Monthly Archives: November, 2016

Would you Like to be a Guest Blogger?

November 27th, 2016 Posted by Business is ART, Engagement 0 thoughts on “Would you Like to be a Guest Blogger?”

ReadingWould you like to be a guest blogger?

I’ve been blogging for a couple of years now – 2 blogs in fact. One of them is a personal blog entitled “#Significance.” The other is a business blog entitled “Business is ART.” Both are close to my heart, but it is past the time to invite others in to share a few things close to their heart, while sticking within the general subject matter of either blog.

#Significance is about a focus on significance versus success. When you focus on success, it is about you. When you focus on significance it is about others. Significance is about focusing on the success of others, and when you do, your own success naturally comes.

Business is ART is really about any business relevant subject that may be helpful to anyone that has a business interest, be it a career minded individual, a business owner, someone thinking about going in to business, or just people who enjoy the topic. So much of the time I find that business concepts can be applied to life as well, so in my mind, Business is ART is really for anyone.

How We Learn

In forming my thoughts and/or doing research for blog posts, I have learned a lot and it is my hope that others do as well. After all, that is really the purpose of a blog.

But after a couple of years, there is just one problem – it’s all from my perspective. When all we do is talk it’s pretty hard to listen, and that is what can make a blog go stale. We have to listen to truly learn.

That’s why I say it is past time to actively seek guest bloggers to both #Significance and Business is ART. I would truly like to listen to what you have to say.

You Talk, I Listen

So here is your shot!

Please contact me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or through my Contacts page and let’s get your guest post up on either or both of my blogs.

I am looking forward to hearing from you and what you have to say.

Finding Time to Start a Business 

November 22nd, 2016 Posted by Entrepreneur 0 thoughts on “Finding Time to Start a Business ”

finding timeRemember when you were young and had all the free time in the world? Maybe it didn’t feel like that at the time, but in retrospect adolescence seems like it was much less busy than adulthood. It’s tough because, as an adult, you feel like you finally have the skills and knowledge to make your goals happen, but where do you find the time?

You can finally make that idea a reality. You can actually start your own business.

That is, you can if you find the time. It’s clear that some people are finding the time. The question is how? How do you find the time to start a business in the middle of grownup responsibilities?

It’s Almost Never Going to be a Perfect Time

The first thing you have to accept is the fact that it’s not going to feel ideal. Starting a business isn’t something that comes easy. You likely won’t feel like you suddenly have a giant hole in your schedule, enabling you to invest extra time and effort.

So don’t wait around for it. Once you’ve decided you want to start a business, do it.

Find Gaps and Stretch Where You Can

You’re going to have to take a very hard look at your schedule. Write it out if you need to. Look for the gaps in it. Maybe there’s a small window of time before work or directly after it. It’s possible you have a stretch of free time right before bed.

Identify the openings, however small, and see if you can either stretch them or merge them together. If you have free time in the morning and in the late evening, try either going to bed earlier or waking up later, utilizing the combined free time to work on your business.

If you have some free after work, see if you can push back your evening activities. Once you start shifting things around a bit, you may be surprised to find some free time in the middle of everything.


Regardless of how much free time you find in your schedule, you’ll likely have to make some cuts. It could be removing a hobby or dropping out of a sports league or skipping watching your favorite shows every week. You may have to trim back your social life.

Committing to a business requires sacrifice. There’s no way around that. Either you’re going to sacrifice some things that are currently holding you back, or you’re going to sacrifice your dreams of running your own business.

Quit Your Full-Time Job

This is something that’s not going to be an immediate option for a lot of people. But sooner or later, the goal for an entrepreneur is to leave their previous job behind so they can pursue their business full-time. When that moment comes, you’ll certainly find yourself with a lot more time in your schedule to put towards your business.

But you’ll likely need a little patience.

For more advice on when exactly to quit your job, check out our previous post here.

Beware of Burnout

Think that burnout doesn’t exist when you’re working on your own business? Think again. Even when you’re chasing your own dream, you can find yourself burned out. Burnout can negatively affect everything around you, from your relationships to your job and more.

Even as you’re sacrificing and working harder and giving your startup everything you have, be mindful of burnout. Give yourself a day off. Do something fun. Don’t disconnect from the world around you.

Stay consistent, stay focused, trim the fat out of your life, and you just may find the time to start up a successful business. I can help guide you further. Check out my book, Business is ART, enroll in BIA University, or contact me directly.

Should You Outsource?

November 17th, 2016 Posted by Engagement, Entrepreneur 0 thoughts on “Should You Outsource?”

which hat do you wear

If you outsource certain functions of your business, will you get what you want? Well that all depends. If you like to control everything, or are very particular, no you won’t. But if you are more inclined to think that as long as it gets done, you don’t really care how, yes you will.

Hopefully you sit somewhere in the middle. Maybe you are very particular, but because you have more important things to focus on, if an outsourced, non-core function isn’t completed exactly as you would do it, you can be satisfied.

2 Perspectives: The Buyer’s and the Provider’s

In this week’s Business is ART podcast on the TrueChat Network, our primary topic was Content Marketing, but we touched on outsourcing early in the program.

Two summary points to keep in mind:

  1. From an outsource buyer’s perspective, you want exactly what you want the way you want it.
  2. From an outsource provider’s perspective, you provide what they need, do what you can to provide what they want, but have to draw a line at some point.

Outsource Providers Have Limitations

Why is it important for the buyer to understand the limitations of the provider? Because there are two bottom line reasons outsourcing can make sense:

  1. The provider is an expert at what they do – moreso than you
  2. The provider’s service is THEIR business model – they know what can break it

A third bottom line reason that outsourcing makes sense is that as a small business, you simply can’t wear all of the hats required to run and grow your business. There aren’t enough hours in the day or room on your head. Nor is there enough capital for all of the equipment you may require to be 100% self-sufficient in literally everything your business needs to operate.

It May be Your Best Bet to Outsource

When this is the case, the smarter play, even if you are very particular, is to outsource certain non-core functions, accepting that it will not be done EXACTLY as you want, but if your provider is good, it will at least be what you need – so that you can focus on the more important stuff.

You can listen to the podcast entitled “Content Marketing – Does it Make a Difference?” by clicking here.

Planning in advance can help make the outsourcing decision for you. You can build a better strategic and business plan by following the process I describe in my book Business is ART available now at Amazon by clicking here or by completing my online training based on Business is ART by clicking here.

Crowdfunding – Not Just for Financing Anymore

November 14th, 2016 Posted by Business Plan, Strategy 0 thoughts on “Crowdfunding – Not Just for Financing Anymore”

CrowdfundingYou have a business or product idea. You need money. What will you do? Traditional options are you take out a second mortgage, borrow from your family, wipe out your savings, or go get a business loan.

But an increasingly popular alternative option is crowdfunding. By now you should know what crowdfunding is. Crowdfunding is typically done via the internet through websites and services such as Kickstarter, GoFundMe and Indiegogo among a host of others. It involves many people (the crowd) giving small amounts of money (funding) to support your idea or need (campaign).

Crowdfunding – Not Just for Financing Anymore

On the November 8, 2016 episode of the Business is ART podcast my guest was founder and President of Academy Games, Uwe Eickert, who discussed some of the successful crowdfunding campaigns Academy Games have launched, many going well beyond the targeted financial objectives.

Uwe (pronounced Oovah) said that one thing distinguishing Academy’s use of crowdfunding versus that of others is that while many, perhaps most, campaigns look at crowdfunding as a means of survival or the only way to actually birth the business, product or idea, Academy looks at it as a means to market it, spending thousands of dollars on pre-marketing publicity in advance of the campaign. The result he says is that Academy typically exceeds its target within minutes of launching the campaign and that the target is always well above the pre-marketing spend.

Every Business is a Marketing Firm

Uwe recommends reading Jamey Stegmaier’s A Crowdfunder’s Strategy Guide. Based on his recommendation I have purchased but not yet read the book, but can tell by the table of contents that I am going to like it, with titles such as:

  • You don’t have to launch today
  • I made these mistakes so you don’t have to
  • Make it about them
  • Build a better community
  • Don’t quit your day job…until you quit your day job

Uwe’s position on business is that no matter what our product or service, every successful business is a marketing company. Some are just better at it than others and crowdfunding is one tool you can add to your strategic and business plans if you haven’t already.

Get it Here

You can listen to the podcast, entitled “Send Gamers, Guns and Money” by clicking here.

You can build a better strategic and business plan by following the process I describe in my book Business is ART available now at Amazon by clicking here or by completing my online training based on Business is ART by clicking here.

When It’s Time to Go Float on a Boat

November 10th, 2016 Posted by Entrepreneur, Leadership 0 thoughts on “When It’s Time to Go Float on a Boat”

boatWhether you plan to float on that boat for real or float in that big old boat in the sky, something that every business owner and organizational leader must consider is that there will come a day that you vacate your seat or the business.

People often think about what their life will be like on the day after, but what about the businesses and employees they leave behind? What will things look like for them?

Succession Planning

Enter succession planning. Within an organization, succession planning means identifying and preparing candidates to take over leadership positions at every level.

But for privately owned and small business, succession planning means planning for what becomes of the business when the owner(s) exit.

Stepping Away from Ownership

When the owner decides it’s time to step away, there are several options, including but not necessarily limited to:

  • Shut down the business
  • Sell the business
  • Gift the business to family
  • Gift the business to employees
  • Gift the business to charitable or non-profit organization

Know the Advantages and Ramifications

There are advantages and ramifications to each option so the best advice I can give on the topic is this:

  1. Have an organizational succession plan
  2. Seek the guidance of your accountant and your attorney, then…
  3. Develop a business succession plan
  4. Go back to your attorney and document it from an indisputable legal perspective, just in case something bad happens to you before you’re ready to float on a boat…
  5. Then…when the time is right…go float on that boat

Listen to the Podcast

On the Business is ART podcast dated November 1, 2016 and entitled “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” we talked about business ownership succession planning. You can listen to it in its entirety by clicking here.

Is it Time to Give Up on My Startup? 

November 8th, 2016 Posted by Entrepreneur 0 thoughts on “Is it Time to Give Up on My Startup? ”
closed shop

Photo courtesy

When you startup a business, you’re bound to get a mixture of reactions. Some people will encourage you and tell you to go for your dreams. Others will question your sanity, especially if you’re leaving a good paying job to start your business.

The online gurus will tell you to ignore the haters, and that those people lack the vision or courage to ever start a business.

With so many opinions, it can be very difficult to know when you should start one up and even harder to know when to give up on your business. After all, as many as 90% of startups fail. The odds are against you. So, at what point do things change from “be patient, work hard, and stay positive” to “this isn’t happening, and you need to walk away”?

Only you can make that decision. But if any of the situations below apply to you, it might be time to walk.

You’re More Miserable Than Ever

Remember how you never felt satisfied at your previous jobs? They didn’t stir your passion or utilize your special gifts. That’s a big part of why people look to starting a business in the first place. They want to have a job that means something to them.

That’s not to say it will be easy or comfortable, especially at the beginning. It’ll likely push you harder than any job you’ve had before. But even in the worst times, you should feel a degree of hope and satisfaction. If you don’t feel that, if you hate working for yourself more than you hated your previous jobs, that could be on a sign that you’re heading down the wrong path.

Your Marriage/Family/Entire Life is Falling Apart

Almost any parent or spouse who has successfully started a business will tell you that there have been moments where their career choice put extra pressure on their family life. It just comes with the territory. But it shouldn’t be ruining those relationships. It shouldn’t create divides that will never be mended.

Keep an eye out for breaking points in your personal life. If cracks are starting to form, it might be time to consider other options.

You’re Not Progressing at All

Getting a business to a healthy point can take time, but it often consists of continual progress. Those “overnight successes” you hear about rarely happened overnight. When you dig into the full story, you discover that there was near constant momentum towards that point of breakthrough.

The same is true for your business. Even as it’s growing, developing, and changing, it should be moving forward. If you’re in the exact same spot you were a year or more ago, it might be time for a change.

A Better Opportunity Comes Along

Some people think that starting a business means you have to see it through until the very end. If you have other people working for you and depending on your business, you certainly do have a degree of obligation to keep things going.

But if it’s just you (and maybe some part time contractors) and a great job opportunity comes along that will satisfy your occupational needs, you can certainly take it. Don’t pass up on an opportunity because you feel guilty for leaving an unsuccessful business.

Quitting a Business Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Start Another One

In fact, entrepreneurs who have had a previous business fail are more likely to succeed in their next venture. The logic is easy to see. The knowledge and wisdom you gain while trying to start a business goes well beyond anything you’ll learn from a book or classroom.

If you’re still set to run your own business someday, you can use that newfound experience to avoid many of the mistakes you made the first time around.

That’s not to say schooling and books won’t help, because they absolutely will. In need of a book that will help increase your business’s chance of success? Why not start with Business is ART? Start with the book and then try out my Odds Makers Series video training.

Buy it today!


4 Simple Ways to be a Better Leader

November 2nd, 2016 Posted by Business is ART, Leadership 0 thoughts on “4 Simple Ways to be a Better Leader”

LeaderMany say they want to be a better leader but few will actually follow through with it. To become better, you have to grow and change, and changing your ways isn’t always easy – especially for many leaders. After all, “the way they are” is part of what got them to “where they are.”

But in order to become the best leader you can be, you must first become a better leader than you are now. Becoming better isn’t as difficult as you might think. It just takes a conscious effort.

Here are four simple practices you can put into place to become a better leader.

Utilize People Who are Better than You

One of the great telltale signs of a poor leader is that they always hire and manage people who don’t have as much growth potential as the leader. This stems from insecurity and results in mediocrity. To be a better leader, you must find people who are better than you in certain areas. People that understand things that you can’t understand or who have strengths that you don’t have.

Then you have to trust their opinions in those areas. You need to be confident enough in yourself to know when you don’t know or you can’t do something. Just because you’re following someone else’s guidance doesn’t mean you’re not leading, because at the end of the day, it’s still your decision and your team.

And let’s face it, when you allow your team to do great things, you look great.

In Business is ART, I put it rather bluntly: “For the boss to be scared that one of their employees will look great is idiotic. When the team looks great, the boss looks great. A boss who tries to do it all or take all the credit looks silly.”

(get your copy of Business is ART at Amazon)

Be Positive. Always.

No one wants to follow a negative person in the professional space. It’s soul draining and demotivating. If you are positive, the people under you will become more positive. If you’re encouraging, they will be encouraged.

Yes, this seems obvious, but think about your past week or two. Have you been positive in your actions and statements? Do those following you believe you have a good attitude about things?

Never underestimate how much your attitude affects those under you.

Get to Know Your Team Better

Now, there often needs to be a buffer between a leader and those following them, particularly in a professional workspace. But that doesn’t mean your people should be foreign to you. They’re not just titles and responsibilities. They’re people with names and friends and hobbies and struggles.

Interact with them. Understand them. Let them know that you’re paying attention, and that you care. If they know you value them as more than a position, but as a person, they will naturally become more committed in following you.

Never Stop Learning

When a person starts off in leadership, they’re hungry and eager. They want to learn and mimic and be inspired. But once you begin to find some success in what you’re doing or how you’re doing it, that drive to learn might start to die.

Don’t let it.

Listen to other leaders. Read books. Go to speaking events. Check out podcasts. Soak in leadership, not just from big corporate names, but anywhere you can access it. Find leaders you can relate to. Get a mentor. Try mentoring someone below you. You’d be surprised what you might learn in doing so.

Before you know it, you’ll find yourself to be a much better leader.

When An Investor Makes Sense

November 1st, 2016 Posted by Business Plan, Entrepreneur, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “When An Investor Makes Sense”

InvestorWhen do you take on an investor? Let’s leap over the first hurdles and assume you have a business or product that investors find attractive. Sometimes they find you because you found and subsequently pitched your idea to them. Sometimes they find you because some kind of buzz has been generated about you. Sometimes they stumble across you.

Presumably, when you make your pitch, you’ve already decided you would rather have an investor than not. But how do you reach that determination in the first place? And what if one comes knocking, unsolicited, on your door?

Key Considerations – When It Makes Sense

There are many considerations to make when determining whether or not to take on investors, but four of the key ones are as follows:

  • Can the business or product survive without a cash infusion?
  • How critical is speed-to-market?
  • Do you need the sales and distribution channels an investor can provide?
  • How fast do you want or need to, versus how fast can you grow?

Here’s Why

If the business or product simply cannot be sustained or developed without a cash infusion, your rich uncle isn’t going anywhere any time soon and the bank won’t lend you money, then the decision is almost a no-brainer. You either mothball the business or seek an investor. The problem is, if you are that far down the road, the likelihood of finding an investor quickly enough to make a difference is not very good.

Do you have a great business or product that is only great if you can get it to market sooner rather than later? Then it might be time to get an investor. The influx of cash and potential business connections the investor has may be the difference between getting the product out there in a timeframe that takes advantage of market conditions, or literally being a day late and a (few) dollar(s) short.

And how about that sales and distribution channel? The greatest products in the world can’t be sold if you don’t know how and don’t have access to the right logistics. This is a major area that an investor can help beyond the provision of cash because chances are they have either done it, or know someone who knows someone that can get it done.

Finally, if you have a high potential business or product, you just might find yourself in the enviable position of needing to suddenly or immediately produce on a very large scale. Sudden growth versus gradual growth is more likely than not to require investment to enable it, which might signal that it’s time to bring on an investor.

Pre-Planning Makes it an Easier Decision

For business owners, entrepreneurs and inventors, it can be an emotional, gut-wrenching decision. This “thing” is your baby. You don’t want anyone messing with it and you certainly don’t want to give up your rights to it. But sometimes, the harsh reality is that you have to give up at least some of it in order to see that baby survive and thrive.

Regardless of your reality, it is much simpler to estimate a timeframe in which the involvement of investors can be considered if you have defined a clear vision and realistic plans for your business or product.

That’s where Business is ART, can help. Start with the book and then try out my Odds Makers Series video training. They’ll teach you how to develop the business, strategy and business plans that will assist you on your journey. It’s a far less expensive option than hiring a consultant, and it is a proven, effective approach.

Good luck!

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