Start With Your Story – The First Step Toward Building Your Business

By : jeffwhitaker Category : Blog Posted On : January 21, 2015
quotescover-JPG-78 Starting a business?  Formulating an organization? It all starts with . . . "Once upon a time."  For any business to take off it really needs to incorporate the concept of story.  Sometimes the story is true.  Other times, if you are developing a product or service, the story is fictional.  It really doesn't matter.  People relate to stories. It goes back to your childhood and the story books that drew us in.  For whatever reason, the human brain can wrap itself around a story when just plain facts and figures don't connect.  That's the reason a customer becomes emotionally drawn to buy or take advantage of an opportunity if they can relate their decision to a story.


Most of the major brand names in business today began with a life story and actual people.  The success and growth of many of these names come from the stories behind those names.  You may not realize it but there actually was a Chef Boyardee.  Ettore "Hector" Boiardi was born in 1897 in Piacenza, Italy. He opened his first restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio in 1926.  The story goes on from there.  By contrast, there never was a real "Betty Crocker".  The name, which is now an American baking icon originated by General Mills needing to put a "face" on their cake mix and in turn give homemakers a "person" to relate to.  In both cases, it worked.


My point is this.  In order to stand out and be heard in an every increasingly crowded marketplace, you have to attract attention and separate yourself from everyone else.  There is no better way to attract attention and ultimately loyalty than with a story.  Maybe your story is one of rags to riches or an idea sparked from an inspirational encounter.  The key is to find a way to build your business or product around a story.


Jonathan Gottschall, author of The Storytelling Animal, says science backs up the long-held belief that story is the most powerful means of communicating a message.  Gottschall expounds upon this in an issue of Fast Company magazine.


As a small start-up you may say to yourself, "I don't have big marketing budgets and ad agencies to create massive campaigns." Don't let that stop you.  You still have a story.  And the good news is, that story is unique to you. Build on the power of your personal experience. So, whats your story?

How To Quit Daydreaming and Start Accomplishing In 2015!

By : jeffwhitaker Category : Blog Posted On : January 6, 2015
There is an old Japanese Proverb that says:
"Vision without action is a daydream.  Action without vision is a nightmare.” This couldn’t be more true than when it comes to living out an entrepreneurial dream.  It’s not a one step process building a business or breathing life into your dreams and goals.  I wrote recently about being intentional when it comes to seeing your entrepreneurial adventure unfold.


I know from personal experience the benefits of having a plan and then chipping away at that plan, even if only a little at a time.  Here is the reality.  If you are anything like me, time is a premium.  I’m juggling so much between work and family and I can imagine it’s no different for you. So, I can relate to where you are.  But I’ve got some encouraging words for you. You can do this.


You can begin to take the steps necessary to see your dreams take shape and become reality. How do I know that? Because I’ve taken deliberate steps to make it happen in my life and guess what, it works. Here is what happens. Just like carefully walking across a dark room, you take the first step, reach out and feel around you (check your surroundings) and then you take the next step and the next. But the you have to take that first step. Let’s face it. Most times the hardest part is … that first step.


If you are an entrepreneur or budding entrepreneur, I’ve got some encouraging news. I’ve created an online course and companion e-book to help you get started on your journey, to take that first step. It’s called The Early Morning Entrepreneurial Edge. Look at it as a jumpstart to getting in the game in 2015. The idea is to go on a five-day process to begin your journey.  It doesn’t have to be in the morning either. That’s just the time that works best for me given my hectic schedule. This month marks a new beginning and there is no better time than now to jump in to the venture you’ve always dreamed of.


This past year in particular I’ve learned a very important lesson in my entrepreneurial journey. I can talk and talk about things, but it’s taking the first step that really sets things in motion. In 2014 I wrote a book and published two online courses and am working on a third. And it all started with a deliberate “first step”. Had I not stopped talking and taken action, I wouldn’t be sharing this with you now. I want to share what I’ve learned and walk with you when you step out.


Now it’s your turn. I want you to look back this time next year with pride and a sense of accomplishment, not regret and disappointment. Click on the link below and it will take you to the book. Here is what I’m offering to those of you reading this. Invest in the e-book for less than a latte at your favorite coffee shop. Also, in the back of the book is a deeply discounted coupon to get the online course as well at a special low rate; less than $10. What is it worth to you to jumpstart your dreams now? Stop making excuses and let's make 2015 the year that it all becomes a reality for you.


If you send me an e-mail with your receipt from either the e-book or online course, I’ll send you to a link where you will receive daily motivations during your five-day jumpstart. On the fifth day you’ll also receive my radio interview with one of the leading business gurus and entrepreneurs of our time, Harvey Mackay. Harvey is a New York Times Bestselling Author and owns a multi-million dollar business. In his interview with me he talks about his humble beginnings and offers advice and encouragement to would-be entrepreneurs and business leaders.


Click the link below and then remember to send me your receipt to receive daily messages to your in-box and my interview with Harvey Mackay.

 The Early Morning Entrepreneurial Edge

Here’s to a prosperous and rewarding 2015!!

Personal Reflections On A Career In Local Television

By : jeffwhitaker Category : Blog Posted On : January 1, 2015
IMG_416630 years is a long time no matter how you look at it. From 1984 until this past week, there was a constant in my life that in some ways I took for granted. There are a lot of things in life you take for granted until they aren't there any longer. For me, this constant was sitting at the anchor desk and being invited into homes across South Jersey to share the news each week.


When I graduated from college with broadcast journalism ambitions, like most of my classmates, I had lofty dreams. I landed a job at what is now WMGM-TV (WAAT at the time) and I figured I'd stay for a year or two and then move up the journalism ladder so to speak to a bigger market. I never left. One opportunity or circumstance after the other kept me here in South Jersey. I'm grateful for that for a number of reasons.


As I look back over the three plus decades at NBC 40 I'm overwhelmed at the opportunities I was given. I interviewed everyone from Hollywood stars like Sammy Davis Jr and Jay Leno to Vice President Dan Quayle when his campaign bus winded through South Jersey, traveled to Washington to cover a Congressman's retirement and even took a newsroom phone call from Donald Trump when he wasn't pleased with a question one of our reporters asked. Then there were the nights I slept at the station through Nor-Easters and snow blizzards. Early on in my career I had the opportunity to go to New York and sit at the anchor desk of Nightly News and meet Tom Brokaw. As News Director for 10 years I was given the chance to travel around the country to broadcast conventions where I met many of my broadcast heroes such as Paul Harvey, Charles Kuralt and Walter Cronkite.


I was always amazed that in this vocation, we got paid to be curious; to ask questions. It has been quite a journey.


I'm forever grateful in this business to three people who were instrumental in my career. The late Michael Schurman was my first News Director in radio at WOND in 1981 and then at NBC40 a few years later. He instilled in me the fundamentals of what it meant to be a journalist. He taught me about the responsibility of getting it right; accuracy in my reporting, of asking questions along with the thrill and satisfaction of digging deep, working my sources and getting the story when others couldn't. My General Manger for most of those years Jane Stark had the faith and confidence in me to run the news department. Together, we took the resources we had and built a newsroom from the ground up. Finally, I'm forever grateful to our late owner Howard Green who captained the ship as only Howard could. He was truly one of the last broadcast pioneers. He had a love for Southern New Jersey, a commitment to this community and a knowledge for broadcasting that was unparalleled. I could sit for hours and listen as he regaled stories of the "early years" and the broadcast giants he brushed shoulders with along his journey.


To the viewers, the people who graciously invited us into their busy world each day, I am forever grateful. Without their support and the support of our sponsors, none of this would be possible. These past couple of months and especially the days leading up to NBC 40's last broadcast, the outpouring of support has been overwhelming on social media and in the community at large. We commented at the station often about the unbelievable "friends" we have across South Jersey. There has literally not been anywhere I've gone that someone hasn't stopped me to express their sadness and support.


My former colleague Michelle Charlesworth expressed it best in a Facebook post when she asked the questions everyone is asking: Who will cover the community events? Who will be there for our school sports teams, bring us the weather reports, cover city council meetings, baby parades and the hundreds of other events that are South Jersey? The sad reality now is that the answer is, no one. Not the way we were able to at least. Hopefully, the vacuum will be filled. But for now there is a tremendous void.


Much has been written recently. I'm not sure my comments really add anything to what has already been said. I feel like I had to share my thoughts if for no other reason than to help me process all of this. This "kid" from Absecon will forever be grateful for having been given a chance to do what so many others only dream of. I look forward to still seeing a lot of you in the community and my hope is that one day, maybe we can meet again on the airwaves. But if not, I want viewers and my long list of colleagues past and present to know how much I treasure the last 30 years.
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