Mayur Gudka

I am THE BEST Small Business Marketing Consultant in North Shore, MA.

Should I invest in Crypto Currencies such as Bitcoin?

The meteoric rise of bitcoin is creating hysteria and FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). Many have told me it’s a real easy way of making money. Those who bought it early on and held on to their coins are millionaires. Others are wondering what would have happened to their personal fortune had they bought it at “ground-level”, about 5 years ago when it was trading for a dollar or two or even three.

All valid reasons for asking one question which is on everybody’s mind — “Should I invest in crypto currencies such as bitcoin?”

This article is my answer.

Imagine there is a real estate boom.

This is no ordinary boom. It’s a boom of specialized properties.

These properties come with two special conditions — you cannot rent these properties to anybody and you cannot renovate them.

Preposterous, I know! But those are the conditions.

The only way you will make money is if the price of the property goes up in future and you successfully sell it. Or, if you barter it with someone else for something other than another specialized property.

Are you still with me? Okay. Good. Now, I have a question for you.

Would you buy into this boom?

What if I told you … All properties looked alike and were priced exactly the same. As more people buy these properties, the price of every single property increases. So if your neighbor bought one of these properties for $1,000 today, then all properties would be valued at maybe $1,100 tomorrow.

How does this pricing thing work? I don’t know what makes the price of the property increase. It just does, like magic.

Would you buy into this boom now?

What if I told you … these properties don’t really exist in any physical form, but are made up of a piece of code that is stored someplace online. But don’t you worry, the code is protected and very secure. So, I’ve been told.

Would you buy into this boom now?

Oh, and one last thing … there are no guarantees to your investment. These investments are not FDIC insured, not backed up by anything else of value, and they are not supported by any government organizations.

Would you buy into this boom now?

So, how does this relate to Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies?

Crypto currencies don’t give you dividends. (Read rent).

As more people buy bitcoins, price of all bitcoins go higher. Bitcoin was priced at about $1,000 on January 1, 2017. In a 12-month period, thousands of people bought bitcoins. Result? The price of each bitcoin is nearly $20,000. By the time you see this article, it could have very well surpassed that mark.

A bitcoin is not an actual coin like a quarter. Rather, it’s a piece of code created online using block chain technology. Block chain is believed to be extremely secure.
Lastly, bitcoins are not backed up by anything and not supported by Government organizations either.

Hope you see the similarities between my real estate exercise and bitcoins.

I quickly took 25 people (it’s all I could get my hands on right away) through the above mentioned real estate exercise and every one of them told me they would not invest in it. When I told them such properties do exist and thousands of people own them, I got back different versions of — “That’s totally absurd. Why would anybody invest in such a thing?”

Then I asked them another question — “Would you invest in Bitcoins?” Half of them said, “Oh yeah, I’m totally considering it. Have you looked at how high it’s trading?”

So, if you’ve found yourself asking the question — “Should I invest in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin?”, I’d say use your judgement. You know what’s best for you.

How Venture Capitalists Evaluate a Start-Up

I was reading The Entrepreneur’s Manual by Richard White and came across this information I thought was unique and worth sharing with you all.

Below are different kinds of business models and what aspects of business venture capitalists stress on and how much. The book was obviously written before the Internet era and does not include numbers for online business models. It makes the information pretty outdated but I thought it was interesting regardless.

Local Retail Sales or Retail Service

  • Management Team – 30-50% of importance
  • Location – 40-50% of importance
  • Products / Services – 5-10% of importance
  • Marketing / Finance Plans – 1-5% of importance

Nationwide Industrial Business

  • Management Team – 60-90% of importance
  • Key Employees – 10-30% of importance
  • Industry – 10-20% of importance
  • The Service – 10-15% of importance
  • Marketing / Finance Plans – 1-5% of importance

Manufacturing

  • Management Team – 50-60% of importance
  • Industry – 20-30% of importance
  • Product – 10-20% of importance
  • Marketing / Finance Plans – 5-10% of importance

 

When a flower does not grow, you don’t blame the flower.

I came across a statement today that forced me to stop and think.

The statement: When a flower does not grow, you don’t blame the flower.

There are external factors that come in play over which the flower has no control. But the gardener does. It’s his job that he does as my right things as he can to give that flower an opportunity to grow, maybe even an unfair advantage to make sure it blooms to its highest capacity. It is the gardener’s job to ensure the seed is planted in the right environment. It is the gardener’s job to ensure it receives an adequate amount of sunlight and water on a regular basis. Without these things, the flower has no chance.

Parenting is quite like that. Often times our son will do unexpected things, some good, some not so good. It’s our jobs as parents to take control of the situation then. It becomes our job to ensure he’s provided with the right environment and is nurtured and cared for so he can grow and become the best person he can.

The same goes for employees. It’s the bosses job to provide the proper environment, proper training, proper support and guidance. When you see an employee stumble at their job, don’t wait for the annual review to point it out. Help them fix the issue right when you see. It’ll only help them, you and the company progress.

The same holds true for any relationships. The relationship is the delicate flower and the two people at it’s each end are its gardeners. It’s their job to nurture the relationship so it grows and blossoms overtime. When not taken care of, the relationship falls apart.

It’s really funny how sometimes you hear a sentence and all these thoughts run through your mind. Sometimes it clears your thinking and other times, it leaves you with more unanswered questions. The statement I shared at the beginning of the post has helped me think differently and helped me grow.

Have you ever read or heard anything that has resonated with you and changed your thinking? I’d love if you would share it with me. Just drop me a line at mayurgudka@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you.

Did you find strong value in this post?

Twice a month, I privately share Personal Growth related “Super Content” (a mix of incredible ideas, tools and strategies) with a select group of people in my Personal Growth Paradise.

Want to become a part of my Personal Growth Paradise? Click here for more details. The content I share is addictive, inspiring and transformational. You don’t want to miss it.

Trust me, it’s that good. Get hooked, now!

Two Observations about Failure

I want to state two simple observations about failure!

Observation # 1 – The opposite of success is not failure, no sir! The opposite of success is quitting.

A boxer does not lose a fight because his opponent knocks him down. A boxer loses the fight because he does not get up anymore.

Legend says, it took Einstein over a 1,000 attempts before he discovered electricity. Had he quit after 999 attempts, we might not have discovered electricity yet.

I might be wrong about this, but your parents can verify this story. You fell hundreds of times before you learned how to walk properly. Aren’t you glad you didn’t know the meaning of failure and you never gave up?

I’m not going to beat this point to death, but the opposite of success is not failure. It’s quitting.

Observation # 2 – Failure is not the stepping stone to success if you fail to learn from it.

Self-help books love to tout the phrase, “Failure is the stepping stone to success.” What most fail to say is failure is just failure if you do not learn anything from it.

Like I said, just two simple observations.

Do you have more such observations? Email me at mayurgudka@gmail.com and I’ll update the article with your observations.

Did you find strong value in this post?

Twice a month, I privately share Personal Growth related “Super Content” (a mix of incredible ideas, tools and strategies) with a select group of people in my Personal Growth Paradise.

Want to become a part of my Personal Growth Paradise? Click here for more details. The content I share is addictive, inspiring and transformational. You don’t want to miss it.

Trust me, it’s that good. Get hooked, now!

What not practicing martial arts for 17 years can do to you?

I started practicing martial arts at the age of 10. I studied Budokon. My parents enrolled me into a martial arts school because I was very weak physically. They hoped I’d grow some muscle around my skeleton. I did.

I didn’t mind the hard physical work. Well, I kind of did … once. The teaching methods of this school were old-school. Discipline and proper stances are very important in old-school martial arts schools. They actually kick you and punch you if your stance is not correct or if they find you goofing. Parents are way too over protective today and don’t allow that kind of thing anymore. Personally, I think it’s idiotic to over-protect but I don’t want to digress. Lucky for me, back then they allowed punishment.

After getting kicked and punished a few times, I decided to quit. I wasn’t going to let anyone boss me around until my mother stepped in. She warned me and I will never forget her words. She said, “If you do not go, I will beat you much harder than they ever will”. I’ve never missed a practice session since. Truth is, I fell in love with the sport and eventually became one of the top students at the school. We moved when I was 15 and had to quit the school.

Soon after, we moved to United States. I found a new martial arts school – Uechi-Ryu Karate Academy. I studied there for three years I tried commuting from college for the first year and a half but eventually it became too difficult to juggle both schooling and martial arts. Martial Arts had to be given up temporarily. I was 20 years old then. The intention was to rejoin after college.

Life happened and martial arts became an afterthought until about 3-months ago. I am enrolled into a martial arts school again. I’m 37 right now. The style taught here is Kenpo. The teacher (although he doesn’t kick or punch us) is a proponent of old-school methods. Which I think is a nice bonus (for me at least).

I’m not a big sports person. I’ve never really played any other sport all my life besides practicing Martial Arts. So, when I started practicing again, I immediately noticed some differences, some big differences.

  • I had lost all my stamina. I could hardly run for 1-minute without huffing and puffing.
  • I can only stretch about half way without hurting myself. I used to be able to do a full-stretch in about 2-seconds.
  • I have lost some balancing ability.
  • I had forgotten the effective way to kick.
  • I cannot jump, turn around and kick while in the air anymore (not yet).
  • My joints aren’t as flexible as when I was young.
  • My legs are weaker than I’d prefer. This is very evident when doing jumping jacks.
  • Surprisingly, my kicks and punches are stronger than I expected or remember.
  • I haven’t lost my speed. This is also surprising. If anything, I’ve become faster.
  • After my first class, I was drenched in sweat. I hadn’t sweat for 17 years. It was the best feeling ever.

Enthusiasm and Selling – Just some thoughts

Enthusiasm, I believe is to be the master secret of selling. Sure, you can learn all kinds of sales skills and techniques. But, if the customer doesn’t see you excited about what they’re being presented with, they … aren’t … buying.

Enthusiasm is the largest factor in selling. Have you ever bought anything from an unenthusiastic sales person? Correcto Mundo. Me neither.

Those who think selling is difficult are usually not enthusiastic about what they are selling to, or who they are selling to, or maybe both. These sales people need to find something else to sell, something they would be enthusiastic about.

Here’s what I believe about selling.

Key to all sales is enthusiasm, coupled with persistence and some skill.

Here a revelation (to me at least) about enthusiasm.

It’s easy to be enthusiastic when you are not worried about things in life.
It is difficult to be enthusiastic when we are worried.

Looking back, I’ve always found selling to be easy when I have had plenty of cash to fall back on. Selling was easy when I did not need that sale. I wasn’t desperate. It was easy to gather and show my enthusiasm. The opposite was also true. When times were tough, and I tell you sometimes they were, I couldn’t show enthusiasm no matter how much I tried faking it. Desperation would show instead.

As a lifelong sales person, this was an important revelation to me. I’m thankful that I realized it because now I can fix it.

Secret Enthusiasm List

Have you ever read the book Secret by Rhonda Byrne? I have. In the book, she says there are a handful of things everyone does that makes them instantly happy. She asks readers to compile such a list and keep it with themselves at all times. What if there was a your very own personalized secret list of enthusiasm? What little things can you think of that will quickly make you excited?

Here’s a snippet of my list. Maybe it will help you kick-start yours.

  • A cup of coffee or Starbucks hot chocolate
  • Donating a dollar or more to someone in need
  • Helping someone solve a problem
  • High Intensity Exercises

Do you think this post has nothing to do with you because you’re not a sales person? Let me tell you this … YOU ARE A SALES PERSON. You might not be selling a product for a living, but you’re constantly selling yourself and your ideas.

Have you ever peddled your resume looking for a job?

Ever proposed to someone or ask someone out on date?

Ever tried to teach a child right from wrong?

What about trying to win an argument?

Every person in this world is a salesman or saleswoman whether we like that term or not. And the key to being a successful sales person is one word … enthusiasm.

Did you find strong value in this post?

Twice a month, I privately share Entrepreneurship related “Super Content” (a mix of incredible ideas, tools and strategies) with a select group of people in my Entrepreneur’s Paradise.

Want to become a part of my Entrepreneur’s Paradise? Click here for more details. The content I share is addictive, inspiring and transformational. You don’t want to miss it.

Trust me, it’s that good. Get hooked, now!

4 Lessons to Remember Forever

One of my heroes is legendary basketball coach John Wooden. Below, I’m sharing just four of countless lessons Coach Wooden has taught me through his books.

  1. Foundation of success lies in industriousness with enthusiasm coupled with skill.
  2. Never be afraid to make mistakes. If you are not making mistakes, you are not doing anything.
  3. Young people need models, not critics.
  4. The purpose of criticism should be to correct, improve or change; never to humiliate or embarrass.

Hope you found some wisdom in these lessons as I did.

Did you find strong value in this post?

Twice a month, I privately share Personal Growth related “Super Content” (a mix of incredible ideas, tools and strategies) with a select group of people in my Personal Growth Paradise.

Want to become a part of my Personal Growth Paradise? Click here for more details. The content I share is addictive, inspiring and transformational. You don’t want to miss it.

Trust me, it’s that good. Get hooked, now!

Get a Customer Retention Strategy!

 

Most likely you have a customer acquisition strategy. It helps you bring new customers in. The best-in-class businesses also have a powerful customer retention strategy.

What is a Customer Retention Strategy?

In simple words, it brings your customers back to your business over and over again. So, the lifetime value of each customer can increase.

Why is this important?

The cost of customer acquisition can be expensive. Even if you can acquire your customers for cheap dollar wise, it can prove to be expensive time-wise. Having a customer retention strategy in place gets these customers to walk in without spending much of money, time or energy in marketing.

To state the obvious, working both strategies in tandem can increase your revenue trajectory exponentially.

So, how to build a Retention Strategy?

Figure out a way to keep in touch with everyone who interacts with your business either online or offline. One of the best ways to do this is by capturing their email address.

If you find your customers are apprehensive giving out their email address, offer them a incentive.

Once you have their email address, send them regular newsletter or product promotions. This will keep your business on top of their mind.

Another way to do is ask them to connect with you on social channels. This can be a bit challenging than ask them for their email address. If your customers are conducting their transactions online, then ask them to connect with you online at the end of the transaction – on the “Thank you” page. It’s called the, “strike while the iron is hot” technique. They just bought something from you. They love you. They will like your Facebook page without any hesitation.

If the customer is conducting the transaction in-person, offer them an incentive to like your Facebook page. Maybe, if they showed the cashier that they liked your page, they can get a 5% off their order. Or, maybe they can get a special gift bag that cashier keeps in the back.

Did you find strong value in this post?

Twice a month, I privately share Entrepreneurship related “Super Content” (a mix of incredible ideas, tools and strategies) with a select group of people in my Entrepreneur’s Paradise.

Want to become a part of my Entrepreneur’s Paradise? Click here for more details. The content I share is addictive, inspiring and transformational. You don’t want to miss it.

Trust me, it’s that good. Get hooked, now!

What is your Website’s Job?

It’s 2017. I used to think every small business in United States has a website. I was so wrong. According to GoDaddy, 6 out of 10 very small businesses are not online. Geez Louise! What’s going on here. Anyways, for the sake of discussion in this article, let’s assume you HAVE a website.

So, what is your website’s job? Can you answer this question? Most small businesses have trouble with it.

Let me ask you a few other questions:

  • What is your secretary’s job?
  • What is your accountant’s job?
  • What is your HR manager’s job?

These are easy questions. Business owners have no problem answering these because they have a clearly defined job function for each one of them.

Your website is really your employee. It should have a job function just like your accountant or your secretary. And it is your job to identify its function.

  • Is it to provide basic information about your business to prospective clients and customers?
  • Is it to generate leads for your business? In that case, it’d be your sales rep.
  • Do you want your website to be your customer service representative?

What do you want your website to do?

Once you clearly define it’s job function, then you can design it to fulfill that job function.

Not all websites are designed equally. A website should be designed to fulfill its job.

A website who’s job is to merely provide information and a phone number or an email address to reach the business is much simpler and much different than a website who acts as a funnel attracting only qualified leads.

If you are unclear on your website’s function or want to know whether your website is doing its job correctly or not, email me at mayurgudka@gmail.com and I’ll help you answer these questions.

Did you find strong value in this post?

Twice a month, I privately share Entrepreneurship related “Super Content” (a mix of incredible ideas, tools and strategies) with a select group of people in my Entrepreneur’s Paradise.

Want to become a part of my Entrepreneur’s Paradise? Click here for more details. The content I share is addictive, inspiring and transformational. You don’t want to miss it.

Trust me, it’s that good. Get hooked, now!

11 Small Business Marketing Tactics

Ever since childhood we’re trained to think in terms of good or bad.

That however, is the wrong way to think when it comes to marketing tactics.

Marketing tactics are either effective or ineffective.

Taking out large newspaper ads proved very effective 30,40,50 years ago. Not so much today. Doesn’t mean it’s a bad tactic. It’s simply ineffective for majority of the population in United States. It might still be highly effective in other parts of world.

With that in mind, I want to share 11 Small Business Marketing Tactics with you today. Seven of them are digital and four of them are traditional marketing tactics.

Digital Marketing Tactics

  1. Email Marketing
  2. Search Engine Marketing
  3. Social Media Marketing
  4. Content Marketing
  5. Online Ads
  6. Online Video
  7. Mobile Ads

Traditional Marketing Tactics

  1. Direct Mail
  2. Newspapers
  3. Radio
  4. Local TV

The success or failure of each of these tactics depends on several factors including, who you audience is, how do they prefer to be communicated, how successfully can you communicate your message to them.

If you are not using one of the above mentioned tactics but would like to see how you can use it for your specific business, email me at mayurgudka@gmail.com. I’d love to show you.

Did you find strong value in this post?

Twice a month, I privately share Entrepreneurship related “Super Content” (a mix of incredible ideas, tools and strategies) with a select group of people in my Entrepreneur’s Paradise.

Want to become a part of my Entrepreneur’s Paradise? Click here for more details. The content I share is addictive, inspiring and transformational. You don’t want to miss it.

Trust me, it’s that good. Get hooked, now!

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