Posted on 06. Nov, 2012
Hi Friends, sorry I’ve been gone for a while. Have you missed me?
The reason I haven’t been writing here is because I’ve been working on another project. Surprised?
Several years ago, I focused most of my time building an online platform for businesses in Africa. Then I spent a few years working with many small businesses in the USA, helping them start doing marketing and do marketing better. But my heart was still in Africa.
I didn’t abandon my work in Southern Africa. I was still working on a few things, consulting, and brainstorming. But it took my business partner and me a little while to pick up the pieces and focus on how to blend what we wanted to do with what we were doing.
Ok, enough with the vague talk. Just last month, we launched our new venture called Emerging Ideas. You can check it out, and I’ll post a link below, but first let me tell you a bit about it.
My New Project
Tommy (my biz partner) and I had been doing some investing (time and resources) on our own in Southern Africa (mainly Zimbabwe) for the past five years. It’s been going well. Really well actually, so we knew we were on to something. We have noticed for years that people want to make a difference in Africa, but foreign aid just isn’t the answer and it’s often times (most times actually) detrimental to building economies and sustaining communities.
So we’ve been practicing and talking this through for a couple of years and here it is. We call it Philanthropic Investment. It’s philanthropy with an ROI.
With Emerging Ideas, our goal is to impact communities, launch ideas, create jobs, and build people and their dreams. So we work with two different types of people:
- Someone with a viable idea that is looking to expand it into an opportunity.
- Investors who are looking to invest in the emerging market of Zimbabwe.
We help entrepreneurs take their ideas and grow them, market them, put together a plan, raise funding, and turn it into a genuine opportunity that can work.
And we are working with investors who want to invest in Southern Africa, but either don’t know how to, or need a little help on the ground communicating, running a project, negotiating a deal, and all the in’s and out’s that an investment in Africa entails.
I am super excited about Emerging Ideas. This has been my life the past 5 years, but I can finally put it into words and communicate it with people.
Because we can’t sit down and have coffee with everyone, although that would be awesome, Tommy & I wrote a short manifesto that outlines how we think about ideas, business in Africa, and gives a great overview of what we’re up to. It’s a lot of fun and has some really cool stories, as well as some investment details of what we’ve been investing in.
I’d love for you to check it out on our new website: http://emergingideas.com.
I will no longer be blogging regularly here at TimBickers.com. I may post a few small things from time to time, but all my travels, stories, marketing thoughts, investments, rants, and ideas will be cataloged and shared on our blog at the Emerging Ideas site. I would be honored to have you join our tribe over there by signing up for our updates. It’d be awesome to have you onboard, if you’re up for that sort of thing.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, support me here, and for the words of encouragement. I am so grateful. The journey is just beginning.
Speaking of journeys, I just got back from Zimbabwe. So if you’re interested in what happened on that little journey (it wasn’t little), you can check it out on our Emerging Ideas Blog (shameless plug, couldn’t help myself, I’m just so dadgum excited)!
Ciao for now.
(Photo: Eduardo Amorim)
Posted on 06. Apr, 2012
This morning my doorbell rang. I opened the door and was handed a package from Stephen Key. I instantly knew what it was and I was excited. Stephen Key is the author of One Simple Idea, a book that I have devoured twice in the last year alone and wrote a raving review about. Stephen sent me a signed copy of his book to say thank you for telling people about it.
And guess what? I felt thanked and I’ve told even more people about it! Funny how that works.
I was recently spending time with a mentor of mine and he took me on a hunt all across town for comic books. No, he’s not an avid comic lover, but we were searching for first edition Superman and Batman comic books. This very savvy business man uses these collector items as gifts to say thank you to the people in his life who have helped him. He writes a “letter worth framing” (a raving letter encouraging and thanking the recipient that is so special, the recipient wants to put it on display for all to see) and he sends a really cool comic book representing the “hero status” of the recipient in his life.
I thought it was a cool idea when I heard about it last week. Then Mr. Key sends me a hand signed book with a note today. So I got to be on both sides of the giving spectrum, and let me tell you, saying “thank you” makes everyone feel good.
So, how can you say thank you to those that have helped you in your life?
Here are a few thank you ideas:
- Sending a book that meant something in your life and could help your friend as well
- Picking up the phone and making a 60 second call, telling the recipient what they mean to you
- Sending a quick text message thanking them for what they did
- Finding out what they loved as a kid (or love to collect) and wrapping a story around that gift (i.e. the comic book idea)
- An old fashioned, hand-written, and envelope-licked letter
- A tasty treat from somewhere you’ve visited recently (I like to give hot sauces to my spicy lovin’ friends)
- Hopping on Skype and making a face call (or FaceTime)
- If you’re really nervous about saying thanks, how about calling at a time when you know the recipient won’t answer, so you can leave a voicemail!
Well, what are you waiting for?
Posted on 24. Feb, 2012
A few years ago, I was on vacation on the Gulf Coast on an island off the coast of Florida. Two days into the vacation, a storm came a-brew-in’ and we were caught smack in the middle of a giant tropical storm (the storm eventually became a hurricane as it travelled through the Gulf). We…
Posted on 18. Jan, 2012
Let me break down exactly how building your marketing around referrals should go: Put Together The Right Message Present the Message in multiple ways Pick the right targets for that message Prove your case through results, testimonials, portfolio, etc. After these 4 steps, you can start working on advertising, maximizing total customer value, becoming hotter…
Posted on 23. Dec, 2011
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Posted on 29. Nov, 2011
Let me tell you a story. About 3 years ago, I travelled to one of the most impoverished nations in the world. The New York Times called this nation “hell on earth…” The economy had collapsed. The people were using their currency for toilet paper. Currency was worthless. Yeah, you read that right…toilet paper. But,…
Posted on 07. Nov, 2011
This post is inspired by Michael Ellsberg & his latest work entitled The Education Of Millionaires: It’s Not What You Think And It’s Not Too Late. The Myth: If you get into a good college, study hard, and graduate with excellent grades, you will be pretty much set for a successful career. The Reality: The biggest thing…
Posted on 03. Nov, 2011
This post is the final post in the first run of The 7 Day Entrepreneurial Challenge. The previous posts are here: Post 01; Post 02; Post 03. Whew! What a whirlwind of a week: the 7 Day Challenge has come and gone and there’s a whirlwind of emotions, thoughts and reflections to get to. So,…
Posted on 31. Oct, 2011
This post is a continuation of the series on the 7 Day Entrepreneurial Challenge. Click here to read about the Challenge. Click here for an update from the first couple days: Day 01 & Day 02 Wow, what a weekend. This has certainly been an entrepreneurial “challenge” is a bit of an understatement. But hey,…
Posted on 28. Oct, 2011
This post is an update in a series of posts revolving around The 7 Day Entrepreneurial Challenge. So Wednesday we launched the 7 Day Entrepreneur Challenge with the TYPros Business Development Crew. It was a casual, laid back, but motivating launch. Elliot Nelson of the McNellies Group (they have 11 of the hippest concept…