There are many out there, but some of these are pretty outstanding.
Tony Whatley puts together a great book for entrepreneurs that want to learn the art of the side-hustle.
“The truth is, we never stop learning. Learning isn’t something we “did”, it is something we “do.”
“Quit chasing squirrels or “shiny objects” in your life.”
Dan Pena is the man when it comes to mentoring millionaires and creating wealth. Dan is called the $50 Billion Dollar man because he has created that kind of value as a high performing coach.
Dan’s stuff is free online too. Click on this photo to get it!
If you really want to learn his fundamental methods, you have to attend one of his seminars.
Gaining information on a competitor is very easy with the use of technology. Gathering the information is the first step. I believe using Colonel John Boyd’s OODA loop is a great way to do this.
The OODA loop is the decision cycle of observe, orient, decide, and act, developed by military strategist and United States Air Force Colonel John Boyd. Boyd applied the concept to the combat operations process, often at the operational level during military campaigns. It is now also often applied to understand commercial operations and learning processes. The approach favors agility over raw power in dealing with human opponents in any endeavor.
The OODA in OODA Loop is an acronym that stands for:
The following OODA Loop is useful for small business owners:
- Observe: First thing you do is to observe what your competitors are doing. You do this by looking at their webpage, social media presence, ads they are running, and good ole spying by walking in their establishment (if a standard business) or watching what they do online (internet business). Then you take this information and analysis it.
- Orient: Secondly, you orient by reviewing what you are doing in business, understanding where you are financially and in the market. This phase is used to understand what your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are.
- Decide: Third, you decide how you will respond to your competitor’s advantages or disadvantages. You analyze and synthesize the information and come up with ideas on how you will copy (legally) or counter what your competitors are doing by understanding their tactics, techniques, and procedures.
- Act: the last option is to use the information and act on it. If you want to copy what your competitor is doing, go for it. If you want to counter and exploit a weakness your competitor has from what you have learned in the previous steps, go forth and conquer. The key to OODA loop is stay fluid and having a plan to flex when you need to. The resilient small businesses consistently find new innovations to succeed, and that starts with having an entrepreneurial mindset.
Dak Lok is an entrepreneur who gives it to you straight. He pulls no punches. I learned the following things by reading his book, F.U. Money:
Do something you love
Find something stable, long-term
Make sure it is portable
Profit margin >100%
Low startup costs
Little to no staff
24hr money coming in while you sleep (Source: F.U. Money)
Check out his webinar!
Many inventors face challenges by counterfeiters who try to destroy their business by copying a small businesses design and stealing their intellectual property. Small business owners and entrepreneurs must be aware of this modern day threat of bootlegging.
- Know exactly what you are purchasing and who you are purchasing from.
- Protect yourself and your family by buying only from reputable sources.
- If a price for an item seems too good to be true, there is probably a reason. It very likely is a fake.
- If a website seems suspicious, there is probably a reason for that, too. The operator may be selling counterfeit goods.
“The dangers of buying counterfeit products aren’t always obvious. There are economic impacts, legal implications, and health and safety risks that are important for you to know before you buy. When traveling, buy from reputable sources.
Economic Impacts – Each year, CBP seizes all kinds of counterfeit products from all over the world. Counterfeiters look to make profits by making fake versions of the hottest products as soon they are available on the market. Each time you buy a counterfeit good, a legitimate company loses revenue. This translates to lost profits and U.S. jobs over time. Know who you buy from.
Health and Safety – Counterfeiters don’t care about your well-being. They just want to make a profit. Many counterfeit products are low-quality and can cause injuries. Last year, CBP seized more items that pose health and safety risks than ever before. The top three categories were personal care, pharmaceuticals, and consumer electronics. Protect yourself and your family by avoiding potentially risky items.
Legal Implications – It is illegal to purchase counterfeit goods. Bringing them into the United States may result in civil or criminal penalties. Purchasing counterfeit goods supports criminal activities such as money laundering and trafficking in illegal guns and drugs. Remember, if it seems like a steal, it is.
E-Commerce – E-Commerce is a growing segment of the U.S. economy and has been increasing significantly for the past several years. Consumer habits are changing as the internet allows individuals to make purchases online. These advances in economic activity have led to increasing volumes of imports of small, just-in-time packages, creating inspection challenges for CBP. E-Commerce shipments pose the same health, safety, and economic security risks as containerized shipments, but the volume is higher and continues to grow. Additionally, transnational criminal organizations are shipping illicit goods to the United States via small packages due to a perceived lower interdiction risk and less severe consequences if the package is interdicted.” (Source: CBP.gov “Fake Goods, Real Dangers”)
Every business has to deal with threats to their business, but an insider threat is something many take for granted. Sometimes the threat is really from inside…
The definition of an Insider Threat is
An insider threat is a malicious threat to an organization that comes from people within the organization, such as employees, former employees, contractors or business associates, who have inside information concerning the organization’s security practices, data and computer systems.
Oblivious Insider. This insider threat takes after its namesake, and it’s a top cause for data breaches in today’s world. These insiders have important access to company files, and they’ve been compromised from the outside without knowing. This most likely came to be when they clicked on a malicious phishing email that granted the criminal access.
Negligent Insider. These employees are most vulnerable to phishing emails. Due to lack of security education, or simply their interest in bypassing workplace protocol to meet efficiency, these individuals are a top threat to data loss.
Malicious Insider. This is where the insider crosses the line, and data loss becomes intentional. They seek to delete important company information, and inflict financial harm in some way. Luckily, there are several behavioral trends that fellow employees and managers can watch out for to ping these insiders.
In an article from May 2016, the Wall Street Journal referenced a Deloitte “Dbriefs” report in which they present some alarming numbers on corporate malicious activity by trusted insiders:
• 92 percent of insider threat cases were preceded by a negative work event, such as a termination, demotion or dispute with a supervisor.
• 97 percent of insider threat cases studied by Stanford University involved an employee whose behavior a supervisor had flagged, but that the organization had failed to follow up on.
• 25 percent of employees have used email to exfiltrate sensitive data from an organization.
How pervasive is the insider threat in your company?
“The Dtex 2018 Threat Report serves to bring to the forefront those areas where companies, and that is every company, big or small, can invest their resources to bring down the threat posed by their trusted insiders.”
Clearly, visibility on the need to focus on basic cybersecurity 101 is required. Richard Stiennon, IT-Harvest Chief Research Analyst and Charles Stuart University Lecturer, tells us, “Business needs to get out of the cybersecurity denial phase it is stuck in. To do this, it must accept that it needs more visibility into what’s going on in its environment.”
DTex Systems “THE 2018 INSIDER THREAT INTELLIGENCE REPORT”
- Focus on deterrence, not detection. In other words, create a culture that deters any aberrant behavior so that those who continue to practice that behavior stand out from the “noise” of normal business and the limited investigative resources that you have can be focused on them.
- Know your people, know who your weak links are and who would be most likely to be a threat.
- Use your HR data to narrow down threats rather than looking for a needle in stack of needles.
- Identify information that is most likely to be valuable to someone else and protect it to a greater degree than the rest of your information.
- Monitor ingress and egress points for information (USB ports, printers, network boundaries).
Baseline normal activity and look for anomalies.
One part of being a smart business owner is knowing the threats to your business. In the area of cyber, a business owner can be overwhelmed in a matter of minutes. Cyber hackers are willing to attack small business owners because of a lack of security. Then there is the insider threat that is responsible for at least 50% of the damage (According to NIST).
The Small Business Administration has a cyber course for small business owners. If you are concerned, take Cybersecurity for Small Businesses.
Top Ten Cybersecurity Tips
Please read this advisory in order to protect your small business from ransomware. The following tips will also help secure your small business:
- Protect against viruses, spyware, and other malicious code
Make sure each of your business’s computers are equipped with antivirus software and antispyware and update regularly. Such software is readily available online from a variety of vendors. All software vendors regularly provide patches and updates to their products to correct security problems and improve functionality. Configure all software to install updates automatically.
- Secure your networks
Safeguard your Internet connection by using a firewall and encrypting information. If you have a Wi-Fi network, make sure it is secure and hidden. To hide your Wi-Fi network, set up your wireless access point or router so it does not broadcast the network name, known as the Service Set Identifier (SSID). Password protect access to the router.
- Establish security practices and policies to protect sensitive information
Establish policies on how employees should handle and protect personally identifiable information and other sensitive data. Clearly outline the consequences of violating your business’s cybersecurity policies.
- Educate employees about cyberthreats and hold them accountable
Educate your employees about online threats and how to protect your business’s data, including safe use of social networking sites. Depending on the nature of your business, employees might be introducing competitors to sensitive details about your firm’s internal business. Employees should be informed about how to post online in a way that does not reveal any trade secrets to the public or competing businesses. Hold employees accountable to the business’s Internet security policies and procedures.
- Require employees to use strong passwords and to change them often
Consider implementing multifactor authentication that requires additional information beyond a password to gain entry. Check with your vendors that handle sensitive data, especially financial institutions, to see if they offer multifactor authentication for your account.
- Employ best practices on payment cards
Work with your banks or card processors to ensure the most trusted and validated tools and anti-fraud services are being used. You may also have additional security obligations related to agreements with your bank or processor. Isolate payment systems from other, less secure programs and do not use the same computer to process payments and surf the Internet.Are you ready for the shift from magnetic-strip payment cards to safer, more secure chip card technology, also known as “EMV”? October 1st is the deadline set by major U.S. credit card issuers to be in compliance. Visit SBA.gov/EMV for more information and resources.
- Make backup copies of important business data and information
Regularly backup the data on all computers. Critical data includes word processing documents, electronic spreadsheets, databases, financial files, human resources files, and accounts receivable/payable files. Backup data automatically if possible, or at least weekly, and store the copies either offsite or on the cloud.
- Control physical access to computers and network components
Prevent access or use of business computers by unauthorized individuals. Laptops can be particularly easy targets for theft or can be lost, so lock them up when unattended. Make sure a separate user account is created for each employee and require strong passwords. Administrative privileges should only be given to trusted IT staff and key personnel.
- Create a mobile device action plan
Mobile devices can create significant security and management challenges, especially if they hold confidential information or can access the corporate network.. Require users to password protect their devices, encrypt their data, and install security apps to prevent criminals from stealing information while the phone is on public networks. Be sure to set reporting procedures for lost or stolen equipment.
- Protect all pages on your public-facing websites, not just the checkout and sign-up pages
Entrepreneurship is the process of designing, launching and running a new business, which is often initially a small business. The people who create these businesses are called entrepreneurs.
An entrepreneur is someone who has an idea and who works to create a product or service that people will buy, by building an organization to support those sales. Entrepreneurship is a popular college major, with a focus on studying new venture creation.
Introduction to Disciplined Entrepreneurship with Bill Aulet