Who Asked You to Start a Business, Anyway?

So you want to start your own business? Great. Here’s what your’e up against:

The Government – It seems like the government should have your back. After all, you’re creating taxable income for them and either do or will help create new jobs, which in turn creates more taxable income for them, but your new business is a change – and no one likes change. First the state wants you to register your business with them. This costs money upfront and then again every year or so to keep it registered. Then you may also have to register with your local government and even with your local sheriff’s department. These are all people who could say, “No”. And if you are thinking of setting up a physical presence, there may also be zoning restrictions, which leads to the next roadblock.

Your Neighbors – Your neighbors may be friendly now, but if customers start showing up or you have daily deliveries or pick-ups from FedEx and UPS, they may not be so happy. See, people expect things to stay the same and now you’ve decided to all of sudden up and do something different. Shame on you for disturbing the peace around your neighborhood. Even if city officials don’t mind that your business is not really zoned for it’s location, your neighbors might, and once they start complaining to the government all of a sudden those zoning restrictions matter more than ever. You can try to be nice to your neighbors and work with them, but remember, they don’t like change.

Other Businesses – Other businesses are like the old guard or the established society. You’re the new guy who wants in. They have the websites you need backlinks from. They have the cash flow to outlast you. They don’t want to help you get started. They are just waiting for you to go out of business and leave them alone so they can keep doing what they’ve been doing. Businesses, like people, do not like change. You’re a nuisance to them just like you’re a nuisance to your neighbors. We’re not talking about competitors here, but since you brought it up, just hope your competitors don’t have your Craigslist ads taken down, click on your Google ads to run you out of funds, or report your business closed on Yelp.

Your Family – Your family will, like your neighbors, smile to your face and talk about you behind your back to each other. They will all hope that when you run out of money you won’t come to them begging for help and won’t try to change their lives in any way. Remember, people do not like change. You were supposed to keep your job, not start a business. Did they say you could do that? What will the rest of the family think when you fail? When they ask you how your business is going, expecting you to say it’s failing, try hard to keep a straight face when they act concerned about your future and wish you well. There only wish is for you to go back to doing whatever it was you were doing before (and to never ask them to change).

Yourself – You are the biggest obstacle to your own success. It’s you who decides how you are going to handle each and every obstacle you face. No matter what life, the government, your family, neighbors, friends, or other businesses do or say to you, it’s your choice on how you react to them. You are your own hero and they are the dragons. Will you slay them? So you have no money and rent is due. What does that have to do with how you feel? Who controls your feelings, really – you or your rent? Choose to be a success and do the work it takes to be successful and you’re 90% better off than any of those change-averse people (just like you). If what you’re doing isn’t working. Change.

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” Mark Twain

13 Books Every Entrepreneur Can Benefit From Reading

A lot of times I find myself referencing a book or two that I’ve read and people will ask me for a list of books that I recommend on business startups, business growth, personal development, or about being an entrepreneur in general so I compiled this list of books with links where you can purchase them on Amazon.

UPDATE: I’ve recently added 13 more books every entrepreneur should read!

Here is the short list:

  1. The Art of the Start – Mantras and milestones
  2. Getting Things Done – Work when appropriate
  3. Good to Great – Kill the cash cow and sell the mills
  4. The E-Myth Revisited – Organize and appoint
  5. The 4 Hour Workweek – Outsource and diversify
  6. Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us – Use the crowd
  7. Think and Grow Rich – The secret to everything
  8. The Richest Man in Babylon – Pay yourself first
  9. Cashflow Quadrant – Ownership pays dividends
  10. Made to Stick – Stories stick
  11. The Tipping Point – Little things don’t always stay so small
  12. Freakonomics – Question “common sense”
  13. Multiple Streams of Income – Tim Ferriss + Robert Kiyosaki

And here is more detailed descriptions: Read More

How to Start an Internet Marketing Business

I spoke a little bit about how to start an Internet marketing business on my blog, An Entrepreneurial Mind, but wanted to go into more detail here about how I got started in Internet marketing and what products I’d recommend. I got started in Internet marketing almost by mistake. I was doing some research about how to promote a particular site and kept running across initials like “IM” and “MS” and “30DC.” After looking into them I realized that there was thing called Internet marketing (IM) and a lot of people used Market Samurai (MS) because of going through the Thirty Day Challenge (30DC). I ended up going through what is now called The Challenge (since their was no fee for awesomeness) and got to really like Ed Dale. I eventually bought Market Samurai and have used that extensively for research. One thing I didn’t learn from any one place though was an overall strategy for how to go from start to finish on a project or a business.

For a long time, I had a card hanging up on my wall that said, “There is a process to success,” which was a quote from Chris Farrell. Chris runs an Internet marketing service that teaches people how to make money online in easy, step-by-step processes from start to finish. What Chris has said, Ed Dale would add, “There’s a process for everything. Creativity is a process. If you’ve ever found yourself sitting in front of the computer wondering what to do next. That’s not a Focus problem…It’s a PROCESS problem.” Learn the processes of successful people and repeat them to be successful yourself. It’s not easy, it’s a process, and one that is learnable. Sir Ken Robinson, an author, speaker, and international advisor on education in the arts to government, non-profits, and education, says that, “Innovation and creativity are learnable skills, not inborn talents.”

I’ve just recently purchased and received Sir Ken’s newest book, The Element, which tackles the challenge of determining and pursuing work that is aligned with individual talents and passions to achieve well-being and success. ‘The element’ is what Sir Ken identifies as the point where the activities individuals enjoy and are naturally good at, come together. I’m looking forward to reading it, but even more looking forward to doing it. I once had a mentor tell me that my mind was always running on a parallel track to what I was working on during the day because I was aligned with my true passion, but that once I did, I would “take off on fire.” That’s partly why I wrote what I did under my new executive coaching blog, Are You on Fire? If you’re not on fire for what you do, what’s stopping you? If you’re tired of that pit in your stomach every time you think about your work, it’s time to consider a change and if you’re looking for help on how to make money online, remember Chris Farrell’s membership program.