then you are doing it wrong. Identify tasks which you could easily assign then find the right person to do them. Delegating tasks will enable you to focus on growing and taking your business to a new level.

Feel free to connect with me on Twitter for additional updates.

Feb
2016

The Two Key Types of Motivation

The word motivation refers to the internal or external forces that cause people to have energy for work or to put towards a creative or physical outlet. Motivation creates positive abilities in people to perform their work. The behavior and the attitude of the person is highly influenced. Motivation is not only used in the professional career, but it is required in every field of life whatever it is, a school or a playground. Take some added motivation from the following link, if you continue to push yourself success will come.

There are many types of motivation that are used in different conditions and circumstances. Here are two important types of motivation:

1. Extrinsic motivation

The extrinsic motivation is provided by the external factors. The growth of the employee is related to the workplace success, in which different factors are used to motivate the employees to get success. Organizations use motivational factors for their employees to enhance the productivity of the organization. The fear motivation works in the place where other motivational factors don’t work. Most of the times, the students are motivated through fear. Fear does not only work in the case of students (fear of getting zero marks on the exam), but it also works for employees. Following are the factors to manage the growth.

• Offering rewards and benefits to the employee for their goal achievement is a type of extrinsic motivational factor. These rewards may be in the form of time off from work or an official dinner for the employee.
• Appreciating the employee for their hard work. The employee is appreciated by the higher management of the organisation.
• Sending Birthday cards and birthday wishes to the employees. It ensures the employees that management remember their celebrations and care.
• Offering a bonus on extra work achievements. It is provided as an option so that employees can get help during hard times.
• Parties and other recreational activities for the employees at least after 1 month. Such parties refresh the employee’s mind and brings new energy to their work.
• Fear of being fired from the workplace, not the best option but it will work and you should only use it at a warning before the inevitable.

2. Intrinsic motivation

The intrinsic motivation is provided by the internal side of yourself which is also known as self-motivation. Such types of motivation cause us to perform some activities for fun without any hesitation. Most times, the personal needs of people are the best intrinsic motivation. When you are internally motivated, you start enjoying your work. Following are some of the factors that internally force the people to do their work.

• Obtain opportunity to get higher rank in the organization (promotion).
• Compensation is the basic right of the employee. It helps him to fulfill the needs and requirements.
• Gain respect among the peers and overall working staff.
• Be a successful employee
• Getting power to take different decisions and it is only possible in decentralized organization or higher level of the management.
• Achievement of the goals in a defined time period

For all the activities of life, motivation is very important whatever it is, a professional activity or a home based activity. Both intrinsic and extrinsic motivations play their own role to make a person successful.