The Core Curriculum: Where Do I Begin In Business?

In today’s society, one of the major problems that I see is what I call content curriculum overload. People like yourself, want to build successful entrepreneurial ventures, personal brands, consulting businesses, media agencies, etc. but they don’t know where to begin.  Things we don’t understand is how to build the brand, establish the credibility, get the customers and position ourselves as a leading authority.

In my journey, I only wish I had the mentors and coaches that I received in my late 20’s.  Had I known what I know now, I believe that we could have shortened the learning curve and achieved success at a much earlier age.  But it is what it is.  As a early stage “artistpreneur,” all I knew was the hustle.  I didn’t even know in high school what an entrepreneur was but I knew that I had a great product that I wanted to take to the market.

As I continued to share my passion (selling when I didn’t even know I was a salesman), I learned rather quickly that pure hustle and organic marketing (street sales) was not going to cut it.  At the age of 16, I created my first CD under the musical brand R-tistic, which was a hip-hop rapper.  I sold CDs on the streets and taught myself how to market since the inception of Myspace.  However, I never had the amount of capital ($100,000+) to really push the brand effectively.  The struggle and the pain pushed me to pivot which is how I became Cauveé.

So my passion and purpose with this article is to help you save you time, money and to help you ] achieve your goals much faster.  A foundational understanding is the root to success.  People don’t know what they don’t know.  And if we don’t ask the right questions, we won’t learn what we need to know  Which is the reason why I’m so passionate to provide insights that will lay the foundation and help you navigate the waters to create success in business.

I see questions on Quora all the time like:

  1. Am I too old to study marketing?
  2. Where and how do I find customers?
  3. How do I close new business?
  4. And many more foundational questions

So let’s go ahead and compile a small list of the top five subjects that I believe you need to be successful. Think about this suggestion as an accelerated curriculum overview which is what I like to call The Core Curriculum for Entrepreneurship.

In today’s society, one of the major problems that I see is what I call content curriculum overload. People like yourself, want to build successful entrepreneurial ventures, personal brands, consulting businesses, media agencies, etc. but they don’t know where to begin.  Things we don’t understand is how to build the brand, establish the credibility, get the customers and position ourselves as a leading authority.

As I continued to share my passion (selling when I didn’t even know I was a salesman), I learned rather quickly that pure hustle and organic marketing (street sales) was not going to cut it.  At the age of 16, I created my first CD under the musical brand R-tistic, which was a hip-hop rapper.  I sold CDs on the streets and taught myself how to market since the inception of Myspace.  However, I never had the amount of capital ($100,000+) to really push the brand effectively.  The struggle and the pain pushed me to pivot which is how I became Cauveé.

So my passion and purpose with this article is to help you save you time, money and to help you ] achieve your goals much faster.  A foundational understanding is the root to success.  People don’t know what they don’t know.  And if we don’t ask the right questions, we won’t learn what we need to know  Which is the reason why I’m so passionate to provide insights that will lay the foundation and help you navigate the waters to create success in business.

I see questions on Quora all the time like:

Am I too old to study marketing?

  1. Where and how do I find customers?
  2. How do I close new business?
  3. And many more foundational questions

So let’s go ahead and compile a small list of the top five subjects that I believe you need to be successful. Think about this suggestion as an accelerated curriculum overview which is what I like to call The Core Curriculum for Entrepreneurship.

Not right wrong or indifferent, in my experience, the commonality of every business is people. Businesses are ran and/or built by people.  Simple.  So what do you think the is first skill that one must master?

 

Relationship Selling – Sales 101

In order to grow a business, one is best served to master selling.  How to sell includes the flow, process and structure to the art of a sale.  I’ve been blessed to work for 30+ companies from Dish Network to University of Phoenix and I have had the honor to be trained by some of the best top performers and managers in the industry.  I’ve found that to be a master of influence and persuasion we must learn from the best.  This way we can continuously bring in new customers and teach trainees and team members how to sell customers. It’s extremely important to learn the best model for attracting and closing new business.

I’ve done it all when it comes to sales. Phone sales, face-to-face sales, internet sales, you name it, I’ve done it. One of the funniest jobs I had was a door-to-door paper sales job in Atlanta Georgia for a company called Dynamic Marketing.  We weren’t Dundler Mifflin but we sold paper…yes paper!  I laugh when I think back to that job.   We wore three piece suits and we walked in to businesses with a pitch that went “Hey there, I am going to save you so much money today.”  Intriguing the prospect as to how we were going to do so, our follow up was “I’ve got this Quill paper for you…”  To this day I laugh so hard about that pitch but I learned so much over the years working for some of the best companies as well.

What I’ve learned is that people are people and no matter the industry, the product or the service.  If it’s valuable and you learn the essentials to selling then you can sell anything. Literally.  Put it this way, shitty products in the marketplace sell.  So what are you bringing to the market place?  Below are a few resources to get you started on your sales journey:

Once you know how to sale a product or a service.   The next most common question is how do I find and target more prospective customers.  Which brings us to Core Curriculum #2.

 

Marketing

Understanding people is a large part of what it takes to run a successful business. Knowing how to communicate, knowing how to speak to prospective customers, and knowing how to find customers is crucial.  If sales is the heart of an organization then I would say that marketing is the veins to keep the blood pumping.

In this new economy, there are three primary tools that are used for marketing and everything else is an extension of that core.  Nowadays, a lot of businesses can be built and run from a Internet connection and a computer. So when I say core, I’m talking about all things digital. That does not mean we are excluding physical and organic marketing or on the ground guerilla marketing tactics but it does mean that if you can master the core online then you can definitely be successful.  Because this new economy is all about technology.

So what is the core for marketing that I speak of?  According to Statista.com as of second quarter for 2016, Facebook has 1.71 billion active monthly users .  According to ExpandingRamblings.com, Google generates 2 trillion searches annually and they controls 89% of the organic search market over Yahoo, Bing, and any other search engine.  Not to mention that Google had acquired YouTube which has over a billion users.  Truth be told, resumes are dead.  When people want to know who you are and if you are credible source they turn to social media.  So on the business side, I would throw LinkedIn in the mix, not because they have 450 million users but because a lot of business people want to see your credibility through endorsements, testimonials, etc. that you have on your LinkedIn profile.  Once we connect all of these platforms to our own website, this will now make the primary core for marketing.

Now I know a lot of you would like to make an argument for Medium, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Yahoo, and Bing, with an argument that other brands have been successful primarily just marketing on this ________ platform.  And while I’d be open to entertain that debate and agree with you, yet at the end of the day, numbers don’t lie.  So I’m definitely not saying disregard having a presence on these other platforms but I am saying one needs to master the core so they can build their brand around that.  Adding a blog to your website and you will be off to the races!

As successful marketers, keep in mind that we want to be on as many platforms as possible.  Where our target customers, prospects and demographics congregate is where we want to be in order to build, grow and keep a sustainable brand. There’s a lot of different types of marketing solutions out there that I’m sure you’ve heard of like SEO, PPC, SEM, etc.  We can always deep dive into a lot of different marketing platforms and opportunities but if we focus on the core and build from there,  we increase our chances to be successful.

 

Coding Is Key

One of the skills that I did not acquire, which I wish I had, is the ability to code.  We live in a society where innovation is the norm and the standard for raising capital. In my experience, as a creative artist, I find it’s extremely difficult to build a business without capital.  So when it comes to getting funded with an angel investment or venture-capital I highly encourage us to consider having a background and resume/portfolio built for coding.

What languages do we need to learn?  I look at coding like any licensure program.  According to what the experts say like Codementor.io, the core languages a beginning coder should learn are PHP, Javascript, Python, C, C++ and Java.  However, coding is something that It’s always adapting and evolving so I would recommend a coder to learn it all.  Learning the history of programming, in my opinion, would be essential so that one can follow the evolution of programming language.  How is programming like licensure?  I think it’s similar because if you want to be the best doctor, you would stay up-to-date on all the latest illnesses, vaccines and medications to serve others correct? And as a teacher, same thing, we would want to stay up-to-date with all the nuances to serve our student body with the newest information.  Likewise as a coder, you would be best served to stay up to date with all the different languages so that you can communicate and write programs in everything that is current.  Here are 12 of the Most Recent Programming Languages for 2016.

There’s a lot of languages that are out there, here’s a few resources to help you get started learning how to code and getting the basics:

  1. Free Code Camp
  2. General Assembly
  3. Code Academy

 

Funding & Finance

It is very true and accurate that in today’s society, capital is king!  Since we were just talking about how we live in an innovative society and technology is one of the keys to getting capital to build your business and ideas, it only makes sense that funding & finance be our Core #4.

I believe that by having an above-average knowledge on how angel investing and venture capital work in today’s economy is another foundational essential.  Why is it so important?  Venture capital is an imperative prerequisite resource needed to grow any business.  By understanding the way the system works, this allows us to know how to pitch and present our ideas to investors so that we can generate the resources needed to expand and grow.

The game of investing and venture-capital can be a tricky one if we don’t know how to navigate. Here are a couple books to get you started so that you can begin learning about capital, investors, and what it takes to start generating revenue and capital resources:

  1. The Gust Guide
  2. Venture Deals

 

Last But Not Least – Legal

It’s never too late to start learning. And it’s never too late to broaden your horizons and continuously expand your knowledge so that you are adequate,  well rounded and safe.

Having an attorney on your team is one of the primary requirements to building any business. They say that one should have an accountant and attorney from the moment that they begin in operations.

So I’m not saying that we need to become an attorney unless that is our passion, but I am saying that it cannot hurt you to have a very firm understanding of legalities and how contracts work.  The goal is to make sure that you’re always placing yourself in an advantageous position.

Legal is the next part of my journey. I’m extremely excited to start learning about what it takes in documentation and from a contractual nature to do business overseas, the paperwork for investors, trademarking, patents, patent provisionals, and much more.  If you’re not planning on taking any legal courses or reading any legal books, I highly advise you to at least hire one of the best attorneys with a great track record. We all want security and safety and there’s no better way to make sure that you’re safe than to study law.

Here’s a great resource I found to get you started on legal.

 

The Core Four Recap

We’ve covered a lot of information and the last thing I want to do is overwhelm you.  The best piece of advice I have for you is to start small.  What is it that you need to learn over the next six months?  What are some of your goals to take your business and ideas to the next level?
These are the categories in the core curriculum that I believe one is best served to master in order to be successful.  I was asked the question, why did I compilte the curriculum list in this order?  Answer:  These categories are the high-level categories with mini sub-categories.  Once you learn the mastery or people skills, it applies directly to marketing because we need to understand how people work to know how to target them.  Building an app or a technology gives us the tool we need to acquire capital and with our people skills we will know how to present to VCs and angel investors.  Legal is the cherry on top because when we know the legal side, we can assure that the agreements cover us on the transaction.  So hopefully this can get you started in the right direction.

Every early-stage entrepreneur and business owner requires guidance, advice, and mentorship.  And it was my goal to provide you with the the core curriculum that is needed so that you can begin the acceleration of your ideas today.

I didn’t have anyone early in my journey to provide me with the right counsel, the right guidance as to the education I should have.  My parents were raised middle class so all they know is hard work, retirement and what used to be a pension plan, which was their version of success.  The traditional model for education is dead. We are in the new economy! Content is readily available online by a multitude of credible sources that are teaching their expertise.
The ball is in your court and there are endless opportunities available for you to start and accelerate your journey. I look forward to seeing your progress and I am here as a resource if you have any questions, thoughts, or concerns, I am happy and privileged to be able to serve you.  The power is in your hands my friend. Start small, chip away at the glacier of success and continue learning taking on one ice cube at a time.  I believe in you.   You’ve got this because you have greatness within you!

Cauveé

Cauveé [kaw-vay] is a lifestyle entrepreneur driven by helping others live inspired by using motivational media and strategy! After selling out a 1,209 capacity event for a headlining concert at the age of 18 for former music brand R-tistic (aka Rtisticworld), Cauveé uses strategy and principals of branding and influencer marketing to help others attract target customers.