Nov 19 2014

In Business, Your Age Matters (30-40?)

YOU’RE 30-40 YEARS’ OLD?

There goes your past. Here comes your future. But
it’s only this minute—this very split second as you
read this sentence—that counts!

Popular observations about your age:

SKYDIVERS

YOU’RE 30-40 YEARS’ OLD

It’s inconceivable that those under 30 consider you older than dirt, so you do everything mentally and physically possible to prove yourself otherwise. You get a little achy-breaky once in awhile, but–after all–you still feel invincible enough to beat yourself to a pulp on the athletic field, go cliff-climbing, hang-gliding, whitewater rafting, buy a horse, and race jet skis. Maybe you’re a late bloomer, but you fall in and out of love 15 more times, then soul-mate with one of your original 25, from when you were (aaaaah!) in your twenties.

You gloat at being able to buy your first house, then quickly realize—as nasty things go wrong that require hiring contractors—that you’re in over your head. But now, for the first time, you at least have your own neighbors and your own on-the-job friends (and a soul-mate) to commiserate with. You try a couple of churches. You drink a lot of fancy-brand beer.

If you weren’t having young children and old parents when you were 20-30, you’ve probably got both now, and you feel like you’re in the middle of a sandwich, ready to be eaten up by stress and time pressures, especially with so fewer opportunities for self-indulgence. Getting your fingers burned and knuckles rapped as you learn the politics of career pursuit, you think about starting your own business. You Google a lot.

Approaching 40, you own up to the fact that maybe you don’t actually know as much as you thought you did when you were ten years younger. You trade your Camaro for a minivan to get the kids to baseball, soccer, dance lessons, Cub Scouts, Brownies, fast-food spots. You love your spouse, but the minivan . . . Your smartphone keeps you connected to the world, but you somehow still feel disconnected. The kids anchor you to living in the present. These years are all about making and spending money, getting promoted, researching startups.

In your heart, you know there’s hope for you yet. It’s true. Just choose it. Oh, and hang in there, Kiddo! Time Heals.

Business Life Reality: Now is the only time!
How thankful are you to be who you are,
headed where you’re headed?

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WATCH THIS BLOG THE NEXT 4 WEDNESDAYS FOR

YOUR AGE COMMENTARY~~~ NEXT WEEK: 40-50
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Hal@BusinessWorks.US or 931.854.0474 or comment below

OPEN MINDS OPEN DOORS

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You!

Make today a GREAT Day for someone!

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Oct 28 2012

The 4th of 10 Things Nobody Tells Entrepreneurs

You will NEVER

                                  

have enough money

                                    

to start a business!

                                 

“Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard this before,” your stubborn venturesome self may say by way of dismissing the ugly truth, but dismissing reality doesn’t make it go away. Your offhandedness will inevitably come back to nip you in the tush. UNLESS! Unless you can get yourself to accept reality unconditionally and plan (that nasty entrepreneur word again) accordingly.

Ah, and one other very important asset you need to bring to your business startup table: PLUCK! [No, not as in fingering a banjo!] Pluck as in backbone, bravery, courage, daring, fortitude, gameness, grit, guts, mettle, moxie, nerve, zestspunk. This is not to suggest recklessness in talking money. It is rather to suggest being realistically bold and fearless.

“Realistically”?

If you grow your business idea to the point where a major infusion of someone else’s cash or equipment is needed in order to survive and/or continue to grow, you’d better be prepared to give up total control in exchange. This translates to the need for you to be prepared to hedge your bet, and possibly diversify your interests (if your investors allow you to!).

Starting a business is not a task for the meek. It is not a retirement or corporate escape. It is not a hobby. It is not simply taking advantage of a spur-of-the-moment opportunity. It is not a one-night stand. When you start a business, you marry your idea! Without some grand inheritance, how many marriages start out with enough money?

No matter how carefully you budget and think through where your idea is headed, no matter how much arm-in-arm support stands with and around you, no matter how many promises you get from vendors, suppliers, ancillary services, and government agencies, you can be sure of only one thing: You’ll never have enough money to start a business.

So? So assess yourself first. Don’t dwell on it, but do be honest. Determine exactly how much pluck is inside you, and how realistic your attitude is. See where and who and how to plug the openings. If you don’t, your startup efforts are destined to fall apart and your financial exposure will be crippling.

You need to substitute for being under-capitalized by rallying your strengths and surrounding yourself with the reliable strengths of others whose skills and experience can fill in your gaps! It CAN be done. Many have succeeded. But many more have failed. The difference is pluck and a realistic attitude. How much of each have you?

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Hal@BUSINESSWORKS.US
National Award-Winning Author & Brand Marketer – Record Client Sales

Open Minds Open Doors

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Dec 01 2011

BUSINESS STARTUP

Startup Fever

 

Channeling startup energy wisely is certainly a paradox. In fact, channeling startup energy wisely is an almost impossible task because the heat of the moment tends to override the rationality of the brain. Emotions, in other words, pack more punch than objectivity and a measured approach. Hmmm, remind you of dating days?

Isn’t this also the reason successful marketers always direct their sales messages to trigger emotional buying motives instead of rational ones? Benefits, not features. I mean, do you really care what’s under the hood if it gets you where you want to go, doesn’t break down, is snazzy, and you think it makes you look good driving it?

If a car turns the neighbor’s head every time you pull into the driveway, and jumpstarts your brain into dreaming of being a big-name, cross-country race car driver just as a result of you buckling up and adjusting the mirrors, you buy it. You may offer 101 other more rational, logical reasons, but that’s just a justification cover!

When an entrepreneur starts a business, she 0r he is typically filled with emotions that seem to run at cross-purposes. Money. Where will it come from? Where will I get the money I need? Will it be enough? Workspace. How much do I need now? Later? Where? What’s the deal? Insurance? Yikes! Equipment? Furnishings? Accountant? Lawyer? Advisory board? Employees? Benefit plans? Strategic plans? Business Plans? Hours of operation? Website? Pricing? What? Huh? Packaging? Promotions? PR? Advertising? Sales? Phone System? Reception? Presentations? Partners? Investors? Lenders? Logo?Suppliers? Branding?Memberships? Networks? Jeeze! Maintenance? Distribution? Referrers? Community? Titles? Whoa! Signage? Name? Mission statement? Elevator speech? Professional or industry relations? Goals? Target markets? And on and on . . .

                                         

According to the most recent SBA studies I could muster (the WH doesn’t want to publicize new small business data), 9 out of every 11 new businesses reportedly fail within the first 10 years, and it takes an average of 6 years just to break even financially. Pretty miserable odds for all that emotional and financial expenditure.

But —considering that your idea and your support systems are great, and the alternative is a secure go-nowhere job with the braindead government or some big corporate shabang position with nothing but ladders to climb before you sleep– entrepreneuring at least gives you adventure, challenge, opportunity, freedom, and fun.

So the answer IS: Channel all that explosive chain-reaction energy. (Try increased attention to deep breathing, yoga, exercise, power walks, eating and sleeping right.) Channel the energy into filling the gaps of business needs that you lack, so you can concentrate on what you like and do best, which will maximize your performance.

You’re lousy at writing or marketing or managing others? Hire someone with a proven track-record to step in and free you up. Sometimes just one or two people can fill all three of these for-example roles. See where and how to consolidate tasks and functions that you can pass along. (But remember responsibility cannot be delegated.)      

The point is that startup entrepreneurs need to jet down and focus their total energy on the “here-and-now” of what they’re doing: find the needs, determine the costs, fill the needs. Shop around for services. Be a detective. Line up at least 10 times the amount of money you think you’ll need. 10? Yup! Guaranteed! 

 

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Hal@Businessworks.US

Open  Minds  Open  Doors

Many thanks for your visit and God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

No responses yet

Oct 03 2011

For better or worse, richer or poorer

 If you’re not going to

                                        

marry your business,

                                     

don’t get engaged to it!

America’s abysmal unemployment situation has inadvertently spawned a burst of fledgling entrepreneurial enterprises. It’s been: “Outta work? So what. Who needs all that aggrevation anyway? I’ll start my own business.”

        ~~~~~~~

If you are caught up in this thinking, un-catch yourself! If you’re telling yourself you can start a little business and still work 9-5 with weekends, sick days, personal days, vacation, and holidays off, you might as well be living on Mars. I’m not saying don’t do it. I’m saying don’t be disillusioned from the start.

Business Ownership

is a marriage.

                                                                           

If you’re not willing to accept the fact that you and your new business venture are going to have to eat together, sleep together and get along with each other 24/7 for a number of years, don’t buy an engagement ring, get down on one knee and pop the question –OR plan the wedding and fantasize the honeymoon–  to start with!

Even if the bantered-around figures that claim 9 out of 10 businesses fail in the first 11 years (and don’t break even financially for 6 years) are only half right, consider your odds for success realistically.

Every new business idea  

is a great idea

before the doors open.

                                                                           

With a super unique product or service and a ton of investment money, with a brother-in-law accountant and an uncle lawyer and your spouse cheering from the sidelines, your chances for survival (nevermind success) are still practically non-existant if you are thin-skinned, hard-headed, inattentive or ungrateful, and that’s just for openers.

The attentiveness to detail, and to every single exchange with every single person every single day, plus the ultimate responsibility for paying every bill and returning every investment (plus a return ON every investment) that were none of your province or burden as an employee rest squarely on every business owner’s shoulders.

Spare yourself the agony of separation and divorce and probable bankruptcy if you’re thinking you can just gloss over or dismiss or delegate stuff and concentrate on sales or production or IT or some other aspect of your dream. The sad truth is that no successful entrepreneur can concentrate on any single aspect and make money.

Successful small business

owners and operators

concentrate on all of

what they’re doing

 . . . all of the time.

                                                                            

Operations, finance, sales and marketing, cashflow, legalities, IT, distribution, partnerships, collaborations, staffing, service,   innovation, creativity, leadership, suppliers, product and service knowledge, and industrial/professional/community relations are all equally important!

So, what was it that grandpa used to say? “Look before you leap!”??? If you’re intent on charging into your own business, do it with your eyes (and ears) open. Reality beats fantasy hands down. For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health . . .

Of course if you’re not ready for marriage (or your hands are already full with the family you have), there’s nothing wrong with using your ambitions and skills to find another, and hopefully better, job than the one you’ve left behind that prompted you to think a business startup would be a piece of cake. It can be if you’re a baker!

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 Hal@Businessworks.US

Open Minds Open Doors

Many thanks for your visit and God Bless You.

 Make today a GREAT day for someone!

No responses yet

Mar 06 2011

Startups and Expansions <--NOW?

GOTTA HUNKA SPUNK?                                                                                                                               

NEGATIVE REALITY: “In THIS economy? Nah, now’s not the time to be thinkin’ about starting or expanding a business. You’d have to be nuts! Besides it costs too much for stuff like that, and –if I were gonna do a big new push, I’d want to do it the right way, y’know? Big-time!”          

POSITIVE REALITY: There will never be enough money available to start up or expand a business the way I want to make it happen. Never. So waiting won’t matter. I’ve always believed that CONTRARY to the famous quote: 

NOTHING comes to he who waits!     

That leaves spunk . . .  

  1.  Spunk,

  2.  determination,

  3. tenacious persistence, 

  4. belief in yourself and your ideas,

  5. commitment,

  6. and a burning desire to make your ideas succeed. 

                                                  

When all six of these ingredients are front and center 24/7, odds are you will succeed by just putting your head down and charging toward the goal of making your product or service ideas come to fruition. 

When you can do that, the money you need to put things over the top will come to you from sources you least expect. Every truly successful entrepreneur will attest to this. If you doubt it, then consider these two points:

  • If you have doubt, then you do not have all six criteria (noted above) going for you. Back off and shore up the weak spots before you go charging off. 

  • If you are close to having the six criteria above, but still have a smidgen of doubt, talk with someone who has been successful as an entrepreneur, someone who started a successful enterprise on the proverbial shoestring, and you will hear back the exact same kind of chatter.                                           

In other words, people who worry about their ideas making money will not make money; they will, instead, make worry. 

Those who turn their backs on the making money goals and focus their energies instead on getting their ideas to succeed, will make money. 

Weird, huh?  Perhaps, but it’s true.

                                                     

I have helped over 500 successful businesses and business expansions to get started. I have never seen a single exception to this thinking.  I’m sure there must be some somewhere, but not in my experience. 

You can take advantage of my experience if you’re thinking about launching a business or expanding one. For a modest consulting fee, I will serve as your temporary coach and advisor until you get things off the ground. I work with clients by phone and computer and occasionally, when realistic and appropriate, personal visit. 

You can tap into what I have learned the hard way and spare yourself considerable stress and expense. 

If you’re interested, call me direct at 302.933.0116, and let’s set a time to talk. No fee. I’ll give you 20-30 minutes to get me interested.

If you can’t afford me or I can’t help you personally, I’ll steer you in the right directions –as a courtesy– because my life’s mission is to help small businesses succeed.                                                                                                        

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Hal@Businessworks.US or 302.933.0116

 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]
Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals. God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

One response so far

Nov 09 2010

Puppypreneurs

From chewbones

                         

to getting fixed,

                                                             

puppies and entrepreneurs

                                                                       

have a lot in common.

 

Having spent most of my business coaching, consulting and writing career with a dog under my desk, and most recently my beloved golden retriever who hung out there for 13 years before heading off to be with the others ahead of Barnegat, it’s been a very long time since Kathy and I have been confronted with raising a baby puppy. And this one (“Breezy”) is an entrepreneur! 

What makes me say that? He (“Breezy”) is independent, takes reasonable risks, resists authority, has a burning desire to achieve, and is constantly thinking about ways to make his ideas work! 

For us, Breezy made the reality hit home that raising a puppy is a whole lot like starting a new business. There are ups and downs and sideways movements. And adjustment stages. Both (entrepreneurs AND new puppies) need constant attenti0n, need having fresh water accessible, proper nutritional balance, minimal government interference, and need initially to be kept on a leash.

And as for leadership? Check this leadership thinking!

Still need more convincing?

They both play hard and sleep hard.

And what’s the equivalent of a: Breeder? Groomer:? Trainer? Vet? Getting all the necessary “shots”? Being a loner or part of a pack?

Aren’t new business owners as quick as puppies to commandeer squeaky toys, and earn treats?

Ah, yes, and the famous “Dog Whisperer”! Is there a “People Whisperer”? or “Entrepreneur Whisperer”?

                                                                                           

Maybe there should be! I can think of a great many entrepreneurs who would have loved to have an authority whispering guidance in their ears. The entire experience –starting a business, raising a puppy– is like getting back to basics. Too often, both puppies and new business owners get ahead of themselves.

They whack out schedules and get too crazed to function productively. Someone needs to rein them in. It’s worth noting here that this is not generally considered much of a relationship-solidifying role for most entrepreneur spouses. Either don’t marry one, join ’em if you can’t lick ’em, or stay out of the way and get used to keeping yourself busy.

With puppies, cuteness makes up for lots of unproductive and disruptive behaviors. Cuteness may also carry some entrepreneurs great distances, but quick paper-training and house-breaking will take both puppies and entrepreneurs a great deal further in both family and public acceptance as well as in goal pursuits. It is generally true that people appreciate regularity over cuteness.    

                           

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Hal@Businessworks.US   302.933.0116

Open  Minds  Open  Doors

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Aug 09 2009

Thinking about starting a business?

Reality Check!

                                                           

      Just in case  you’re star-struck with the idea of starting your own business venture, be aware that there’s a little more to it than flipping the black and red “Yes, We’re Open” and “Sorry, We’re Closed” sign twice a day.

There’s . . . 

  • money (at least twenty times more than you can even imagine needing!) 
  • industry experience, training and know-how
  • knowledge of the market and the competition
  • customers (you’re going to need a few to start)
  • suppliers (you’re going to need a few to start)
  • location (which is often critical, depending on the nature of the business)
  • utilities
  • a formal written business plan
  • investor and/or loan payback arrangements
  • basic office and business supplies
  • inventory of products and/or services
  • credibility (industry/community associations?)
  • advertising/marketing preparation
  • advertising/marketing implementation
  • an accountant
  • a lawyer
  • an advisory board
  • employees
  • a bank and bank account
  • maybe a post office box
  • maybe charge card or PayPal arrangements
  • maybe a charge card
  • furniture and equipment

…this could go on for pages!

     And don’t tie-up  your brain with this next thought, but you surely need to be conscious of the fact that 9 out of 11 new businesses fail in the first 3 years, and that it takes 5 years on average just to break even financially.

     Be aware that  most businesses fail because of poor management. Period. It’s common to hear that a new business didn’t make it because it was under-capitalized, but if you think about that for 2.5 seconds and can be honest about it, under-capitalization is:  poor management!

     You can be  a free-wheeling entrepreneurial spirit all you want, but reality dictates that you have to do some planning and have a ton more money than you think you need just to get up and running. This is a “haste-makes-waste” point in time where shortcuts don’t work.

     Of course there are always  Steve Jobs and Bill Gates success stories about starting in a garage and working “on a shoestring,” and I wish for you to be that kind of successful, but reality is that these two superstars are each one in trillions.   

     If all the above  thoughts have fueled your fire instead of discouraged you into retreating to the life of a bottom of the barrel employee, you might actually have what it takes to make it work. Go for it! (Oh, and if you need to call me for help, do it please before running out of money! Thank you.)

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Input aways welcome: Hal@TheWriterWorks.com (”Businessworks” in    subject line) or comment below. Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals, good night and God bless you! halalpiar  

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