Entrepreneurial Journal #9 – Week 9 – Growth

This was yet another great week for this class! It was hard to pinpoint exactly what the topic for this week was; for we had so many assignments that had similar topics, but not one overriding one. The main takeaway that I had for this week involved growth. This was a reoccurring subject in each one of our assignments and readings. It is also a principle that is central both in terms of entrepreneurship and in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. One example of growth that we read about was the experience of Roxanne Quimby. Roxanne Quimby is the co-founder and former owner of Burt’s Bees. The assignment that we had on her revolved around the growth of her business; its founding, development, growth, and transition into a new location. The case study left us with the question of whether or not Roxanne should stay or go. My decision that I had written was for her to stay and not go back. Her company needed to stay in North Carolina and grow rather than retreat back to the way things used to be. The company was at its current peak and was waiting to be unleashed and expanded. I feel like life is sort of like that in many ways. We have all of this potential and yet find ways to continue to hold ourselves back. Whether it be our self-doubt, our sins, our past, others. We just need to break hold of those barriers and make progress in any way that we can. We need to continue to travel upwards; continue moving forwards; have faith in the future; and continue to work at it with all that we got. The world will continue to change. Society will continue to change. Technology will continue to change. Heck, the way that we do business will continue to change. The only question that remains is whether or not we will move together with the times? Will we be that old man who continues to relish in his glory days or will we be one with the times? It’s a lot to think about, but very much needed.

Just a thought that came to me as I look over this week. Many of our assignments revolved around that topic. We read a talk from Elder L Tom Perry on the subject of growth in the Church. Our HMM assigment on Process Improvement had much to say about growth and improvement. Even our Action Hero, Catherine Rohl, created an organization centered in growth and change. Change (and might I add repentance) needs to continue to be a constant in our lives always and the need for improvement should always remain with us. This was a phenomenal week! I look forward to all that lies ahead and what next week’s holds in store for us; both in this class and in life! Happy Thanksgiving!

Weekly Reflection #9 – Week 9 – Web Business Creation

This was another great week! It was a very busy week to say the least. We completed our Project #3, began our Adwords Campaigns, and began to take note of how our campaigns are doing. It’s great to finally be carrying out what you have spent weeks preparing for. It’s a great feeling to not only see our work unfold, but to do so in a successful manner. For Project #3, we were to begin our Campaigns on November 14. I, accidentally, missed that date and had to start my date a few days after that starting point. Luckily, Bro. Poole gave us a tutorial on how to set our budget if this were to happen, so I followed his instruction and had to increase my daily budget by a little bit more in order to hit the criteria for the assignment. I, then, did all of the necessary steps in beginning my campaign. I let it run for a day. In that first day I managed to receive no results whatsoever. I felt bad in some ways because we had to complete a few follow up assignments to report how much progress we had made and I reported zeros in each category because I had not results. Thankfully, however, my luck turned around and I received some feedback; and boy were the results that I had received impressive! In those first few days I had already received more than 1000 impressions and close to 10 clicks! It was incredible! And my results continue to grow as we speak! Adwords is such a fascinating tool. It has answered a lot of questions that I have had in terms of what I have noticed surfing through the internet. Simple things like the ads that appear when using a Google Search to what type of traffic appears on my website. I have been enjoying the use of this tool and what it has done for myself and my website so far. It has been confusing at times grasping some of the concepts of the application, but overall, I have it down and am grateful for Bro. Poole in teaching us these things!

As I have said, this week has been a great week! Another big assignment has been completed. Another assignment that will greatly carry over and can affect any other assignments that we have yet to complete. I look forward to what lies ahead and cannot wait to get this next week started! Hope everything with Adwords continues to improve and hope I can keep this momentum going!

Weekly Reflection #8 – Week 8 – Web Business Creation

This was a great week! We were back on our normal schedule of assignments and due dates and were able to build upon what we learned last week with Google Ads and Ad Groups. It was a great learning each of these things and building upon the knowledge; seeing how everything fits within our websites and how they can help in every regard. The first assignment of this week focused on Relevance and Quality Score. This topic is very similar to that of our Adwords, but focuses more on the quality of the ad rather than just the Keywords itself. The same principles for Adwords generally apply with that for ads; wording it correctly, including specific niches and adwords within it; differentiating the ad, having a working link to your sight, etc. It was a bummer that Google disbanded the quality score function, but it was great to receive practice with this through our Discussion Board with an pre-made ad and our fellow classmates critiquing our ad. I’ve found ever since we began working with Adwords just how much creativity is involved in creating an effective ad. I have to, literally, sit down for quite some time, research effective Adwords, and put together a convincing ad. These assignments definitely give me a lot of practice and I hope I can continue working on this and becoming better at it. The second assignment of this week covered Google Analytics. We learned the basics of this application and began linking it to our Google Adwords account in preparation to next week’s project that is due. This is my first interaction with this application, so I don’t really have as much experience with it in comparison to some of my classmates. I, generally, know what Analytics is and look forward to see it work within my website; hopefully allowing myself to look at its data and using it to change my websites and campaigns for the better. It’ll be exciting learning more about this and using it more in the upcoming week’s. I’ll keep you all updated on how that goes.

All in all, it’s been a great week. I’ve learned much from this week and look forward to next week’s assignments and topics. I hope everything with my Project #3 goes well and I hope I’ll be able to successfully get my first Ad Campaign out on the web. It’ll be exciting! I’m grateful for all that I’m learning and hope to continue to build upon this knowledge and utilize it for other projects that I have in mind. Great week!

Entrepreneurial Journal #8 – Week 8 – E-Myth Revisted

This was a great week! We covered an assortment of different topics and activities. The main focus of this week involved finding great people and in hiring the right people for our companies. We studied a great article on that subject and also read a case study about Jet Blue and their efforts of making that happen. We also did a Harvard Manage Mentor assignment on the same topic. In addition, we read an article from Jim Collins which focused on this principle quite a bit. Each of these exercises taught me much about this subject and really helped to ease some of the worries I have had with finding people to work for me. I’ve come to realize in all of this that there are always people out there who want to work. It’s just a matter of going out there and looking for them. I hope to utilize each of the resources that we used this week in helping me look for employees who will stand by me and be best for my business. I also hope to remember this knowledge and apply it into my life in the near future.

The topic covered that of hiring and finding great people. The biggest thing which stood out to me in all of this was our book report that was due this week where we finished reading the book E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It. I spent a lot of this past week finishing up this book and, I have to say, it is my one of my new favorite books. It is phenomenal! It is very applicable to each of us going into business and many of the principles that were shared were those that I have seen before in my life and in business. This book covered every inch of what a successful business is; from the owner, to the inner workings of the business, and dispels the myth that is found prevalent among many businesses today. The whole crux of this book involves: playing the three roles of Entrepreneur, Manager, and Technician; working through the Infancy, Adolescence, and Maturity stages of a business; and creating a system within your business that is Systems Dependent rather than People Dependent. The book goes into detail with each and shares what is needed to run a successful business in today’s world. The book also highlights what not to do and gives personal examples with each. I love this book and am grateful to have the opportunity of reading this semester. There is so much incredible things that you can learn from reading. I feel a much stronger urge in making reading a priority more in my life! It’s incredible. Also ties back into our lesson’s topic and the need of finding and hiring great people.

All in all, it’s been a great week! I look forward to next week’s batch of lessons and assignments. I’m looking forward, especially, with applying these things into my own business endeavors and, in particular, with my $100 Challenge idea. Sales have been pretty slow this week with getting this idea off the ground. I can use E-Myth’s counsel and improve on the inner workings of my business rather than in my products. I feel that next week should be better. I’ll give an detailed update next week on how that’s going. Great week! Look forward to all that lies ahead!

Weekly Reflection #7 – Week 7 – Small Business Creation

I had a great week this week! This week, again, felt much more lighter in comparison to that of our past weeks. Typically we have two assignments and two discussion boards that are due per week in addition to any projects that we may have due as well. This week, however, we only had one assignment due on Monday, a discussion board that opened the following day and closed on Wednesday, and this Weekly Reflection that I am currently completing and are writing for you here on this blog, and that was it! Though, I am not complaining. I actually enjoyed quite a bit. It was especially needed considering our next project coming up and what the topic of that project is connection to this week’s subject/assignment we had due on Monday. The assignment had to do with Google Adwords again and, this time, we learned how to create an ad that would appear in the search results on Google. It was such an incredible lesson/assignment! It showed us how to lay out ad, what keywords to use, what the focus on our ad should be, and also how to set it up using our Google Adwords account. It was an incredible find! I always wanted to learn how those ads were created and now that I know, I can create one and utilize it to bring more people into my website! I’m just loving everything that I’m learning in this class! So much useful stuff that I know will help me in the future. The discussion board for this assignment also gave me the opportunity to look at my classmates’s ads and websites and to receive feedback for my own and how I can improve on what I’ve made. It was a great exercise to say the least!

Overall, this week was great! After having completed the discussion board for this week, I focused my attention on updating my ad and in toying around with Adwords just a little bit. I also continued to update my website a little more; adding in a few photos that I didn’t have the opportunity of adding in when I first completed the website. I also found out this week that with my current Weebly account, I can have up to ten different websites with the package that I have purchased. I have a couple of ideas for websites that I know will be good using Weebly and I look to create a few more and exhaust that resource when I don’t have to pay anything extra! Great week! Grateful for everything that I’ve learned! Hope to utilize all of these resources and to make the most of everything that I’ve learning!

Entrepreneurial Journal – Week 7 – Leadership

This was a great week! A busy week, but great nonetheless! I loved this week’s lesson and the topic that we discussed. It was truly edifying and one that helped me to take a look at myself and what I can do to improve in this area. This week’s topic is leadership. When speaking on leadership, a mentor once taught me that in every undertaking or organization in the world, there is only one true problem that is constant and that is leadership. Whether it be for Church, for your business, for your family, or for something as simple as group work in class, the one constant that will always be there is leadership. If you want a great ward, you call a great Bishopric. If you want a great Relief Society, you call a great Relief Society Presidency. If you want a successful, Celestial family, you be a great father or mother and leader to your children. And lastly, if you want a great business, you find a great leader. This week, we spoke on this topic, a few components which made up this important attribute, and we participated in a survey which described what type of leader we really are. One of the articles that we studied was a talk given by President Kimball entitled “Jesus: the Perfect Leader.” In this talk, President Kimball spoke on Christ being a leader and the attributes that He exhibited throughout His ministry as He led His flock and His Church. Something that surprised me with this talk was the fact that we’re speaking of Christ as a leader and not in the same light as we typically do in the Church. Not as a babe or as a man or as the Son of God, our Savior and Redeemer, but rather as a leader and the greatest leader that we’ve ever had walk the face of this Earth! It was incredible to learn from President Kimball what made up this incredible leader and what we can do to follow in His example. Reading this talk reminded me of a project I once did where I was asked to describe Jesus Christ by His attributes. It was an idea that came to me from Hyrum W Smith that I did and I cam up with over 100 attributes which exemplified our Savior. Incredible, but very daunting to say the least! This talk shared many of the attributes that I had written down. Christ truly is the embodiment of a perfect Being and if we were to just follow Him, our lives would be impacted in such a profound way unimaginable to us now. It makes me grateful to know that Christ has done so much more than we can possibly imagine. He came to show us the way and went further than what we already know. Everything else that we’ve studied is not even worth mentioning when we could sum it all up in only two words: Follow Him. I’m grateful for my Savior and especially for the leadership He exhibited throughout His life as the head of His Church and as our Savior.

This week, we read another article on the topic of emotional intelligence. We read about what it is, what attributes make up this term, and how we can develop this ever important characteristic in our lives and in our businesses. We also read another article on the topic of Leaders to Managers by Hugh Nibley. We completed a leadership survey that showed which leadership style resonated with us most out of the Authoritarian, Participative, and Delegative styles (I’m Participative). And we lastly completed our Action Hero assignment this week on Ken Zolot and gave an update on how our Interviews are going. All in all, a great week. A packed week full of great assignments! Also this week for our $100 Challenge, I finally received the packaging that I’ve been waiting for for a couple of weeks now and look to begin my sales this week! Hopefully I’ll be able to meet the Challenge goal. I’ll give a more detailed update with how that goes next week. Great week! Grateful for all that I’ve learned!

Weekly Reflection #6 – Week 6 – Web Business Creation

This was another great week for me! This week seemed much more lighter in comparison to last week’s assignments. Ever since I completed my website for this class, I’ve felt much less pressure than I once did. Knowing that an essential part of this class is over has helped me to lighten up a little and to, now, build upon what I have created and to focus on how to make it better. I look forward to the upcoming week’s assignments. I know that each future assignment will help in that regard. This first week’s assignments began to do just that.

This week’s assignments, again, included the use of Google Adwords. We learned how to create an Adwords campaign which turns out to be an add that will appear on Google in the ad’s column/section when somebody searches one of your keywords. It was very interesting to say the least that this was how you create one of these types of ads. I’ve seen many of these ads when using Google and now creating one just like this and seeing how it would look blew my mind. It was incredible to say the least and the process for creating one of these ads isn’t quite too difficult. Creating the campaign included such elements as, first, deciding on twenty, or so, keywords related to your website; deciding which countries and languages you wanted to campaign to and which devices you want your campaign to show on; choosing the automatic or manual bidding function for your campaign; and, lastly, setting a daily budget for how much you may spend on your campaign being posted. We weren’t required to set up payment for this campaign (I couldn’t afford it currently), but it was cool learning how to create something like this which I know will greatly hep in marketing our website and our current products.

This week also found us building upon what we previously learned with Adwords and we learned the difference between what makes up a good keyword and a bad keyword. Of course this stems off of what we had previously learned with Google Adwords and our Campaign from earlier in the week, and, of course, after learning this I realized just how much this differentiation was needed; for I have chosen many bad keywords to use in these past assignments. Nonetheless, it was a great assignment. The discussion board was also a great medium to discuss with my fellow classmates what they’ve found to be a good keyword and to learn from them about this subject.

Overall, this was a great week! I am grateful for all that I’ve learned. I see the relevance in each of these topics and assignments and I’m grateful to learn a little about the inner workings of the internet and how websites are created and marketed. I look forward to next week’s assignments. I will keep you all posted on how I do for each and how this upcoming week goes. Thank you all very much and I’ll see you next week!