About Entrepreneurship Stress

I’m going through the baby bumps of starting my own business. Yet, I know that what I’m doing is the right thing in the long run… because living off a government job is not the way I’m going to achieve success and happiness in this life. We’ve all been programmed that good benefits and pension are the way towards freedom but at the same time, in my experience I’ve never felt more insecure than working a union dayjob. Everyone’s always fearing layoffs and by nature a large organization is full of politics.

I don’t need that kind of insignificant stress and negativity. Life’s too short.

Cut out everything that isn’t serving you in your life.

But anyways now that I’ve been working on my online business and website- trying to grow an email list and audience, learn about marketing, learn about the technical aspects of web-development and still maintain some semblance of a content creation schedule, it can be overwhelming to say the least.

Another mental ordeal I struggle with is that, I’ve gone back into old habits of doubt, fear and worry about finances. In my first month of launching a new website there were inherently a lot of expected and unexpected administrative costs with getting the hosting and registration of the websites setup, as well as business and legal costs to set the company properly setup with the city. And of course I learned a lot in putting a lot up in the front end towards marketing to begin growing an email list.

Again, the costs and process is overwhelming, but in hindsight I guess the beginning stage is the hardest.

The marketing itself was a huge lesson because I think I overspent on buying clicks for my email list. Lesson learned and now I think I’ll turn towards Facebook Ads which could be potentially more lucrative and efficient monetarily as it’s much more targeted.

Last year I joined an online marketing course and I feel it’s time to dive back into the material because there is a lot of good info on paid online advertising, and I definitely need up my skill in that area if I’m to grow my business.

These next couple months are make or break for me because I really am determined to never return to a day job… but the fears and doubts of running a business and providing a better life for my family and whether I am capable have been weighing me down.

But I know I am capable of being a great writer and content producer and also I know that I am able to solve problems that I’ve encountered in my life.

So rather than wasting my time on dwelling on all the issues that are just inherent in starting a business it’s time to roll up my sleeves and start taking action again.

From Entrepreneur to Infopreneur

Any entrepreneur can become an infopreneur as it depends on one’s skills. Many infopreneurs make use of their skills while outsourcing those tasks he is not good at.

There are certain differences between entrepreneurs and infopreneurs when it comes to running the business. The opportunities online obviously differs from entrepreneurs who takes risk of ownership of the business through management proficiency. Infopreneurs take maximum advantage of market practices and are considered to be accommodating massive number of customers compared to entrepreneurs. The reason lies in having access to numerous platforms online where infopreneurs meet more customers than in case of brick and mortar businesses run by entrepreneurs.

However, both entrepreneurs and infopreneurs require similar fundamental qualities of risk taking, determination and confidence. Even the goals are similar as that of any other business, which is, generating higher revenues and continuously incorporate novel ideas.

There is a gradual move seen from entrepreneurship to infopreneurship because of less capital required in this domain. Intellectual capital is considered necessary for innovation and creativity to make full use of technological advancements. Time and energy is not wasted to hire employees unless the work is outsourced and one does not have any established contacts. The risk is slightly higher for an infopreneur as it is difficult to grab ideas and make it a successful business initially. Considering other risks such as financial, legal and social risks are least for an infopreneur. Furthermore, infopreneurs have more time liberation and flexibility as compared to entrepreneurs.

An infopreneur usually does the entire work himself starting off with publishing information in to an electronic format. With the help of a service provider who copies information at minimum cost so that the infopreneur can sell the final product to its clients. Infopreneurs are generally good with online marketing and that is the basic reason for their success. They know the fundamentals to generate traffic that would increase their online sales. They are also exceptional copywriters and this is the key skill they use to boost their profits.

Promising Entrepreneurs

  • The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating & avoiding the pitfalls that can sink a Startup by Noam Wasserman

Noam Wasserman teaches a class called ‘Founder’s Dilemmas’ at Harvard Business School. This book is the culmination of Noam’s actual research and that class. He mainly focuses on the key dilemmas that a startup founder will face when starting a company. All the information related to founder dynamics, solo founders, optimal number of founders and their roles and relationships, equity allocations between founders is covered in the book.

  • The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Business by Eric Reis

Eric Reis talks about the lean startup approach that is being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched. It fosters companies that are not only capital efficient but also focus human creativity more effectively. The book also highlights the current trend toward quick, low-cost startups that prefer action over research. The impressive insights that Reis provides can be applied to any startup, making this book a must read for all promising entrepreneurs.

  • Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong by Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull

This book contains made-up stories about administrative and business hierarchies. The idea of the Peter Principle has been explained very lucidly. “In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his/her level of incompetence.” When people perform well at their job, they are eligible for promotion. This cycle continues until they are promoted to a role for which they are incompetent to perform the duties. At that point they have reached their ‘final placement’. They are no longer eligible for further promotions because they have reached their level of incompetence. The authors have tried to address the question of incompetence in the work force today. Entrepreneurs may get to understand staffing issues from a whole new perspective.

Secret To Lasting Business Success

  • Know your values. Your core values are the foundation for a solid, stable business that will grow and expand in ways that are truly sustainable for you. Know what matters most to you – not to anyone else – so that you can prioritize your time, money, and energy accordingly. Once you do, you’ll be on your way to lasting success.
  • Align your business goals. Your core values are your compass. Navigating your way through the ups and downs of business growth becomes much easier when you can align your goals and actions with your values. When your business goals are in alignment with your values, you’ll notice that you feel energized and that you’re building momentum. That’s essential for business growth and sustainability.
  • Build a high performing team. Do not compromise when it comes to working with others in your business. All team members – whether independent contractors, employees, or consultants – must be in alignment with your core values, work ethic, and business philosophy. You are the CEO – build a high performing team that enhances your business, complements you, supports you, and makes your business shine. Using coaching app like Finger Print for Success will help reveal the hidden talents and blind spots of your team.
  • Work with only the best clients. There is no need to work with clients who are less than ideal for your business growth. Make room in your schedule (and your energy) for the highest quality clients by saying no to those less-than-ideal choices. If you fill your schedule, your time, and your energy with clients who don’t energize you, who drain you, or who cause you to compromise what you most want out of your business, you are saying no to a sustainable, successful business.
  • Ask for – and get – what you need. You can’t build and sustain a successful, flourishing, fulfilling business all on your own. No one ever does. You won’t either. And that’s a good thing – not a failing. Learn to ask for what you need in order to succeed. Then be sure to practice receiving what you’ve asked for. Give yourself the resources, the guidance, the support you deserve and require to build the business you dream of. If you want to grow your business and achieve lasting success, be sure you have the support and guidance you need – just as you support and guide your own business team.

Insuring Small Business

Typically all small business’s need General Liability insurance. As the name states, it will provide standard coverage for your premises and operations. It is up to you what your limits should be, but they should be ample enough to protect you in the worst case scenario. Most businesses will need to go beyond a general policy and get some form of specialty insurance which is specific to their industry. Listed here are some of the available types of insurance:

  • E-commerce – Insures against any loss incurred due to internet intrusions such as hacking for customers personal information.
  • Auto – This is very important if your business owns or utilizes any type of vehicle. It is separate from the General Liability policy.
  • Workers Compensation – If your employee gets injured on the job you will be covered. Some businesses are required by law to have Workers Compensation coverage depending on the number of employees they have. This varies by state so make sure you check with your state government.
  • Errors and Omissions – Anyone who gives advice or performs a professional service needs this coverage.
  • Umbrella – Gives you excess coverage over and above your General Liability Policy. It does not provide excess coverage for Workers Compensation.

Evaluate your risks carefully. Always think of the worst case scenario and plan accordingly. Your business can survive an unfortunate event if you have properly insured it.

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Successful Business Skills

Success in business is a matter of learning and mastering certain skills. Here are some tips that can help you succeed:

  • Learn to Delegate – Successful managers know when and how to delegate tasks to others. One of the most important skills that set a manager apart is that they are willing and able to delegate tasks to their employees. When a manager delegates he can operate more efficiently as well as deliver results on a timely manner.
  • Constantly Improve Your Business Processes – There is always something new to learn and there is also always something that can be done better. Improvement is fundamental for success in business. Look for those opportunities to improve and create your own success.
  • Separate Personal Life From Business Life – No matter what is going on in your personal life, leave the problems at home but also leave the office matters at work. It is very important not to stress out at work with situations and problems with friends or relatives, this will prevent your from being successful.
  • Know and Correct Your Weaknesses – Being successful means being able to identify and correct weaknesses. Successful business people are not afraid to recognize their weak areas, by doing so they become more efficient instead of having to manage anger.
  • Do not let Your Emotions Run Your Business – Emotions can be an important factor of success. Emotions run both ways, they can help you focus and achieve your goals. But emotions can also have a negative impact on the results. Emotions can make you take poorly thought out business decisions. Instead of letting emotions get the best of you, use them in your favor to achieve success.
  • Create and Participate in Business Networking – A very important part of success in business is networking with other managers and employees and also with people from other companies. Learn from them, find out how they run their business and also find ways to work with them. Networking relationships complement each other.
  • Be Honest – Let others point out your mistakes, allow employees and other managers to speak freely and correct them if need so, but also allow yourself to be corrected.

About Characteristics of Successful Business Owners

  • Set Challenging Yet Attainable Goals
    Dream big, right? Well yes, but not too big. According to an article published on Businessmanagement.com, “It’s better to set attainable goals, don’t aim too high or too low. Setting overly lofty goals, can leave you overwhelmed and frustrated. Overly humble goals can leave you bored and uninspired. The key: finding something that’s just out of reach” Aside from creating attainable and challenging goals, successful business owners are sure to ask themselves, “Does this goal help the present reality?” By asking yourself this question, you can be sure to weed out goals that you don’t benefit from in the near future anyway.
  • Listen to Customers
    While it’s difficult to please everyone that you do business with, successful business owners never forget that their customers are the blood of their business, and without them, they wouldn’t exist. Customers provide valuable information about the products and services they receive from you. After all, a customer’s voice and word of mouth is often more powerful than your own. The bottom line is this: Without customers, eventually there would be no company.
  • Never Stop Learning
    Think of the most successful companies in the past few years: Apple, Target, and IBM. These companies have remained successful because they never stop learning about the latest trends in their industries. They provide their customers with exactly what they want and need. Staying up to date with the latest trends while remaining educated on the direction of your industry allows you to have a competitive advantage over the rest. Be sure that you subscribe to business journals published for your particular trade. Read the newspaper to find local events you may want to attend or sponsor to get your name out. Successful business owners never stop learning.

Value Based Business Model

In my quest to create flow in my relationship I would often cave in to what my mate wanted, even if it went against my own values.

Ouch!

Of course, it wasn’t obvious to me when I was in the middle of carrying out that disempowering practice. Once I had the awareness, I was able to course-correct pretty quickly and I experience true peace and empowerment at the same time.

I’m convinced that entrepreneurs practice a similar negative habit with profit attraction…

  • You hustle your buns learning marketing strategies, how to perfect your craft, and networking.
  • You take a stab at implementing what you learn.
  • You make some progress but it doesn’t feel like you’re reaping the benefits in your bank account. You also feel a little stressed and overwhelmed.

You’re doing what you perceive to be profitable actions but your own Inner Business Expert is being ignored.

Your Inner Business Expert guides you to choices in your business that will be most inspiring, streamlined and supportive of your highest values.

You can take any business model and turn it into a profit-producing machine if you resist going against the core of who you are.

For instance, I used to wear a suit and try to act professional when facilitating cash flow seminars. I thought it would gain the trust of the attendees.

But I HATED wearing suits! I’m a casual kind of girl. Suits and being stiff didn’t put me into my power. As a result, I didn’t sell much at those events.

I finally woke up and saw that what I thought would create trust was actually repelling sales because my strategies weren’t congruent with who I really am and what I enjoy.

That’s a turn-off to everyone!

I traded in my suits for jeans. I ditched being formal and brought in the fun… and my sales skyrocketed.

Important Guidelines to a Successful Business

  • Be Innovative but Simple. Do not over think and produce something very high-tech. When the product is too complicated or high-tech, consumers do now want to buy it. Consumers want simple products; ones that will cater to their needs and not increase their problems. For example, if your business is on skin care – do not produce products that are complicated to use. Choose something that is easy to understand.
  • Be Aware Of The Competition. The higher the competition, the higher risk of less sales. People. Go for businesses also that do not have high competition rates.
  • Minimize Spending. Do not spend so much because it might sacrifice your profit. Be creative. Money is not everything when it comes to promotion. There are a lot of creative ways to sell your product and at the same time minimizing your spending.
  • Minimize Rent. If your product does not need a lot of storage space, then only settle for what is necessary. You can even do away with rent because you can create online selling and promotion of your product. Be keen with your budget. Poor financial management will drag your business down.
  • Start by yourself. When you start a business, do not consider having partner straight up. Often times, a clash of ideas will affect the business.

The next step is to hire employees. When your business has already reached its peak, it’s time to move forward and ask for physical help. When hiring your staff, choose the ones who are disciplined and dedicated. Without these two qualities, your staff might be a reason why you fail. So be wise in choosing your employees.

Government Grants For Business

Availing Of The Grant

For availing yourself of the grant, you must provide the funding agency with an elaborate and accurate written proposal, which justifies and states your goals and puts forward your plan and a more or less accurate idea of the kind of money you need for your activities. If you are awarded a grant you have to keep updating the government about your regular progress, and send the program evaluation or the financial status reports to the government agencies.

These days there are plenty of fraud cases, where people are made fools. You might have seen certain advertisements doing the rounds about ‘free money’ available just for an application. Such hoaxes should be avoided. If you are qualified for a grant, you have to be prepared to work hard to earn it amidst stiff competition. You could also hire a professional to help you for professional advice about how to go about obtaining the grant.

Applying For Grants Within A Time Frame

Applicants should be aware that not all government grants are available throughout the year. This means that there is a specific time period, rather time frame, within which you are supposed to apply for such government grants. All this information is made available to the public or announced after a particular fashion by a government agency. When the agency makes funds available for a grant, it makes a public announcement in the Federal Register, which is published every day barring weekends.

It has been noticed that the government agencies involved in issuing these government grants make no apologies for the fact that the application process is difficult and that it involves complicated matters for grant funding. The administration is though justified largely in trying to make the process rather painstaking in an attempt to filter out the wrong applicants from the deserving ones. It also serves as an assessment, financially speaking, for the actual need of the applicant.

Identifying The Right Agency

Next you have to find and identify the right kind of government agencies, which provide grants for specific purposes or in specific subject areas that are identical with what you are searching for. Those of you trying to fund an already existing or non-profitable business may find it difficult to get funding and getting government grants. This is because government grants are almost always given to non-profitable organizations for carrying out public service work and services aimed at benefiting the community or people on a large scale.

It is true that while there are actually still no direct small business grants available from the federal government, there are of course many state development agencies, which offer direct small business development grants and various other types of monetary help, which have been designed to encourage and help businessmen in starting or developing a small business of their own.

Small Business Administration (SBA)

Even though there is painfully little that the U.S. government does to provide direct grants for starting up or expanding a small business on one’s own, the government does provide plenty of free help in the planning stage of how to start or build upon your own business and in obtaining SBA-backed low-interest, small business loans.

SBA is the U.S. Small Business Administration. Ever since 1953 the SBA has aided and helped thousands of Americans build their own small businesses. Thanks to agencies like these, small business grants are no more a pipe dream. It has in fact helped the small business scenario by sanctioning the government grants, which are so much needed to venture into or expand your business.

Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR)

There are a few very restricted, ‘hard to get’ grants available in the small businesses category for research related work on new technologies on behalf of the government. A body called the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program tries to give entrepreneurs up to $100,000 for research on an idea which sounds promising and also an additional sum of up to $1 million to create the related products from it, if the research shapes up well.

The only hitch here is the fact that the ideas in question have to do with things like capturing a satellite in orbit and repairing it, etc. It’s obvious that such people who deal with or handle such intricate, detailed proposals for these government grants are experts by themselves in the various fields of engineering and science and are the brightest technological minds within the industry. As such competing with them for the small business grants is no joke.

A lot has been said and talked about government grants, their availability or non-availability, and how the real people in need of them could benefit from them. Government grants are made available for the promotion of small scale business growth as well as education and such other socially relevant purposes. Usually government grants are distributed based on the type of business or social activity, the geographical location apart from what the grant is being used for. Most grants are designed in order to implement government policies and in an indirect way they are often used to enhance and provide a lift to economic development and growth of business infrastructure.