6 December

The Days in the Life of an Entrepreneur

Chasing Money

You hear time and time again in all the entrepreneurial blogs, quotes, guiding principles, etc. that you shouldn’t chase the money, chase the dream and the money will follow. Unfortunately, many would be entrepreneurs take that to mean they shouldn’t be focused on money at all.  Not true.  Money shouldn’t be your only goal or even your primary goal, but it has to be a goal.  Unlike some other goals, if you don’t achieve it, you will be out of business. Too often those who get that part end up only trying to high end markets because they think that is where the money is. But here’s the problem with the high end money.  What is considered luxury changes fast and furious and everything is eventually commoditized in that world. Yes, there is money to be made in those markets, but for how long?  Whatever you are doing make sure it is a sustainable business that can withstand the trials of time and change. As for me, I just like doing business with real people.

To Your Success!

-Zahra

30 November

The Days in the Life of an Entrepreneur

Humility

The lessons of humility are always following you as an entrepreneur:  

“Listen to your customers.”  

“Make it work.”  

“Shake that guys hand.”  

“Wipe the floors.”  

“Pay yourself last.”

“Take feedback.” 

“Smile today.” 

The great thing about humility is that it allows you the space to think, reflect and digest. If you aren’t always taking action, you are able internalize and grow.  It is a lesson that gives back constantly if you allow it to. 

29 March

Financing a New Business

There are a lot of options for financing a business, but none of them are easy.  I was rejected by every major bank before I took my plan to community lenders and was approved.  The process was painful.  They poked and prodded into every detail of my life and it took months.  In the end it was all worth it.  I had what I needed to build my space and get myself to breakeven. Investors are another increasingly popular option, but you have to be willing to give up control of your business. You have to decide what you can handle and know what the other party is looking for.  Whether you go with debt or equity financing you will be accountable to another party or parties.  My goal is to get to a point the business itself can finance its growth.  For most businesses this is the best option and will allow you to maintain your independence. For others you have to go after outside financing.  Just make sure you never lose sight of why you started the whole thing to begin with.

15 March

The Business Plan

I use my business plan every day.  It is a living document in my business.  It is a tool that helps me stay focused and make decisions, while considering the implications the decisions will have on other parts of the business.  A lot has changed since the first draft of my business plan, but it has remained a constant check and balance for me.  Read More

1 March

Leadership in Business

Leadership is at the heart of every successful business.  There is no doubt that every business will have its successes and failures.  Being someone who can stay focused on the vision and lead employees, customers, partners, vendors…whoever is on board, through the ups and downs is what differentiates a leader from a manager.  I knew I was a good manager before I started my own business.  I was organized, focused, hardworking, outspoken.  I knew how to get the job done.  Now that I’m an entrepreneur, that’s not enough.  I have to lead.  I have to see how all the pieces come together, put them in the right order and, most importantly, inspire people to join me.  A business plan will help you put and keep the pieces together, but your gut and willpower are the secret sauce.