Category Archives: Inspiration & Quotes

Bookmark this page for inspiration and quotes as you run your small business, and to post on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook.

Entrepreneurship Ideas

Entrepreneurship: Should You Quit Your 9-5?

Do you have to quit your job in order to become an entrepreneur? The 40-50-80 theory will help you put things into the right perspective.

If you survey a group of would-be entrepreneurs on what holds them back from starting their own businesses, one of the most common reasons is lack of time. They already work a full-time job, so they don’t think it’s possible to pursue entrepreneurship unless they quit their jobs.

I think a bit of reframing is necessary to dispel this myth that in order to start your own business you have to quit your job first.

So here is my 40-50-80 theory. It says that if you work 40 hours a week, and sleep about 50 hours per week (7 hours per day), you still have roughly 80 hours left in a week left to yourself. Let’s call it YOU TIME. Some of your you time will be spent eating, cooking, running errands and doing other necessary duties, but that still leaves plenty of hours to pursue your entrepreneurial goals.

Entrepreneurship Ideas

80 hours. That’s DOUBLE the average number of hours you spend at a standard 9-5 job. So no, it’s not necessary to quit your job in order to start your own business and pursue entrepreneurship.

Your Current 80 Hours

How do you currently spend the majority of those non-working, non-sleeping 80 hours in a week?

How many hours out of those 80 do you spend watching television?

Playing video or cellphone games?

Going to parties or buying entertainment on the weekends?

Tweeting or reading social media sites?

There’s definitely nothing wrong with some play time, but you have to ask yourself if using the majority of those 80 hours for playtime at this time in your life is the best idea. OR do you make some sacrifices now so that you can play more later (with more cash and freedom).

How to Best Invest Those 80 Hours

Now that you’ve reframed your week a bit, here are some suggestions for how to use those other 80 hours in your week.

– Start writing your business plan outline.

– Listen to motivational and educational audiobooks written by great business minds like Napoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie, Zig Ziglar, John Maxwell and Brian Tracy.

– Spend time practicing your talent, whether it’s art, music, writing screenplays, crafting jewelry, creating designs, speaking or serving customers. In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell theorizes that people who spend 10,000 hours on their talent will MASTER it, so every single hour counts.



– Schedule weekly lunches with a potential business mentor (on you of course).

Join Toastmasters in your area or a similar skill building group and attend at least twice per month.

– Start building social media accounts that are only to be used for business purposes.

– Start building a small, modest yet professional business website where interested parties can contact you.

– Create a money plan and budget that will allow you to invest a portion of your monthly check into your entrepreneurial activities.

These are just a few examples of how you can spend those 80 hours. Start off by investing about an hour or two per day into the things that you really love that could make you a profit, and you’ll probably start to look forward to getting off of work so that you can invest even more time into those things.

In fact, if you put a microscope to your average day, you’ll probably find blocks of time when you can focus on your plans. For instance, if you take a train to work, how long do you spend sitting and looking out of the window each day (back and forth)? What about your down time when waiting for your bacon to fry or egg to boil? Pull out a tablet or an actual pad of paper and start writing down notes and ideas — if only for a few minutes.

Everyone Has Potential But…

I am a firm believer that everyone has a special skill or talent that would make them a good living if they invested time and effort into it. At the very least you can make a side residual income that will be a part of your personal retirement plan for a lifetime and beyond.

BUT not everyone truly WANTS to be an entrepreneur. And that’s okay. If that’s you, then no amount of motivation can make you change the way you use your 80 hours.

On the other hand, if you’re someone who definitely wants to pursue entrepreneurship but just feels a little “stuck,” you have to be willing to put your all into it—that means making some sacrifices and embracing change. Just a small shift in your daily or weekly habits can put you on the road to being a successful working entrepreneur or solopreneur.

The 40-50-80 theory doesn’t apply to everyone—at least not those specific ratios. Your work week, chores and sleeping schedule may be more complex than the traditional 40 hour-work week (especially if you have kids).

But even if your schedule is more demanding than the average 9-5 lifestyle, you can dedicate at least 30 minutes to an hour per day to starting a small business and pursuing entrepreneurship. As you will see in the coming years, now is the best time to get your feet wet in the pool of people who choose to create an income stream for themselves.

Louise Gaillard

Louise is a prolific writer, social media manager and marketing consultant.



The Ladder to Success: Why Most People Don’t Reach the Top

Napoleon Hill said, “The ladder of success is never crowded at the top.”

This certainly is true, but why is it true? Let’s use Mr. Hill’s metaphor of the “ladder to success” to dissect the various occurrences that prevent a lot of people from reaching the top.

  1. Ladder of SuccessLooked Down (Fear)

So you’re making your way up that ladder. You’re getting higher and higher, closer and closer. Then for some reason, you look down. Fear grips you and takes you back into your old reality. “What am I doing up here? This is dangerous / risky. What if I’m doing the wrong thing?” Then you slowly make your way back down to where it’s “safe.”

Fear of success is real — it holds a lot of people back from starting their own small businesses and pursuing other endeavors in life. Someone who is fearful of success doesn’t want to leave her comfort zone.

  1. Someone Yelled Up from the Ground (the Peanut Gallery)

We have all come in contact with one or more people who have tried to hold us back from progress in one way or another. They insult, discourage or distract us from completing our journey.

There’s that guy who always wants you to come out and drink, smoke and party (then you don’t want to do anything else). He’s down at the bottom of the ladder holding a cold one up to you. “Come on down buddy, relax, have a drink with me.”

That relative who keeps telling you that your “silly dreams” are useless and you should be doing something else. “What are you doing up there on that ladder? You could be over here digging a ditch instead. What’s wrong with you, you know you’re meant to stay here with both feet firmly on the ground!”

Then there’s that vindictive “friend” or family member who insults you and tries to pretend it’s just innocent fun. “You look so stupid up there on that ladder (laughs). And by the way, everyone can see up your dress!”

If you spend your life listening to the “peanut gallery” you will find it more and more difficult to ascend your own personal ladder of success.

  1. There’s a Snag along the Way

Another reason why some people don’t make it to the top of the ladder of success is that they catch a snag along the way. Something grabs hold of their pants on the ladder and they just stop cold in their tracks. They jerk and jerk their leg to get free and keep climbing, getting more and more frustrated with each tug.

It might be that the one idea you were counting on didn’t turn out the way you hoped or the bank said “no” to your small business loan. Maybe the product prototype you developed isn’t functioning properly.

A snag is merely a setback but unfortunately a lot of people take it as an indication that they’re not meant to go forward at all. So you sullenly descend the ladder and go back to “business as usual.” But what you don’t realize at the time is that all you really have to do is sit down on the ladder for a moment, take a rest, think things over, un-snag your pants and then get back to climbing with a better plan in mind.

  1. There’s an “Emergency” Down There

Another reason why someone might turn around and get off the ladder to success is when she learns that there’s an “emergency” going on back down on the ground that requires her to put the climb on hold.

What people often find is that the “emergency” didn’t really require their immediate attention, and now they have to start all over. Some people get stuck here, tired and weary from having to constantly put out fires, and give up on the climb altogether.

  1. They Miss an Opportunity

While you’re climbing, slowly and steadily, you might find that someone who’s up higher reaches down to offer you a hand. Maybe it’s unsolicited advice, a small loan, a partnership proposition or some other form of assistance. Some people let their egos get in the way of progress and refuse to accept the help they desperately need as they climb the ladder. “I can do it all by myself!”

It’s important to remember that no one reaches the top all by themselves — they need other people, whether it’s support from a customer or an investor.

  1. Not Satisfied With the Speed of Progress

Ladders to SuccessSome people stop climbing the ladder of success because they aren’t happy with how fast things are progressing. They feel that they should be farther along, higher up — that they’re peddling on a stationary bike and going nowhere. But the truth is that some people find success rather quickly while it takes others more time to see the fruit of their efforts. Slow and steady often wins the race.

  1. Too Occupied with What Others on the Ladder Are Doing

Too often we are distracted by the progress of others who are trying to achieve success when trying to achieve our own goals. Either we’re enviously watching what the guy is doing a few rungs up on the ladder or spending too much time looking down at others who aren’t as high as we are to feed the ego. This distraction and lack of focus causes us to stumble and fall down a few rungs or off the ladder completely.

Focus on your own climb.

  1. The Ladder’s a Bit Rickety…

Another possibility is that the ladder you’re climbing is a bit unstable. Maybe it’s breaking, damaged or cracking. If it were to fall apart you would go down with it and become discouraged by this major time-wasting setback.

If you notice that the ladder’s rickety, that might be an indication that you’re just on the wrong one. Maybe there’s a better, more stable ladder out there that you can be climbing to find success.

  1. They Never Start Climbing in the First Place

A lot of people don’t make it to the top of that ladder of success because they never start climbing in the first place. They don’t ever even try. This is due to that other type of fear: the fear of failure.

People who never try are usually thinking “I could never climb that ladder because _____”… just fill in the blank (money, not smart enough, not pretty enough, not skilled enough).

Can You Relate to Any of These?

If you’ve tried to ascend the ladder of success in the past but never quite got there, which of these reasons do you think most accurately describes why?

Regardless of the reason, what’s most important is to know that all is not lost — that ladder to success is still there, and no matter what anyone says you can start again anytime you want. Take some time to reflect on these points before you restart your climb so that you can maintain your resoluteness and keep going uninterrupted this time.

 

Louise Gaillard is a prolific writer, marketing consultant and social media manager.

Starting up a small business, even if it’s just on the side, is no longer an option — it’s a necessity. Why? Because everyone needs an additional source of income in our new economy. Click here to sign up for educational and motivational posts to keep you on track.

Time to Get Up Off of the “Nail” You’re On

Les Brown tells this story about a dog who’s lying on a porch next to his owner groaning in pain. Day after day he groans.

The guy finally decides to ask the owner of the dog why he’s groaning in pain. The owner says “oh, he’s just lying on a nail.”

The guy looks at the owner curiously and asks the obvious question, “why doesn’t he get up off of the nail then??”

The owner sheepishly responds, “I don’t know, I guess because it’s not hurting enough yet to inspire him to get up.”

So how does this story relate to starting up a small business?

Are You Laying on a Nail?
The dog laying on the nail is the average guy who is miserable working at a job he hates. It’s the mom who loves her children but hates where her own life is headed. It’s the college grad who is sitting at home, unemployed with loads of debt, in his parents’ basement stressing over whether to file for bankruptcy.

They’re hurting, but not enough yet to get up off the “nail” and do something about it.

Getting Up Off of the Nail
I have been on that nail before — laying there in pain feeling like there was no point in even trying to get up. Thinking “what’s the point?”

But what I’ve found is that the longer you sit on it, the worse it gets. The wound festers and becomes infected until it ultimately leads to your demise emotionally, mentally or even physically.

You have to find the strength in YOURSELF to get up off of that nail. Talk to your inner self (some people call it God or your intuition) and come up with a plan of action.

In many cases, that plan involves taking control of your life and starting your own business. Even if you keep your job, that’s fine. If you decide to become a WAHM (work at home mom), yes your schedule will become even more crazy but more fulfilling at the same time. If you have to file for bankruptcy, just start planning for the next steps — it’s not forever and a cash only lifestyle is possible. Just add something new to the mix and try something different. It’s okay to slowly move in a new direction.

You may be surprised at how quickly that wound starts to heal up.

 

About the Author:

Louise Gaillard is a prolific writer, marketing consultant and the author of  Easy Twitter Marketing Tips for Business Success.

The Real Barriers to Starting a Successful Small Business

I’ve lost count of the number of people I know or have met who have a major talent that they could “bottle up and sell.” 90 percent of the time they are also very unhappy in their current jobs.

Business Woman
© Dnadigital | Dreamstime Stock Photos

“Why not start your own side or small business?” I ask.

Here are the most common answers I receive:

– I don’t have the money to invest
– My job takes up too much of my time / too tired
– I don’t know how or where to start

But I have a theory.

The real reasons behind why most people don’t start up a small business are:

– lack of motivation
– lack of inspiration
– lack of knowledge (self-education)

Somewhere along the way you got the idea that the only way you could ever make money is to work for another person. Maybe it was your family pushing you toward a particular “way” of living life. Maybe it was college indoctrination where you and your peers are taught to compete for the best jobs. Maybe it’s just a limiting belief that you have about your skills, talents and ability to make or manage money.

But the truth is that anyone can start a successful small business — even if it’s just something you do on the side for the time being. It’s about offering value to the world — when you do that consistently and reliably they give you value in return.

Here’s what you really need to get started:
– the Knowledge/Know-how (self-educating yourself on the type of business you’d like to run, marketing, communication, how to use technology like social media to your advantage)

Inspiration (the idea, the innovation, the thing that gives you butterflies when you think about it)

Motivation (a push in the right direction)

K.I.M. for short. Keep it moving.

So this start up a small business website is mainly targeted at resolving those three barriers to starting a successful small business.

You have the basic steps outlined, conveniently to the left (see that nice little menu over there?) — that list alone can help you start forming your business plan. But you also need help with motivation, inspiration and self-education to start your own successful small business.

So subscribe to our posts below or sign up for the email list for updates, advice and tips.

Follow Start Up a Small Business on WordPress.com

Get Small Biz Updates!

 

About the Author:

Louise Gaillard is a prolific writer, marketing consultant and author writing about small business, marketing and social media success.

When Starting a Small Business Family Members Can Be Your Worst Opposition

Woman talking by phone
© Abdone | Dreamstime Stock Photos

When you’re starting a small business, you might assume that your family members will be your staunchest advocates. Surely they’ll be the first in line to buy your stuff and give you a positive review. Surely they’ll call you up and say “congratulations.” Surely they’ll call and offer you some assistance to help your business grow…

But a lot of new small business owners (myself included) have a very, very different experience. In fact, the reaction from family members when you’re starting a small business can be downright cold!

Resisting the Negativity

If you find yourself in this type of predicament, your biggest challenge is going to be overcoming the negative thoughts, beliefs, words and actions of your family members. These are the people who know you best, so they also know how to really hurt your feelings if they really want to. You can probably think of one person in particular right now who seems to get a kick out of annoying or hurting your feelings.

Listen up: you have to do whatever you have to do to stay motivated to achieve your goals. If that means that you have to separate from your family members for a while, then so be it.

Second tip: that person in your family who gets a kick out of seeing you down and out? Don’t tell him or her anything about what you’re planning to do.

Third tip: Understand that when someone reacts negatively to you trying to better you life, it’s because they’re unsatisfied with their own life. They don’t want you (or anyone for that matter) doing better than them. That’s their problem — not yours.

Things don’t always happen immediately when you’re starting a small business; it takes time. That’s why it’s so important to stay around positive people who motivate you to keep pushing forward. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always include members of your family. Take the advice of the late great Napoleon Hill who suggests that all entrepreneurs join a mastermind group of like-minded people who all want each other to succeed.

 

StartUpaSmallBiz.com is a simple and easy-to-navigate site aimed at helping you to achieve your small business goals. Perfect for newbies and intermediate level business owners. Sign up for our newsletter to receive more motivational updates about starting a small business.

Starting a Small Business: Is Someone or Something Discouraging You?

When I first started out as an entrepreneur, my family and friends definitely weren’t very supportive of my decision. They laughed at me, to my face and behind my back. They basically told me that I was crazy and needed to go get a job!

Years later, I may still have my ups and downs as an entrepreneur from time to time but as Frank Sinatra sang: “I did it myyyyy way!” I earn a living doing what I do and I do it all on my own terms. I am not at the mercy of an employer or boss, which is possibly the most rewarding part of having your own business.

I believe to this day that if I had more support and less doubt from the people in my life at the time, I would have gotten a lot further as a small business owner in a shorter period of time.

So my question to you today is, do you have someone or something in your life that’s discouraging you from moving forward with your plans to start your own business? If so, here’s a little motivational post to help you eventually pull away from and around that roadblock.

You’re the Only One Who Can Live Your Life Successfully

From the time we’re children, many of us are conditioned to live our lives based on the wishes and desires of others – our parents, teachers and peers. But the truth is that they don’t know what’s best for your life. Only you know that. You are the only person who can live your life, so keep that in mind when you find yourself making decisions based on what other people want for you.

Relieve Yourself of the Opinions of Others

There’s a saying that goes “your opinion of me is none of my business.” A lot of people go through life making decisions based on what other people will think of them. Why do we care so much about what others think? When it comes right down to it, the opinions of other people really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. The only opinion that matters is the one you have about yourself. Are you happy? And if not, what do you need to do to get happy?

Some Day…

Are you taking up space on “someday isle?” That’s a place where people sit by idly, speculating on what they’ll do “someday” instead of taking action today. They make excuse after excuse about why they can’t take action: someday when my kids graduate from high school… someday when I get my master’s degree… someday when I save this amount of money. What is really stopping you from taking the first step to make your small business idea a reality? You can start today, even if it’s just sitting down and writing a plan of action. JUST DO IT.

If you’re serious about starting your own small business, you will do it. It’s as simple as that. As Tommy Lasorda said “The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man’s determination.” There comes a moment in life when you have to decide that nothing and no one will stop you from pursuing and achieving your dreams.