Home Office or Small Business: Do You Languish, or Innovate?

Create & Run Your Biz, Creativity
October 1st, 2009 No Comments »

You’re starting a new business, or maybe you’ve been around for years.

Either way, success is borne from continuing innovation.

As you think about starting or growing your business, the key is to look for niches to fill. Jeff Zbar joins Jim Blasingame to talk about focusing more on niches as a way to discover new market opportunities, instead of trying to be innovative.

The conversation follows extensive talks held this week with Innovation Coach Robert Brands. Discussions centered around Innovation, Creativity and Accountability. Like a three-legged stool, without one, the other two languish – or worse.
Brands is creator of the Robert’s Rules of Innovation? concept and author of the forthcoming book of the same name from John Wiley & Sons in spring of 2010. The book provides readers a roadmap for success through “sustainable Innovation.”
Whether your business is run from a kitchen table or the corner office downtown, make innovation central to your organization. Because your competitors already are…

Of Fish, Business, Economic Stimulus & the Home Office

Motivation & Inspiration, Soloing
February 9th, 2009 No Comments »

fish-eye-of-the-fish-by-jalene-from-flickrI work from home.

So, of course, when our neighbor Gary leaves town, he asks me to feed his fish.

They were ravenous this morning, probably because I hadn’t fed them in a few days.

Once I got over my glee of not seeing them belly up, I served up the buffet.

Once I dropped their Tetra Marine fish food in the water (Mmm, good eatin’!) they scurried about, snatching up flakes like they were a bunch of bankers and the stuff was stimulus manna direct from Capital Hill.

But as I watched these little specimens, I noticed they also left in their wake a business lesson. No, not how to start an aquarium sanitation business.

Each fish selected flakes according to his or her (is it PC to say “its”?) size.

And how when times get lean, you’d better eat like there’s no tomorrow. Read More »

Sunday Home Office Round-Up: Furniture to Work, Places to Ply

News & Reviews, The New Entrepreneur, The Road Warrior
December 14th, 2008 No Comments »

This week, the Home Office Round-Up looks at a variety of things, places, furniture and technology that helps the home officer and teleworker get more done. (and yes, I meant ‘ply,’ as in ‘…your trade’)

– The site Ergoware had a look at Amazing home office set-ups. Some featured killer furniture. Others had more displays than NASA’s Johnson Space Center. But what caught my fancy was a spartan set-up in front of a large bay window overlooking a city scape. The mind needs eye candy more than 20 square feet of monitor displays can provide. This was very inspiring indeed…

– Still wondering whether or why to Twitter? That’s fine. Lots of people who think they’re savvy marketers often overlook the obvious — for a while. Just check out this list from Buzz Marketing for Technology of confirmed C-Level execs tweeting (props to Shaun Morton from for the heads-up). Wanna play with the big boys & girls, or at least see what got them there? They’re dishing it out — 140 characters per serving. Read More »

From the Home Office to Leno / NBC to Madison Ave., Hold On: Media’s Changing

Commentary, Create & Run Your Biz, The New Entrepreneur
December 10th, 2008 1 Comment »

There’s a sad and exciting truth taking shape on the media landscape: The Internet is feasting on traditional media, and we’re all in a position to prosper.

I moderate the weekly Webinars on Owen Frager’s, a Website and community for those corporate and home officers working in the Website domain space. For the uninitiated, we’re not talking about “squatters,” or people who buy trademarked names then hold them for ransom. These cats are business folk savvy enough to buy names that mean something, that have value, and that can be developed into powerful — and powerfully lucrative — business models.

Two examples are Michael and David Castello, founders of Castello Cities Internet Network Inc., and pioneers in the domain space. Among their 1,000-name portfolio are, and But they’ve made their mark developing geodomains, like, and Think these are just names? Their debut geo site — -– launched the geodomain category in 1995, and today generates more than $750,000 a year in front-page ad revenue alone.

Seven hundred fifty thousand dollars. Where do you think those ad dollars were spent one year ago? Read More »

Don’t Be a Home Office Idiot: Five Tips to Avoid That Career-Changing Mistake

Create & Run Your Biz, The New Entrepreneur
December 9th, 2008 1 Comment »

How many times have you screwed up a chance at a stellar future?

How many times have you left money on the table, blown a lead, or let prospects walk away – with YOU empty handed?

Seth Godin wrote passionately about a major business mistake he once made in his career. While the concept likely is much larger than anything the Average Joe faces in the day-to-day life of work, business and opportunities, the lesson is universal.

His mistake: “… not believing in the world wide web in 1994.” He’d written books, magazine stories and the like. But he lacked the vision thing. He “actively ignored it.” He ignored the opportunity for domaining – or acquiring domain names that in the future would become six- and seven-figure virtual real estate.

In short, Godin was an idiot (his words, my shared reality). I’ve had TV projects that I couldn’t close, books that never came to fruition, deals that would’ve landed me serious coin and significant exposure — but for wont of just closing the deal…

You, too? Read More »

Home Office Domainers Tap Last-Minute Tax Strategies & Tips During Holiday Season

Create & Run Your Biz, Home Office Parenting, News & Reviews
December 4th, 2008 No Comments »

Image courtesy HowToSaveMoneyOnThe holidays are approaching. What’s the perfect gift for corporate employees or executives nervous about layoffs – and hoping to secure their future, possibly from a home office?

An Internet domain name – and the tax advantages it can bring to a fledgling home-based business.

For those not versed in the concept, domain names are the Web “addresses” typed into Internet browsers to land at pages like The New York Times (, The Wall Street Journal (, or two of my favorites, Home Office Highway ( and MyDaddyWorksInHisUnderwear (

More than an address, think of domains as businesses looking to take root, secondary businesses whose revenues can bolster existing businesses, the online branding of an existing retail or services company, or an investment in a child or grandchild’s future.

And they can be perfect gifts. Read More »

Guy Kawasaki: Unconventional Wisdom for Today’s Entrepreneur

Create & Run Your Biz, Lamentable Truths
November 26th, 2008 No Comments »

Are you the next Google, Microsoft, or Apple? Will you be doing hundreds of millions of dollars in five years?

If not, then venture capitalists don’t want to hear from you. Find yourself a rich uncle.

That’s part of the unconventional wisdom legendary VC and marketing genius Guy Kawasaki laid on Jim Blasingame and his listeners on this Tuesday’s show (I especially liked his dissing of the traditional business plan – business mentors everywhere are gagging on that one).

Guy, the creator of late of the AllTop content library, was there to discuss his latest book, Reality Check, and let loose some early morning thinking on Jim and the gang. Listen up…

Guy’s biggest career mistake: He was asked to interview to be the first CEO of Yahoo! about 15 years ago. Guy said that with his second child on the way, he didn’t want to drive two hours round trip each day. He turned them down.
“If I had taken the interview and gotten the job, I would have made $2 billion and not be up at 5am doing radio interviews…”

The Story of ‘A Good Risk’ Offers a Tale of Smart Biz

The New Entrepreneur
October 28th, 2008 No Comments »

She may not work from a home office, but Dianne Reinhardt has a small business that closely resembles the home-based enterprise — except that her small artisan bakery is in a storefront.

No matter. Her lessons are much the same. Magnolia Bread Company is a closely held business, with little debt, 1.5 employees and a passion for product and customers alike. Reinhardt tells her tale to host Dick Gordon on The Story from American Public Media.

As she tells it, Reinhardt left a 30-career in nursing — where she saw patients die and increasing pressure whittle away her time spent on anything but patient care — to open her small, artisan bakery outside Atlanta.

Today, her business is strong despite the tightening economy. Read More »

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