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Business Owner

Kill the Starving Artist!

“I’m going to do it. I’m going to start my own business.”

Chances are you said that or something like it at some point in your career. And here you are, a solopreneur with your own company, reaping the rewards of having control of your own career. Ain’t it great? Or maybe not so great? Perhaps things aren’t quite how you had pictured them. Or it’s taking longer than you thought to get traction. Or there are loads of tasks and decisions that you have to attend to that you hadn’t anticipated.

It is pretty common for a different reality to hit us once we take the leap into solopreneurship. Often it’s a deep passion that motivates the transition, and with our heart leading sometimes the head needs time to catch up. Too bad this isn’t all there is to it.

In all the years that I have been a solopreneur and I have coached solopreneurs, there is one obstacle that keeps cropping up. No matter who, no matter what, no matter where-this obstacle is the single biggest hindrance to the forward progress of the solo business owners around the world.

In short, the biggest obstacle to your success . Not you, the person who believes passionately in your business and who is willing to do whatever it takes to be successful. Not you, the one who knows you can do it. I’m talking about the part of you whose beliefs will keep you spinning your wheels or taking two steps back for every three steps forward.

This is the part of us that I call the Starving Artist.

The Starving Artist whispers things like this in your inner ear:

You have to earn your success, and it takes time to do that.

It’s going to be hard, but stick to it and you’ll get there eventually.

There’s no gain without pain.

Suffering is what brings out your creativity.

Let go of your suffering and you’ll lose that creative spark.

Money corrupts, and wanting to make a lot of it is not a noble goal.

Any of that sound familiar? Essentially, the Starving Artist embodies all the limiting beliefs you have about your own knowledge and abilities. They may have come from parents or teachers, from siblings or peers, or from decisions you made about yourself and about how the world works. Wherever they come from, these beliefs will sabotage you and the growth of your business.

What does your Starving Artist say to you? If you have a hard time answering that, try this: What repeating patterns in your business have held you back? Here are a few examples that indicate the influence of the Starving Artist in your business:

Your only clients are people who can’t pay your standard fees or who pay really slowly after a lot of follow up.

You seem to have a portfolio comprised only of “difficult” or high-maintenance clients.

Every time you have a big, exciting success, it is followed shortly by something that limits or negates it.

You go through frustrating up and down cycles that end up keeping your business in the same place or, worse, slowly eroding.

What can you do about your Starving Artist? Well, it may sound extreme, but you’ve got to KILL the Starving Artist to be successful. Unless the Starving Artist is killed, or at least silenced, there is no action or strategy that will have a lasting positive impact. That inner saboteur must be eliminated before breakthroughs can happen. This is why whacking the Starving Artist is the very first thing we tackle in my coaching program.

If you have not bound and gagged or, better yet, killed, your Starving Artist, I strongly urge you to get to it. You will be amazed at how much faster and more effortless your business growth becomes once that pest is stifled!…

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Business News Articles

Starting a Business From Home – 9 Tips on Starting Your Business

Starting a business from home can be both scary and exciting at the same time. In today’s economy many people are going into business for themselves and want to be the boss and earn the money that they deserve. This Article focuses on 9 important tips that can help you have success with your new venture.
Tip #1 – Check with you local business agencies or the sba to see if you need any license or permits to run a venture from your house. Some states do require these licenses and without them you can face fines and have your business shut down.
Tip #2 – Build you venture around the skills that you have, if you are a great graphic designer, then make sure to offer that as a service. Trying to learn a new craft and making a living off it is very difficult and it is not recommended at all. Your goal is to start making a living right away from your new venture, use your skills that made you some money in your former job.
This may sound funny but some folks try to build a new business around new skills that they have not polished yet and it ends up costing them their business, clients will leave you quickly and the complaints can build up quickly too.
Tip #3 – Make sure to have a website with a catchy domain name, if you are a graphic designer then make sure to include those keywords in your domain name. This will tell your clients what your business is all about, this builds branding right away.
Tip #4 – Build or have someone design you a professional website or blog. Image is everything and a sloppy looking site or blog will simply tell your clients that your business is sloppy too. If your site looks like a site from the 90s, then forget about having clients take you and your venture serious.
Tip #5 – Check on your competition and see what they are doing and how they are running their business. You will want to do this for sure, see how their site looks. Look at their products and services, see how much they are charging and what their unique selling propositions are.
Smart business owners do this all the time, they get tons of information from their competition and use it to their advantage and build a stronger more profitable business.
Tip #6 – Make it easy for your clients to order from you, do not make it an obstacle. If you plan on selling online then simply add a PayPal button to your website and make sure that your shopping cart works without any problems.
Tip #7 – Make sure that your site is not too heavy on the graphics and flash banners, slow loading sites will drive visitors away and this can reduce your sales drastically.
Tip #8 – Offer great customer support and make sure clients can contact you if they have any problems or issues. Having great customer support was how Dell became such a success.
Tip #9 – Delegate your weakness to someone who is stronger. If you strength is at graphic design, then make sure someone else does your marketing for you. If you are bad at accounting, then hire a cpa. This is very important, you can’t do everything by yourself and need help at times to make your business run smoothly.…

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Business Plan

Want To Start Your Own Home-Based Business? 3 Great Ideas For Success

If you have been thinking about starting your own home-based business, there is no better time to start than today! It has never been easier to start your own business from home than it is today with the ease of the internet and the fact that it is widely used across the world. While it may seem like it will be easy, you should realize that it is in fact a real business, so be sure to attack it with plenty of motivation, desire, and determination. There are a few really great ways to make your income, some of which can be very lucrative if you know what you are doing and are ready to work hard.
Here are three ways you can build a legitimate home-based business in a relatively short period of time, they include:
1 – Selling affiliate products
While this can mean many things, basically being an “affiliate” means you are selling someone else’s product and receiving a commission every time you make a sale. This is the fastest way to start selling something, however it is not the most lucrative, since you do not get to keep all of the profits from the sale. If you are not interested in creating your own products or offering a service, this might work well for you.
2 – Your own information products
If you have some knowledge or expertise in a certain area, you can create ebooks, audio courses, and video courses, and then sell them on a website. While this may take some time to put together the products, the reward is well worth the time since you only create the product once and then make money from it for years and years to come. If you do have some expertise in any certain area, this type of business can be very lucrative and is worth consideration.
3 – Consulting
Do you have a lot of experience in something that others will pay your for? If you do, you can start a consulting service and help people 1-on-1 via telephone, email, or even face-to-face. While this type of business may take more of your time since you must be there to consult, it can be very lucrative since people are willing to pay big money for others to help them with the topic at hand. If you are an expert in any field, you should strongly consider this type of business. You can even do a combination of #2 and #3, creating products to help others as well as offering your 1-on-1 consulting as a high-ticket item.
Whichever form of business you choose, be sure to explore the pro’s and con’s of each, choosing whichever fits your personality best.…

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Business Owner

Entrepreneurship Test – 7 Questions For an Aspiring Entrepreneur to Ask Themselves

I did not always have an entrepreneurial mind; as a matter of fact, when I graduated college, I was very lost. I was working at a software company and for a few more thousand dollars, took a job at a large public company (you would laugh if I told you the name). I was doing account management for their financial clients. Because it was a work from home position, the only thing I managed was the couch and DVR. After trying to ruffle a few feathers and really make a difference in the company, I was gradually ousted from “the group” and was eventually pushed out. I wasn’t fired, but I was put in a situation where it was either / or.
Though, at this firm, I learned the true definition of the word “complacent.” This brings me to the first question which I will put forth to get your brain in gear. Please keep in mind that these questions are here to help you as they will give you some guidance as to whether owning your own business would be right for you.
1. In twenty years, one day your son or daughter will be asked about you. More likely than not, the first thing that will come up is your career. How do you think they will describe your career and your job? Does that answer resonate well with you?
If the answer is fine with you, there are two presumed scenarios. The first is that you were very successful and enjoy reading about entrepreneurs on the web. Thus, I am flattered you are reading my article. The second is that you, more likely than not, do not have an entrepreneurial frame of mind.
2. How much would you invest in yourself? If you had to put a net worth on your brain, would it be more or less than what someone else is paying for it? Also, is that someone even using your brain?
If you’re like many and are in this situation, you have to work harder to become an entrepreneur for a few reasons. The first is that your brain is not being put to work on a daily basis, so you have to get that going. Additionally, because of the economy, it is very scary to go off on your own. So choose your time wisely, but don’t put it off too long.
3. If somebody put you out on the street and gave you $10,000 – everything else is gone. How much of that money would you spend on books?
If the answer is less than $1,000, you probably are good where you are at. This is a great test as entrepreneurs don’t create something out of nothing, they create something out of learning. Books are such an important factor of business success. Remember, in this case, you do not have the internet which shouldn’t be relied upon too heavily anyway.
4. If somebody offered you a million dollars to never work again, would you?
Entrepreneurs like the game. Entrepreneurs get a rush out of the results they product. Ever wonder why Brett Favre didn’t retire when everybody told him to? He is a competitor. He obviously was not doing it for the money; it’s the game that is important to the entrepreneur.
5. Do you understand the concepts of bad bets?
Don’t consider yourself an entrepreneur or risk taker because you sit at a blackjack table in Atlantic City. If you do now, during your next game of 21, look around you and the subsequent people. Forget about their fancy watch and attire. They are not that successful. Stamp my guarantee on that statement. I learned this as I used to look up to these people in my early 20’s.
Every now and again, you may see somebody playing who is, but they are not the “crew” that is typically at the tables. Entrepreneurs take calculated bets. Though, the blackjack frame of mind may help you open your own business; entrepreneurs need to be risk takers. Hey, you might as well save that money that you’re going to give to the Trump Plaza and invest it in yourself.
6. Would you buy a nice car on credit?
With regards to this question, the answer should be either “no” or “not again.” Entrepreneurs, or good people for that matter, do not need to show off their wealth. If they would like to buy something nice, they do not buy it on credit and they surely do not invest in a car.
7. Is television your hobby?
I’ll never forget one of the bankers at my bank telling me that he had 7 months off with pay after getting laid off from his previous job. I asked him what he did with his time. …

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Business News

Starting a Business? 5 Step Reality Check Helps You Know If Your New Business Will Succeed

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is, “How can I be sure my new business will succeed?” There is no crystal ball that can accurately answer that question. However, if you are serious about starting a business there are five steps you can take that will begin to give you a clearer picture. By following these steps you will gain tremendous insight into what lies ahead. Whether this reality-check convinces you to dive in, or hold back, you’ll be well served by what you learn. While we are huge proponents of founders developing a well written business plan, the steps below can be followed even before you start your small business plan.
Step 1: Write a simple elevator pitch to see if your business idea is compelling to others. If you haven’t created an elevator pitch before, you can stitch together the essentials very easily. Write a one sentence answer to each of the following questions. What problem will your company solve for its customers? Who has this problem and how large is that group? What will make your business unique so that customers will buy from you instead of a competitor? Finally, what are your qualifications to run the business? If you force yourself to write and re-write the very best one sentence answers to each of these questions, you will have the elevator pitch you need for this purpose. Now, try out your elevator pitch on 10 people you trust and respect to get their feedback and reaction to your well-formed business concept. This is the warm up for steps two and three.
Step 2: Talk to would-be customers to find out if there is a true need for your product or service. When you are thinking about starting a business, you obviously feel there is a void in the marketplace. Don’t wait until you open your business to find out if the need for another business is real or imagined. Armed with your elevator pitch, go have face-to-face discussions with future customers. You are not going to them to sell, or pre-sell. You are doing market research. After describing your business by generally following your elevator pitch, go into “ask and listen” mode. To get the information you are seeking, ask questions like, “How are you currently meeting your needs for (insert the products or services your company will provide)?” Listen carefully-this is the voice of the customer. In step one, you spoke to friends and respected colleagues. In step two, you are talking to people who currently buy products or services like those you will be selling. Select individuals who will be focused on the content of your ideas and less concerned about simply wanting to be encouraging.
Step 3: Become an expert on the competition. Identify 5 other companies that are already doing what you plan to do. Learn as much about them as you can. One of the best things to learn is if they expanding or shrinking. You want to be entering a business where the market and demand is growing! Take everything you learn and ask yourself what it says about the opportunity for your new business. If you can’t find any companies that already do what you’re planning to do, there two likely reasons: 1) There is not enough demand to support a business; 2) You didn’t look hard enough. The third possibility, and the one most often cited incorrectly, is that a genuinely new opportunity has been discovered, one that nobody else has ever thought of, and so there is no competition. Rarely is this the case.
Step 4: Develop a rough estimate of your breakeven costs. Think about the process of engaging the customer to the point of making a sale. What are all the things that you must have in place to make that sale? Do you need an office? A building? A sign? Computers? Phone service? Special equipment? Employees? Will you need to take a salary from the business from its inception? How much will you spend on marketing so that customers find out about your business? List all of the major items and estimate their costs for the first full year. Divide this number by twelve to see your total monthly fixed expenses.
To calculate their breakeven sales number, some types of businesses must also take into account their “cost of sales” or the additional cost that is incurred for each sale made. In a pure service business, such as consulting, there will be little or no “cost of sales.” A consultant sells his or her time. The breakeven revenue for this type of business would be the total monthly expenses calculated above.
Other businesses, such as restaurants or retailers have to take into account the cost of the goods they sell. For …

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Business News

Use Mobile Marketing To Put Your Business In Your Customers’ Pockets

Getting started in mobile marketing can seem daunting because there are so many options available to you. The following tips will bring mobile marketing into perspective and help you choose a viable strategy.

You should never send messages to your customers without a good reason. You should only message them with useful information. Some businesses failed in their mobile marketing endeavors because they chose to send arbitrary and impractical text messages to their customers. Customers aren’t looking for humorous, personal messages from a business they patronize. They’re looking for valuable information and ways to save money.

Make your point but keep it short when it comes to mobile content. Mobile device screens are small, so droning on and on about a product just to get more keywords in is annoying to readers. Mobile marketing demands short, concise, and direct messages to consumers.

Check out the things your rivals are doing, you will get advantage when it comes to social network marketing. It is important that you are different than competitors.

Make sure you know when people are getting your text messages. They shouldn’t be sent when they’re sleeping or having dinner with their families. Regardless of how tempting the offer or how enticing the message may be, customers are unlikely to appreciate an off-hours text.

Mobile marketing is one of the best ways to watch your profits rise. More and more people every day use mobile phones for social networking and to download applications. Both of these serve as excellent mediums for marketing your business. You need to target your customers where they are congregating online.

Have a basic understanding of mobile devices if you want to develop a successful mobile marketing campaign so you may optimize your site and ads for a mobile platform. Try out as many mobile devices as you can so that you understand the user’s experience.

When calling or texting someone, remember there is a live person on the receiving end; therefore, it is important to be considerate of the time in which you call as well as the type of message you are sending. Act accordingly.

Apps are not difficult to create. Your customers would love to receive a free app; why not build your own? Offering your own unique app will help to improve your business and take full advantage of mobile marketing. There are many choices to make about app features; the possibilities are endless.

Although lots of people use their phones for Internet text, not all know the different kinds of abbreviations used online. Any lack of understanding in your advertisement will yield unfavorable results both short and long term.

The many different techniques used in mobile marketing are all based on a few shared principles. Usually the only differences are in the level of technology involved and how that technology is utilized. All it takes to decide between them is some research and common sense to find the best and most effective techniques to use in your plan for you, your business, and your budget.…

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Business Owner

Tips That Video Marketers Can Really Use

Video marketing should be considered if you want to make a big impact on your business. But, in order to really get the best results, you need to learn about the methods others have used to be successful. This article can help you do that.

You should make as many videos as you can. This encourages viewers to keep checking your channel for new content. This will also help broaden your audience as more people can find your links through a general search.

YouTube is the most popular sharing site, and is worthwhile for its video editing features and analytics alone. Annotations are a good example of what you can add to your videos. You can share links, give more details about your product or even provide a coupon code.

You need a link to your site built into your video. This technique will allow your viewers to see your website in action. This is also useful in how-to videos. Try saving a copy of the screenshot and then use some video editing program to include it into the video.

You should always have interesting content for customers. Your video should catch people’s attention. If you have boring videos, even the video marketing powerhouse YouTube can’t help you. A lot of people want to watch videos that are relevant. The more interesting and engaging your videos, the more likely you will be to see sustained growth and increases in traffic.

Talk to your colleagues and seek their assistance in helping your video marketing ideas. You need to have articulate people who represent the business. You should not hesitate to feature more than one employee or colleague in your videos.

The truth will set you free – and get you more viewers. If you want to make videos, make sure the topic is really interesting to you. When you speak the truth to viewers about something you are passionate about, they will not only enjoy it, but they will appreciate it and come back for more.

Do not take the whole burden upon yourself. It can be very hard to brainstorm by yourself for a video. To help come up with ideas, ask friends and co-workers for thoughts. Have sessions such as these on a regular basis to make sure that you remain abreast of advertising and what is happening in your niche.

Video marketing can get the word out about your website or your social media page. Someone that comes across your Youtube videos might not know that you are on Facebook, too. Publicizing your sites are going to attract visitors to them and vice versa. Social media links to your video hosting sites can really boost traffic and business.

After you have read the comments and looked at the statistics of your video, begin making more of them. Analyze your results and use them to create an even more effective video the next time. Make adjustments to the content, polish dialogue and upgrade equipment if possible. Each version will be better than the one before it!

Anyone hoping to realize great gains in profitability should consider video marketing. You need to know what you’re doing to be successful. Utilize the tips you’ve just read whenever you begin your video marketing campaign, and you can succeed.…