Starting Out

Sep 082016
 
CAUTION: Don't Be Another (Failure) Statistic

Did you know that 60% of small businesses go under within the first three years of business, with two-thirds failing within the first 10 years? Those grim failure statistics seem so overwhelming, that some might say you’d need to be an absolute fool to start a business today. But entrepreneurial dreams are hard things to neglect (thankfully). So many eager beavers take the leap from worker to entrepreneur, in spite of the odds. Businesses who succeed can expect to lose [read more…]

Sep 052016
 
[BLACK] TOOL: Stripe Payments

Charge it. Cha-Ching. Are you looking for an easy to use credit card processor for your company?  Look no further. One of my favorite business solutions is Stripe, a software tool for collecting credit card payments. Positioning itself as the ‘payments infrastructure for the internet,’ Stripe is the perfect solution for those looking to build a marketplace, mobile app, online storefront or subscription service. Stripe Features Do you need to accept payments quickly and easily? Stripe is not only easy [read more…]

Aug 242016
 
[GREEN] TIP: Just Google It

If You’re Stuck, Just Google It. I can’t begin to tell you the number of times that customers, colleagues or friends have been stuck on something and don’t know what to do, so they’ve called and asked me. Do you know what I do if I don’t know?  I google it.  Sounds obvious, I know. But many times, the obvious is un-obvious. Yesterday, I had a customer ask me what to do because they got an error message when trying [read more…]

Oct 082015
 
[GREEN] TOOL: Freshbooks

Do you need a simple accounting software? If so, I highly recommend Freshbooks because of it is so easy to use. Freshbooks makes your accounting tasks easy, fast and secure — three descriptions that every entrepreneur desires. I have been a customer of Freshbooks for over two years now, and I can say that the service they provide constantly exceeds my expectations.  As a matter of fact, of all the software programs I use to run my businesses, Freshbooks is [read more…]

Aug 262012
 
[GREEN] TOOL: Todoist

Are you looking for a new “to-do”? There is one task manager tool that I use all the time. Not just every day, but every hour. It not only is one of my most used tools, but it’s also a huge help when it comes to keeping my work organized on my computer. Todoist helps you keep your desktop and your life organized. First, create a project. Then create tasks related to that project. You can add due dates and set up [read more…]

Jul 302012
 
CAUTION: Don't Rely On Gurus

Don’t do it. After spending most of the past year laying a solid foundation for my resort-based websites, I found myself listening to guru podcast after guru podcast instead of concentrating on things that really mattered to drive my business. I was of the opinion that everyone else (except for me) had uncovered the secret to online success. If I could just listen to each worthwhile podcast or attend the ‘mustn’t-miss’ webinar, I, too, would learn the secret and be [read more…]

Jun 252012
 
[BLACK] TOOL: Shoeboxed

Ready to eliminate paper clutter? As entrepreneurs, we’re always collecting receipts. Yet, it seems like we never have any spare time to organize them. Shoeboxed.com is ready to come to your rescue!  Consider Shoeboxed your full time virtual assistant that saves you time and money (especially during tax season)! Shoeboxed takes the pain out of paperwork.  All you do is send the paper documents (receipts and business cards) by mail via the supplied envelope or upload them via your mobile [read more…]

Jun 222012
 
[BLUE] TOOL: Brand Yourself

Do you really need a free and easy way to manage your online reputation, Google ranking and personal branding? Yes, you do. We were all taught that a firm handshake, professional attire and a strong resume were the necessary pillars of a good first impression. Unfortunately, this philosophy is no longer enough. With the advent of social media, making an unforgettable first impression in-person is no longer the only thing you need to worry about.  Whether you like it or not, you’re being [read more…]

Feb 032012
 
[GREEN] TIP: 50 Tasks in 90 Days To Start Your Biz

Is it time you start turning your dreams into reality? Over the last three months, I’ve been working like a fiend trying to get my new brand building company off the ground. In addition to the Resort Lifestyle Network that I manage, I had been providing consulting services on the side to generate additional revenue.  However, with more business coming in than I could manage, I decided to turn my ‘side gig’ into something more. And thus my new online [read more…]

Feb 012012
 
[GREEN] TOOL: Lynda.com Online Training

What is it? Lynda.com is online software training videos that really work.  Really. They offer classes for the very basic beginner who’s clueless about software all the way through to the expert who needs to brush up on their skills. Whatever your line of business, you should get to know ‘Lynda.’ It’s no longer OK to get by in business life without knowing basic computer skills.  Actually, being naive about technology is ludicrous considering how much business is done online [read more…]

Jan 132012
 
Corporate or Entrepreneur Path? Choose Well.

Should you go for it or play it safe? This open letter was written by the CEO of Ooga Labs,  James Currier, to the engineers at his alma mater one night. “Don’t make my mistake! So you’re going to take a cube job with slow Microsoft, bureaucratic Oracle, or with some boring financial company? C’mon! Do you want spend all of your life wearing modest habits of charcoal grey, driving your Volvo on the salty roads of the drab East Coast, paying [read more…]

Oct 092011
 
CAUTION: Don't Hide Behind Your Computer

Are you launching an online business? Heed these warnings that will save you time and money. Tip: Don’t hire a website developer too soon. For most of this year, I’ve been hunkered down, hidden behind my Dell laptop screen. I’ve been working day and night in order to lay a solid foundation for my Resort Lifestyle Network business.  I’ve been building websites from scratch.  I’ve been doing lots of research. I’ve been writing a lot of content.  I’ve been playing around [read more…]

Sep 222011
 
[DOUBLE DIAMOND] TIP: It's Time To Burn Some Bridges

Everyone thinks that burning bridges is a horrible thing. But when you’re an entrepreneur in the start up phase of a business, burning bridges is not only a good thing – it’s a necessity for success. As you cross the bridge over the great divide from employee to entrepreneur, you must burn that bridge down or else you’ll find yourself constantly distracted, looking back over your shoulder. Burning bridges keeps you from backstepping into past illusions of safety and grandeur. When [read more…]

Sep 192011
 
[Video] 5 Shortcuts To Finding Your Passion

  In this video, Jen Gresham of Everyday Bright explains to Leo Babauta of Zen Habits how to determine if your passion is worth pursuing.  Is your hobby just a hobby, or could it translate into a real money-making career?  She offers five shortcuts that will help in your decision making about what passions are worth pursuing. This video also discusses the anti-passions and why you can’t ignore them, why passion isn’t everything, the #1 mistake people make when choosing a passion [read more…]

Sep 082011
 
[BLUE] TIP: 15 Ways To Gain Credibility

How Can You Look Like An Expert? Many entrepreneurs need to be perceived as experts (or at least knowledgeable) in their respective fields in order to establish trust, attract and retain customers and build their community. But what do you do when you’re still fairly green and trying to make a name for yourself in your industry? Luckily, there are many options available to help you build your online and offline reputation. With a bit of effort and time, you [read more…]

Aug 292011
 
[GREEN] TIP: Do You Need a Founding Partner?

Don’t Go Solo Are you running your business all by yourself? There’s something to said about sole proprietors.  They get to call all the shots and make all the decisions. Entrepreneurs also get to carry all the burdens and work all the time.  Although it can be extremely exhilarating launching your dream solo, it’s an exhausting and isolating endeavor too. There’s a myth out there about the sole entrepreneur who has the idea, starts the company and gets rich.  While there might [read more…]

Aug 172011
 
CAUTION: Don't Assume You Know Your Audience

Don’t do it. When I launched Hire Me Aspen, I thought I had a pretty good handle on who my target audience was. After all, I was targeting someone just like me. The idea of my website arose out of a genuine concern about the economy and living in a resort town: “What would I do if I lost my work-from-anywhere corporate job and needed to freelance on the side to make extra money while I launched my business?” Plus, there’s a [read more…]

Aug 152011
 
CAUTION: Don't Be Domain Happy

Don’t do it. When I decided to branch out on my own, I spent an entire weekend brainstorming like a mad woman. They say when you lose track of time, you’re most certainly following your passions.  Clearly, I was on a roll and loving every minute of it, so I guess you can say it was a passion-filled weekend. One of the biggest brainstorms that came out of that weekend was the creation of Sharing Profiles, LLC and how my network of websites would work [read more…]