Category Archives: nonprofit

The Power of Positivity

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   By Pon Angara, VisionReady storyteller

I recently met up with a friend to catch up after more than two years. She asked me what I did to keep a positive attitude through the difficult times. Upon reflection, I shared with her three things that I believe have helped me make every moment count.

I’ve learned to follow my instincts. They have always led me down the right path. By listening to my inner voice, I also honor my truth.

I’m fortunate to know many people with fresh and unique insights. It’s amazing how much I’ve learned from them. Staying in touch keeps me infused with new inspiration.

I feel good about myself when I’m being productive. Creating gives me a sense of accomplishment and it moves me closer to my goal. Afterward I can reward myself with something that provides pure enjoyment and relaxation.

After my friend and I parted ways, I thought of another thing that helps me stay positive. Gratitude. Saying thanks reminds me how much I’m surrounded by generous people and validates them in return.

So, as we forge ahead into 2023, I would like to take a moment to thank you for your interest in VisionReady. Because of people like you who have stayed engaged with us, we launched successfully Season 3 of our podcast series Disrupt Your Day where we chat with some of our personal Superheroes who have positive messages that will enlighten and inspire!

Click here and here to watch the first two episodes and stay tuned for more by subscribing to our YouTube channel. For questions or comments, email info@visionready.org or call (305) 791-2610.

5 Best Business Books for Entrepreneurs in 2023

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   By Pon Angara, VisionReady storyteller

Quoted from Entrepreneur | Updated: January 9, 2023

Many of the most successful business leaders, from Warren Buffett to Oprah Winfrey to Tory Burch, share a common thread: They are voracious readers. Books have the power to educate, inspire and give you a fresh perspective on what you can do to improve your business and personal growth.

As 2023 begins, Entrepreneur’s editors have hand-selected the following list of best-selling books that will give you a concrete roadmap for your entrepreneurial journey ahead. Whether you are launching a business, side hustling for the first time or looking to ramp up your existing business, this selection can be your blueprint for a successful and fulfilling year.

VR_Blog2_Books_1_StartyourOwnBusinessStart Your Own Business

Now in its 8th edition, Start Your Own Business covers every detail of what entrepreneurs will face in their first three years of running a business. Okay, we know a lot of books profess to be a “one-stop shop” for everything you need to know, but this edition more than lives up to that claim. Experts from all industries chime in with clear, concise, and easy-to-understand advice to get you on your way. It is an indispensable resource that you will find yourself returning to repeatedly as you progress. Simply put, it is the bible of startup business books

VR_Blog2_Books_2_TheBestofNoBSThe Best of No B.S.

After 30 years of telling it like it is, we’ve collected legendary millionaire-maker Dan S. Kennedy’s best sales and marketing wisdom into one.  The Best of No B.S.Kennedy’s frank and, well, no b.s. approach to educating readers is fresh, fun and most importantly, it works. Kennedy breaks down what really matters in your marketing, how not to get distracted by ego-centric goals that don’t add up to any monetary value and so much more. If you want realistic, straight-talking marketing advice, this is the book

VR_Blog2_Books_3_UnstoppableUnstoppable

Facing debilitating fatigue and depression, best-selling author Ben Angel set out on a 90-day mission to find and conquer the root of his issues. Enlisting the help of biohackers, neuroscientists, doctors and New York Times bestselling author Dave Asprey, Angel discovered a world of wellness and in Unstoppable shares tactics that have helped him reduce stress, increase focus, improve physical performance, and eliminate fears. This is a compelling and useful guide to healthier, happier, and more productive living.

VR_Blog2_Books_4_MillionDollarHabitsMillion Dollar Habits

Based on interviews with hundreds of successful people, leadership, and success coach Brian Tracy’s Million Dollar Habits shares insights from their habits that we can all use to work more effectively, make better decisions, and ultimately boost our income. Tracy breaks down how getting into the right habits will give you a better handle on your finances, give you better physical health, strengthen relationships and help you turn your personal and financial dreams into reality.

VR_Blog2_Books_5_WriteYourBusinessPlanWrite Your Business Plan

This comprehensive companion to Start Your Own Business is a deep dive into what can be the most critical step to launching a successful business. Before you spend a penny on your idea, Write Your Business Plan will help you vet your concept, fine-tune it, and give you advanced insights into where your advantages and pain points lie. Unfortunately, there are no crystal balls that will let you know with certainty if an idea will succeed, but having a solid plan is the next best thing.

What business books have you read recently or will be reading soon that you can recommend? Let us know by emailing info@visionready.org or calling (305) 791-2610.

3 Tips for Hiring the Best Talent

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   By Pon Angara, VisionReady storyteller

It’s always an exciting time in a company’s history when success creates growing pains which leads to needing new hires. It’s an opportunity to bring fresh perspective and new experience to your organization.

On the other hand, talent search presents its own set of challenges. Not only do you want quality hires, but you also need to retain current talent. You also need to invest time and effort in minimizing turnover to build the company and promote a welcoming work environment that people want to be a part of.

Whether it’s your first employee or 50th, enhance your hiring practices and bring on quality workers with these three hiring tips:

  1. Craft a detailed job description.

Whether on your career page, LinkedIn, or a well-known job site, you only have one chance to make a good first impression on a job seeker based on what you post about the position and your company.

A well-written job description provides insight into the company and how a candidate can contribute to the organization. Be sure to include relevant keywords that job seekers may be looking for, and be clear about role responsibilities, growth potential, professional development, and benefits candidates may be looking for. You may also want to highlight intangibles that could tip the scales in your favor.

  1. Tap into current employees for referrals.

Employees can be a valuable hiring resource. Encourage your employees to do some hiring legwork by leveraging their network to attract top talent. Referral bonuses could include cash, trips, gifts, and vouchers. Not only does this practice reduce the costs of hiring but it also can improve employee morale.

  1. Recruit at local colleges and universities.

Developing a relationship with local educational institutions can create a healthy pipeline that’s loaded with new talent. You can screen potential candidates and stay top-of-mind when a student’s job search begins by attending university careers fairs.

Consider sending employees to guest speak at lectures to provide more insight into what your company does. This can be especially valuable if you have internship opportunities you can offer to cultivate talent further.

You can find quality candidates efficiently and economically by developing a robust hiring strategy. For more information, email info@visionready.org or call (305) 791-2610.

My New Year’s Resolution: Go on a diet…an information diet, that is!

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   By Pon Angara, VisionReady storyteller

According to Ben Angel, bestselling author of Unstoppable and Australia’s leading marketing authority, “the number one most bankable skill you must have in 2023 to succeed is a skill that the average adult spends two hours and 27 minutes each day sabotaging.” But when you master it, life becomes easier. You edge out your competitors and increase your earning potential. That skill is FOCUS.

Focus has a very real monetary value. Technology researcher Jonathan Spira estimates the interruptions and information overload cost the US economy one trillion dollars per year. Entrepreneurs and world champions go to extreme lengths to sharpen this skill.

The biggest cause of all is, of course, social media. Information has become the new drug of choice to distract us from our lives—and it’s just as addictive. It rewires your brain to keep scrolling. From an evolutionary perspective, it’s not surprising our ancestors were more likely to survive the more information they had. We seek it out to increase our chances of success, be part of a tribe, get a dopamine hit, and escape the stress of everyday life.

Ask yourself, “Is information addiction costing me success and derailing my focus?” The overexposure and over stimulation to information uses up mental bandwidth that could be better applied to learning a new skill, implementing a new business plan, or de-stressing. But how do you manage the onslaught of information that is altering the way you think, act, and feel? It could be time to go on an information diet.

A mindful approach to information consumption is not just about quantity; it’s about quality. Just as we have the food pyramid, we can use an information pyramid to help us refine what we’re exposed to. For example, if you’re in business and your goal is to increase your sales, your information pyramid might have Entertainment at the top which is where you’ll spend your least amount of time. Second, you’ll have Creativity and Leadership, followed by Problem Solving and Sales, while Marketing being the most important depending on your priorities.

You can personalize this pyramid by identifying your highest priority goals and challenges you must overcome to achieve them. From there you define where your focus needs to be placed. You can quickly retrain the social media algorithms to provide you with content you want to see simply by searching for the topics in your information pyramid, so you’re exposed to content that will actively help you achieve your goals.

The next step is to schedule your content consumption. Just as you should avoid caffeine in the morning, you should avoid social media as both can negatively spike a key hormone. In anticipation of wake time, your circadian clock sets off a torrent of hormonal activity that increases your stress hormone cortisol. Past the early morning spike, your cortisol levels gradually decline as the day goes on. If you’re prone to morning anxiety, coffee and social media will amplify it setting up your day for failure. Instead wait until after 9am to have that first cup and take your information offline by having a book on your nightstand. This is like switching from cigarettes to sunlight for your brain. This will also help you to reserve your mental bandwidth for the goals that will move the needle in the right direction for you.

The next step is the most powerful of all and that is to actively train your brain to focus and be more productive. According to research, around 80 percent of our thoughts are negative. Social media’s echo chamber helps to confirm negative biases we have of ourselves. Escaping the echo chamber and reprogramming your negative thoughts require seeing yourself in a different light. Visualizing your future and the steps you must take to achieve it helps to narrow your focus from a floodlight to a laser. It also helps to reduce multitasking that can reduce productivity by as much as 40 percent while increasing stress and decreasing your IQ.

Overall, having a clear intention from the beginning is important to be more focused. Figure out what tools and techniques help to filter out the noise and distractions. Only then can you find your groove, get in the zone, and be at your best.

If you’re struggling with being intentional with your goals and focusing on what’s important in order to succeed in your business, contact us by emailing info@visionready.org or calling (305) 791-2610.

Is My Idea Ready
to Be a Business?

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   By Pon Angara, VisionReady storyteller

Speak directly to your target audience…

The more specifically defined your niche audience is, the better your brand can be differentiated from your competition. This helps your target customer to perceive your product or service as a more unique offering. This is how you get customers to engage as early adopters who can help you build your brand, and from there, you can scale on to different audiences.

…However, do not be in a rush to scale your business.

Ask yourself first if you have a valid reason to scale. You might be perfectly happy making $50k a year AND have enough time to explore other interests, instead of making $1M but being bogged down by having to manage more overhead and/or staff. Only scale if you have a repeatable business model that works, is profitable, and allows you to look for the next best option regarding audiences and the kind of team you will need to support that.

Identify missing components of your plan preventing you from reaching your goals.

While keeping your team lean for as long as possible, create your Objectives and Key Results for the next quarter and for the next year then figure out what is missing. After identifying what you need to move forward with these goals, you can determine who you’d want to hire. But start with subcontractors to give you the flexibility regarding staffing that aligns with the ebbs and flows of your business before you hire anyone full time.

 Take a “problem-first” approach to ideating.

Ask yourself if you’ve done enough audience research that tells you specific needs and wants from your target demographic. This is the key to an audience-driven approach to designing your offering instead of product-driven. It’s an opportunity to create a hot audience database of individuals who are willing to fully engage with your pilot or proof of concept. This enables you to build trust with a community of potential customers around your brand who will be looking forward to the time you’re ready to launch.

Overall, the key to READINESS is building an audience of partners and stakeholders and giving them the opportunity to become involved in shaping a working business model that answers their need.

If you think you’re ready to turn your idea into a business, contact us by emailing info@visionready.org or calling (305) 791-2610.