5 Crucial Lessons I Learned by Starting My Own Business

As a kid, I had no aspirations of being a business owner or entrepreneur.

I was a baseball card collector investing way too much money in Jose Canseco baseball cards.  (That probably ranks as one of the worst investments I’ve ever made but, hey – I was just a kid).

Even going into college, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do when I graduated.

I majored in finance because my dad thought it would be a good major, and I kind of liked numbers.

The self-employment revelation hit me when I read Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad. That really changed my whole mindset, and got me to thinking seriously about becoming an entrepreneur.

After graduation, I was attracted to the financial services industry, because I felt that the income potential there was unlimited. I put in my time doing cold calling seminars – and doing anything else I needed to do to get clients. All went well for the first five years – or so it seemed.

Then another revelation hit me: Even though my income was unlimited, I was still a W2 employee.

That wasn’t exactly the message of Rich Dad Poor Dad, but it did have certain advantages. After all, I didn’t have to worry about who was paying the rent, how much the phone bill was, or what happened if my computer became outdated. My old brokerage firm took care of all that responsibility.

But in the end, that arrangement wasn’t as cozy as it seemed.

5 Crucial Lessons I Learned by Starting

My brokerage firm was bought out, creating one of those moments that almost forces you to change direction, and that‘s what I did. Me and three other coworkers took the leap of faith of actually starting our own financial services firm. I was finally – and officially – crossing over from W2 employee status to legitimate business owner.

I was finally self-employed.

It definitely was very exciting, but it was also very scary. I quickly realized I knew nothing about running a business. Sure, I knew how to make cold calls, get new clients, and schmooze with the best of them. But actually running a business was something that I had never been taught in school and really had no experience with.
[Read more…]

GF¢ 044: Why I Happily Pay $7,900 a Year For Strategic Coach

Play

What is one investment you’ve made in the past that you’re grateful for today?

In 2011, my financial planning practice was thriving, for the most part. It had been three years since I left my old firm and co-founded Alliance Investment Planning Group, and this blog was doing very well.

In spite all of that, I felt like something was missing.

It wasn’t about the money, because I was making more than enough to support my family. It was more about how I was spending my time each day. There were certain parts about my day that I absolutely loved, but there were other parts that I absolutely dreaded.

I remembered that the mentor who had first hired me to be a financial advisor once told me that he had gone through a few different coaching programs. At the time, I didn’t get it.

Why would you ever spend money on a coach? But I slowly started to realize that I needed someone to help me figure out what exactly I wanted to accomplish, and how I was going to do it.

Through a contact I met on my blog, I learned about a program called The Strategic Coach. This online entrepreneur I met had been in the program for 12 years and suggested that I check it out. I decided to investigate their website.

Then I saw the cost. <insert jaw drop>

Strategic Coach Program Dan Sullivan Review

Based on my income bracket (they have different price ranges depending on where your income falls), it would cost me $6,900 per year to be a part of the program. If that wasn’t a tough pill to swallow, I then learned that the program only consisted of four workshop days per year.
[Read more…]

100 Ways to Make $100 Fast

Free cash rocks!

Walking through a parking lot I one time stumbled upon a $20 bill.

Before I snatched it up I looked up around almost waiting for the hidden camera crew to jump out from the bushes to yell “Gotcha!”.

They didn’t and I was $20 richer. Score!

That is the only time that I’ve ever came across some quick cash.

Everyone needs some cash in a hurry from time-to-time.

Knowing that, I thought it would be fun to put together a post that outlined 100 ways you can make $100 fast.

100 ways to make money fast
Out of the 100, you should find at least a few that you can do any time you need extra cash.

Bookmark this page so you can refer to it anytime you need money!

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure – Selling your junk

One of the best and easiest ways to make quick cash is by selling what you have – or that you can acquire on the cheap. It also has a secondary benefit in that it keeps the clutter in your life to a minimum.
[Read more…]

How Setting Consistent Goals Increased My Revenue By 100%

“People with clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine.”
-Brian Tracy

Three years ago, I enrolled in my first coaching program called The Strategic Coach, a program dedicated to helping entrepreneurs achieve exponential growth.

I seldom use the expression “game changer,” but this program is just that.

I plan on writing future blog posts sharing what I’ve learned from the program and how I’ve benefited from it.

My hope is that you’ll also gain some key takeaways that you can apply to your own life.

Goal Setting Worksheet

Each quarter, I spend a full day with other like-minded entrepreneurs in a classroom-like setting, going over the material for that day.

Before we get started, we celebrate our “wins” for the previous quarter, helping us recognize everything we’ve accomplished in the past 90 days.

Believe me, as busy as I am, I sometimes lose sight of all the wins – big or small.
[Read more…]

How to Become an Independent Contractor

For years, I have been an independent contractor. I’ve grown my home business into something that earns a steady income for my family. In fact, I’m the primary breadwinner. Becoming an independent contractor is one of the most profitable small businesses to start this year.

how to become an independent contractor

As an independent contractor, I have a degree of freedom in choosing my own schedule, and even determining who my clients are. I’m also part of a segment of the workforce that is growing in demand. Many companies are turning to independent contractors because it can be less expensive. My hourly rate might be higher than the rates commanded by “regular” workers, but I save a company in other ways:

  • No benefits to pay
  • No overhead costs
  • No payroll taxes to pay

A few years ago, CNN Money pointed out that an employee working for $14 an hour actually costs an employer $20 an hour. While most of my clients pay more than $20 for a project, the reality is that they just have to pay me for the project, rather than continue to pay me day in and day out, and pay the other costs associated with maintaining a full-time employee.

How Do You Become Self-Employed?

The independent contractor arrangement can be a win-win in many ways. If you are looking to become an independent contractor, either to replace your “day job,” or just to make a little extra money on the side, here are some steps you need to take:
[Read more…]

Want to Succeed as an Entrepreneur? Learn the Art of Leverage

risk reward

This will sound contradictory but the same traits that make you a successful business owner could also cause you to fail. If you understand why, you won’t join the legions of entrepreneurs that had the drive and passion to succeed but ended up going back to work for somebody else.

It’s all about leverage and if you’ve never studied how this largely misunderstood word is pivotal to your success, now is the time.

What are these personality traits?

According to Entrepreneur Magazine, successful entrepreneurs have certain personality traits in common.

  • They are curious. They’re always reading the latest article, they’re the person who asks all of the questions at the conference, and they never miss a chance to meet somebody new and ask, “How did you do it?”
  • They are controllers. They don’t want somebody else controlling their destiny and they want the autonomy to create their own vision and execute it in a way that they think is right.
  • They have tunnel vision. A little bit of adversity is fuel. It makes them work harder because it never enters their mind that they might fail.

These are all traits that lead to success but those same traits can limit growth if taken to extremes.

[Read more…]

The Best 37 Books For Entrepreneurs That Kick Serious Butt

If you have any inkling of wanting to become an entrepreneur, then you should be doing one simple thing.

What’s the simple thing? Reading.

Reading is said to be the spark behind creative thinking, and is one of the most predominate traits of individuals said to pertain a level of “higher intelligence”.

Is the thought of gaining intelligence through reading actually viable? I believe that it is not intelligence that is gained through reading; rather it’s the exposure to other people’s thoughts and perception of events and processes that lead to you being better rounded thinker.

best books for entrepreneurs

Reading other people’s thoughts and ideas are the key ingredients to being successful in life (beyond being very naturally intelligent).
[Read more…]

10 Easy Ways to Make Money On the Side

This post is provided by Andrea Woroch from AndreaWoroch.com.

There’s nothing more frustrating than saving every dollar possible and still coming up short on your monthly expenses or barely making a dent when paying down debt.

10 Easy Ways To Make Money on the Side

Despite our best efforts to live frugally, clipping coupons and brown-bagging lunch doesn’t always cut it. Sometimes the only solution is to add more income to the mix and with the recent two-percent payroll tax increase, it may not seem realistic.

Luckily, there are several easy ways to beef up your cash flow without distracting from your regular 9 to 5. Review these 10 suggestions on how to make some extra money on the side.
[Read more…]

Serial Entrepreneurs Key to Success: Focus

This post is presented by Mike Collins from WealthyTurtle.com.

serial entrepreneurSince I’ve been building websites since 2004, you’d probably assume I had managed to build quite an online empire for myself by now.

That was certainly the plan.

Back then, if you had asked me where I’d be nine years later I’d have said that I would be drinking beer and grilling dinner for the family while living off my passive income. I envisioned dozens or hundreds of websites each generating a steadily growing income.

Unfortunately my plan was bit ambitious and I learned the hard way that earning a living online isn’t as easy as people think it is. Sure, anyone can launch a site and make a few bucks through advertising or affiliate programs.

But to take the next steps and build a real business you need something that eluded me for far too long.

Focus.
[Read more…]

5 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Succeed

Characteristics of a successful entrepreneurAs an entrepreneur, you know that half your time is devoted to the daily hustle, making things happen, accomplishing goals.

In some cases, like myself, you may spend just a bit more than half your time.  :)

The other half is looking ahead, knowing where you want to be and in what time frame.

For some entrepreneurs, overcoming the mental anxiety of uncertainty is the first big step.

Om Malik, a tech business writer six years ago, faced these uncertainties when he set up his own media site GigaOM. Om recalled the early day of his entrepreneurial venture to Ventureburn recently. He wrote:

“Those nights of self-reflection during the early startup phase exposed me to a lot of my own demons and made me realize how little I knew. The biggest outcome of that conversation was the realization that companies and startups are essentially a reflection of a founder. If a founder doesn’t realize that, then it is going to be extremely difficult to build a long-term business.”

[Read more…]

Dream Big – Adjusting Your Mindset to Make $5 Million Per Year

As a kid, we are always told to “dream big” and the “sky’s the limit”.

When I was a kid I remember winning a poster of a yellow Lamborghini at local carnival. I couldn’t get home fast enough to get up on my bedroom wall.

My dad used to tell me that if I worked really hard that I could drive that car one day.

I dreamed one day that it would come true.

Losing the Dream

As I got older, that dream eventually wore off. I had concluded that I could never afford to drive such a car.

Many of us stop dreaming. We conceded to life and assume that this is “how it’s supposed to be”.

I used to believe the same thing until a recent conversation I had with a very successful entrepreneur.

See how it changed my way of thinking and how I’m once again dreaming big.



Most Profitable Small Businesses to Start in 2013

Most Profitable Small BusinessesWhile 2013 is still relatively new there is no better time to get on with it and start that small business you’ve been considering for so long now.

Small businesses are the heartbeat of the United States economy and are a path to independence.

Sure there are many headaches and heartaches that small business owners must endure.

But for those that stick it out and survive are left with a freedom that many desire.

The only question remaining is what small business should you start?

Here are seven suggestions of the most profitable small businesses that you may find interesting.
[Read more…]