Category Archives: Entrepreneur

What’s In Your Future?

11.18.15This time of the year many entrepreneurs are in a conundrum about working: When should I work? How much should I work? Should I offer that new service during this time of the year?  After all, entrepreneurs are not immune to the enticement of having fun during the holidays and putting away their entrepreneurial concerns until next year.

It is tempting, isn’t it?  Just let everything go and have fun?  And I say you should have it, but do this one big thing first—plan for next year now.  If you make your business plan now, you will not waste the first quarter of 2016 creating a plan to implement.  You will already have it—ready to go.

You can design a simple business plan by thinking about 2016 as if it is already finished and it was the greatest year ever for you in your business and in your life.

Ask yourself the following questions about your business in 2016:

  • How would you describe your business?
  • What was your mission and vision?
  • What were your financial goals?
  • How did you accomplish them?
  • What new services did you create?
  • How much money did they make?
  • What challenges did you overcome?
  • How did you overcome them?
  • How many new customers did you add to your customer list?
  • What did you do to add new customers?
  • What systems did you add to your infrastructure to make managing your business easier?
  • How is your relationship with your vendors?
  • Are they a referral source for you?

As you develop the answers to the above questions, write down the actions you will take make them happen.  This is what I call, planning the future from the future.

You may want to add or subtract from this list of questions.  Each business is different and has different needs.  The point of this blog is to encourage you to plan now from the future for a brilliant 2016.  You will be ready to go in January with a plan that is solid, and you will know the actions to take to make it happen just as you said it would.

If you get stuck or want to brainstorm, please call me.  I am here for you.


Does Love Have Any Place In Business?

080515In the past week, another large U.S. company announced their plans to lay off at least 12,000 people.  The layoff was due to not making their estimated quarterly financial goals.  When the CEO was interviewed he alluded to the possibility that the company would hire back the laid off people if the numbers were better at the end of the year.  Maybe.

Being laid off is a huge challenge for people.  Their lives are disrupted and their challenge becomes one of what to do now.  Many of these people will decide to start their own business.  I know I did when it happened to me.  It was my reaction to the shock of being laid off.  I decided that I wanted to be in charge of my own work fate, and not to depend on the decisions of others.

Before, we go any further, I want you to know this isn’t a diatribe about unfairness of being laid off.  Instead it is about the most important trait you must have, a quality that will insure that your choice of going to work for yourself is not made solely in reaction to something, but is made instead with some deliberate thought about what work you will do.  And it’s not about skills; instead it’s about who you are being.

In order to have your new business be a success, you must first and foremost love what your business is.  Not sort of love it, or hope that you will learn to love it but love it from the get go.  You need the sort of enthusiasm that has you excited about your new business and wanting to be in it no matter what.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a service business or a product business.  Choosing a business that you love means that you have the willingness to do it whether or not you get paid for it.  It is sometimes referred to as your hobby or extracurricular activity—yes that one—that thing that interests you so much that you already study it, read about it, and talk about it in groups or online forums.

If you do not have a love (some call it passion) for what you are doing, you will fail.  People will know it and they will run away from your business quickly.  And you will want to quit working too, not because you can’t make money, but because you can’t stand being inauthentic.  I know you have been in a store where you just knew that the owner would love to be any place but there.  It’s a real downer just to be in there; it’s the kind of place you want to escape from, not stay to buy something.

Think of the last time you were in a business where the owner loved what he/she was doing.  You felt welcome and taken care of; it’s the kind of place you refer your friends to, and that is the kind of business you want to build!

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Let’s Start Something!

7.29.15It doesn’t matter when we start.  It doesn’t matter where we start.  All that matters is that we start.
-Simon Sinek

The starting principle that Sinek refers to sounds easy to people who are in the stands watching the players play the game.  What game, you ask?  The game of entrepreneurship.  What I have found as an entrepreneurial coach is that unlike great athletes who know they are going for the championship, entrepreneurs usually wait until they are painfully stuck to call in help.  Notice my use of the word painfully.  It is not until they are feeling pain that they contact a coach.  Many times they have been uncomfortable for quite a while before they finally decide to take the first action to resolve the problem.

In taking that first the action, other actions are easier to take.  And usually within a few weeks, they have results that were not going to happen anyway.  This sounds like magic; however it’s not; they have started something, and when you start something, a shift occurs in how you do things; opportunities present themselves, opportunities that you hadn’t seen before.

Here is how to make something happen:

  • Be willing to fail.
  • Keep your word.
  • Measure for results.
  • Be willing to be held to account.
  • Be responsible for what happens in your business.

And yes, a person can do it by themselves and some do.  However, having a trusted adviser or mentor engaged with you, the process goes faster and usually is a lot more fun.

If you are stuck and want some support, please contact me.  Together we will start something!


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