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10 Business Mistakes Every Entrepreneur Can Avoid

Do you ever catch yourself repeating useless behaviors that get you nowhere?


For me it’s things like continually checking my email or prioritizing some menial task instead of tackling the one big task of the day.

 

You’ve been there too. My question is why do we continually exhibit this kind of behavior that jeopardizes our brilliance? The old saying “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always got” couldn’t say it any clearer.

 

There are several rules of business that, if followed, will make you truly successful, whatever your pursuit. Yet, time and again, we don’t take note.

 

It’s like we almost refuse to listen because, lo and behold, if these wise people are actually right and we achieve beyond our wildest dreams we won’t know what to do with ourselves. I’ve been reading some great articles recently that have given me a good slap in the face to wake up to reality.

 

So listen up. Below are the 10 things to avoid if you want to kick butt in business. Perhaps this time we’ll actually take note and more importantly take action!

 

1. Not solving a real problem

 

Got a great idea? Oh yeah? Says who? You and your ego or the hundreds of people you’ve heard complaining about this problem that you think you can solve.

 

You need to evaluate whether or not your business ideas solve a real problem or addresses a real customer need. Then ask yourself if there are people out there actually looking for what you plan to offer, and how much they would be willing to spend to get it. It’s not rocket science.

 

Did you hear about how the Americans spent millions back in the '70s trying to make a pen that worked in space? The Russians gave their astronauts a pencil.

 

2. Lack of Focus

 

If you are like me you’re already pursuing several projects because it appears that one will not suffice or if you have several then surely one will succeed right? Wrong. Choose one of them and focus on it. In the words of Obama “Yes, We can.”

 

Simple but true. When have you ever focused on several things and done truly well with ALL of them? Sure test them before you make a decision is fine, but choose one as soon as possible and stick with it.

 

My best tip – don’t ask your closest friends, parents or people who have never been in business – just trust me on this. Ask your potential customers.

  

3. Always starting something. Never Finishing.

 

If I look back on the many `To do’ lists I make and goals I’ve set over the years I see a curious pattern emerge. Although I do actually complete quite a lot of stuff I also have way too many things on my list and therefore take a lot longer to do them.

You need to develop a habit of finishing what you start and work on it daily. The less you pile on your plate (see No 2.) the less you’ll have to finish and that means you’re going to complete it!

 

Apply this liberally - from large projects to your daily activities. Finishing clearing out your office, enter in your expenses, install the anti-virus software, paint your toe nails, book that trip. Listen to Nike: JUST DO IT.

 

4. Being Cheap.

 

It’s easy to not spend money when you don’t have much of it. But you have to invest in the important things. So make a list of basic items that are really necessary to get your idea off the ground such as the right servers or a domain hosting service.

 

Next list the items that would be worth investing in because they would likely give you a competitive advantage or strengthen your brand such as a professional Web designer or a marketing and PR specialist.

 

5. Spending Frivolously

 

I’ve met many people who keep spending money on creating 'stuff’ because they either have too much money for their own good or still have an income to draw on. Stop putting off launching.

 

You don’t need the fancy website, the awesome promo video, the snazzy business cards. You just need to have a product or service that functions enough to solve a problem. So create a budget for every project you start, and stick to it religiously.

 

6. Avoiding the Competition

 

One of the biggest pet peeves Angel Investors have is hearing a pitch from an entrepreneur who says they have no competition. Trust me you want competition as that mean there’s a market for your idea.

 

Unless you’re creating a new market with your product or service, you can pretty much guarantee someone’s doing what you’re planning to do in some shape or form.


Make sure you evaluate the competition you’ll encounter and do this for each of your business ideas and projects so you have a really good understanding of what you’re entering into. 

 

7. Not Emulating the Best

 

I always seek to emulate the best. They set a high standard which can be a little daunting to attempt to reach. What you can do is identify and incorporate the best practices of your market segment.

 

You can guarantee these smart people will be competing with you, so learn from them before you try to beat them. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, just do it better.

 

8. Thinking You’re Super Human

 

As much as I like to have control over what I do, I’ve long since recognized that two heads are better than one. Richard Branson always attributes his success to surrounding himself with the best minds.

 

So start delegating as soon as possible and focus on the strategic side of the business, because that is where your time will be more effective. I’ve recently taken on not 1 but 3 fabulous interns, each with their own strengths.

 

I can now focus on business development and the things I love most.

 

9. Being Inflexible

 

If anything, I like change too much.

 

However, most people, even dynamic entrepreneurs, don’t.

 

Remember that your vision should be rock solid but your strategies need to be flexible and reflect the changes in the market place and your customers and tactics can change weekly if not daily.

 

10. Ignoring the Facts

 

It’s great to follow your intuition but if you don’t ever weigh in with the facts and do some measuring you will have no idea whether you’re really on track.

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Jaycees can be called an organisation of opportunities. The opportunities available within Jaycees are co numerous, it could take a life time to grasp them all. Most members select those which cater to their particular needs and make the most of them.


Basically, there are five areas of opportunities within the organization individual, Management, Community, International and Business. Projects are conducted each area. As the members work on these projects, they encounter opportunities for total development.

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Opportunities for personal development are offered under the individual development area. Seminars, such as leadership in Action, Personal Dynamics, Effective Communication, and Goal Setting help members to speak effectively. Learn leadership skills, improve their communication abilities and enhance their personal development.

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The management area provides Opportunity for the development of managerial skills through learning, LOM management. It deals with finances, records, recognition, membership growth, retention, marketing and public relations. Members have the chance to work on fund- raising projects.

Milestones of Jaycees

Each year new and exciting advancements and decisions are made in the organization which is today named Junior Chamber International (JCI). As it is impossible to list them all, the following are the events and years in which they occurred, which we truly regard as landmarks in the history of our worldwide organization.

 

1910
The organization began in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. The founder, Henry Giessenbier, had formed the Herculaneum Dance Club with the purpose of bringing about the social elevation of its members.

 

1915 
The first step towards the creation of the Jaycee movement was taken when 32 young men met at the Mission Inn in St. Louis on 13 October 1915 to form the Young Men's Progressive Civic Association with Giessenbier as its president.

 

1916
In August, the organization's name was changed to Junior Citizens, and it was at this time that the initials "JC" were first employed.

 

1920
On the 21st and 22nd January, the first national organization, the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce (USJCC) was formed. Twenty-nine clubs around the nation were in attendance and elected Henry Giessenbier as the first national president.

 

1920-44
The Jaycee movement crossed international borders. Organizations were formed in many countries including Canada, England, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia and Colombia. The Junior Chamber momement came to Canada in 1923 with the formation of its first chapter, the Young Men's Section of the Winnipeg Board of Trade.

 

Many actions were taken to form Junior Chamber International, including the creation of the International Executive Council of Junior Chambers of Commerce formed at the Olympic Games in 1932.

 

1944
Junior Chamber International was born in Mexico City, Mexico during 7 to 11 December. Witnesses to the birth of the organization were 30 delegates from North and Central America. Raul Garcia Vidal was elected the first president.

 

1946
In February, the first JCI World Congress was held in Panama City, Panama, with an attendance of 44 delegates from 16 countries. At this time, a Constitution was drafted. Also this year a young Jaycee member, Mr. C. William 'Bill' Brownfield, authored the Jaycee Creed.

1952
The JCI Senate was formed through the efforts of Phil Pugsley, the 1951 JCI president, at the 7th JCI World Congress in Melbourne, Australia.

 

1953
The first permanent World Headquarters was established at the United States Jaycees War Memorial Headquarters Building in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Philip Van Slyck was hired as JCI's first full-time Secretary General.

 

1955 
The rapidly growing World Headquarters moved to its own building in Miami Beach, Florida, USA.

 

1969
The current World Headquarters was built in Coral Gables, Florida, USA to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Junior Chamber International.

 

1972
At the 38th JCI World Congress in Taipei, the organization's name was changed from Junior Chamber International to Jaycees International.

 

1983
Honorees were recognized at the first Outstanding Young Persons ceremony at the 38th JCI World Congress in Taipei, Taiwan.

 

1988
At the 39th JCI World Congress in Sydney, Australia, the organization's name was again changed from Jaycees International to Junior Chamber International.

 

1989
1989 was an historic year for JCI as services were extended to the Eastern Bloc countries of Estonia (USSR), Poland and Hungary.

JCI - Declaration of Principles

"We believe:
That faith in God gives meaning and purpose to human life;
That the brotherhood of man transcends the sovereignty of nations;
That economic justice can best be won by free men through free enterprise;
That government should be of laws rather than of men;
That earth's great treasure lies in human personality;
And that service to humanity is the best work of life."

 

The year was 1946; the place, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A.; the event, the United States Junior Chamber National Convention. Visitors came from Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe and the Philippine Islands. It was here that the idea of a JCI creed was born. The Creed is now called the JCI Declaration of Principles.

 

Past President of the Ohio Junior Chamber and National Vice President of the United States Junior Chamber C. William Brownfield realized at this convention that the organization did not have a creed. He was inspired by the devotion of Junior Chamber members "to the purpose of serving mankind in a thousand different ways, right down at the grass roots where freedom lives or dies."

 

Brownfield saw Junior Chamber as "the potential for a new force in the world, one capable of changing the balance between victory or defeat for our chosen way of life in a time of crisis."

 

The actual writing of the Declaration of Principles took place in July 1946 during a drive from Brownfield's hometown of Columbus, Ohio, to his coal mine in New Lexington, a journey of about 75 minutes. He started that journey with a firm conviction in his mind to work on the Declaration of Principles. It was during that trip that the following words came to mind and were put on paper:

 

The brotherhood of man transcends the sovereignty of nations.
Economic justice can best be won by free men through free enterprise.
Government should be of laws rather than of men.
Earth's great treasure lies in human personality.
Service to humanity is the best work of life.

 

In 1950 the first line, "We believe that faith in God gives meaning and purpose to human life." was added.

 

Since it was written, Junior Chamber members all over the world recite the JCI Declaration of Principles at local, national and international meetings and functions. During that time there has been much discussion of the interpretation of this document. The author himself said, "Every Member is free to interpret it in the light of his own conscience."

 

The following interpretation is based on Brownfield's own views and what is commonly believed and understood to be the meaning of the Declaration of Principles to the organization.


BROWNFIELD’S INTERPRETATION OF THE JCI DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES


"We believe . . . " Everyone must believe in some ideal, principle or philosophy. To believe is to practice what is believed to be true.

 

" . . . That faith in God gives meaning and purpose to human life . . . " "God" here does not refer to any specific religious God, but to a supreme omnipotence. It does not matter who or what your God is; the line is just saying that you must believe in something. Brownfield interpreted it in this way: "The Junior Chamber membership, drawn from many religious backgrounds, is united by a common bond of faith; that man lives by the will of (his/her) God, that God's will for man is good; and that the life worthwhile is lived in harmony with His eternal plan."

 

" . . . That the brotherhood of man transcends the sovereignty of nations . . . " This line breaks down all the boundaries that have been imagined by mankind. It simply means that all men and women are equal. It respects allegiance to one's country, but, at the same time, reinforces the idea that man is a citizen of the world. Brownfield put it this way: "Man made boundaries have been drawn and redrawn, separating the human race into many nations. But across these unnatural divisions there has been an intercourse in art, science, commerce and religion; evidence of man's universal brotherhood; proof that man himself, not his territorial divisions, is of basic worth."

 

" . . . That economic justice can best be won by free men through free enterprise . . . " The operative words here are " . . . can best be won . . . " Junior Chamber members believe that man should be free to use his skills and abilities to the limit in improving his economy. Brownfield expressed it this way: "Where economic improvement has been greatest, man has been free to follow his dream of making a personal fortune by doing something never done before, or by doing it better." He also said, " . . . the system of self development through private enterprise could be adapted with variations to suit local conditions in many parts of the world."

 

" . . . That government should be of laws rather than of men . . . “This simply means that no one should be above the law, and that the law should be the same for all people, no matter what status they hold in society. The government must be based on constitutional law, accepted and ratified by a majority of the people. The power to change laws and elect governments should remain in the hands of a majority of the people. Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, spoke of a government “of the people, for the people, and by the people." This line crystallizes what President Lincoln was talking about so many decades ago. Brownfield expressed the meaning this way: "In a free society, the fundamental law is derived from the people. It is they who hold the final authority."

 

" . . . That earth's great treasure lies in human personality . . . " Every individual has a separate and unique personality. That is the main difference between humans and other creatures of the world. That uniqueness makes the human personality earth's greatest treasure. It cannot be duplicated nor can it be made. Brownfield's views on this line are: "True treasure lies in the hearts of men. There is about us a vast field of opportunity for cultivation of the human personality. It is not the quantity nor the length of life that gives it zest, but the quality of living, the achievement we make in terms of human progress."

 

" . . . And that service to humanity is the best work of life." This final tenet of the Declaration of Principles is the logical culmination of the preceding lines. A person who believes in the Declaration of Principles will most definitely find service to humanity to be the best work of life. Note the word humanity. Brownfield's interpretation to this line is, "The life lived unselfishly grows richer, deeper and fuller. Joy is more enduring and peace of mind, more certain. The world looks at the contribution such a life has made and marks the one who lived it as a benefactor of the race; yet he knows in truth the greater benefit has been his own."

 

No matter what a member's interpretation of the Declaration of Principles may be, he or she should always practice what he or she believes. Many unsuccessful attempts have been made to change the Declaration of Principles, but it has prevailed through the years and continues be the covenant that holds the organization together. Many members have made the Declaration of Principles their guide in life.

Junior Chamber International (JCI) is a worldwide federation of young professional and entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 40. The National organizations federated to Junior Chamber International are active in more than 8,000 chapters in 123 nations and territories. The mission is to contribute to the advancement of the global community by providing the opportunity for young people to develop the leadership skills, social responsibility, fellowship and entrepreneurship necessary to create positive change.


Junior Chamber International was founded in Mexico City on December 11, 1944, when representative from eight nations met to create an organization that would address global concerns. From these eight nations, Junior Chamber has grown to include more than 123 nations and spans every continent.


The JCI Headquarters was established in 1951 and is now in Coral Gables, Florida, U.S.A. A professional staff of 35 full time employees provides services to JCI members. Its chief executive officer is Secretary General Benny Ellerbe. JCI is a non-governmental organization (NGO) with active participation in the United Nation Systems, including several UN agencies such as UNICEF and UNCTAD.


JCI has cooperation agreements with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), International Association of Students Economics and Management (AIESEC), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United National Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the Inter- American Foundation (IAF).


JAYCEES or JUNIOR CHAMBER is a worldwide association of young people between the ages of 18 and 40, which welcomes all nationality races and religions. This is a unique organization which gives to its members an opportunity to undertake projects of a worthwhile nature in their own communities and at the same time to develop qualities within themselves that will make them better individuals. All member of Junior Chamber, from the World President to the newest member, through a process that is helping them become a better person.

 

Young people who join the Jaycees get an opportunity for improvement by participation in its internal and external programs, which make them more developed individuals than they would otherwise have been.

 

Junior Chamber is established in 15,000 communities throughout 100 member nations. Jaycees International (JCI), the international association of Junior Chambers, is the largest young people’s organization in the world with over 600,000 members. Its membership believes in the principles stated in the Jaycee Creed. It does not have an occupation classification as determination for membership except the age requirement. Basically a leadership training organization, its projects are action oriented.


THE BEGINNING OF JAYCEES Henry Gissenbier, a young man from St. Loius, Misouri, U.S.A felt that young people acting in a voluntary capacity could fashion new standard of life of their communities. On October 1915; he called a meeting, attended by 32 men, who left up an organization called the Young Men’s Progressive Civic Association. It was devoted to community betterment. The vigor and imagination of the youthful group attached the admiration of the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce, which on February 11, 1918, asked the young men to consider the title “ Junior Chamber of Commerce” so was the name born. The movement spread, so that by June 1920, the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce marched on to Canada, New Zealand.


Over to Asia, over Europe and to Africa. In 1944, in Mexico City, the world organization, the Junior Chamber International was formed and since that date, JCI has fired the imagination of hundreds of thousands of young men across the face of the earth. In 1972, the World Organization officially adopted the name, “Jaycees International”. The Origin of Junior Chamber can be traced as formed the Herculaneium Dance Club with the main objective being the preservation of conservative dance style. Five years later, in 1915, Colonel H. N Morgan, a prominent St. Louis citizen, inspired the members of the dance club to become more involved in civic issues. Giessenbier and 32 other young men formed the Young Men’s Progressive Civic Association (YMPCA) on October 13, 1915. This organization grew to a membership of 750 in less than five months.


THE FIRST WORLD CONGRESS, two years later, In February of 1946, the first World Congress was held in Panama City. This Congress was attended by 44 delegates from different countries. The international organization was formally constituted, a temporary constitution was approved, and the word “Commerce” was omitted from the official name. Erasmo Chambonnet of Panama was elected the second JCI President at that Congress, and Australia and Canada were officially affiliated. In 1948 the JCI Creed was officially adopted at the IV JCI World Congress in Rio de Janeiro, and in 1952 a permanent Secretariat was established. In 1972 the name was changed to Jaycees International; however, 1n 1988 the name was changed back to Junior Chamber International.

VISION OF JCI VELLORE METRO


The Vellore Jaycees Metro is a small but effective group of men and women dedicated to self-improvement through community service. We consistently strive to make our town a better place to live. It is our desire to impress upon people of all ages the final line of the Jaycee Creed, namely that service to humanity is the best work of life!


The JCI Vellore Metro chapter was formed by a group of several men and has since evolved to include a large number of active men and women. These people are of diverse backgrounds from local business owners to members of major corporations. This diversity provides a variety of talents and skills to the organization while maintaining a commitment to the Jaycee value of community and individual development.


We take great pride in the metro town of Vellore and demonstrate this community interest not only through community-minded projects but also though participation in local events and participating actively in events sponsored by other local organizations.


Not only have the Vellore Metro Jaycees been an extremely successful community organization, but we enjoy numerous social activities including Social Projects, Cultural Events, Educational Competitions, Sporting Events and Free Training Programmes. We work at serving our community while having a great deal of fun.


The Vellore Metro Jaycees is not just a local group. We are also affiliated with JCI India,which comes under Asia Pacific Region of Junior Chamber International. These organizations provide additional events and ways to get involved. Come join tomorrow's leaders in action today!