Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Starting a business-Whats your motivation?

One thing that I have come to realize is that everyone is a potential entrepreneur.  You can be from any walk of life, have any educational background, ethnicity or experience AND be a business owner-there is no step by step process that will make you a business owner.

One thing that all entrepreneurs have in common is their drive and passion to start a business.  I am outlining some of the most common reasons why people start a business: 
  1. Hobbies - Some people start a business because they want to take a hobby and turn it into a money making machine-common businesses include hand made jewelry, knitting.  If you can turn a hobby into a business good for you, however I have seen too many people struggling-it's hard to put a price on something you love to do.
  2. They have a gift-there are truly some talented people out there, some are gifted with something unique-a beautiful voice, an artist, a motivator etc.  If you can turn the gift into a money making machine-why not?
  3. They hate their boss-this is by far the most common reason-they are sick of working for someone else and sick of being the mule-so they take their revenge by starting a business and making someone else the mule.....
  4. They want freedom-this is by far the MOST popular reason-here's the irony, when you have a job, its only 8 hours per day and then live your life, with a business, you are preoccupied 24/7-I remember reading somewhere, if you are a business owner and you are sleeping 8+ hours, you are doing something wrong. 
  5. Stay at home-let's admit noone likes commuting (ask me, I spend 10+hours per week commuting to and from work), a lot of people start a business to work from home-working in your pjs from the bedroom sounds good; however, I see MANY business owners who will admit they can NEVER concentrate by working from home-toddlers running around can be quite a distraction!  If you are one of those who can manage to run a business from home-kudos to you!
  6. They want to make millions-(don't we all) Not to ruin anyone's parade but let's be realistic over 50% of small businesses fail in the first five years.  We all want to start a business and make it big and often we loose touch of reality in search of the business success-be VERY VERY cautious with what steps you take in starting a business-go to to see a list of small business resources in your area to help you with your business decisions.
  7. You can have a second career-Alot of people are becoming part time business owners (including my husband and I).  We both have full time jobs but we decided to start a side business not only for the experience but also to have a second career.  In this economy, we are seeing more people starting a part time business.
  8. Control-A lot of people jump into starting a business they want control, they want to be the boss, they want to take all business decisions.  Most people who start a business start off as sole proprietors or partnerships, hopefully the aim should be to hire more people, managers etc to help you with running the business-as your business grows you loose control over the day to day decisions of the company.  Most decisions are made by your employees and manager-this is one of the signs of business success and sadly it comes at the cost of you loosing control.
  9. Experience-this was definitely my motivation to start a business-gain as much experience as possible to leap into the next business and hopefully more success.  If you are starting a business with this motivation, do not spend too much money on your business and make sure there is a Plan B.
  10. Because my friend John Doe has a friend Jane Doe who started a business and was successful-sadly, this entrepreneurial myth leads to alot of failure.  Just because something worked for someone, doesn't mean it will work for you. 
Whatever your drive, whatever motivates you, make sure you take precautions before you venture out.  Good luck with you and your business success!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Networking-is it really that scary?

Over the years I have been told that if talking was a sport I would be a champion-this has got to be true about most women out there. We love to talk whether its about shoes, clothes, fashion, celebrity, gossip anything at all but for some reason when it comes to talking about our business most of us shy away.

Unlike men, we don't like to brag about business success or the great achievements of our business, yet alone give that 30 second elevator pitch. Men tend to have a very "I am here to fix your problem" approach, where as women tend to just give a brief introduction of their business.

I often go to networking events, and like most women I go in my shell, I take my sweet time to put on my name badge, I pretend to read something interesting, try not to make eye contact until.. that first handshake and the first conversation and then the transformation begins. With the female species, all it takes is that one good conversation to light us up and then we are on a roll !

I have found the following tips to be very useful for me in the past and would like to share them:
  • Have a clear agenda in mind-"I want to meet 5 key people"
  • Look professional and look good.If you feel confident about your appearance, you will look confident. Others will perceive you in a positive manner as well-CAUTION do not over do it.
  • Always have a smile and make eye contact
  • Remember, there are other people in the room who feel shy-you are not alone
  • Make a joke, its a great way of starting a conversation
  • Always have a drink in your hand, it makes you look confident
  • ALWAYS carry a stack of business cards in your pocket or hand
  • I like to keep a pen handy too, to take notes on the back of a prospective clients card (I usually put one star to say possible contact, and two stars to remind me to follow up for sure)
  • Avoid eating the h'orderves-you do not want to be caught with your mouth full or spinach in the teeth
  • Talk about random things-entertainment, news, economy, housing market. Do NOT talk about the weather-it makes the other person think you are bored out of your mind
  • Try to introduce people to each other, it makes them believe you are popular AND they will remember it and try to do the same for you
  • ALWAYS as the other person about them, their business and give them positive feedback and the "wow" response-everyone wants to feel important
  • FOLLOW UP after the event so they remember who you are!
There are many books out there that talk about the key to networking, there is no right or wrong method. The tips above have worked for me and I hope you too can benefit from them. The more you network the better you get at it and the more confident you become. The bottom line is-loosen up and have fun-what do you have to loose?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

We are all Wonderwomen-

Growing up, I would sit on the kitchen counter and watch my mom, a wonderful home maker, humm  to her favorite songs on the radio and cook away for the whole day with a great big smile on her face.  I remember how she would be gather all four of us and making sure everyone in the house was taken care of.    Her day would start and end with one agenda-keeping us all happy, and happy she did keep us.  Back when I was a pigtailed girl, and now I still think she was wonderwoman.  I can see my mom, ammi, wearing a red and blue outfit standing on a hill with her flying cape in a soft breeze-looking impeccable. 
As I turned into a rebellious teenager I vowed I would never do this much work, I am going to be a professional woman.  Little did I know, I was preparing to shoot myself in the foot.  I have been married for two and a half years-wonderful wonderful years.  I work in a non profit, which basically means I work overtime and I am underpaid.  Being a female, I have this natural inclination and instinct of being a home maker.  As if those two alone weren't enough to qualify me as a wonder woman, I started my own business with my partner in life, my husband.  Did I mention that I volunteer in an organization for free as well?
One can just imagine how hectic life is.  My stay at home friends often look at me as if I am an alien.  How do you do it all?  Sometimes I do wonder, how do I do it all and still manage to take out time to have a social life and plan a romantic escapade with my husband?  Here is a little secret, I have some secret friends-Pillsbury dough boy who gives me those fresh dinner rolls, I have Betty Crocker who gives me those perfectly baked cakes, I have Aunt Jemimah who drops in on sundays for some pancakes and ofcourse when I have to throw together a BBQ, Oscar Mayers is always there to rescue.

My mom is a wonder woman and without realizing it I too have turned into one, I just have a few (super friends) as my entourage.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


A blog about a wifepreneur trying to have it all-a sane marriage and a successful business. To all those females in a relationship and trying to keep up with their business, I dedicate this to your hard work and for making it work-cheers!