Posts tagged "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.

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.

To be a More Effective Leader Stop Leading in Isolation

November 1st, 2017 Posted by Blog Post, Leadership 0 thoughts on “To be a More Effective Leader Stop Leading in Isolation”

If you want to be a more effective leader, stop leading in isolation. You may think that because you walk the floors of your business, get down in the trenches with your employees, and surround yourself with a great team whose input you appreciate, you are not leading in isolation.

But unless you are working with and listening to leaders who are not part of your organization, you are in fact leading in isolation. When you think about it, it is really a conceited way to lead.

I don’t need the input of others

All of the excuses that keep you from working with or listening to others, like, “They don’t know my business,” and “I don’t have time for that” are saying the same thing – others have nothing to offer me that is worth my time (or money).

We should all be so wonderful

Here are a few reasons why working with or listening to others outside of your own organization can indeed be worth your time (and money).

  1. You need to be a jack-of-all-trades. As the article at Inc. entitled Why Your New Primary Concern is to Become a Jack-of-all-Trades points out, you need to master something, but being a jack-of-all-trades is crucial. The problem is, finding time to learn a little about a lot can be challenging. When you work with or listen to others outside of your organization, you can pick up a lot of knowledge from their experience without having to go through it yourself.
  2. You need to rid yourself of toxic energy. An article entitled How to Free Yourself From Toxic Situations That Are Bringing You Down lists some of the typical stuff you’d expect to find like “practice yoga”, but it also includes 3 items that smack of working with or listening to others outside of your organization, including 1) Make fewer decisions, 2) Write down the specifics of productive habits. And 3) Seek out for challenging environments you have no experience with. All three of these things are made possible through working with others.
  3. You need both discipline and motivation. In Which is Better: Discipline or Motivation, the author writes that on an on-going basis, “motivation is what’s needed to get up-and-running. But, discipline is needed to stay on the right course.” Working with others outside of your organization can provide both.

6 options for working with others

If you are a leader, here are 6 options or working with other leaders outside of your organization and to stop leading in isolation.

  1. Join and actively participate in a business networking organization, even if you don’t anticipate gaining sales referrals from it, which is the main point of these groups. Regardless, you can learn a great deal from the way others lead, particularly if you form smaller power groups with other members of the larger networking group.
  2. Take occasional classes, courses, or training with other leaders outside of your organization. Plan Canvas founder Jon Umstead ascertains that one of the most valuable things about his Executive MBA experience was listening to all of the other leaders in the room discussing the same topic but from different points of view and industries.
  3. Join a local entrepreneurs’ group or club, even if your business is beyond startup mode. Free groups like the Dayton Tech Guide offer multiple learning, networking, and panel discussion opportunities regardless of the life-cycle stage of your business.
  4. Join a mastermind / peer group. These groups are a great way to help others as well as get help with your own challenges. They are built on two premises: 1) It’s lonely at the top and 2) None of us is as smart as all of us.
  5. Assemble an advisory board. It doesn’t have to be made up of superstars and name-brand leaders. If you aren’t sure who should be on your advisory board, interview/ask several people for their thoughts. Create a laundry list of potential candidates. Don’t load it up with like-minded people who are just going to glad-hand your every idea.
  6. Join the board of a non-profit or someone else’s advisory board. The purpose should be genuine – you want to help, and you want to learn from others. It is painfully obvious when someone joins out of ego, to build a resume, or to get sales referrals.

Something to consider

Jon is building an online version of a mastermind group that plans to meet monthly, in the evenings, utilizing his experience running an in-person group. The online option creates opportunity for a more geographically diverse team, without requiring any travel time for members. It includes a subscription to the Plan Canvas software.

Click here to learn more and sign up or contact us for more information.

A Decision Not to Launch is Not Failure to Launch

October 4th, 2017 Posted by Blog Post, Subscriber of the Month 2 thoughts on “A Decision Not to Launch is Not Failure to Launch”

The Plan Canvas official launch was September 5, 2017. Like all new business ventures, we started with an idea.

In our case, that idea was to create tools and a community that make business success much more likely. The odds are already stacked heavily against most business ventures, and the unfortunate truth is we make the risk even greater by either not thinking things through, or over-complicating it.

Our vision is to eliminate that unnecessary, self-inflicted risk, while dramatically reducing the naturally occurring risk of doing business.

Going forward, our intention is to highlight one featured Plan Canvas Subscriber of the Month. This month, our featured subscriber is our first, ever, paid subscriber – our first genuine customer – Anastasia Button.

Sometimes the best decision is NOT to launch

Before telling her story, let’s make something clear upfront. After doing the analysis and beginning to strategize and plan the business, this Plan Canvas user made the decision NOT to further pursue the new business venture.

You may be thinking, “That is an odd case study to highlight.”

It’s a fair critique – on the surface. Most solution providers only tell stories of customers and clients that have had wild success using their products and services. We’re no different in that regard.

The difference may be that we genuinely see a decision not to launch as a wild success.

Too many people have wasted precious time, money, energy, and have even sacrificed relationships, for a business that was either not right or not right at the time. We would much rather our subscribers realize that very early in the game -before those expenditures are made – rather than after it is too late.

The best way to do that is by formally visualizing and planning the business ahead of time.

At the core – finding purpose

All that said, our very first Subscriber of the Month is no stranger to critically thinking through business development and business solutions.

Anastasia is a Millennial Business Coach and also helps companies attract, engage and retain young talent. You can find her at www.AnastasiaButton.com.

As she puts it, her passion is derived from pain.

“I was a lost Millennial trying to navigate what an entrepreneur was and I was failing as a roofing contractor – a door knocker. One day I realized I was not living a life I wanted. I worked 70-hours a week and was barely making ends meet. It wasn’t until I was on a 2-story roof and realized that I just felt like jumping (figuratively)!

I felt no purpose in what I was doing and realized in that moment that is what I was missing! So, after taking the journey to purpose everything fell into place and things began to streamline – book published, internationally speaking, professorship at the University of Denver, speaking to large corporate and helping Millennial business owners go from small to big!”

That is a GREAT example and great advice for everyone

Your sense of purpose does not have to be as grandiose as saving the world, but it is really important to take time to understand what it is. Once you’ve determined it, you have an opportunity to lay out a path forward to achieving it.

Anastasia’s drive comes from her sense of purpose – to help others identify their own purpose in life, so that they can leverage it to generate a business that is meaningful and brings impact to their lives.

She also helps corporations do this by leveraging their mission to fuel and engage their workforce and leadership to better serve the customer.

Anastasia had this to say about her experience with Plan Canvas

I enjoyed Plan Canvas for a few reasons:

  • Action Items – this is great for teams. My team members used to get overwhelmed seeing a huge to-do list. Now, from the dashboard, they just see what the next 7-days include.
  • Big picture – The team appreciated having immediate goals and I, on the back end, could see the whole picture.
  • Business planning – the tool was helpful in bringing focus to certain sections of the business plan. Instead of seeing a 10+ page business plan template and feeling like you have to fill it to the brim, Plan Canvas has you focus on small sections at a time. Before you know it, your business plan is written – and with brevity.
  • Simplistic, effective and easily navigated. I enjoyed Plan Canvas from the get-go and encourage startups, pre-startups and even my own clients to use Plan Canvas as a tool for their business and team, to get their plan in action!

Thank you so much, Anastasia!

We are so glad that there are people like Anastasia who are out there really making a positive impact on people’s lives and sense of purpose. We are even more appreciative to have subscribers like her in the Plan Canvas community.

There is always a level of disappointment in having a business idea that is eventually abandoned. But the good news is that Anastasia has a healthy coaching practice that continues to grow and thrive. She is the type of person that is likely to generate new, additional ideas throughout her life and career, and is probably already cooking up the next big one.

The great news is that she didn’t waste a lot of time and resource determining one particular idea is not right or not right now.

Thank you, Anastasia, for being a part of our big idea and for being our very first featured Subscriber of the Month.

For a quick demo of Plan Canvas, please click here.

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

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!

Can You Turn Your Hobby into a Business?

April 11th, 2017 Posted by Blog Post, Entrepreneur 2 thoughts on “Can You Turn Your Hobby into a Business?”

hobbyMany successful businesses trace their roots back to a hobby. You may have heard a motivational business speaker share their story about how they realized one day that they could make money simply doing something they enjoyed.

A hobby certainly isn’t a bad way to start a business.

After all, hobbies tend to be low cost and low commitment. And generally, they involve something you love. You probably already have a hobby or two. The question is…

Should You Turn Your Hobby into a Business?

The idea sounds great: make money while doing something you love.

And you can deduct purchases and expenses for it. That’s something you can’t do with a hobby.

However, you might end up disliking this activity you once loved. Turning a hobby into a job can make you suddenly lose the joy that comes from doing it. As an example, I love to cook. I love to experiment with new recipes and make stuff up as I go. But would I enjoy running a restaurant?

If you’re not worried about that, then here are some questions you need to ask yourself:

  • Will I be able to get enough business to make a living, earning what I want or need to earn?
  • Can I get others to understand the value of my hobby?
  • Can I grow the business at a sustainable rate?

If you’re answering yes to all of those, then you’re ready to start seriously considering making the leap from hobby to business.

But first….

Do Some Research

There’s usually no point in starting a business if there’s already someone succeeding at what you want to do on a level you can’t perform – or if you have no differentiator. What are the market and competition like? Is there a niche that’s being overlooked?

If the marketplace is already pretty full, try and think of a different way you can transform your hobby into a business – do something to make it unique and stand-out. Think about how to be a market disruptor.

Strategize and Create a Business Plan

Despite what some may say, you should develop a strategic and a business plan (there’s a difference). Start with a strategic plan and graduate to a business plan. This will help you create a foundation from which to build your business. It doesn’t have to be overly complex, and you’ll certainly change it along the way.

But start with a simple, concise strategic plan. Speaking of starting simple….

Start Small

You may have big dreams, and that’s great. But big dreams aren’t accomplished overnight. Instead, break the big goals down into smaller, actionable steps and objectives. Get a few sales under your belt. Figure out your flow. Make some mistakes.

And then, once you’ve settled into the idea of your hobby being a job, start building.

Treat it Like a Job

The only way people are going to take your business seriously is if you do. Once you’ve decided to turn your hobby into a business, it’s no longer just for fun or whenever you have a free time. Get up early. Work late. Be regular. Stay consistent.

Even if you’re doing something you love, it’s not always going to be enjoyable.

Get Another Hobby or Outlet

Now that your hobby is becoming your job, you need something else in your life to release tension and enjoy. Consider starting a new hobby that’s purely for pleasure. It’s important to maintain balance when starting a business.

For more guidance on starting a successful business, make sure to check out Business is ART, available now at Amazon and other booksellers.

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Business Planning is Over My Head – Or is It?

March 31st, 2017 Posted by Business is ART, Business Plan, Entrepreneur 0 thoughts on “Business Planning is Over My Head – Or is It?”
This post was provided by guest blogger, Lindsey Evans, of 16th Floor Media. Find Lindsey on Facebook @16thFloor
Lindsey

Lindsey Evans – 16th Floor Media

When Jon told me that he was creating a business planning software, I have to admit I was skeptical. I’ve tried business planning before and it’s over my head.

I work in creative services and the mention of math in any form tends to turn me away. However, I agreed to try the Beta test version of Plan Canvas, the business planning tool based on Jon’s book, Business is ART. I am extremely glad that I did.

It all becomes clear with planning

I have been a solopreneur for a year and a half since I left my salary position. My goal for about 6 months was to hire an additional worker to take away my day-to-day workload and focus on the larger tasks. In the limited amount of time I’ve been able to dedicate to Plan Canvas in the last 2 months, it became apparent my hiring decision couldn’t wait.
Once I saw the numbers in black and white it jumped right out at me, ” What are you waiting for?”
I can proudly say I have added to my team! Not only is my workload lessened, but my client base has expanded!

Do it

I would recommend Plan Canvas to any business owner who thinks they “don’t need to formally plan anything.” Jon has thought two steps ahead with this software.
The beta test team is currently working with over 35 businesses and entrepreneurs across all types of industries! Start-ups and existing businesses, first-time business owners and seasoned pros – all part of the beta test!

Without hundreds of templates, it works for any type of business

Exactly what types of industries and professionals are currently using Plan Canvas?

Take a look!

  • eMail Marketing Consultant
  • Web Design
  • Architecture
  • Executive Coaching
  • Software / Consulting
  • Graphic Design Consultant
  • Graphic Design Consultant
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Property Management Consulting
  • Restoration
  • Startup Coach
  • Non-Profit Exec Director
  • Leadership Consulting
  • Web Design
  • Business Consultant
  • Craft Beer
  • Insurance Agent
  • Video Marketing
  • Painter (exterior/interior)
  • Chiropractor
  • Graphic Design
  • Entrepreneur – Restaurant Owner
  • CPA
  • Coffee Shop Owner
  • Retail Buyer
  • Baker
  • Blogger
  • College Professor
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Startup entrepreneur / former banker
  • Mergers & Acquisitions Advisor
  • Baked Goods & Specialty Candy
  • University Entrepreneur Club Leader
  • Computer Services

If it works for me, it will work for anyone. Go to the Plan Canvas Facebook page to keep up with how the beta is going and more.

 

Plan Canvas is a community and a powerful software for improving your odds of business success and personal fulfillment.

© SeaSeven LLC 2017.
Developed with FRW Studios.