Articles Tagged ‘Entrepreneur’

Home-Based Business and Setting Expectations

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

I’m often asked what I find to be the most difficult part of being a home-based business. Without a doubt, it is setting the expectations. These expectations that I set are with myself, more than with others. My office for our personal property inventory business is just 12 steps from the rest of the rooms, the line between home and work can blur.

This is a good thing, because I can do laundry while I’m working. When the dryer buzzes to let me know the clothes are dry, I can stop what I’m doing and fold the clothes. I can put dinner in the oven mid-afternoon and being home, I’m able to keep an eye on it (though Mike will tell you I forget about it quite often *shrugs*). But you get the point. So, this means that I often expect too much of myself. Often I put the burden on myself to be twice as much done in a day just because I’m in the house. Not so, because I do need uninterrupted time, and constantly stopping to do laundry, dishes, fix dinner, etc., can really be a hindrance to work.

Often, then, at the end of the day, I find that I don’t get as much done as I should have – as much as I expected to. I have found that if I block out time to do the household items, then I don’t feel overburdened or that I’m not doing enough. I finally realized that when I was in the corporate world, I did all of this on the weekends and in the evenings. By balancing my work/home life properly – by setting proper expectations – I have found a way to make it work to my advantage. I now get groceries and do my other shopping in the middle of the morning, when the stores aren’t as busy. This saves me time and frustration!

I have realized that I’m not working 9-5, but I didn’t work 9-5 before either. I just worked at work 9-5, then at home 6-10. Now my full day might be the same amount of hours, but they are filled the way I choose. The flexibility is great. The expectations remain high, and for type A people like me, I’m sure that will not change!

How about you? Are you an entrepreneur or small business owner who has an office in the home? What do you find to be the most difficult part of being a home-based business?

Cindy Hartman
Hartman Inventory, LLC
317-501-6818
cindy@hartmaninventory.com

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Do What You Love – Don’t Settle

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

SerinaKelly

I read an interesting blog post last week by Chris Brogan. Now, honestly, I’m not one of Brogan’s biggest fans, and I’m sure his ego will be okay with me saying this as I know he has plenty of them – fans, not egos, but I do read his blogs now and then, and this one caught my eye – it was called “We’re No Experts.”

It so reminded me of what I see happen so much in this world of entrepreneurship – especially starting out. Too many times, we get in front of a prospect and listen to what they are wanting, and we say “we can do that.” Chris put it perfectly…

“We are quite often given the opportunity to do something we’re not qualified to do. We often take on projects we’re not qualified to take on. I do it all the time. I will sign up for something, learn that I have no idea how to do it the way I imagine it, and then I rush to learn how to accomplish something that will make my client feel I’ve delivered value.”

Now during this time, you might actually find you love what you learned and want to incorporate it into your business, but in many cases, this probably is not true. What Chris continues to say in his blog, and what I have preached for the past three years of owning my business – do what you are passionate about!

Make a vow that 2012 will be the year you focus on what you love, what you are passionate about, and I bet you will be happier, healthier and much more successful!

Serina Kelly
Relevate
www.getrelevate.com
serina@getrelevate.com
317-203-7740

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Don’t Give Up

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Often life doesn’t go in the direction we want it to. Does that mean our lives are doomed and we can’t achieve the success we dream of? Let’s be realistic: Everybody fails. Consider the following.

Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because “he lacked the imagination and had no good ideas.” Disney went bankrupt several times before he built Disneyland. In fact, the proposed park was rejected by the city of Anaheim, California, on the grounds that it would only attract “riffraff.”

Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “nonproductive.” As an inventor, Edison made more than 1,000 unsuccessful attempts to invent the light bulb. When a reporter asked him how it felt to fail 1,000 times, Edison said that he didn’t fail all those times, but that the light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.

Albert Einstein did not speak until he was four years old and did not read until he was seven. His parents thought he was “subnormal,” and one of his teachers described him as “mentally slow, unsociable and adrift forever in foolish dreams.” He was expelled from school.

Every cartoon that Charles Schulz creator of the comic strip Peanuts, submitted to the yearbook staff at his high school was rejected.

After Fred Astaire’s first screen test, the memo from the testing director of MGM, dated 1933, read, “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.” Astaire kept that memo over the fireplace in his Beverly Hills home.

Decca Records turned down a recording contract with The Beatles with this fascinating evaluation: “We don’t like their sound. Guitar groups are on their way out.”

Imagine if these individuals had given up, believing they were doomed to failure and would never achieve success. Do you think they ever felt down and depressed? Sure. But they didn’t allow a gloomy state to overtake them, to overpower their desire to succeed. In every case they did succeed – in a huge way, far greater than their wildest dreams.

Bad experiences can be viewed as positive in hindsight and you can make them stepping stones rather than stumbling blocks.

Dan Lacy
Growth & Profit Coach, Financial Strategist, Cash Flow Doctor, CEO Mentor
dan@dynastybuilder.com
phone: 765-644-8887

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How to Get $4 Billion from a Million

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

There was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal over the weekend about Midwesterner Eric Lefkofsky, a serial entrepreneur, and how he turned $1 million into $4 billion in less than 3 years. The article has a number of tips I think are useful to the small business owner.

Groupon filed for IPO offering as an e-commerce company with a value pegged somewhere north of $20 billion. Eric Lefkofsky was listed as the largest shareholder with 21% of the stock, which would turn his $1 million investment into $4 billion. Groupon offers daily deals on goods and services to consumers in partnership with local merchants. One of my clients has used Groupon for the last 18 months with amazing results – their process works. Groupon is one in a series of start ups for Lefkosky, he has done this before, so he must have something that works well.

One of the most interesting aspects of the article was when he defined his key guiding business principles’ “enter big, fast growing markets; change course when things are not working and use data as your guide”. What portion of this business principle is applicable to your business?

Entering big – fast growing markets
Change course when things are not working
Use data as your guide

What I consistently see with business owners in the Midwest; they don’t change course when things are not working. This happens because most violate the third part of Lefkofsky’s rule, using data as your guide. They don’t have, use or develop good data sources to guide the progress of their company and therefore when the company gets off course, they don’t know it until: 1) the stress builds to the breaking point, 2) they have problems with cash flow, 3) financing issues or 4) personnel issues. Another example for you sailors; the captain of a ship will chart his course on a map and then use a compass and GPS readings to determine the progress on that course to the ships destination. The captain knows continually how he is doing relative to his end objective.

Eighty four percent (84%) of business owners don’t chart a course before they start the New Year, a new month or even a new week. So when the company makes a fatal error, it is hard to detect it until a catastrophe happens. Eric Lefkofsky invested $1 million in 2008 and in the last 2.5 years, he has already sold part of his stock for $300 million to investors before announcing the IPO in which he could make another $4 billion. Sounds like he is on to something here.

Dan Lacy
Growth & Profit Coach, Financial Strategist, Cash Flow Doctor, CEO Mentor
dan@dynastybuilder.com
phone: 765-644-8887

For the last 25 years, we have helped business owners get very good at 3 things: 1) developing the flow of data to guide the business, 2) charting the course for successful growth and 3) identifying trouble before it even becomes a small irritant. If you are frustrated with the performance of your business, contact us for a free, confidential evaluation. We will send you our latest business survey that will give you a very good indication of where your challenges are. It is easy and free.

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