Monthly Archives: August 2012

Can You Just Jump Into Business?

Many people have a tendency to make things a lot harder on themselves than those things need to be.  Are you one of those people?

When I started my business, I just took my life and work experience and merged them, wrote some copy for my website and viola, I was in business.  Okay, there was a bit more involved, like creating visibility.  That was more time consuming than it was difficult.  The difficult part for me was learning how to do all the online technical stuff like getting a Word Press site up and running.  I’ve never actually been a tech person so there was  a steep learning curve.

Learn I did though.  I learned as I moved forward with my business, never letting the fact that I didn’t know how to do something stop me.  I got help.

I’m a big believer in just jumping off the cliff into the abyss of whatever it is I want to do.  It’s scary, but it’s really exhilarating, sort of like skydiving or belaying down the side of a mountain.  (The caption on the picture, in case it’s cut off, says To jump off a cliff, he jumped).

There are certainly different degrees of easy and difficulty in starting a business, depending on what type of business you want.  Turning your hobby into a business is relatively easy.  Here’s a three step plan for becoming  a professional photographer:












Really, that’s good advice.  A teacher in my life used to say that “it’s just as easy to act as if,” meaning that you should just act the part that you want to play as if it’s already a reality and it will become a reality a lot faster.

So hone up on your acting skills and jump off that cliff into whatever business you want.

My Opinion on Youth Unemployment

One thing that I have no trouble with is expressing my opinion and I have a lot of them.  Today, because in the blog challenge our assignment is to write an opinion piece, I’m going to give my opinion on the job situation in the United States as it relates to youth.


I have a rule not to discuss politics in public too often as it usually has no bearing on my work.  Except that the current lack of employment for our youth weighed very heavily in my decision to change my business to focus on empowering teens and young adults to develop an entrepreneur mindset.

People are screaming at President Obama that he hasn’t created many jobs since being in office.  However, in the first quarter after the stimulus bill that he signed, the number of new jobs created was the highest it’s been in 30 years?  It’s just that so many jobs were lost during the eight years before he took office that it was impossible to create enough new jobs.

Also since he took office, the rate of the jobs lost has slowed so while jobs aren’t being created in large enough numbers, a lot of jobs have been saved and that’s something to be happy about.

And now with the worst congress we’ve had in my lifetime, the situation is worse and apparently, we might be headed for an even bigger recession.  Some on the right try to blame the high rate of youth unemployment on the Democrats for raising the minimum wage, however that is ridiculous.  The minimum wage has been raised periodically to help people as the cost of living rises.   If I were into assigning blame, I’d say the congress blocking all efforts to move forward to repair the economy in the name of politics is at fault.

When there are so many people out of work, we have folks with college degrees and a lot of experience vying for the same job that would normally be held by a young person.  That doesn’t bode well for our teens and young adults when it comes to being employed.

With that said, I believe that the only way many of our youth are going to be able to make a living is to create their own jobs.  This requires a mindset that will be a challenge to develop in some cases.  For whatever reason, we have a generation of children that are more hyper, have shorter attention spans and are easily distracted.  Often they have can’t hold a job once they find one for a variety of reasons.

We need to find a solution to this major issue of our time or we’re going to have a large portion of young adults unemployed, on social welfare and eventually, living with their parents, who in some cases aren’t much better off, or homeless.

It is incumbent upon us to encourage and support our children in developing an entrepreneur mindset as well as help them find the skills they need for marketing and doing business in the digital age if they are to have any hope of being financially self-sufficient.  The mindset is so important that I just wrote an ebook to help parents and others who work with teens and young adults to help them start thinking like an entrepreneur.  The book, Powerful Lessons Empowering Teens and Young Adults to Develop an Entrepreneur Mindset, will be on sale September 1.

What are you doing to help your children develop an entrepreneur mindset and prepare for the future?



What Can Your Teen Do to Earn A Million Dollars?

What talent does your teen have that could become their money tree?  What are they passionate about, what do they absolutely love to do and would do all the time if they could?  What bright ideas do they have?  Can they turn that into a profitable business?

Does your teenager want to be a musician or songwriter but they haven’t shown any musical talent?  What sort of businesses could they have around music?  How about selling music, either records, downloads, or sheet music.  What about musical instruments?  Start small by buying and selling on Ebay or Etsy.

Did you know that Richard Branson, now a billionaire who owns the Virgin companies started selling music from his home in London when he was boy?  He certainly parlayed that into a successful corporation.  He went from his home business to Virgin Records.

Recently on the show House Hunters International they featured a man who wanted to move to an island and work from home.  He started a business teaching piano on the internet using an online video platform so he could live where he wanted and teach piano to people all over the world.  He claims to have a multimillion dollar business and his home purchase seems to confirm that.  Granted he’s not a kid, but this is something a kid can do.

What skills or talents is your teen capable of teaching to someone else?  How about creating tutoring videos about math or history?  Teaching guitar by video or how to garden, how to can and preserve, how to crochet, how to scrapbook?

Have you heard about the tween who started a company called Man Candles because he was embarrassed to use perfumed candles?  They are masculine scented candles in a can.  The company grew from his home kitchen to become a real manufacturing company.

One young woman became a millionaire selling greeting cards she designed for teens because her friends complained that none of the cards in the store fit their age group.

Recently I saw a video about a 12 year old who was well on his way to becoming a five star chef because he got fed up with mother’s poor cooking skills.  He decided to teach himself how to cook.  He watched the food network, practiced knife skills then started cooking.  He turned his bedroom into a professional chef’s kitchen with money he earned and once a month he and his mother turn their home into a restaurant where he tests his skills on the neighbors.  This 12 year old is now apprenticing with some well renowned chefs and his goal is have his own 5 star Michelen restaurant in the near future.  You can see his passion when he talks about it.  It made me want to find out where he’s cooking and get an invite.

Another young man who is 11 was so repulsed by the effects of genetically engineered food that he has decided to become an organic farmer.  He is learning everything he can and is educating other young people along the way about healthy eating.

Ted Talks features a 12 year old boy who creates apps for android phones.  His apps are very popular, he’s earning a lot of money and has plans for a future in Silicon Valley.

And if you don’t think your kid can create a million dollar business around skateboarding, just google Tony Hawk and get back to me.

Kids are amazing and can accomplish awesome things when given half a chance and some solid support.  What are you doing to empower your kids to become an entrepreneur?

Create a List of Five “Daily Musts”

There should never be a moment during your working time when you don’t know what to do.  To avoid this situation, here is a simple little technique.  Create a list of five things you must do every day.  The idea is that as long as you get these five items checked off, you have successfully moved closer to reaching your goals.

Interact with your current community (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc, return emails)

Prospect to find customers (both online and at events in your area)

Prospect to build your list (contact people to joint venture with)

Create content (blog, create freemiums, write an ebook or report)

Increase your expertise (study your passion and learn more about marketing)

What are your five daily musts?

The 7 C’s of Success

Today’s lesson in the Empowering Young Entrepreneurs Series comes from Brian Tracy, one of the world’s leading authorities on personal and business success.

Brian studied top achievers and peak performers for more than 35 years.  He concluded that these men and women are unique and have, in most cases, mastered what he calls the Seven C’s of Success.

Those seven C words are:

Clarity – Eighty percent of success comes from being clear on who you are, what you believe in and what you don’t.

Competence – You can’t climb to the next rung on the ladder until you are excellent at what you do now.

Constraints – Eighty percent of all obstacles to success come from within. Find out what is constraining you or your company and deal with it.

Concentration – The ability to focus on one thing single-mindedly and see it through until it’s done takes more character than anything else.

Creativity – Flood your life with ideas from many sources. Creativity needs to be exercised like a muscle, if you don’t use it you’ll lose it.

Courage – Most in demand and least in supply, courage is the willingness to do the things you know are right.

Continuous learning – Read, at the very least, one book a week on business to keep you miles ahead of the competition. Organize your time so you spend 30 minutes a day exploring e-mail, sending messages, going through websites, because like exercise, it’s the only way you can keep on top of technology. If you get away from it, you’ll lose your edge.

How many of these C words fit you?  How many do you still need to develop?



Become An Inspiring Leader

Can you explain to people WHY you do what you do? What moved you to start your business? What makes you get out of bed in the morning?

Author Simon Sinek describes what he calls the Golden Circle of Communication. According to Sinek, communicating the why first is communicating from the inside out and “people don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it.”

He presents this key to becoming an inspiring leader in a Ted Talk which you should listen to, it’s brilliant.

Sinek explains that your best customers and clients buy from you or hire you because they believe what you believe. He reminds us that Martin Luther King didn’t give an “I have a plan speech,” he gave an “I have a dream speech” and within that speech he talked about what he believed.

People didn’t necessarily connect with Martin Luther King the man, they connected with what he believed because it was the same thing that they believed. He believed that people should be treated equally under the law and that was his why.

The why that drives me forward is that I believe that all teens and young adults should have the opportunity to have the life of their dreams regardless of their life experience or current circumstances, and in light of the current economic situation, I believe we need to help them find alternatives to jobs.

Why do you do what you do?