One of the oft quote excuses for business failure is “lack of capital”. So what capital does an entrepreneur have at his disposal? It’s more than money although it belongs on the list.
Let’s take a careful look…
The Capital of Relationships. Who you know is important in business, but not nearly as important as who knows you. Here’s a quick exercise to see who knows you. Pull out your phone. Who can you call that if they saw your number come up on their phone would say, “I better take this it’s _______”? How can that person help you? What is the nature of your relationship? What could you call them about that could help your business?
That person who will take your call because it’s you is valuable capital. How will you maximize that relationship? How will you extend that same kind of relationship to others outside your circle? Is that number growing or shrinking?
The Capital of Finances. Money is a means to an end and not an end in itself. Money only gives you access to the things that you need want and desire. As a business capital it can either be yours or it can come from somewhere else (bank, investor, etc…). Leveraging your capital of finances is the secret to gaining more. Making that money work for you to grow your business is an entrepreneurial skill you must perfect.
Finances involve knowing how to properly price your services, knowing how to handle price increases, how to negotiate with vendors, as well as dealing with bankers.
The Capital of Goodwill. How you treat other people is a capital essential for successful business. How do other people see you? Do they see you as a rich and valuable resource that they want in their circles? How do customers rate their experience with you? Do they believe you’ve done everything you promised to deliver? Are they going to be eager to recommend you to their family and friends? Goodwill is a capital that you can constantly be building to help your business grow.
The Capital of Resources. What resources do you have that will be essential for your business? Do you have the necessary tools? Do you have access to the necessary tools? What is the current condition of the tools you have? If you use that computer everyday how long will it be before it will need to be replaced? When was the last time you had a serious upgrade in the resources you use to build your business?
The Capital of Spirituality. Spiritual capital is the motivation to do what you do. It’s fulfilling your why. It’s the thing that gets you out of bed in the morning. It answers the “my place in the world” question that we all have. It’s your drive. When that capital runs low you find yourself “Closed for Remodeling”. Nurture your spiritual capital above everything else. It’s the fuel that feeds the fire of desire so necessary when everything else seems down.
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Habits are an important part of your success journey. Developing positive habits must be a regular part of your everyday life. However, sometime we develop really annoying bad habits that tarnish the entrepreneur experience for the rest of the world.
Brandon Turner, contributing editor to Entrepreneur Magazine, offers some power insights to those bad habits that are just plain annoying to the rest of the world. I was amazed as I looked over his list an found myself guilty at times. Check out the major points on his list:
- Constantly talking about how busy you are. Entrepreneurs are busy, but so are other people. There isn’t one kind of busy for an entrepreneur and a different kind of busy for the rest of the world.
- Stop “humbly bragging”. Yes, you might be in the spot light, but don’t find humble ways to brag about it. It makes you look really bad.
- Job Shamming. No one should feel bad about the fact that they have a job and no entrepreneur should ever make them feel that way.
- Canceling plans at the last minute because something more important just came up.
- #Firstworldproblems Complaining about your credit card process being slow in the morning really pales in comparison to more than one-third of the world’s population without access to clean water.
The author claims he wrote this article for himself. I disagree! I think he wrote it for all of us…
Employment in America – What Does The Future Hold?
Employment in America is changing rapidly. Do you need to look at your future differently than you might have a couple of years go? According to a survey sponsored by the Aspen Institute’s Future of Work Initiative, the Markle Foundation, Burson-Marsteller and TIME – the answer is a most definite YES!
Let’s pull some of the numbers from this survey. How is this going to impact your future as an employee or hiring employees.
While most employers prefer full-time employees, more than half are currently using independent contractors and expecting themselves and others to use more in the future.
So if you’ve been downsized or are seeking employment – this might be a good time to understand that fewer traditional employment opportunities will exist in the future. The good news is that you could find contingent work almost immediately as the need increases. I’ve addressed the solo-entrepreneur in another blog post.
With the demand for contingent workers on the rise there will be more opportunity for an employer to find “good help”. As more people enter the workforce as “part-time” or contingent workers the pool increases. The pressure of hiring a full-time worker when you really only need 18 hours a week is greatly reduced as the quality good up.
Both employers and employees see the on-demand economy as a completely different way of doing business.
This completely different way of doing business is the new economy. The world of work is getting leaner. That doesn’t necessarily mean that there are fewer opportunities. It fact, it may mean just the opposite. The new opportunities will just present themselves in a very different fashion.
Almost and employers are satisfied with the performance of contingent workers.
Clarification of terms from the survey: For this survey, the definition of non-employee contingent workers is those who work for an organization on a non-permanent basis and typically work on a form 1099, as opposed to full time, W2- based employees of an organization. Contract or non-employee contingent workers are also known as freelancers, independent contractors, or temporary contract workers. They do not include workers, part time or full time, who are issued a Form W2. Penn Schoen Berland (PSB) conducted 800 online interviews with employers (i.e., employers or business owners who make hiring decisions for their organization), from June 5-16, 2016.
Have you ever wondered about that degree you worked so hard to earn and maybe you’re still paying for. All kinds of things are being proposed today to (because it’s an election year) find ways to make a college degree more affordable. But is that really the issue?
A recently article from Entrepreneur Magazine suggests that maybe that’s not the solution at all. Maybe traditional means of education no longer apply to our non-traditional world. While most of the world was waiting for the economy to improve the most successful enterprises in the world today began to capitalize on the new economy instead of expecting a resurrection of the old.
Andrew Medal author of the afore mentioned Entrepreneur article, identifies six reasons why starting a business might be far better than working to earn a degree. Here’s a snapshot of his thoughts:
- Networking– Successfully starting a business requires an increased network.
- Compounding laws – Experience. Money. Business. The sooner you start, the more these variables will compound.
- Practical experience – Practical experience trumps theory-based learning.
- Autonomy – Starting and building a business allows you to control your destiny.
- Deferred degree– Both siblings say, “College can wait. Building a company can’t if there’s a good market/need in some space.”
- Limited risk – Limited risk to start a business while you’re young can be a key differentiator.
So go ahead a check out the article. You might be surprised that the real solution(s) is/are found in places that you might not have expected to look.
Business as usual, produces results as usual. ~Thom Rigsby
A very informal survey of any segment of the population will reveal that the vast majority of people aren’t working the field in which they earned a degree. After 10 years people start to find their place, their purpose and their passion. They get past that, “I get a degree, I get a job” thinking and discover that isn’t the way things work any more.
They understand that there is far more value in finding solutions to problems people face than there is in depending on the degree. Entrepreneurs think: “what solutions do I bring, not eduction do I have?”
Failing a test is way easier than failing at a business, BUT the lessons learned are far more valuable. To get ahead in the future you must let go of the past. Maybe it is time we applied that same principle to entrepreneurs starting business.
The Army of Solo-Entrepreneurs
The most recent downturn in the economy has created a new and exciting era – the era of the solo-entrepreneur. Downsizing has caused companies to rethink their position on non-mission critical employment. It now is easier to outsource then it is to justify keeping someone in a less than full-time capacity. This creates an enormous demand for the services of the solo-entrepreneur.
This army of Solo-entrepreneurs will be the business model for the next decade. They are the key to making the current economy work again. They allow the small businesses of America to be lean and efficient in a struggling economy – they are the “new” workforce. This is local outsourcing. It is keeping local money in the local economy or it is bringing global money to the local economy.
This army will have needs:
- They don’t have deep pockets to spend on advertising and exposure
- They don’t have vast resources to do research and development
- They will have to market differently
- They will have to build new teams of support
- They will have to create joint ventures
- They will need networking opportunities that work for them
- They will need coaching
- They will struggle
- They will survive and thrive!
The solo-entrepreneur is in a position to change the economic climate for multitudes. The more profitable businesses become, through the services of this “part-time” army, the quicker the economy turns around. Putting back to work many who are involved in the mission-critical positions. This always provides economic stability for the solo-entrepreneur. No longer does their “job” depend upon having enough work with one employer to justify their existence.
Many of the jobs that were once possible in a thriving economy are longer available. They may never be available again. Before those jobs get shipped off overseas have you considered how you might develop a business model to fill-in that gap?
Things are different in this economy, but they might actually be better for solo-entrepreneurs. They’re in a better position now to control their future than ever before.
Are you considering a role as a Solo-Entrepreneur?
You may very well possess the skill set that an employer can’t afford full-time but can’t afford to be without either. This is could be the opportunity of a lifetime for the one who is ready.
If you would like to explore the opportunities of self-employment or being a solo-e? I’ve prepared a brief survey that can help you determine if you’re ready for the next level.