The Troubling Mind of the Young Entrepreneur

Being young is hard. Everywhere you go, people are telling you what you should be doing and how to go about doing it, just when you thought you were growing up a little. From the time we, as humans, were first born, our freedom has been taken from us. Our parents have kept us alive, yes, but also stifled us with their rigid ways and continuously trying to mold us into something they, themselves, want to be.

After first learning to walk around and maybe speak a little, we are abruptly thrust into the life someone else created for us. That’s right, elementary school. There, you may interact with fellow slaves or maybe learn how to read. That’s great, learning to read and spell and the like. But, couldn’t you simply learn to read and spell independently of the school, instead of being forced into this atmosphere that you don’t want to be in?

 

What gives anyone the right to tell us what we will do with our lives? I think the average person doesn’t realize how little freedom we have. We are forced to go to school from the ages of 5 to 18 years old, our entire childhood and adolescence has been pegged out for us.

 

After you do graduate, if you choose to have your freedom taken from you for two additional years, you will be pushed and shoved into a new direction: college or working-class. If you try to stray from this path, you will be met with angry resistance from your parents, your teachers, your friends, your trusted guardians, pretty much any adult person, or person who has been brainwashed into believing that there are only a few paths in life.

 

Yet, you don’t see happiness anywhere around you. You have friends in college, and they hate it more than they hated high school. Maybe you try working the 9 to 5 job for a little while, only to realize your soul is being slowly drained away by the long hours and pointless trifles employers put you through. To must of these places, you are simply a tool.

 

Employers don’t usually care about you, as a person. They care about what you can do for them, and their company, and their paycheck. That’s it. If they show concern for your well-being, it is really only concern for their own well-being. Eventually, you figure this isn’t the life for you.

 

After 18, or even 20, you are sick and tired of being shoved around and told exactly what move you should be making. Maybe you snap, and quit your job, and rant about your coworkers and your boss for months after the fact. Maybe you continue to work there for ten more years, only to realize you’ve wasted so much time, and then you regret it.

 

The thing about freedom, however, is that it’s actually hard to be in control of your own fate when others have been throwing it at you ever since you came out of the womb. You feel so much confusion, you wonder if you are doing the wrong thing. Your mom is growing sick and tired of you mooching off her, and your friends what you to get a job so you guys can go do things…things that require money, which you do not have, because you don’t know how to get it without being enslaved again, and you certainly don’t want that.

 

So, what are you to do? Freelance! Build your own business! Take control of your own fate. Ask yourself constantly if you are working you hardest for yourself, or someone else. Do you think it’s best for you to go to a job you hate for a good portion of your waking life, or find your own path?

 

A good place to start is here: Stevepavlina.com

Patrick Mackaronis Presents: So, You Want to Become an Entrepreneur?

The following is a guest post from Patrick Mackaronis, director of business development for New York City social network startup Brabble. For further reading on Pat’s ideas, please check out Home Business Mag’s piece Patrick Mackaronis Reveals Six Options for Ideal Startup Investment.

Why would anyone want to become an entrepreneur is beyond me. Working at the beckon call of your clients, putting in late hours, accounting and other tasks you wouldn’t have to do working for someone else, Why in the world would anyone wish this upon himself or herself?

The list I mention above contains issues to become an entrepreneur. There are good and bad things to consider. For some, the benefits to become an entrepreneur outweigh the bad. For instance being free when you want, going where you want and when you want, and choosing your place of work, dictating your own hourly wage, being your own boss and being creative and opininated.

The question is, are YOU ready to become an entrepreneur?

If you want to become an entrepreneur, here are some things to consider:

Passion – What do you want out of life? Will working for yourself or having a business match your goals and dreams? If your dream is to enjoy the rewards of working your way up the corporate ladder, entrepreneurship may not be for you. However, if you want to feel the accomplishment of building a business up from nothing, then entrepreneurship would be perfect for you.

Time – Do you have the time to commit to a new business? Alternatively, if not would you be willing to sacrifice some time each day to become an entrepreneur? You will need time to build a business. Nevertheless, if you have spare money you can pay some one else to use their time to help you. This is leverage.

Money – Although you may not need any money to create a business, some money may be needed. This will depend on what type of business you want to start. An internet business could be started with no money or a business with direct selling of another company’s product can be started with a couple hundred dollars.

Support – Do you have supportive friends and family? Again, this is something that you may not need but it is helpful. If you have family that will be discouraging you, you can still find support through joining industry groups and associations.

Discipline – This is something that you cannot do without. You must be disciplined if you want to be successful. You must be disciplined to take action. Without action, there will be no movement towards advancement. I will say it again; discipline is something you cannot do without.

Humility – I mention this because you will have customers that will beat you down to get what they want. Some of the customers I would recommend you fire; however, some may have paid for the advantage of bossing you around. It really depends on how you set up your business to decide the best way to handle these types of customers.

Ethical – You must be ethical to run an honorable and successful business. Customers will trust you to follow thru on your promises and you must abide. This is a trait that you should have whether you decide to become an entrepreneur or work for someone else.

Determined – There will be good times and bad times, as always in life. When you are an entrepreneur, the bad times seem more magnified. Even though the bad times may happen just for a little while when the good times last longer, people will point out your down time and not remember your good times. This will hurt you and make the bad times seem worse, but you must stay determined. The bad times always become good times. If you cannot stay determined to succeed, then it will never happen.

There are many more things to consider when deciding to become an entrepreneur. This will give you a good start. It is a personal decision and is not to be taken lightly if you want to succeed. Entrepreneurship is not for everyone, but the ones who choose to become an entrepreneur, and are determined to make it work, reap many rewards.

Farrah Gray, Entrepreneur

Farrah Gray, born 1984 into the housing projects of Chicago’s South Side, answered the call and reported for duty at a young age in order to support his struggling family.

As a precocious six year old, young Farrah Gray peddled homemade lotion from door to door for $1.50. The youngster also discovered a bourgeoning market for hand-painted rocks that were sold as paperweights, doorstops, and bookends. With his first $50 in profits, our self-starting businessman treated his family to a restaurant meal.

 

Mr. Gray demonstrated the ability to organize and lead seemingly from birth. The second grader’s business card read ’21st Century CEO,’ and by the age of 10 he had established The Urban Neighborhood Economic Enterprise Club, a group designed to pool and allocate capital towards small businesses. By the age of 12, Farrah had also emerged as a player on the speaking circuit, commanding $10,000 per appearance and co-hosting Backstage Live, a nationally syndicated radio program that was to reach 12 million listeners.

 

Gray soon established Farr-Out Foods, a New York specialty food retailer targeting a young clientele. Farr-Out Foods was to become the largest coup for the then fourteen year old founder, as sales of the enterprise tallied up at $1.5 Million within the first year. Farrah Gray eventually negotiated the sale of the company at the age of fifteen at over $1 Million.

 

Mr. Gray had officially become the youngest self-made, African American millionaire – all before being licensed to operate a motor vehicle.

 

The serial entrepreneur has written the international best seller Reallionaire, established The Realty Pros asset management firm, and is a syndicated columnist through the National Newspapers Publishing Association.

 

Farrah Gray has evolved from a determined youngster hawking loose, painted rocks from door to door, into a recognized ambassador betwixt the worlds of both commerce and philanthropy. The story is nothing short of truly inspirational.

Find Your Passion and Your Entrepreneurial Spirit Will Follow

The best way to start a successful business is to do something that you are passionate about, something that interests you. Many people say that they don’t know what interests them but that’s because they’re not thinking deep enough. If you honestly believe that you have no skill or knowledge than you are selling yourself way short. Every single person reading this article has some sort of skill or knowledge that could be the foundation for a successful business.

The key is to stop and think about all of your life experiences and how they’ve shaped you into who you are today. Create lists and think about the following:

 

  • What hobbies have you ever pursued?

 

  • Have you ever done any volunteer work?

 

  • Is there a time when you have helped someone with the problem and felt good about?

 

  • What types of things are you interested in or that you’re good at?

 

Sometimes you must think carefully about all your interest, hobbies, and areas that you excel in. This exercise may even require writing down and answering a series of questions to really get your thoughts moving.

 

Consider the following questions to get an in-depth perspective of where your individual skills and interests lie:

 

  1. What types of sports do I play?

 

  1. If you had $1 million and a month’s worth of free time to do whatever you like, what would you do? Be as specific as possible and write down whatever comes to mind

 

  1. When you’re surfing the web, what sites do you find yourself frequenting the most? What topics do these sites cover?

 

  1. Have you ever won a championship or an award of some sort?

 

  1. Have you ever been recognized for some sort of contribution or service that you performed? What was it?

 

  1. Do you have any pets? What kind?

 

  1. Do you have children or siblings? What do you like most about being a parent or brother or sister? What is the most challenging?

 

  1. What type of education do you have? What types of hobby classes have you taken?

 

  1. What kind of experience in volunteer work do you have?

 

  1. What accomplishments in your life are you most proud of?

 

  1. Do you have any illnesses?

 

  1. Are you a collector of any sort?

 

  1. What do you watch on television? What’s your favorite kind of music? Are you a fan of the arts?

 

  1. Is there anything that you’ve ever wanted to know more about but felt that you lacked the time?

 

Once you answer these questions, look for the answers that gave you the strongest responses as these will most likely lead you to the market that you should target with your business.

Entrepreneurial Business 101

The practical implementation of the “business model” concept dates back to the earliest days of organized business when businessman sought to have a better return of their investment, a more practical and efficient way to open markets, and a pragmatic manner to “see” into the future of their business ventures to counter the unpredictability of markets, costs, and sales.

A business model simply depicts in detail the company plans to make money by offering a service, or a product. Depending on your own natural concept and your quintessential idea of a business model, your business model can be very simple, narrow, and straightforward, or it can be very complex, detailed, wide-ranging, and far-reaching, as you want to make it. A supermarket’s business model is to make money by offering customers as many products as possible beneath one roof, in a convenient and pleasant place, putting the convenience and speed on the side of the client. An internet based business model such a website can be potentially confusing, and with wide-reaching objectives since there are too many different ideas and concepts on how this atypical class of companies try to engender profits. At the end, all these companies will offer products or services like anyone else.

 

A business model then, is an eclectic term brought into play to illustrate a profit-generating scheme. This business method is in most cases, independent from the set of business models within the same endeavor, although it is an integral part of the general business objectives of a company.

 

The expansive and flexible structure of the business model is the recipient of an all-encompassing range of pinpointing sales strategies, offering tactics, managerial structures of the human capital, descriptive approaches to attain the purpose of the plan, operational and implementation methods, flexible navigational courses of action, new-fangled market penetration stratagems, original infrastructures models, re-deployable commercial tactics, and updated trading practices to deal with the relentlessly evolving market forces.

 

What is a Business Concept?

 

A business concept is a theoretical and intangible design, an abstract idea that represents at its best the company’s offering of the product or services to the market. This sketched business concept must capture in its entirety the purpose and object of the business model. The business concept must lead concisely and evidently a set of activities that define in a distinct, different, and innovative way of presenting the service or product to the market. This should be a 3-minute vocal concept capturing a brand new concept of marketing, which must be swayed into the minds of investors and marketers.

 

The business concept then must outline exactly what the company will deliver to all relevant targeted constituents. This includes the tangible value that the service or product will provide, the vertical market that will be able to access to, and the sustainability of its business model in the sought-after marketplace. The business concept is the cornerstone for all and each activity supporting the business endeavor. It is fundamental that your business concept soundly testify to your business plan and its original value proposition

 

Back to the Business Model

 

The active implementation of a new business model under the guidance of the business concept, will allow companies to have a better and more controlled administration of their products and services, and a better handling and monitoring over manufacturing, marketing, sales, and distribution strategies.

 

One critical element of particular importance that should never be overlooked in the development of a business model, it is its essential chronology. In developing a business model for a new product or service, the lack of careful and logical planning and timing of investment vs. expenses and cash flow, will always discredit the expected delivery of profits and revenue. The critical path and implementation table of your business concept delivered by your business plan, must be logical, convincing, and most of all, realistic. Investors can smell wishful thinking a mile away and will keep your business at a safe distance from their dollars.

To avoid a certain concept-to-reality failures, some of the issues you need to cautiously percolate are:

 

– Determine how much of the product or service has to be constructed or established before a customer makes a purchase decision or a purchase commitment. Most mayor clients will not buy more than 10% of your total proven capacity of production. For the client, this will circumvent strategic dependency from you or the product.

 

– Define the amount of investment that will be necessary to secure contracts and commitments from customers. Clients need to see your financial stability and capacity of deliverance before they entrust you with a long-term obligation. This decision also entails strategic dependency and risk for the client business.

 

– Extrapolate the dimension of the investment’s cumulative risk factor before achieving net positive cash flow, evaluate contractual to upfront investment, and define an acceptable timeframe to penetrate and secure a steady sales market to generate revenues. The investors must see clearly how you are going to protect their money, how you will amortize the investment, and how you will generate profits within a levelheaded agenda.

 

The above mentioned topics of concern when not addressed properly, time and again will make, or break your new venture. The business models that call for a reduced and less risky upfront funding need to be optimized to be reasonable, and realistically quicken the intake of revenue, receivables, and cash inflow. Business models that implement consequential actions across the board to minimize and shorten the exposure (in time) of the investment at risk will have a better chance of, and a faster prospect of success.

 

In the car manufacturing industry, a new model has to be produced and stocked away before any resulting revenues from sales can be obtain. This is an elevated upfront investment with an inherent risk of sales market failure. However, you can’t sale cars by parts to secure a market, so your investment overflows into other areas such as manufacturing facilities, parts, materials, equipment, marketing, etc.

 

In the food industry, the upfront financial risk is a fraction of the car industry if you are trying to sell bread because of the lower cost of infrastructure, and also because you can start with a scalable strategy by selling small amounts of bread until you can build a steady and growing market.

 

In both cases, a reasonable, well-thought business model will determine the viability and accessibility of the target market, and the possibilities of success in it. Also, a car is a higher ticket-price item than bread, so the fundamentals of economies of scale also change and differ, and its integration into the business model is of utmost importance.

 

Not in all business the popular adage “built it and they will come” actually works. If you are risking a lot, you need a more comprehensive, realistic, judgmental, less vulnerable, and proactive means to factually measure risk and success.

 

To Sell or Not To Sell: The Question is Diamonds or Potatoes?

 

Here is a little story about two entrepreneurs who decided to go in business by themselves roughly at the same time, but in two distinct industries, and how it worked for them. The stories are real, so I am concealing the actual names of those performing the business, and the places where they performed their business at, because I have no way to ask for their permission to make these elements public.

 

Meet Pedro. Pedro finished college and he could not find employment for his career anywhere due to the regrettable state of the economy and lack of opportunities in the country where he lived. His father did not own a business and Pedro really had no place to go, so he decided to start his own business.

 

Meet Carlos. Carlos also completed college but his father wants him to work in the family business as resellers of Caterpillar equipment. Carlos had a place to go, but he disliked the family business so he decided to start his own. Carlos shared the same lack of opportunities that Pedro had.

 

Carlos’ Short Story

 

Carlos was used to a fairly good life. His family’s business was not great, but provided for a comfortable living standard. Once Carlos decided to start a new venture, his family helped him with advise, contacts, and capital. Carlos went into the luxury car business. Carlos did not know much about this business, but he figured that with all the help, contacts, family support, and money available for him, he could have a good business up and running fairly quick. And he did it. After jumping through the trade ropes, permits, and regulations, after 4 months he had a flamboyant European sports car dealer. After the inauguration party of his new and exclusive dealership, and after a few sales to family members, to close friends of the family, and a few sales within a niche market of affluent people in the area that followed the first 2 months after he opened, no one else came to his dealership to buy cars.

 

In spite of the efforts of Carlos and his family, the glitzy car dealership closed, leaving Carlos and his family with debts and losses. Like most people in that country, I was in no position to buy one of those expensive and non-practical cars (for the economic environment) Carlos used to sell, so I couldn’t contribute. A few months later I run into Carlos and he explained to me the long list of mistakes he made before and after his failed venture.

 

In short, he did not have a clear business model, nevertheless a sound business plan. Carlos learned dearly from this awful and expensive experience, and so did I.

 

This might sound unbelievable, or even dumb, but do not be surprised because many business are started this way. In the country where Carlos lives, some people start a business because they “heard people saying that is a good business”.

 

Pedro’s Less Short Story

 

Pedro lives in the same country than Carlos, in a different city. Pedro did not have capital, or a family that could help him, neither he knew the business in which he was about to start. But Pedro had an idea, and he took the time to dig out knowledge about his idea, and to see how it could fit it in the business environment he was targeting, and how could he fund his idea. After about a year, Pedro was ready to flight. Pedro explained his business concept to an uncle, he got a small investment and a partner with him, and both went into the French fries business!

 

This is what Pedro did. Pedro prepared a different kind of French fries. He peeled and grinded the potatoes, then he mixed them with a secret minced compound to make a sort of dough; protruded the mix through a small machine in the form of French fries, next he fried them, and afterward sold them at the beach during the summer.

 

Pedro and his uncle had an old beaten pick up truck (a re-formatted Studebaker) that they loaded every summer morning with potato sacks, machinery, other paraphernalia needed for the business, and him, his uncle, and a helper went off to sell French fries to the beach. I tried his potato contraption. He offered several flavors: spicy, non-spicy, salty, non-salty, hot-mild, hot-hot, and of course the regular nonsense French fry. His product was exquisite. He named his business “The King of the French Fries”. Little he knew…

 

I intermittently observed Pedro and his crew almost every day during the hot summer of 1970, and I noticed that he didn’t stay long in the beach we use to frequent as he did at the beginning of the season. He just dropped off his uncle with a helper and after a while he and other person who accompanies him went off somewhere else. Close the end of the summer I learned that Pedro had a total of 7 little stands, just like the one in our beach, in 6 other beaches. “The business went well, but is a lot of hard and hot work”, he told me once after the summer. “I have to get ready for the next summer,” he said, and that was the last time I saw Pedro.

 

By the following summer I had totally forgotten about “The King of the French Fries” until I did see a small, but colorful add in a local paper at the city I used to spent my summers. The add portrayed a big French fry guy with a crown, in shorts and a Hawaiian shirt standing by a small cart with a awning saying “Make your summer unforgettable, starting with your tummy”. That summer he had grown his business reaching to a staggering 22 beaches! His French fries were the sensation at the beaches and everyone had, at least once, eaten one of his products. That summer went fast as my money, and I catch a glimpse of Pedro’s business now and then in the papers, TV, and radio. Pedro had become the BONA FIDE KING OF THE FRENCH FRIES, the real McCoy.

 

I have no details, but I know that Pedro became the biggest seller of (these) French fries in the country, and he was dominating the industry at this time not just during the summer, and according to the rumors, he had at least one stand of French fries in each and every beach in the country. As indicated by the local papers, Pedro was still working hard, but now supervising the operation with his uncle aboard of an Italian Red Alpha-Romeo sport car… I couldn’t prevent learning a lot from Pedro. He started his Human Capital Team with 2 people and a business concept, and I believe by the end of the summer of 1973, he had more than two hundred people in his potato Kingdom, and a flourishing business.

 

Neither Carlos nor Pedro had a business plan to start with, but Pedro had a Business Concept. Pedro never developed a business plan, but he did evolve his business concept into a working tool. Today, Carlos is working in the family business and he is doing just fine, and Pedro, well… Pedro sold the business, retired, left the country, and now he lives comfortably with his family in Florida.

 

Of course there are many details, and countless boring steps missing in these two stories that I did not bother to include, but the point is that a little serious and responsible preparation and planning can go a long way in your new venture.

 

The Mighty Human Capital

 

In my view, Human Capital is the only and sole dynamic resource of indispensable value any company will ever posses that will evolve synchronically with its business model. Pedro would have never been able to grow his business without the support of his reliable human capital.

 

What is the Capital Value of the Human Element?

 

When writing a business plan, normally a great apportion of its content deals with industry, sales, projected revenue, competition, the product or services, investment opportunities and capital amounts, risks, local and foreign markets, and market availability among other valid points, however, very little of the business plan is devoted to the most important element of the entire system: The Human Capital.

 

The real risk of an investment does not reside in the speed of recuperating the money, or how much inventory will be sold, or what size of the market can be captured, or how profitable the company will be in the years ahead. At the end of the day, the entire risk of the company rests on the shoulders of its human capital and its ability to make it all work. All your money is bet on you managers and their dedicated and loyal crews.

 

You always end up investing in a management team, and if you don’t, your business venture is condemned before starts. The business hell is full of entrepreneurs without crews. Why do you invest in your management team, your essential human capital? Because what is established in the business plan will not come to fruition, or will never will be executed without an adaptable management, capable of carry out the objectives of the business plan that are always in need of change and adaptation. Business plans are like a vehicle. It doesn’t matter its size or capacity, they all need a skilful driver to maneuver them safely to their final destination. That driver is you human capital!

 

The single most important understanding of an entrepreneur is to recognize, appreciate, and embrace his/her human capital strategic potential, so he/she can utilize it and apply it towards the success of the business. You need to comprehend the important characteristics and virtues your human capital provides as a whole, and how it stands out compared to other management teams.

 

As long as you acknowledge that the human capital is the most important positive feature your company will ever have, you will be not alone, but empowered to conquer a successful future. It is important to groom your work force to work as a team, to work together, evaluate its past performance, and use the learned lessons to put the teams’ work in perspective for the future. It is important to ask yourself who’s missing in the team. It is important to find natural leaders among your lineup, it is important to publically or privately recognize manifest member’s abilities and skills, it is important to promote advancement and progress, and it is important to multiply these capabilities as much as you can among your human capital members.

 

The Capital Value of the Human Element is the entire investment in the endeavor.

Avoid Single Points of Risk

 

No business model is guarantee of success. Only humans dare to guarantee things, knowing that there are no guarantees for anything. The only guarantee in business is that risk will be ever-present.

 

Some people think because he or she is the only person that can perform well a specific task, because it is difficult, or requires and advanced level of skill, or otherwise they are the only ones capable to execute such task, they have achieved job security. This can’t be farther from reality! As a business owner or responsible manager of an industry, you can not bet the future of the enterprise in one single point. If that employee becomes sick, or goes on vacations, or dies, then the industry stops. Ridiculous! If that “critical employee” decides to ask for more money or other benefits, he or she will hold the company hostage until the demands are satisfied. Ridiculous! If you are the only one able to perform certain tasks in a company, you are at the highest risk to be eliminated as soon as possible if not before. And this includes the entrepreneur.

 

Make sure your team is interchangeable, capable, well trained, and everyone of its members is taken care of. Good management and good care of the human capital can be de most decisive and accelerating reason for success or failure. Always consider making available prospects for growth and opportunity for your work force.

 

Our glorious US Marines are lethally effective in their indivisible team cohesion. Any member of the team can and will perform the other member’s duties at any time and with the same efficacy, they work together, they support each other, they relay blindly on each other, they all fight for the common goal, and they deliver. This is a perfect example of the ideal strength for a human capital team. Turn your human capital into a Business Marines Team.

The Perfect Business Model

 

The perfect business model is your own business model. Think about it. You will give birth to this baby in any and each way you want this business to be. You will plan every piece of it, maneuver every decision, design every strategy, define each goal and purpose, architect your human capital, and impregnate your business plan with your ideas, wishes, desires, objectives, output, and imagination. You have the exceptional opportunity to create the perfect business model for your own business.

 

In order to accomplish this, you must honestly apply sound business principles, market knowledge, and experience. You need to bring to existence a solid, cohesive, and well organized management team (human capital) to help you to fill all the blanks within the lack of knowledge and expertise you might have. You will not find honesty, loyalty, or responsibility in any market, product, or service. These virtues can only be provided and embraced by your human team, and if you are the chief leader of your human team, you must lead with those principles deeply rooted in your conduct first.

 

Your business model is not a logistic regression where you can predict the probabilities of success of your venture, but a carefully crafted document, a detailed roadmap, a planned strategy, a calculated input and output, a blueprint of the market, a tactical assessment of the risks, an archetype configuration for human capital, a powerhouse for accomplishment, an exact compass for direction, a financial chronograph, and your legitimate keystone for success. Design it well!

 

Perhaps we all need to be a little like Pedro, but carrying our business endeavor preparation to the next higher, logical steps, and turn it into an innovative Business Concept, a solid Business Model, and an accomplished Business Plan.

Quenching of America’s Entrepreneurial Spirit

The following is a guest post from Brabble Director of Business Development Patrick Mackaronis.

In America we pride ourselves on our freedoms. The great American dream tells the world we are the land where hard work can obtain a successful life. It is a fact that the poorest Americans have higher living standards than scores of people in third world countries around the world so we are indeed a land in which to prosper. This is a country built by hard labor and enterprising minds. Inventors and small business men worked diligently to make America the super power it has become. Individual spirit and drive made up the country’s unstoppable spirit of moving forward doing things better and faster than ever before. However, government regulations and big box retailers have quenched the entrepreneurial spirit and made it more challenging than ever for an individual to realize the great American dream of becoming a self made success and sent them to the time clock to follow the orders of managers.

In India Wal-Mart sits poised at the doors begging for entrance which at least for the foreseeable future has been denied in their original form. They have entered under another name as a wholesale bargain center selling to retailers but not to consumers, in the way that Sam’s club does here in the states. The reason why India has not slung the doors wide open for the retail giant is for the protection of their vendor’s who would not be able to compete with it. When looking at the Indian government’s actions and the laws they produce to protect their local vendors the natural question becomes why it is our government does not offer protection to small businesses. The resounding answer from those who tend to hate big government would have to include statements on free enterprise and fears of the government over stepping their bounds by entering into the private owned businesses. However those statements would be ignoring the fact the government is already heavily involved in every industry by heavily regulating every step of production, delivery, sale, and use of any product you can think of. Perhaps to an extend of regulating the small business out of business by driving cost to meet government regulation to the point of outrageous expectation for a small business trying to compete with retail giants.

While the government tends to over regulate the small business owner they turn a blind eye to the corporate giant’s who step all over the smaller competitors. These retail giants rob consumers of choices by forcing producers to cut corners and streamline production at the cost of quality and variety. Consumer’s are trained to think cheaper is better and quality is a luxury that can’t be afforded by the average family. Consumers are challenged with marketing, packaging, and display tricks that are designed to make it impossible for the best deal to be found. All of these tactics hurt not only the consumer of goods but make it next to impossible for the small business owner to draw the weary consumers into their shops without the smoke and mirror tactics. When you take into consideration the way the cards are stacked against the entrepreneur who wants to try and start a business from scratch the overall view can be discouraging. Whereas other countries such as India have took steps to protect their smaller business people it appears that the green fields of America have been left to the wolves.

Understandably persons will argue that regulations are meant to protect the consumer and the health of our environment. All regulations are not bad, it is over regulating that is the problem. For example while it is helpful for health inspectors to visit the local eatery to ensure foods are being served in a safe clean environment, the equipment regulations are often so expensive to meet that mom and pop eateries are becoming a thing of the past. If a mom and pop eatery can keep foods in safe temperature zones using cheaper equipment they should be allowed to serve their food. The regulation oversteps safety and declares only the more expensive commercial grade food equipment is acceptable even though we as consumers eat daily food prepared on standard equipment. Lofty regulations squash many entrepreneurial spirits who can’t raise the money to buy high dollar commercial equipment but can produce a quality product that given the option many consumers would safely purchase and consume.

The entrepreneurial spirit of American’s has suffered many blows including overly regulated business practices, high dollar marketing schemes by larger retailers and training through repetition to the American people that cheapness is preferable to quality. Even though a highly crafted piece of furniture may last it’s purchaser a life time overwhelmingly Americans are choosing to buy cheaply made furniture that will need to be replaced many times over during their lifetime. Choosing to pay less upfront can cost more over a period of time. In countries where vegetable vendors, clothes makers, and bakers still offer their products in open air street markets there are families who pass down their skills to their children and provide for their families through their own entrepreneurial efforts. Globalization could threaten these countries entrepreneurial spirits as large retailers move in and take over if individual countries do not protect their people as India has done. On the other had perhaps the information age that has came along with globalization will give a view to us in America that will cause us to demand protection for our own entrepreneurs. One can only hope that the result of that would result in revival of the entrepreneurial spirit in America. Additionally benefits would include an enhancement of our cultural experiences with an explosion of individual enterprises popping up on every corner.

Factors to Consider – Organizing House Spaces for Small Business Entrepreneur Owners

There has been an increased number of home-based small business emerging everywhere through out the United States.

This is the generation X and Y; entrepreneurs are what everyone hears and know.

Average houses might have 5 rooms, a finished basement and a garage.

Small business entrepreneur owners are facing a problem with the space in the house and how to organize that to provide them with what they need for running the business successfully.

In general, those who operate home-based enterprises, make extra space by converting basements, guest bedrooms or attics into offices and garages into warehouses. In that case they keep the space simple and eliminate traffic to that area, pets interference or house birds.

Most likely entrepreneurs stick with items that are critical or highly useful, rather than stylish or decorative. And in some cases, they invest in compact technology-laptops, wireless printer-scanner hybrids and other devices that take up minimal space. Usually that works great.

There are several factors to consider when establishing a home office. The set up should help you with your productivity, keep the business organized and clutter-free. Avoid having a small refrigerator in the office, that will be a great distraction. If you have a TV set int that room don’t put it on for day time television. These items may be under your control, then you have to look at the external factors that could be a big distractions in your day.

After observing them for a little and based on your neighbors daily routine and behavior, you should determine which room in the house is a the best choice.

Diverting potential distractions might be difficult to overcome. It’s summer and you want to keep the window open; the neighbor starts mowing their lawn and you’re on an important call. The kids are on vacation and across the street have a pool party. A bus or garbage truck drives by. you can hear everything.

There are few things you can do about all that, start with a headset with a mute button – is an essential tool for keeping disruptive noises at bay.

More tips:

Give room a clam feeling and have plenty of light so you can concentrate on work and not feeling trapped.

Set up working hours and keep the family preoccupied before you are “home from work.”

With effective time management, you can squeeze more productivity out of each day – and actually accomplish more. If necessary hire a Virtual Assistant, that will save you some time and keep your stuff organized.

Pat Mackaronis Describes How to Be an Entrepreneur

The following is a post from Brabble director of business development Pat Mackaronis. Pat is a thought leader and subject matter expert in the fields of entrepreneurship and startups, and has been a self-starting businessman for years.

Over the past year I have came across many people who want to become entrepreneurs but fear became their biggest obstacle. To have success as an entrepreneur is nothing more than a different mindset from your present mind. You are programming your mind to object the reality of going from crib, to cubicle, to casket. We all have experienced seeing some invention or idea and thought to ourselves, “I had that same idea” The difference was the other person mindset was in action as yours remained in fear. I will share with you some attributes that you can put into your life to start programming the way you think.

The first thing first is how you define what an entrepreneur is. The definition I like to use is simple as, a person who solves other people problems. All you have to do is ask yourself, “Do I have what it takes to solve someone’s problem?” Once you have the answer to that question you move into the next step.

Brainstorming is a way to start taking action and begin putting all your thoughts down on paper. Not caring about structure but writing non-stop about what you have to offer to solve someone else problem. I recommend not even thinking too much about what you are going to write down. Like the slogan for Nike say, “Just Do it.”

After you have brainstorm and wrote all your ideas and visions down on paper, take a quick break just to say, ” I am on my way to fulfilling my dream.” Feel great about taking action, because if you are feeling fear or overwhelmed, then maybe you might want to reexamine your passion or idea.

One simple step is to organize that same piece of paper you brainstorm on into a business plan. There are websites like; www.score.org that contains business plan templates and my favorite site is www.myownbusiness.org, which will walk you through the whole process of starting up a business.

Let me take a break and state that you should not have money on your mind right now. It will come a time you have to relax and just concentrate more on your goal. There are two outcomes after you have your business plan, either you will have an affect on your environment or your environment will have an affect on you. Please repeat what I just said because this is what is going to push you forward to get your idea going. You have to be the one to control your environment. You don’t believe in yourself then no one will believe in your services or product you are trying to offer.

The best attribute I can offer is read as much material on what you are trying to accomplish as possible. Successful entrepreneurs educate themselves in their field. While majority of people are sitting on the couch stuffing there minds with false reality of T.V., successful entrepreneurs are at the bookstore and library soaking up all the knowledge that they can endure.

Being an entrepreneur is the new reality. People are tired of going to work for hours out the day for a single pay check, which the government takes 25% of. The economic recession should be a wake up call to people who have the desire within to unleash their true potential. Look at the economic recession as a blessing because you can provide other people with jobs if you use what talent you have and bring it into existence.

To be an entrepreneur means getting over the fear and knowing that you are beyond powerful and well capable to create the life you deserve.

What Are Social Entrepreneurs

With slogans like “greed is good,” capitalism has earned a bad name despite a prevailing view that capitalist market action is the best means to address social issues like poverty. Although charity and investment seem to be conflicting terms, we actually need true social investments to ensure charity is successful. As a result, social entrepreneurs are the types of investors we need in our society to ensure long-term prosperity for our Country and the rest of the world.

A social entrepreneur is a businessman or woman who focuses on addressing the needs of a society through business. When jobs are needed, the goal of these individuals is to spur an industry that can create jobs. If a community needs better food production or sustainable energy sources, social entrepreneurs step up to the plate. The ultimate goal is to ensure necessary industries exist to provide for current and future interests of a society.

 

Beyond essentials like greener industries, socially responsible entrepreneurs also try to address the other human needs of a community. Looking at healthcare, public health clinics and programs for children with behavioral issues may be considered the end result of social entrepreneurs. As such, this kind of business culture is not new. Of course, not every business answering the call of society falls under this category. The behavior of these institutes must serve both the short and long-term needs of a society while the firm must be stepping in to fill a need without regard to profitability.

 

While social entrepreneurs can certainly generate profit with their endeavors, it is not their goal to work for personal gain. Their altruistic firms are designed to turn a profit, so operations can continue and expand before funds are reinvested into other endeavors. As such, social entrepreneurs are creating true social investments versus starting charities that rely on funds or the kindness of others to continue.

 

Moreover, social entrepreneurs are individuals who use the capitalist markets to generate the resources needed to solve social issues. These social investors create firms and industries designed specifically to address the issues facing communities around the world. Certainly, profit from these firms can be used to award investors and founders, but the objective is to continue creating new programs. As such, these businessmen and women work to address social injustices by utilizing the most redeemable characteristics of our capitalist philosophy.

The Winning Mindset for Online Entrepreneurs

The mindset required to be an entrepreneur online is essentially the same as that required to an entrepreneur off-line. The mindset of an entrepreneur is composed of specific beliefs, values, thoughts and idea. His mindset helps him succeed, by taking actions that are congruent to it. Here is a general outline of what an entrepreneur thinks like:  An entrepreneur is responsible for his life and business. He does not blame his family, his neighbors, his dog, his circumstances or God for what’s going on in his life and business.

An Entrepreneur begins with the end in mind. He is very clear about what he wants. He plans his work and works his plan.

An entrepreneur plays on the court rather than sits on the side line watching others play.

An entrepreneur is disciplined enough to not let unjust criticisms and temporary setbacks upset him (God knows he receive a lot of it). They are pretty thick skinned to what their family, neighbors, or friends have to say. At the same time he is not arrogant. He gives people a patient listening and takes in constructive criticism, discarding the rest.

An entrepreneur does not wait for all signals to turn green. He deals with the red ones, when he reaches them and never before. He takes one step at a time.

An entrepreneur plays to win. He does not play to try, or to not fail, like most people do.

An entrepreneur is persistent. He might fall and get bruised several times. He just gets back up, thinks “That was interesting”, dusts himself clean and move on with his head held high. He will never give up. If he doesn’t get the result one way, he will try another way.

An entrepreneur is willing to lose. This doesn’t mean that he wants to lose, but just that he is willing to take calculated gamble. Most people don’t even start, just out of fear of losing.

An entrepreneur does not fear failure. He understands that failure is a part of life. He learns from them, rather than sits and brood about it.

An entrepreneur promotes and markets his-self and his ideas at every opportunity he get, where as most people hate selling or marketing.

An entrepreneur is an excellent receiver. He is willing to receive success, compliment, good publicity, good news, profit, and happiness and is just as much willing to receive failure, criticism, bad publicity, bad news, lose and sadness. He understands that you cannot have one without the other.

An entrepreneur is willing to get paid based on his results, rather than on the time he spent to achieve it. Most people won’t be willing to work for months without pay, but an entrepreneur will.

An entrepreneur has a ‘both’ mentality rather than an ‘either/or’ mentality. You have people who say that you can either have fun or make money, but in his world, it is possible to have both.

An entrepreneur values his, and other’s time more than anything else in the world. He understands that his time on this planet is limited, and does not delude himself into ideas that, he has all the time in the world.

An entrepreneur is just a normal man/woman like you and me. He has fears and worries too. What separates him from the rest is that, he acts despite the fear, where as most people are paralyzed into inaction.

An entrepreneur is always open to learning new things. He understands that the day he stops learning, he is dead. Most people on the other hand, have the notion that education ends with school or college.

Last and not the least, an entrepreneur is highly charitable, not just with his money, but also with his time, his knowledge and effort. He is always willing to donate money for a good cause. He is always willing to mentor someone. He understands that what ever he gives out, he will always get it back many fold. Some call it karma. Some call it ‘giving back’.