Choose Your Price for Dream B.I.G. in 3D!

I am very excited to make 2 very “B.I.G.” announcements today. The first is that for a limited time I am selling my book Dream B.I.G. in 3D available for the price you choose to pay. Proceeds from your donations will go towards faith based, purpose centered entrepreneurship training programs for the unemployed, such as S.E.E.D.S. Builders. I am so passionate and committed to seeing people’s lives changed that I’m willing to take this risk. So whether you have $1, $10, or $100, we will gladly accept what you choose to invest in the lives of those who need help the most right now.

My other B.I.G. announcement is that Dream B.I.G. in 3D is now available as an ebook. So whether you have a Kindle, iPad, Nook, Sony, Kobo, or just about anything else, you can get this ebook for only $4.99. Just go to www.dreambigebook.com to order it today and you will be helping to rebuild people, families, and communities through faith based entrepreneurship empowerment.

2 Corinthians 9:10-11 speaks clearly about the incredible benefits of investing your resources into somebody’s life:

“Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”

Even if you don’t want it for yourself, purchase this book for someone you know who needs insight into their purpose, encouragement for their journey, or ignition for their passion. Make a B.I.G. difference in somebody’s life today.

Thanks in advance for your support!

Thrive on purpose!

Paul Wilson, Jr.

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Fulfill your purpose in the marketplace!

Your true life does not have to be only a dream, it can be a dream manifested in 3D! Learn how to Discover, Define, and Drive your desires by unleashing the God given muse to help you envision yourself in a B.I.G. way. God designed you for greatness so stop dreaming small. Uncover your legacy. Now is the season for a Bold Innovative God-Inspired Life! You owe it to yourself to see just how far your true dream in life can take you.

If you are looking for purpose in your life and life in your purpose, this is the perfect book for you. Get your copy today at www.DreamBIGin3D.com.

How Will You Change the World?

Today the world is mourning the loss of a giant in the technology industry, Steve Jobs. The innovations he inspired as the CEO of Apple changed the way people listened to music, watched videos, operated cell phones, and utilized computers. His impact reaches far outside the technology industry. His fans and foes alike have praised him with words such as “genius”, “visionary”, “legend”, and “iMortal”. The fingerprints of his legacy will be visible for decades to come (and maybe longer).

You may never get famous, invent an iconic device, or build a spectacular product. Regardless, you still have the opportunity and ability to have a spectacular impact and change somebody’s life with your love, skills, and ideas. Because the truth is when you die God is going to ask you what you did with the time, talents, money, relationships, and other assets that He entrusted to you. How will you answer Him?

What will you do to change the world?

Thrive on purpose!
Paul Wilson, Jr.

*******************

Fulfill your purpose in the marketplace!

Your true life does not have to be only a dream, it can be a dream manifested in 3D! Learn how to Discover, Define, and Drive your desires by unleashing the God given muse to help you envision yourself in a B.I.G. way. God designed you for greatness so stop dreaming small. Uncover your legacy. Now is the season for a Bold Innovative God-Inspired Life! You owe it to yourself to see just how far your true dream in life can take you.

If you are looking for purpose in your life and life in your purpose, this is the perfect book for you. Get your copy today at www.DreamBIGin3D.com.

I Made The List…

I made the list of BrandMaker News Top 25 Urban Entrepreneurs to Follow. Based on the description provided by BrandMaker News, those who made the list met the following criteria:

The 25 individuals on this list are not only building successful businesses, but they are also dedicated to sharing their trade secrets, tips, and resources to help others along the way. (get the full list at http://brandmakernews.com/features/lists/2995/the-25-urban-entrepreneurs-to-follow.html)

I am positively committing to posting ideas and information that engages, encourages, and empowers people to thrive on purpose. So if you’re not following me on Twitter yet, start today… @pwilsonjr

Happy Tweeting!

Paul Wilson, Jr.

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Your true life does not have to be only a dream, it can be a dream manifested in 3D! Learn how to Discover, Define, and Drive your desires by unleashing the God given muse to help you envision yourself in a B.I.G. way. God designed you for greatness so stop dreaming small. Uncover your legacy. Now is the season for a Bold Innovative God-Inspired Life! You owe it to yourself to see just how far your true dream in life can take you.

If you are looking for purpose in your life and life in your purpose, this is the perfect book for you. Get your copy today at www.DreamBIGin3D.com.

Bible Study for the 21st Century

Bible Study Reimagined
If you’re anything like me you’re always looking for the latest in greatest technology tools to help you do what you do better, easier, faster, etc. When it comes to studying the Bible, I have found just that tool.

I have been using Logos for over four years. Last year it got even better when they upgraded the platform from version 3 to 4. They also have a Mac version, which I’m most excited about. You can even access your Logos library across multiple computers or remotely using a free iPhone app.

I definitely wouldn’t call myself an expert in Bible study technology, but it would be hard for me to imagine a more comprehensive, technologically-advanced, clicker tool than Logos. If you don’t believe me, check out all the “expert” product reviews… http://www.logos.com/press/reviews.

Study Passionately!

Paul Wilson, Jr.

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Your true life does not have to be only a dream, it can be a dream manifested in 3D! Learn how to Discover, Define, and Drive your desires by unleashing the God given muse to help you envision yourself in a B.I.G. way. God designed you for greatness so stop dreaming small. Uncover your legacy. Now is the season for a Bold Innovative God-Inspired Life! You owe it to yourself to see just how far your true dream in life can take you.

If you are looking for purpose in your life and life in your purpose, this is the perfect book for you. Get your copy today at www.DreamBIGin3D.com.

Imitating Barack 2.0

I love hearing about innovation in unexpected places. While it’s typical to expect innovation from technology companies or other businesses, it’s always enlightening to find innovation in the not-so-typical places, such as a political campaign.

Even if everyone doesn’t agree on the selection of this President, they do have to agree that his team ran a very innovative campaign, utilizing a social technology strategy that has never been seen before in the political arena. If the saying is true that, “imitation is the highest form of flattery”, then Barack’s campaign team should feel very flattered based on the imitators that will undoubtedly be coming out of the woodwork trying to copy the groundbreaking strategy they planned and executed. His team may have forever changed how politicians run their campaigns.

Small businesses (and non-profits) can glean a lot from the innovative strategies that were employed by “Barack 2.0”. In fact, Fast Company magazine has an article that discusses some of the business implications from this campaign (click this link to get the story). Some examples of where they excelled in terms of creatively using technology include:

  • Established a presence where people gather online
  • Utilized multiple high tech and low tech communication channels
  • Created platforms for online community of supporters to interact with him and each other

Additionally, there is a book now available, entitled Barack 2.0: Social Media Lessons for Business.

Just like with any business, the same tools are available to most. The critical difference between small businesses that succeed and those that fail is the effective use of available tools within a well-executed plan. Barack 2.0 executed better than any other candidate in this election.

Check out the resources above to see what you can learn from this effectively-run campaign. Apply what’s relevant to give your company a strategic and innovative edge over your competitors.

Empowering Champions,
Paul Wilson, Jr.

Confessions of a Social Technology Newbie

Bold New World

I have a confession to make. I’m late coming to the Internet technology party. Fortunately, I’m still evolving as an entrepreneur, as are the incredible technologies at our fingertips that are now so pervasive in our society.

I recently purchased a Blackberry Bold 9000. One word sums up this nifty little device… Awesome! Now, I’m not totally new to Blackberries. I had one a few years ago when I was in corporate. However, I had forgotten just how great they are in terms of increasing your work efficiency, because of their incredible mobility and functionality. On the flip side, because they now have a lot more applications (i.e. toys) than they did a few years ago, my work efficiency might actually decrease because of the increased potential distractions (but that’s more of a personal discipline issue).
That’s just the beginning of this story. The purchase of the Bold was preceded by my headlong dive into the social networking arena. I’ve had this blog for a few years and a LinkedIn profile, because those are for “serious” businesspeople. However, I resisted getting a Facebook or MySpace page, because I only saw their “social” aspects. I also figured that mostly teenagers and “creatives” (musicians, artists, etc.) were really the only ones using these tools to network, build their brand/image, get exposure, etc. Not until I jumped in did I realize just how powerful these tools are – even for “regular” entrepreneurs.

Can I Be Your Friend?

About 3 weeks ago, I simultaneously opened Facebook and Twitter accounts. Since then I’ve also interacted with Meebo, Ustream.tv, Mogulus, Twitterfeed, Adjix, TinyUrl, Qik, pingfm, etc. This list doesn’t even come close to listing how many are actually available. What’s also amazing is how many of them are so easily integrated across each others’ web sites. I’m definitely not an expert on any of them yet. I’m still feeling my way around to see which ones are going to be most effective for my business.

Although I have read plenty about these social networking tools, I didn’t understand their full potential to quickly connect people and disseminate information until I had actually experienced it firsthand. Almost instantly I was able to connect with people I often see but don’t know a lot about; new people whom I may not have met otherwise; and some friends whom I had not seen in a very long time (it’s amazing – and sad – how many people we meet in life and forget about). I spend a lot of time on the Internet, but I had never recognized the power of the Internet to this extent.

Never Too Late

For many of you who have been doing this stuff for a while, I know I’m late to the party. If you have already gone done this path, then I’m just preaching to the choir. However, if you have not explored the world of social networking and the benefits that it can provide to your business, then you need to take a serious look at how these tools can enhance your brand, expand your reach, provide market intelligence, and increase your pool of potential customers. They also allow for other people to learn about you and your company (i.e., know, like, and trust you) in a non-threatening environment – of course when used in a non-irritating right way.

Successful entrepreneurs are always open to learning, adapting, and innovating. So, since we’re at the beginning of the new year, there’s no better time than the present to add more tools to your business toolkit. And just like I had to tell myself while learning this stuff, it’s never too late. Even if initially you just do enough to get your feet wet, at least stick your toe in the water.

For those who think they have to hire an expensive consultant, there are plenty of free resources on the Internet that can guide you through everything you need to get started. Also, if you have teenage children, I’m sure they are well-versed enough in social technology and lingo that you probably won’t have to look outside your house for help. Just do it!

Welcome to this bold new world!

Empowering Champions,
Paul Wilson, Jr.

*Follow me on twitter: twitter.com/pwilsonjr

Social Networking Resources:
1) Entrepreneurs Need Social Networking
2) 35 Tips for Getting Started with Social Media
3) Leveraging Social Networking Sites to Generate Business

Grow or Die!

Healthy Companies Grow

It is a fact of nature that healthy things grow. As human beings we understand that infants grow into toddlers into children into teens into adults, and so on. We identify the transition from one stage to another as an indicator of growth. In fact, we expect these growth stages to happen. And when they don’t happen or are delayed, we suspect something is wrong and we start investigating, whether through our own research or going to a doctor.

Of course for a human to grow, the individual systems that comprise our bodies, such as the skeletal, immune, digestive, and nervous systems, have to function properly. If any one of these systems is out of sync or degenerative, we will be unhealthy and our growth could be stunted or we could die.

Systems are also the foundation of every business, large or small. These systems, which could also be called operating processes and procedures (written or just understood), allow the business to function effectively (accomplish goals and make money) and efficiently (use as few resources as possible). When any of these systems are dysfunctional or non-existent, the business will be unhealthy and eventually could die (i.e. bankruptcy, liquidation, acquisition).

Good but not Growing

While it’s great the number of minority owned firms has increased exponentially over the past 20 years, the focus now needs to shift to growing exponentially more healthy businesses. As I reviewed the recent small business growth statistics, I was astounded to see the high percentage of minority owned firms that earn less than $50,000 per year (see table below). Amazingly, 85.9% of black owned, 76.8% of Hispanic owned, 78.5% of Native American owned firms fall below the $50,000 revenue threshold.

Healthy Systems are Required for Healthy Growth

From my years of experience as a small business consultant, it is evident to me that a lot of businesses are running without properly functioning business systems. While many entrepreneurs excel in their craft or specialty, some of the essential systems that need to be in place to operate a healthy business are lacking. Many small business owners, whether by choice or ignorance, are not doing enough to position their business for long-term growth.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the essential systems that need to be in place for a business to be healthy and positioned for growth:

  • Strategic Planning – The on-going, ever-evolving process of structuring the business internally and positioning the business externally to take advantage of current and future opportunities. This includes managing your business according to your long-term vision, mission and values.
  • People & Culture – People are the most important asset of any company. How are you creating a culture in your business that values, develops and celebrates people? Whether you have 1 employee or 100, your culture should be inviting and empowering. This also relates to how you engage suppliers, customers and business partners.
  • Products & Services – Utilitize creativity and innovation to keep your products aligned with your customers’ desires and expectations. You must be able to offer attractive products/services that agree with what your target customers are willing to pay.
  • Customer Relations – Without customers you don’t have a business. It is essential that you have a strategic and tactical approach outlined for acquiring, serving, satisfying, retaining and rewarding your customers.
  • Financial Management – For a small business “cash is king“. Strategically manage your finances in order to maintain a strong financial position that meets currents needs and positions your business for future growth.
  • Marketing & Advertising – Your company’s brand communicates your value to customers. It becomes the launching pad for growth opportunities. Building a strong brand within your target customer market is crucial to growing your company. If potential customers don’t understand the value that you provide, then you won’t be in business very long.
  • Technology – Don’t use new (or old) technology just for technology’s sake. Leverage technology to reduce costs, improve products/service, increase productivity, and enhance customer interactions.

Get a Check-up!

Many people refer to their business as their “baby” because they have grown it from it’s infancy. As I mentioned earlier, when the human growth stages aren’t happening in our children as expected, we take them to see a doctor. It’s interesting that with our children, although we know them better than anyone else we still go to a baby specialist, i.e. doctor, when something is wrong.

It’s unfortunate that many entrepreneurs don’t do the same with their businesses. Whether out of pride, ignorance or unwillingness to spend the money (invest in their own well-being), they often avoid having a qualified specialist come in and assess their business condition/situation so they can get a prescription for healthy growth.

At some point, every business needs a check-up with a business doctor, because no business – large or small – can stay in a stagnant, unhealthy position for very long. Either you’re advancing and growing or declining and dying. And with the way that business and the world operates today, you can’t be satisfied with what you have accomplished up until today, because that may not be enough to survive for tomorrow. So, what are you doing to grow your business?

Empowering Champions,
Paul Wilson, Jr.

Resources:
1) Mirror Mirror
2) Suggestions for Small Biz
3) The 7 Irrefutable Rules of Small Business Growth by Steven S. Little

Virtual Business Reality

Small organizations that want to create a national or global presence have many technology tools at their disposal. The internet and “do-it-yourself” software applications have given even the smallest organizations with few employees the ability to appear larger and offer their products and services to people all over the world. Furthermore, these tools, which used to only be available to large corporations, have been made relatively affordable and easy to use.

Here are a few online tools that you can use to improve your efficiency and expand your virtual presence in the marketplace:

  • Eroom.net – online project collaboration.
  • GotVmail – virtual phone system for small biz.
  • GoToMeeting – give sales presentations and product demos; meet and collaborate across the globe; provide online training.
  • Groove Networks – online file sharing, projects, data and process management.
  • Hot Office – online project collaboration.
  • WebEx – online meetings, video conferencing, online training.
  • Yahoo!Groups – online group email, file, calendar and contact management.

A few of these resources are free or have free trials, so you can try them out without having to make a long-term commitment. Check them out to see which ones are most applicable to your needs. You might be able to acquire new customers on the other side of the world that you never considered or thought was possible before.

To learn more about how some small companies are using technology to expand their capacity, capabilities, and customer base, check out this article at cnnmoney.com, Small Companies that Play Big.

Empowering Champions,
Paul Wilson, Jr.

Entrepreneurs Who are Changing the World

Each year Fast Company and Monitor Group sponsor their joint Social Capitalist Awards. These awards highlight 25 entrepreneurial organizations that use management expertise and business skills to develop and implement innovative solutions that effectively confront demanding social challenges. This year’s group includes organizations that are tackling problems in various local and global arenas, including:

  • A network of micro-lending institutions that lend to those poor communities so they can start businesses to improve their financial livelihood.
  • A financial services company that creates innovative financial products and services through social-capital markets and socially-responsible investing.
  • An after-school program where students work with volunteers to create market-quality products, such as Web sites.
  • A peer exchange and business cooperative that pools money, influence, and resources of 84 affordable-housing groups to finance and build homes and apartments for those who need them.
  • A housing agency that owns nearly 3,000 housing units and teams up with local businesses and universities to operate programs that include nurse and automotive training, literacy, welfare transition, health care, senior care, and charter schools.
  • Leadership development organization that seeks to transform urban schools by selecting, training, and coaching strong leaders–many from outside the school system.
  • A health-technology pioneer in the developing world that joins with private-sector partners to hatch new technology solutions, such as eliminating the risks of needle reuse and reducing the number of newborn deaths from infection.
  • A program that helps “people on the margins of society” stay out of prison and off the streets through an integrated combination of services, including job training and placement, youth and family counseling, housing, and chemical-dependency treatment. To fund its programs, it runs profitable businesses such as precision sheet-metal fabrication, aerospace machining, and retail cafés.

Go to the Fast Company web site (www.fastcompany.com/social/) to see the entire list. Also check out the winners for:

It is inspirational and exciting to see how these individuals and organizations have taken up the call to action to take on significant societal problems, while applying entrepreneurial thinking and skills. I believe there is a viable solution for every problem. We just have to learn how to view the problem in the right context and effectively merge our talents and ideas to produce solutions that have the desired results, not worrying whose going to get the credit. There’s a lot more that we can do to reverse many of the negative trends in our communities. Let’s get to it!

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