Posts in Entrepreneur

The Entrepreneurial Bug is Often a Childhood “Disease”

July 25th, 2018 Posted by Blog Post, Entrepreneur, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “The Entrepreneurial Bug is Often a Childhood “Disease””

On the July 24 episode of the Business is ART podcast, the guest was Travis Pine, President/CEO of Lone Pine Holdings LLC and President/CEO of his new startup, Solstice Innovations, Inc. an insurance technology company that Travis is just now beginning to stand-up.

Early in the podcast, Travis noted that he caught the entrepreneurial bug at an early age, perhaps influenced by his father, who owned several restaurants at the time.

Our unscientific observation is that Travis represents the majority of entrepreneurs. They started a business  as a child or worked in a family business growing up. Many guests on the podcast have said that their parents even encouraged them to start businesses as children – like other parents might encourage their kids to play soccer or take art lessons.

(Listen to the podcast The Life of a Startup and What You Need to Know)

“Entrepreneur” isn’t limited to startup founders/owners

The word “entrepreneur” as used here is not meant to be exclusive to someone who starts her/his own business. Many operate in their professional lives with an entrepreneurial spirit without having any legal or financial ownership in the company or organization.

Some, podcast guests only half-jokingly referred to entrepreneurship as an incurable disease contracted. If most contract it at an early age, shouldn’t it be a priority for educational institutions, government, and employers to teach entrepreneurship at an early age.

In fact, many colleges and universities have already or are moving in that direction.

We need institutional change

See our white paper making a case for for a dramatic shift in institutional thinking – from how we plan to how we manage business plans and strategies.

The best entrepreneur programs according the U.S. News & World Report

According to U.S. News & World Report, the top ten undergraduate entrepreneur programs are at:

  1. Babson College, MA
  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  3. Indiana University
  4. University of California
  5. University of Pennsylvania
  6. University of Southern California
  7. University of Texas
  8. University of North Carolina
  9. Saint Louis University
  10. University of Arizona

Many more schools, such as Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio and Ohio State University are either launching brand new programs or have just received large donations to enhance their programs.

Meanwhile, high schools are catching the entrepreneurial bug as well by offering programs specifically tailored to the aspiring entrepreneur, and some colleges are recommending specific classes that high schoolers take to better prepare them for collegiate entrepreneur programs.

Numerous private and non-profit programs have also joined the trend. Inc. has posted an article entitled These Nine Organizations are Turning Kids into Entrepreneurs using “startup thinking” as a way to “change how kids learn.”

The movement is real

The movement is real and the Plan Canvas team is proud to be a part of it. Please contact us to learn how we can help support your entrepreneur program.

From Entrepreneur to Student to Career to Entrepreneur

July 17th, 2018 Posted by Blog Post, Entrepreneur 0 thoughts on “From Entrepreneur to Student to Career to Entrepreneur”

Elise Mayville-Umstead

This week’s blog post is from guest-contributor, Elise Mayville-Umstead, founder of Umstead Farrier Service, Prince George, VA. Some entrepreneurs go into business because they have an idea they want to explore. Others, like Elise, go into it to explore a specific career or passion.

We have divided Elise’s guest-post into 6 key lessons.

A network of support is key

The simplest way to answer how I came to pursue my current skilled trade would be to state that it came to me as a natural progression of interest in horses.

I have always loved horses, from riding, to care, to learning about their behaviors, this passion of mine has been with me since I was in kindergarten drawing stick figure ponies. However, I would be remiss if I did not give credit to my mother for being an amazing role model and to my wonderful husband who has not only supported me every day but made going back to school possible. Both of these people have pushed me to continue to pursue my love of horses and helped me discover how to turn that passion into a career.

Find Your Passion

Click on the Button and Select Plan Canvas for Individual

Do you know what you want out of life and career?

Entrepreneurship often starts at a young age

At age 11, as a young entrepreneur, I began my own pet sitting service complete with an advertising brochure. By 12, I turned my pet sitting business into a multi-service enterprise that included lawn mowing and babysitting. By 16, I had a part time job at a local grocery store and at 18, graduated from high school with enough money to cover my total college books and living expenses.

I attended the University of New Hampshire my freshman year, majoring in Equine Sciences. After a year, I changed my focus, and major, to large animal livestock and transferred to Colorado State University where I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science.

Entrepreneurs often excel in other jobs before starting a business

My first job after graduating was in the Swine Industry, where I managed a breed-to-wean hog operation in Nebraska for The Maschhoffs, one of the top three pork producers in the U.S. As manager, I was in charge of 21 barns, 4000 sows and piglets and a team of 7. After a few short months, I was able to increase production by 25% and maintained that status, or more, each quarter for the length of time I was there.

I accomplished this against many obstacles, two of which were that I was the only female on location in a male-dominated industry and I had no prior hog management experience. The hard work never bothered me. From vaccinations, castrations, weaning and much more, I took it all in stride.

From there, I moved to Fort Wainwright, Alaska with my husband, an officer in the U.S. Army. Unfortunately, the Fairbanks area did not have large animal options and after a few years out of the industry I found myself feeling the hunger pangs of needing to be involved in the animal industry once again.

Once it becomes a passion, it’s hard to ignore its call

I remember talking to my mom about future career choices and during the course of our discussion, she suggested combining my love of horses with my science education and farrier work came to mind. At the time, I laughed it off thinking at that point of time in my life, going back to school and making a drastic career change was not in the cards. That all changed when I attended a conference with a friend who is a professional farrier.

After attending the conference, I was hooked. I fell in love with the science; the puzzle to solve and treat the major foot issues a horse can have which affect not only the foot, but the entire body of the animal. The adage, ‘no hoof, no horse’ became my mantra. Once I decided that becoming a farrier was the next step, I began doing research of my own to discover what being a farrier truly meant.

I discovered that a farrier is a “forger, a welder, a toolmaker, and a shoemaker. He/she is an anatomist and a physiologist and treats the symptoms of lameness by developing a forward-thinking plan of action” (The Farrier Guide). I also (not surprisingly) discovered that it is a heavily male-dominated industry.

Know your market opportunity before you begin

I have been around horses most of my life but wanted to know if there were enough horses to be able to make a career for myself and was shocked to discover that according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there are over 9.2 million pleasure and commercially used horses in the U.S. That’s a lot of feet that require trimming or shoeing every 4-6 weeks.

In May of 2017, I took the leap and applied to an intense 9-month farrier program at Meredith Manor International Equestrian Centre. Short term ‘shoeing’ schools and on-the-job apprenticeships for this career exist, but I needed and craved more and the theory, the experience, the certification, and the heavy forge work that this program offered, was exactly what I was looking for. I’ve had up to 140 animals available to work with, from companion animals to high performance competitors and not only pushed myself in the shop but pushed myself in the classroom. I started study groups and routinely instructed younger classmates, with 100 hours of volunteer time logged in support of my peers and an even greater understanding of my profession.

Understand the problem you are solving at the deepest levels

My efforts to gain a deeper understanding in my profession have yielded many results. I have played critical roles in correcting complex issues with lame or unsound horses, despite having only having 9 months training and experience. During my schooling, I also attended clinics to further my education and network with other farriers. I’ve learned to trim, balance, shoe horses, forge and more. More importantly, I have developed my skills around and under horses, learning more than I ever thought possible about their behaviors, how to care for them and how to educate my peers and clients.

I have finally discovered a career that I love and I am so thankful for my mother and husband for their continued support. Without them, I would not be where I am today.

Need a Coach / Consultant?

Contact us and tell us what you need? Maybe we can help.

How to Focus On Today With an Eye On The Future

July 3rd, 2018 Posted by Blog Post, Business Plan, Entrepreneur, Goal 0 thoughts on “How to Focus On Today With an Eye On The Future”

We recently received the following email:

“Hello, Mr. Umstead. My name is Tarik Woods. I currently attend Wright State University, studying communications. I am reaching out because I am interested in interviewing you on my talk show [on campus]. I work in the New Media Incubator at Wright State where, this past semester, you spoke to Dr. Ashley Hall’s digital media and writing course students [on creativity at work]. I just finished reading your book, Business is ART, and can honestly say I am inspired.”

Thank you for the kind words, Tarik, but it is the Plan Canvas team that is inspired by students like you.

Focused on today with an eye on the future

School, be it high school, trade school, college, continuing adult education, etc., can be an over-whelming experience. Most students enter school specifically because they envision a future that is full of opportunity and the option to do something important, something that interests them, or both.

But for many, once in school, the tasks at hand, such as studying, getting good grades, and graduating, can become so overwhelming that it is easy to lose sight of the reason for being there in the first place – to create a better future.

But not Tarik.

He is focused on today with an eye on the future. He is putting in the work that he needs to for school, but finding ways to do it that will enable his future – such as the production of his podcast and his radio show, both of which are called “Words With Woods.”

Tarik plans to take the experience he is gaining now and apply it to his career or business post-graduation.

It starts with a vision and a plan

It all starts with a vision and a plan. Even if you feel buried in school work (or your job), it is important to make time to solidify your vision (career, life, business, etc) and begin developing plans for getting there, like Tarik is doing.

You don’t have to plan to be an entrepreneur, but these 6 Steps for Becoming a Successful Student Entrepreneur (from Entrepreneur magazine) provide a great guide for anyone with an eye on the future. They are:

  1. Evaluate your business skills, knowledge and goals.
  2. Find the business idea that suits you best.
  3. Research your competitors (and prepare to crush them).
  4. Make a stellar business plan.
  5. Seek out a helpful mentor.
  6. Register your business, open up shop and rock it.

There are just a couple of slight adjustments we would make to these 6 steps. First, if you are planning to go into business, register your business much earlier in the process. It should be one of the first things you do.

Second, don’t jump straight to a “stellar business plan”. Do this instead of Step 4:

  1. Document your vision, mission, and purpose.
  2. Assess today’s reality.
  3. Develop a long-term strategy for closing the gap between reality and your vision – this can be in the form of a Personal Development Plan, a Business Strategic Plan, or, preferably, both.
  4. When you are getting ready to get serious about launching your business, “make a stellar business plan” that is simple, measurable, and manageable.

Here is a free and easy place to start

Click here to register for Plan Canvas for Individual.

It provides you free access to the Plan Canvas software for developing your very own Personal Development Plan, where you will develop and track long-term, mid-term, and short-term goals and objectives, as well as track the actions you take in order to achieve them.

Contact us if you need the services of a coach/consultant to help you along (a fee applies).

But whatever you do, focus on today with an eye on the future. Make the time. Turn the discipline into a habit.

Yes, You Can!

June 20th, 2018 Posted by Blog Post, Entrepreneur 0 thoughts on “Yes, You Can!”

Plan Canvas founder, Jon Umstead, recently had the honor of being a guest on entrepreneur coach and author Virginia Phillips’ podcast “Yes, You Can”. Her book Yes, You Can!: Your Roadmap to Dream, Create, and Profit was released earlier this year and is a tremendous guide for anyone dealing with even a hint of doubt.

Virginia asked a lot of great, deep probing questions about the book Business is ART and the Plan Canvas software that is based on it. If you aren’t familiar with the story and what we are all about, Virginia does a great job of guiding you through it, in terms that are meaningful to you.

A few of the highlight points from the interview include:

  • There has to be an emotional connection to the work for it to be effective.
  • Plan Canvas itself is a startup, going through all of the same challenges that all startups experience. The twist is that it is geared at helping startups and small businesses. Our challenge is avoiding the old axiom that the doctor is his or her own worst patient.
  • Plan Canvas is designed to help you organize your thoughts, devise a reasonable plan to close the gap between your vision and reality, and execute to that plan.
  • No one has a perfect story – if they do, they are lying to you.
  • What we really want is for people to take action on the things they say they want to accomplish.
  • Very detailed business plans that focus on the financials serve the purposes of the loan underwriter or capital investor/financial analyst very well – but they don’t help the business owner/leader manage the business.
  • A primary reason to have a simplified plan is focus.

Listen to the interview in its entirety by clicking here.

Read This Before Joining a Mastermind Group

February 16th, 2018 Posted by Blog Post, Entrepreneur, Leadership, Mastermind Group, Owner, Peer Group 2 thoughts on “Read This Before Joining a Mastermind Group”

If you’ve ever thought of joining a mastermind group, please read this.

I’m Jon Umstead, author of Business is ART and founder of Plan Canvas. In this week’s post, I’d like to speak with you directly from my heart – then invite you to join me.

Several years ago, I became a believer in the power of mastermind groups. If you are unfamiliar with the term, a mastermind is effectively peer-to-peer mentoring in a facilitated group setting. Everyone comes together to help one another solve their problems.

The concept itself was coined nearly 100 years ago by author Napoleon Hill (The Law of Success and Think and Grow Rich).

There are all kinds of mastermind group options, methodologies, and platforms. I was trained in mastermind group facilitation by one of the most prestigious CEO coaching companies around. But while I became a fast and firm believer in the concept, some of the core practices promoted by this particular company were not in harmony with my own beliefs.

How can it be done differently?

So I sat things out for a year, thinking about. If I were to create and run my own version of a mastermind group, what would it look like, how would it function, and what would be some of the core characteristics of candidates to join the group?

I then began the task of recruiting candidates – something I will admit is not fun to me. It can be a hard sell. How do you show someone that it is worth their money and time away from work to sit in a room with a bunch of people from other industries, helping them solve their problems, when you’ve got enough of your own?

“My business is unique. I don’t need to talk to people from other industries. I need to talk to people with businesses just like mine.”

Heard that all the time as well.

But ultimately we assembled a group that ran for 2 years. It represented some of the greatest professional experiences I have ever had.

We met monthly at alternating locations and as I’d pack up food, beverages, laptop, projector, tripod and flip charts, and drive off to our meeting, I’d think to myself, “Is this going to be worth it today? What if no one gets any value out of it?”

After the meeting would adjourn, I’d pack up and start driving home, feeling completely good about the day.

There is no more rewarding professional feeling than knowing you were part of helping someone else get through a really tough issue. Occasionally, it would literally bring a tear to the eye.

The group had a lot of successes – here are a few

One of our group members had to figure out how to make massive personal life changes due to the failing health of a loved one. One wrestled with a decision to run for public office – something she had wanted to do for a long time – but how could she juggle the responsibilities of owning and operating a small business with several employees and clients to consider AND be a public servant?

In both cases, the group was challenged with helping these members determine solutions and a plan forward. In both cases, things worked out.

The following is a direct quote from another one of the former mastermind group members, who has given me permission to share it:

“Since joining Jon’s mastermind group, my revenue has increased 31.25% in 10 months. Employee morale and productivity has increased 50% by implementing new processes and incentive programs recommended through the group. As a direct result, our competitors do not even compare to the service we provide.”

Christina Walters, Founder/Owner Night Dispatch

If I could guarantee results like that for everyone, I’d be an occasional guest Shark on Shark Tank and have a private island next to Tony Robbins’

But I can guarantee this.

If you join a well-run mastermind group and show up – I mean REALLY show up – you will find it well worth your time and money. Most members find they actually save time by investing in a mastermind.

For the last 14 months, I’ve missed our group. We shut it down due to the retirement of members – one member actually ran for and won the election to the office she had considered. It was also time for me to focus on the development of Plan Canvas. In short, it had run its course.

And now, I am very pleased to say, it is time to start a new group

This time, I will be leading one electronically. We will meet online, monthly, in the evenings, beginning this month.

This revised format will make it possible to expand the group well beyond geographical boundaries, in multiple time zones, and at a time that does not encroach on normal business hours.

Start for free and let the experience speak for itself

The best way to experience it and start gaining benefit from it is to just jump in.

And I get it. You’re skeptical. You have enough demands on your hard earned cash. But if you have ever considered joining a mastermind group, give this one a shot.

I am offering a free introduction to it, so there is nothing to lose and so much to gain.

Contact me directly at jon@plancanvas.net to discuss it and get you started. There can only be 10 members to a group and some seats are already taken, so, there is no guarantee to fit you in.

This genuinely could be one of the best decisions you have ever made. I am THAT confident in it.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Great Ideas for 2018 – A Resolution Revolution

December 19th, 2017 Posted by Behavior, Blog Post, Business Plan, Entrepreneur, Goal, Inspiration, Strategic Planning 0 thoughts on “Great Ideas for 2018 – A Resolution Revolution”

Let’s make 2018 the year of the resolution revolution. No more empty promises that fizzle out within the first 2 to 6 weeks. Let’s get serious this time.

An article at The Balance entitled Top New Year’s Resolutions for Business Success has some easy, actionable ideas that we really like a lot, particularly:

  • Make business planning a weekly event
  • Set realistic goals
  • Join a new business organization or networking group
  • Give something back to your community

Of course we like them because they are essentially some of the basic premises on which Plan Canvas is built. Let’s take a look at them a little more closely.

Resolution 1 – Business planning as a weekly event

Honestly, as much as we love business planning, doing it weekly may be a bit of an over-reach. But there are some things relative to the business plan that really should be done weekly. Namely:

  • Review progress against both the strategic and the business plan on a weekly basis. Note, some objectives may only require monthly or quarterly progress checks.
  • Review progress against assigned action items, internal initiatives, and client projects.

Whatever you do, do not write a business plan that is never referred to, tracked against, or updated. Otherwise, you are missing out on the primary benefits of strategically managing a plan – greater results.

Resolution 2 – Set realistic goals

Again, if we are being completely honest, we are OK with setting goals that might seem a little “out there.” Goals should be big, lofty things. Add a dose of reality but think and dream big when setting goals.

Now objectives are another story. Objectives let you know how you are progressing toward goals. One objective may support many goals and one goal is likely to be supported by many objectives. By nature, objectives should be realistic.

In fact that is one of 5 characteristics of a well defined SMART objective:

  • S – Specific
  • M – Measurable
  • A – Achievable
  • R – Realistic
  • T – Time-bound

Join Our Online Mastermind Group!

It's lonely at the top - join your peers for support and to support them

Resolution 3 – Join a new business organization or networking group

There are two primary types of groups we highly encourage you to join. One is a business networking group. The other is a peer mastermind group.

Networking groups are focused on growing your business through referrals. In these types of groups you get to know others on a more personal level, building relationships to the point that you mutually, genuinely refer each others’ business, products or services to others – key because it is also your reputation on the line when you refer others to people in your own network.

Peer mastermind groups, are not networking groups at all. They are work groups designed to help members resolve business and personal issues that affect the business. A well run mastermind group “rolls up the sleeves and gets to work.” It is not about socializing over cocktails and business referrals.

Resolution 4 – Give something back to your community

We saved the best for last. Giving back through your business is called “Corporate Social Responsibility” or CSR. Formally defining a CSR program for your business, no matter what size, actually increases your odds of success.

We call it setting value-based goals as opposed to profit-driven goals. When you focus CSR goals, then employee goals, then customer goals, your profit goals will naturally follow and you will feel much more fulfilled.

Resolution 5 – Be intentional in 2018

The year 2018. Here it comes. What will you do? Will you wait and see what happens, or will you intentionally lay out a plan and go after it?

Fail Forward – Lessons Learned from Experienced Entrepreneurs

June 21st, 2017 Posted by Blog Post, Entrepreneur, Leadership 0 thoughts on “Fail Forward – Lessons Learned from Experienced Entrepreneurs”

learningIf you’re going to fail, fail forward.

Last week I attended various sessions at Dayton Startup Week, a weeklong event put on by the Dayton Tech Guide.

One of the sessions that caught my eye was entitled “Tales from the Crypt: lessons learned from a failed startup” with presenters Andy Cothrel, Founder/President of Blue Marble Medical and Russ Gottesman, Founder/CEO of CommuterAds.

Russ and Andy have both experienced startup success and failure. It’s important to learn from mistakes, apply that knowledge, and, as Russ said at the beginning of the session, fail forward.

Each of these gentlemen have been in very different industries from one another, but the lessons they learned were similar. In this post, we summarize a few of them.

Follow a checklist of things to avoid

The key here is “follow”. If you do a little research and listen to people like Russ and Andy who have been there and likely done that, putting together a checklist of things to avoid isn’t all that difficult.

Following it is another story. Many times, your own worst enemy is you. You KNOW you shouldn’t do it, but you get excited, get caught up in the moment and do it anyway.

A way to ensure you FOLLOW a checklist of things to avoid is to…

Establish an advisory board early on

An advisory board will help you hold yourself accountable. Preferably, the members have also been there and done that and know a thing or two about your industry. They are motivated by seeing you succeed. They are going to remind you…DON’T DO THAT.

But as importantly, they are a sounding board to just let you try out your ideas verbally before committing them to reality. And they are there to make suggestions for what to do instead of the thing you need to avoid doing. You know. Those things on your “things to avoid” checklist.

But keep in mind that an advisory board has a shelf life. If it is a startup advisory board, that shelf life should be about 18 months.

Act ethically and with ethical people

You should always act ethically and when someone has provided you with funding for your startup, there is an even greater need to act ethically – because there can be very real legal and financial consequences to being an unethical steward of other peoples’ money.

Likewise, know who you are getting in to business with if you are taking on partners or investors. “I know a guy that knows a guy” does not a referral make.

Take the time to get to know “the guy.” Spend the money to run a background check. Seek out professional and trade references. The effort and expense will be well worth it in the end.

It probably wasn’t a bad idea

Russ and Andy concluded by saying, in their experience, a startup doesn’t generally fail because it’s a bad idea. More often, it’s the people, the process, the governance and the ethics that bring a startup down.

So do your homework. And then go get it!

In the Pursuit of Harmony

June 14th, 2017 Posted by Blog Post, Entrepreneur, Inspiration, Relationships 0 thoughts on “In the Pursuit of Harmony”

tom rubensA recent guest on the Business is ART podcast at the TrueChat Network was coach and best selling author Tom Rubens. We focused on Tom’s book Lifeness: Harmonize an Entrepreneurial Life, but there are several points made during the show that are summarized here.

One of the things Tom likes to tell people is that he has managed to have a professional career without holding a job. In other words, he is a lifelong, successful entrepreneur. He understands what many early stage entrepreneurs discover very quickly – that the entrepreneurial life can become all-consuming.

Stop saying and looking for “work/life balance”

Neither Tom nor I like the term “work/life balance” but for different reasons. While I prefer to talk in terms of “work/life alignment”, Tom introduces the notion of harmony. When your entrepreneurial life becomes all-consuming, there is no harmony. In all likelihood, there is discord between your entrepreneurial life, your personal life, your relationships (including professional, personal and casual), etc.

Just as you might physically cringe when you hear dissonance or music that is out of tune, when your life is in a state of discord, your business, you and everyone around you suffer.

How do you achieve harmony?

Tom sums it up by saying that it is all about achieving a life in which business and personal goals merge harmoniously. His advice is pretty simple. Following through is the challenge – which is why he provides a personal workbook along with Lifeness to help you on your journey.

He says that the key to seeking harmony is to first empathize with others. Listen to them. Look for similarities and appreciate the differences because they can be complementary, not conflicting, which, in turn, creates opportunity.

Tom also strongly advises to always assume people are doing their best. If you can do that, you can take the negative emotion out of things and learn to better appreciate the efforts of others.

Listen to the show in its entirety

The episode featuring Tom Rubens is simply entitled “Lifeness” (May 23, 2017). You can listen to it on iTunes, through the TrueChat app, or through the TrueChat website.

Check out all of the Business is ART podcast episodes on the Business is ART page of the TrueChat website

Should I Sell My Successful Business?

June 7th, 2017 Posted by Blog Post, Entrepreneur, Goal, Strategy 0 thoughts on “Should I Sell My Successful Business?”
Rush

If you choose not to decide…

Sell the business?

When an entrepreneur starts off, they’re often so concerned about whether or not their business will succeed that they don’t know what to do when it actually does succeed. So many authors and motivational business speakers focus solely on starting out and facing challenges and achieving success.

But what happens when you actually achieve that success?

You’re suddenly faced with brand new challenges and options.

How do you keep your business growing? Do you actually want it to grow more? Where do you go from here? Should you sell the company?

To some, that last question might seem crazy. You went through all of this work, you achieved your goals, all just to sell it? For others, that might be why you started the business in the first place.

Whether or not that was part of your original plan, the ability to sell your company for a nice profit is a new option for you to consider. To decide the right choice for you, there are a few things to consider.

Is There an Offer on the Table?

Shopping a business around isn’t easy. Even if it is successful. It takes work. According to studies, 60% of business owners who try to sell their business can’t make the deal happen (you have better odds by employing the services of a merger’s & acquisitions banker/expert).

It’s generally easier if you receive an offer from a party that sought you out. With an actual offer on the table, the question of selling your business becomes much more real (and perhaps more urgent).

Have You Lost Your Passion or Are You Simply Struggling with Motivation?

To get your business going, it’s likely you needed some serious passion and motivation. As the craziness of the startup life dissipates and your business becomes more of a regular job, it’s easy to begin to lose the passion, the motivation, or both.

If you’re just lacking the motivation, that’s an issue that goes beyond your current business. Motivation is needed to succeed in any aspect of life. If you’re missing passion, it might be time to sell your business.

Without passion, your heart isn’t in the business, which can seriously stunt its growth. Letting go of your current business may allow you to find something new that you’re passionate about.

Do You Know What Your Next Step Will Be?

As you might imagine, leaving your business behind is a huge transition. This is the thing you’ve lived and breathed every day for quite some time. With that gone, you can become directionless very quickly.

If you have no idea what you would do without your business, you may want to hold off on selling it.

Unless, of course, you make enough money from the sale that you can retire. Even then, making some plans and goals is a great idea.

Can Your Business Survive without You?

As mentioned in a recent post about Polaroid, many businesses struggle when their founder and key visionary leaves. The founder is often the spark that keeps the business burning. It’s not necessarily healthy to create a business that’s overly reliant on you, but it happens.

Before you consider leaving the business, you need to evaluate how it will go without you there.

Liquidate or Recapitalize?

Once you’ve decided to actually sell the business, you’ll still have some options to figure out. Of course, the buyer will have say in this as well. The most common forms of business sales are liquidation and recapitalization.

If you want to be completely gone from the company, you will liquidate any ownership in it. You may, however, want to stay on in some capacity or keep some shares to profit off future success. In this case, recapitalization is a common path.

Whatever you do….

Don’t Make a Sudden Decision

Selling a business is a very permanent choice. If there’s a hot offer on the table, take as much time as you’re need before you make a choice – even if the potential buyer is pressuring you. And remember these words to the classic Rush song “Freewill” – If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

Working Full-Time While Starting a Business

May 23rd, 2017 Posted by Blog Post, Entrepreneur 0 thoughts on “Working Full-Time While Starting a Business”

can't quitYou’re ready to turn that idea you’ve been kicking around into a full-fledged business. You have the plan, the vision, and metrics for success all place. There’s just one problem:

You already have a full-time job.

Ideally, you would just quit your full-time job immediately and exclusively pursue your startup. Unfortunately, that’s not a realistic plan for many of us. Whether you’re supporting a family or you have loans to pay back, you may have no choice but to keep your current job while you build a business.

It’s going to make things a bit more difficult, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Many businesses begin as side-jobs. Even huge successes like Craigslist and Trello. But in order to succeed, you’re going to have to work that much harder. You’ll need to be that much more focused.

That means you’ll need to start by…

Trimming the Fat

Anything in your life that’s consuming unnecessary amounts of time and money needs to go. It could be a little hobby or watching your favorite shows. Maybe you don’t get to go out for drinks after work. Maybe you have to pack lunch and make dinner at home.

Think of yourself on a boat that’s sinking. You need to throw everything off the boat that’s not essential so that you can stay afloat as long as possible.

That said….

Maintain Rest and Relationships

One of the worst things you can do to your body is deprive it of sleep. That extra hour of work you were able to put in at 1am is not worth the 3 hours of productivity you’ll likely lose from being tired the next day.

Whatever you do, make sure you stay well rested.

Additionally, don’t isolate yourself too much from those around you. Yes, your friends and family will see you less as you strive towards your goal. And if they truly care about you and believe in you, they’ll support that decision.

But you still need to maintain those relationships. Letting them slip away will bring down your mood, your motivation, and your ability to interact with people. Keep your important friendships healthy. Invest in them.

Just know when to draw the line.

Create a Timeline

If you’re serious about your business, then you’re planning on a day when you won’t need your full-time job anymore. Setup a timeline for this path towards your dream job. This will not only motivate you, but it will also prepare you for what’s a head.

You could also set various goals or checkpoints that aren’t necessarily bound to a specific length of time. For example, once your business is making x amount of dollars, you can step away from your job. Or maybe switch to a part-time job just to have some source of steady income.

Set a plan and execute.

Be Wise with Your Money

The good news is, you should be so busy between the two jobs that you don’t have time to spend money. The more money problems you have, the longer you’ll be working two jobs. Be especially conservative with your finances as you begin this journey. Start saving so that you can afford to quit your day job sooner rather than later.

All this budgeting isn’t just good for your personal life, but it should help you to budget better in your own business as well.

Never Forget Why You’re Doing It

When you first start the journey of launching a business, there’s a general excitement to it. Even if you have a fulltime job, you’ll find yourself going through the days with an added sense of purpose.

Sooner or later, however, that bold confidence will begin to wane. You’ll get tired and grow frustrated. Your fulltime job will feel more or more like a burden as you get glimpses of what your business could be.

You may be tempted to quit your day job too soon, leading to disastrous results in your personal life. Or you’ll give up on your dream of running your own business.

The problem is, if you have an urge to start a business, nothing will satisfy that impulse except actually starting a business. So keep moving forward, working the hours you need to, and giving proper attention to your startup, and eventually, you’ll see it through.

For more in-depth guidance on business strategy and metric development that goes beyond the cliché business tips for success, make sure to check out Business is ART, available now!

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