Launching a new business obviously comes with a whole host of minor and major expenses. But typical hard costs (inventory, mobile phone, office lease, website admin, marketing...) aren't the only ones that an entrepreneur take on. Here's a few hidden costs you can welcome into your entrepreneurial life!
There's a very real emotional toll as well. Aside from excitement, hopefulness and that fabulous heart-pounding adrenaline that comes with a great business idea (if you don't experience this, why are you in business?!), there's just as many moments filled with frustration, fear, insecurity and stress. These moments, among other things, are part of the price you pay for being an entrepreneur.
182.5 hours per year
If you're going to survive the stress of being an entrepreneur without losing momentum or health, you've got to take care of yourself. And since nothing does your body and mind more good than daily exercise, that means working out at least 30 minutes a day. #NoExcuses. I read somewhere that most successful entrepreneurs work out for a minimum of 30 minutes per day and eat no more than 200-300 calories in junk food. Well, whether that was true or not, it make sense. I was in business for 9 years before I realized I'm not invincible and began taking personal health seriously. And now I find myself craving the fresh mind and energy that comes with my daily workout!
For ages, my "new" Outlook 2007 software (new to me - upgraded about a year ago) was only checking email every half hour. As a result, co-workers and clients thought I was ignoring their emails while working on a project with them. I wouldn't get their message until well after I'd moved onto another task. It was driving me batty.
Anyways, finally took a moment to look up a fix, and it worked:
I'm a tech junkie. And as such, I love looking for fresh, inexpensive ways to increase sales, build client loyalty, and make business just a little easier. This week, I went on the hunt for a few great apps that could help me produce quality sales presentations and/or webinars...
My favourite television ad right now is the @GoDaddy one in which someone starts their own business. Then Jon Lovitz appears, guffawing and saying "Beans! You'll be living on beans!!!" I love that commercial. It's funny and it sounds familiar, doesn't it?
There's been several projects/businesses I've started that have put me face to face with people (friends, family, peers and other entrepreneurs) who said essentially the same thing. In fact, one person who I respect literally said "Suckerrrr!" less than halfway through my excited description of a new project I had taken on.
Either everyone automatically assumes my failure, or they assume failure in all people's entrepreneurial endeavors - or maybe I'm just talking to the wrong people!
Either way, success or failure, I'll never stop trying to make my dent in the world (and having fun doing so). Here's a few tricks for staying fired up about your start-up...
Yes, it's official. Cold calling is dead! Thank god. It was killed, in part, by what Darren Hardy recently referred to as "the connected age."
The sales funnel now starts with content marketing, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and - for those that are doing it right - LinkedIn. Essentially, cold calling, knocking on doors, spam mail and the many other fabulous 80's style, long over-done marketing tactics (note sarcasm) have been replaced by building online brand awareness, content marketing, and social selling. Especially for B2B sales.
In 2015, more than than half of the Buyers' Journey takes place online. And it takes place before you are ever approached by your prospect. That means they're checking out your company and your competition before you even know they're in the market for your area of expertise.
So what are today's official rules of engagement for marketing our products and services in a way that actually works? The answer is that, honestly, even the experts are learning as they go. But from what I've seen, learned and tested, here's what I think we should do...
Rewrite the sales manual
I don't mean edit it. I mean, let's completely rewrite it. Why? Because the method of operations have completely changed.
The big move from cold calling to social selling comes with an even bigger move from hard sales to relationship building (and the benefits of customer acquisition as a result).
It's a change in culture as much as it is a change in tactic. After all, being successful at finding new clients is no longer about hitting a prospect over the head with the loudest pitch, more often than your competition. (I personally don't think it ever was). It's about benefiting financially from perfecting the art of connecting your prospects with the products and services they need and want.
Do you have a love/hate relationship with your LinkedIn account? Are you baffled by why people spend so much time on LinkedIn or are you simply too busy to give it much thought?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then the LinkedIn for Business Owners workshop on March 9th could have you looking at LinkedIn in a whole new way.
Hosted by business guru and ActionCOACH Tony Roy in Downtown Kitchener, and with workshop presenters that include myself, David Geurin and Tony Roy himself, this is a hands-on, bring-your-laptop (or tablet) style workshop that will have you going from connections to clients and from basic bio to All-Star rated bio in about two hours.
THIS WORKSHOP WILL COVER:
This workshop will be presented by two experts in the field of Social Media Marketing:
Jennifer Goulden – is self-confessed serial entrepreneur, niche publisher (the WeddingRing.ca and The Wedding Ring Magazine) and a marketing go-to-girl for clients in a wide range of industries. For the last 15 years she has been helping entrepreneurs find their online presence and take advantage of today’s technology trends to reach their sales goals.
David Guerin – is the owner and principal web designer at Absolutely Business Solutions. He is dedicated to helping small business owners take advantage of the power of the Internet with impactful websites, practical social media strategies and other online marketing efforts.
WHEN & WHERE?
Monday, March 9th, from 6 to 8 at Kitchener Public Library, Hall A
HOW TO GET IN?
There's no cost to attend but you need to register at abetterbusiness.ca
P.S. Bring Your Laptop – this is an interactive workshop!
Do you find yourself occasionally falling into a slump, feeling as if you'd rather do just about anything in the world other than work? If yes, then I can relate. And for the past 12 months, I've recognized this impending threat of "the slump" and have been working to find ways to keep it at bay. As a result, I've cooked up a list containing a few of my favourite tricks for boosting energy, focus and productivity on days when you'd rather just go to bed. From motivational music to a simple change of scenery, these tricks work...
Music, baby! Music is always the best medicine for me. And I'm perfectly okay with chair dancing! Favourite chair dancing playlist? Hmm. Top favs (and yes, they will probably date me) would have to be:
Morning Yoga. This is new (like just a few weeks in) for me but I'm amazed at how awesome it feels to stretch and strengthen first thing in the morning. Depending on the day, I choose either a Gentle Morning Yoga (20 min video) or an Energizing Morning Sequence (24 min video) from my fav online Yoga teacher, Adriene. Definitely preps me for a long day. I try to do some yoga stretches here and there throughout the day to help combat the strain on my back from sitting at a desk (yuk) all day.
A short burst of exercise! If I wake up early enough and get a coffee into me pretty much right away (and therefore don't want to kill everyone around me), I find that jumping on the elliptical for 20 minutes to the tunes of The Drop-A-Beat Workout on Songza is the best way to start the day! NOTE: I only do this if I've gone to bed at a reasonable time the night before.
Change of scenery. Sometimes I work at my kitchen table. Sometimes at my desk on main floor. Sometimes in my upstairs mini-office with a view of the neighbourhoods below us (our house is on a bit of a hill). A change of scenery helps so much. This is particularly great for people with creative jobs.
Cleaning my work space or organizing my paperwork. I'm not crazy about cleaning but I can admit that a messy work space can mess with my head. I tend to let it build until I snap. And yes, I also have favourite tunes for this task. See above. lol
Organize my To Do list. I found that if I don't have an organized list of tasks to accomplish, I just become overwhelmed and get nowhere super-fast.
"Photo safaris" - but that might just be me: I love photography, so when I'm really feeling the need to feed my creativity, a photo safari can almost always do it! If you love taking pictures, this might be right up your alley as well. A photo safari means just grabbing my camera (I use a Nikon D90 or a D800 and a 24-70 f2.8 lens) and heading outside to take a walk and photograph the outdoors, whether its nature or architecture. Whatever floats your boat. Photo safaris are even more fun when the weather has thrown us a curve ball such as cool, early morning Fall fog or incredible snowy scenes like we just had a few weeks ago. I think anyone should use whatever camera they have. iPhones are particularly great if you don't have a pro cam.
Coffee = self-explanatory.
A couple of weeks ago I was having a week from hell... Totally swamped with work, stressed about my mounting To Do list and trying to ignore issues that I hadn't yet figured out how to fix yet.
Then I woke up to this crazy, magical, ice-covered Canadian winter wonderland outside my window. There'd been a storm overnight and now everything was sparkling as if it were made of diamonds.
I drove the kids to school, kicking myself for not always having "my good camera" with me. But I knew that I didn't have time for playing in the snow. So I returned to my office, planted myself firmly at my desk and booted up my Inbox. As last night's emails began to download, I certainly wasn't feeling motivated. It was hard to force myself to start answering the dozens of requests for time I didn't have.
Worse, I knew the scene outside would all melt within the hour, pretty much as soon as the sun hit the sparkling ice that had covered everything from trees and weeds to street signs and fences. If pictures were to be taken, it would have to be now.
When self-scolding failed, I said "to hell with it," grabbed my D90 (and 24-70mm f2.8 lens), and headed out in search of some great photos. The winter wonderland photos turned out to be pretty amazing.
When I returned from my photo safari, I sat down at my desk with crisp winter air in my lungs, a hot cup of tea in my hands and a smile on my face. I am positive that I doubled my productivity that day. Why? Because I took less than an hour to indulge in a creative activity that I love, one that had absolutely nothing to do with my To Do list. #justsaying
MORE GOOD READS: Motivational tricks for pulling out of an unproductive slump
PHOTOS: Jennifer Goulden, All rights reserved.
When 'Smart Meters' came to Ontario, my husband was one of the first to say it would cost us a small fortune. He didn't believe the spin. Personally, I didn't know either way until our first bill came in the mail. Let's just say it was not good - partially because we work from home. Apparently, we are using the MOST energy in the MOST expensive times of the day, according to the local hydro company. I'm told this is rare, but as working from home becomes more and more popular, I doubt it. And so, in response, we promptly got off the energy roller coaster and signed with a hydro plan that locked in our rates (email if you need the name). I'm glad we did, because energy has gone up a LOT since then.
Personally, I think it's crazy that some households have to do laundry at midnight in order to afford their own hydro. It's equally crazy to base a smart program on the 'fact' that most people are not home during the day (when every other house has a work-from-home entrepreneur in it), a 'fact' that is straight out of the 1980's. And for many businesses, it's a complete nightmare.
Tonight's CTV News Kitchener report on hydro smart meter costs and the Auditor General's report, is below. And it's not pretty.
Smart meters haven't met conservation targets, have cost $50 billion: AG http://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/smart-meters-haven-t-met-conservation-targets-have-cost-50-billion-ag-1.2139538 via @CTVKitchener
CTV Toronto: Smart meters are 'ineffective' The auditor general says the smart meter program is over budget and it hasn't been saving people money. Paul Bliss reports. Extended: Auditor general's report released Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk tables her 2014 annual report, speaking about the province's smart meter program and energy rates.
Read more: http://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/smart-meters-haven-t-met-conservation-targets-have-cost-50-billion-ag-1.2139538#ixzz3LS6EK8J2
I am a Serial Entrepreneur and have been for as long I can remember. Being a serial entrepreneur is a little bit like having a disease, but it's one that (hopefully) earns money.
For some, having this bug just turns them into a 'Jack of all Trades' but master of none. NOT good. For me, the symptoms are that I can't say no to a good thing. I see opportunity from a mile away, I never tire of learning a new product or industry, I love playing devil's advocate (probably a little too much), and spreadsheets make me tick. I take pride in seeing business challenges before they come, and I always try to poke holes in a new idea - to see if it's really just a bad idea.
When I can't poke holes, then this affliction gets serious. I get the this-could-change-everything!! caliber of adrenaline rush that only entrepreneurs get - and that's when I know i have to have a piece of the pie.
And so I'm in, as of October 14th, on a new opportunity that's extremely part time (a few evenings here, a Saturday morning there), helping other serial entrepreneurs develop residual income through micro franchises in industries such as telecom and merchant services.
I know I already have a successful career in publishing and marketing, and yes, I already make a comfortable income... And, no (really, no), I didn't need to add new items to my To Do list, but there is one new thing I've learned right away - if you want something done, ask a busy person. Another serial entrepreneur who owns several homes and a couple of private jets told me that a few weeks ago and I believe him. He has the disease too.
So, sure, I'm a little bit busier now, but there's advantages to this entrepreneurial disease. After a while, you get pretty good at it. I have since made my original investment back, earned some pretty great first clients, and am now looking forward to month two.
"Either I will find a way, or I will make one." - Philip Sidney
Jennifer Goulden Marketing Go-to-Girl wth well over 10 years' experience • Wedding Industry Strategist (The Ring) • Web+Graphic Designer • Public Outreach Manager (IEDRO) • Lifelong Student • Willing Teacher • Serial Entrepreneur • Photographer Wannabe • Tech Junkie
Marketing go-to girl for a handful of professionals, non-profits and small businesses that want to stand out and be heard. Specializing in helping companies use content marketing and social media to reach their target audience.