When does the entrepreneurial bug start?

Just read a post from someone who said, click “I’m losing my job, what entrepreneurial activities can I participate in?”

To me, this is not the time to ask that question. Being an entrepreneur is not easy and there’s no get-quick schemes. You’re not going to join an MLM and be the person that makes $100k/month, or start a restaurant and have it be an instant success, or create the next Google. Now, any of those wonderful successes can happen, but none of them will happen without a lot of passion, hard work and shear perseverance.

An entrepreneur is someone that is constantly experimenting with potential avenues to make money and constantly practicing the 3 rules of business: http://authorthoughtleadership.com/the-three-rules-of-business/

The best time to start being an entrepreneur is now. It’s also great to start when you have some other funding source to help pay the bills. If you are creating a startup, get friends and family to fund you and/or go after angel funding. If you’re creating a business that can be started part-time, do it while you’re still working at a company and drawing a salary. Don’t wait till you must make money to pay the bills. Let’s explore that point a little further.

If you’re working for a company and making a paycheck and want to be an entrepreneur, practice business rule #1 and go to your entrepreneurial friends and say “how can I help” or “what activities do you think I should be doing today to prepare me for tomorrow.” The benefit at that time is that you are being paid. You are not worrying about where the money for your next meal is coming from. It will allow you to make decisions and focus on activities that are in the best interest of the entrepreneurial effort. Not that you shouldn’t make money as an entrepreneur, but typically, it’s not the first thing that happens.

So, thinking of being an entrepreneur? Start today and try to figure out where there’s demand (business rule #2) that you can supply directly or be a connector for folks you’ve met (business rule #1). Above all, expect to fail (business rule #3) in your first couple of efforts. Failure is not a bad thing, it is a tool you can use to do it better the next time.

The marks of a good entrepreneur is someone that does a lot of favors, identifies and matches a demand, works hard, learns from their mistakes and perseveres. Have fun!

Entrepreneurs start with nothing and make things happen

Boldt Castle
Boldt Castle

As part of my last holiday, this site we went to Alexandria Bay in upstate NY, psychotherapist home of the Thousand Islands. The main attraction in Alexandria Bay is Boldt Castle [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boldt_Castle]. The castle is an oddity as George Boldt [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Boldt] purchased the land and built the castle for him and his wife. He had 300 people work on the castle for three years when, all of a sudden she died and he stopped all work. The Thousand Islands Bridged Authority picked up the work seventy-plus years later and has made it a worthwhile tourist attraction today.

What’s interesting about Boldt is his entrepreneurial flair. He came to the U.S. as an emigrant at age 13 with nothing and started working in the kitchens in NY city. He saved enough money to purchase a chicken farm in Texas which was going well until a freak storm caused the loss of all his livestock and wiped him out. He went back to the NY to work in a small hotel, then moved to Philadelphia to work in the Clover Club, working his way up to Steward.

In addition to popularizing “Thousand Island” dressing later on in his career, Boldt invented the theory that the customer was always right. Treating patrons right got him in good favor with those of means who helped him build his first hotel. There are a couple different tales on how he met the financiers that helped him finance the Waldolf Astoria, but the bottom line is that he was the key principle involved in making that hotel a success as well as others.

From nothing to something, then getting wiped out
before going from nothing to something again.

Boldt believed in hard work and treating his customers fairly and with respect. Every day he worked hard to make his customers seem important and feel successful. This underlying attitude resulted in his success. It worked for him, can’t it work for you?

5-week holiday once per year

Just came back from a 5-week holiday to the east coast (our family resides in Silicon Valley). The trip included Washington DC, viagra order NYC, see and New York State, pilule Boston, Philadelphia, Vermont, Alexandria Bay and Niagara Falls. It was incredibly fun and very productive! In addition to seeing the sites, every city had one or more authors and executive editors for me to meet with. I closed a number of contracts and moved the ball forward with a number of relationships.

Now, what’s stopping you from taking your 5-week holiday? If you’re an entrepreneur and work for yourself, the primary obstacle for you taking your break is you. During the holiday, we planned where we’re going next year. I can tell you that I have no conflicting meetings twelve months from now so it’s easy to say yes. It’s always painful 2-5 weeks before I go and 2-3 weeks after I get back, but it’s worth the break in your routine.

In terms of business planning, I plan what’s going to happen the following year December time … like most of us. The 5-week holiday is where I plan the overall strategy of my business and my life. As a parallel entrepreneur (simultaneously running 2-5 multiple businesses), this is where I think about what businesses to jettison and which new businesses to start. This particular trip had less overall transformation in the business than previous years, but caused me to think about how I spend my days and what’s going to change once I integrate myself back into the office.

Bottom line is that this time taken once a year is not only great for your family, it’s great of your personal well being and as well as your business. Who’s stopping you from taking your holiday?

Onboard a Flying Swine Flu Screening Clinic

I’m healthy and I have proof!  Yes, population health indeedy, condom I have a cheerful yellow A4 size piece of paper from the Japanese government that testifies to the fact that I survived and passed a quarantine inspection.  That’s no small matter, to be sure, but it pales in comparison to surviving: 1) the hellish drive from my home to the San Francisco Airport, 2) the security inspection line at the airport, where well-meaning security guards who remind me of my mother bellow admonitions like “Take your shoes off!”, 3) airline food, 4) economy seating (the meaning of numb-bummosis should be clear even to people who are NOT medical professionals), 5) Eight channels of mildly uninspiring movies to choose from on the 10 hour flight. Continue reading

Should you self-publish???

Question: Should you self-publish???

Answer: Yes, orthopedist if you’ve always wanted to be a publisher sometime in your life. If not, sovaldi I question the value of using your time that way. I was interviewed by successful author Jason Alba on the merits of self-publishing which you can listen to.

If you are a business professional and you plan on using your book to generate speaking, resuscitation and consulting engagements and you make more than $10/hour, it just doesn’t pay to self-publish. The money you “really” make with books is with the indirect revenue, not the direct revenue. That said, you should use a professional publishing firm to help you get the most bang from your efforts of penning a book.

When you write a book as a professional service provider, you are looking for two things:

  1. Credibility (a stake to put your ability around)
  2. Leads (The best business card you’ll ever have in your life)

If it happens that you make money from the book itself, that’s even better. A number of Happy About authors have made money from their books (more than 70%), some have made a lot of money. That said, many of our authors have doubled, tripled and quadrupled their revenue.

So, if you self-publish, you’ll spend 200 hours trying to figure out what it means to be a publisher. You’ll lose the credibility part and if you’re lucky (and a good marketer), you might make an extra grand or two. Now divide that incremental money by the time you’ll spend and you’ll see that there’s a much better use of your time than self-publishing a book. Do what you do well and find a publisher that you have aligned interests with to help leverage what you do well.

Would love to hear your opinion, please share some feedback.

Amazon is doing some amazing things

Michelle Levy and Jeff BezosFunny, pharm I never realized how similar Amazon and amazing was. Well, they are. Whether you like what there doing depends on whether you are in their way or not. Having just came back from the book industry conference (BEA), I can say that there are many publishers, wholesellers, and distributors that are worried. I heard Jeff Bezos speak and he absolutely has a compelling story. He knows what he wants and pulls together the resources to deliver it and he has some big audacious goals.

One item to keep an eye on is the Kindle, Amazon’s eBook reading platform. Amazon claims that sales of Kindle books are 6% of overall Amazon book sales. With only 125,000 titles on Kindle, that is a lot of sales per title. What the means for us is that we need to publish books on their platform. The lower margins to the publisher is a concern for me, but there’s nothing that can be done if you want to play on this platform.

What the Kindle does is keep a constant electronic connection to the Amazon shopping platform which gives you the ability to buy and download a book in a minute. Jeff’s goal is to have every book ever printed in every language available on the Kindle platform. This means that you will be able to have access to any book, any time, any where by allowing the Amazon one-click mechanism to charge you. Pretty amazing job. Keep an eye open for other unique announcements and ideas from Amazon.

Why do we wait to the last minute?

I’m wondering why human nature typically has us doing things at the last minute. Take a look at this photo to see the quantity of last minute filers that wait to send their taxes on April 15th. Of course, try I was one of them with the heart-ache and head-ache of trying to rush to get it done. What would happen if it was done a week before, refractionist or a month before? There’d be a whole lot less stress. Why don’t you try finishing your next deadline early and see how it feels.