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Entrepreneurship: A Grand Illusion?

Commentary, News & Reviews, The New Entrepreneur
November 9th, 2009 No Comments »

Illusions of EntrepreneurshipNews Flash: Entrepreneurship is hard work.

It’s grueling and tough. There are long hours, with little to no pay at the start. Even years into the gig, many entrepreneurs struggle to make ends meet.

And there’s no guarantee you’re going to make it at all. Chances are, you’ll run back to some corporate tower, begging for a day job in the hive.

So says Scott Shane, a Case Western University professor and author of The Illusions of Entrepreneurship ($17.16, Yale University Press. 2008). He lays out the hardships borne of breaking out on your own. Writer Harvey Schachter Writing in Canada’s Globe & Mail reviewed the book.

Mr. Shane, I have but one more comment: So?

Read More »

Dispelling Four Myths of Home Office / Small Business Ownership

Create & Run Your Biz
October 18th, 2009 1 Comment »

My friend, Jim Blasingame, is a pretty astute small business theorist — whether home office or small business. His recent thoughts seem fairly spot-on as people seek self-employment as a recession salvation.

“As the economy recovers, you’re likely to meet a starry-eyed human babbling on about becoming a business owner.

“Probing for the object of this person’s entrepreneurial infatuation will precipitate the what, where, how and when questions and, finally, the most important question: Why do you want to own a business? Answers to this last question, unfortunately, often produce what I call, “The Myths of Small Business Ownership.” Here are four:

Myth 1: When I’m an owner, I’ll be my own boss. Read More »

Home Business: The Emotional Marathon

Uncategorized
October 16th, 2009 No Comments »

Think running a small business is quick, down ‘n’ dirty with immediate results?

Think again. Running a small business or home office is more like a marathon than a sprint. Listen as Jeff joins Jim Blasingame to discuss the endurance ability required of anyone who intends to be a successful small business owner.

Laptop Lifts Offer PC Protection; Inventor Gives a Lesson in New Business

Creativity, News & Reviews
August 14th, 2009 No Comments »

In the world of computing, seemingly simple mistakes can have devastating consequences.

Laptop Lifts raise the laptop, netbook or Macbook - and protect from spills and overheating.

Laptop Lifts raise the laptop, netbook or Macbook - and protect from spills and overheating.

You’re sitting at your desk or a coffee shop table, and you spill your drink. Your laptop, netbook or Macbook computer – low and snug to the table – gets soaked and fried in a flood of fluid.

So how about a simple solution: A few small strips of adhesive-backed silicon stuck to the bottom of the computer, raising the device a mere quarter inch, allowing safe passage for an otherwise disastrous deluge.

Such is the premise of Laptop Lifts (www.laptoplifts.com). The product and its creator offer a plethora of PC protections — and lessons in entrepreneurship. Read More »

Guest Post: Don’t Be Dumb. Eliminate Small Business Customer Barriers

Create & Run Your Biz, Guest Column
May 14th, 2009 No Comments »

By Jim Blasingame

A while back, I needed to reach an acquaintance who worked in a local branch of one of the national banks.

When I looked for the local number in the phone book, all I found was a toll-free number that connected me to a computer answering system. That’s right – a local business didn’t publish a local number in the phone book, and here’s the stupid part: The answering system didn’t offer an option to connect to any branch or person. I’m not making this up.

“Don’t be stupid! Lesson 1

Don’t create barriers to customers and prospects. If you have any, take them down. NOW! I know you think you don’t, but in the name of efficiency and the advent of new technology, you might.

Undaunted, I called a local board member of that bank who gave me the local number (yes, they had one). When I called, I was told that my acquaintance, a loan officer, had recently been laid off.

“Why was he laid off?” I asked. Read More »

Home Office Prosperity Borne of the Cloud, Free Apps & Productivity Tools

Solo Business Strategies, Telework & Virtual Officing, The New Entrepreneur, The Responsible Home Office
April 20th, 2009 No Comments »

To run my home office and home-based business, I use a host of expensive applications and services.

I have a DSL line that runs me about $35 a month, a BlackBerry that’s significantly more, and a $750 PC. I have Microsoft Office, Intuit Quicken and various other programs whose “licenses” cost me money and keep me productive.

But I also use a host of free applications that improve productivity in ways and deliver level of “value” far beyond their price. I use Gmail for email, Google Calendar and Contacts instead of Outlook, and sister app Picasa for photo management. I use Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, instead of Internet Explorer, and have OpenOffice installed on my laptop instead of Office.

I use WordPress as my Web / blog site engine, and of course Twitter, Flickr, Facebook and MySpace (as long as they’re free). I even use Skype to call a client in South Africa.

How much do I save? I don’t really know. But the improved functionality and power of performance (my PC run so much smoother without all those apps running locally from the hard drive) is a compelling argument at any price. Listen as I discuss the concept with Jim Blasingame of The Small Business Advocate.

Sunday Home Office Round-Up: La Oficina en la Casa

News & Reviews, Uncategorized
April 5th, 2009 No Comments »

A busy week in Home Office America. A Latino organization debuted, and Home Office Highway’s marketing is shifting into second gear. Read on. Learn more…

As tax time approaches, seek good advice about keeping what you make. June Walker Online has been advising independent contractors, 1099ers, self-employeds, Schedule C’ers and the like for 30 years. Learn more about nipping this season’s tax bite. Be sure to surf and learn more…

Are You Lonesome Tonight? Or today? Or in your career… ? Freelancing and home officing are truly the stuff of soloists. But that doesn’t mean you have to live and work in a cocoon devoid of human contact. FreelanceFolder has a piece on How Support Groups Help Overcome Loneliness in the home office.

The National Hispanic Entrepreneurs’ Organization (www.nheo.org) debuted recently as a nonprofit organization created to empower Hispanic entrepreneurs who are underrepresented in America. Here in South Florida — and across the U.S. — Latinos comprise the fastest-growing minority population (they’re the majority in Miami-Dade County). Their numbers among home office workers are unknown, but anecdotally, they’re significant. The NHEO will help “close the minority gap that Hispanics face in the business world and foster entrepreneurship among Hispanics through mentoring, networking and education,” said Juan Pablo Giometti, president and CEO of the Charlotte, N.C.-based group. “Our overall objective is to increase the chances of success of Hispanic entrepreneurs by providing them needed business wisdom, resulting in increased revenue as well as job growth within the country.”

Undress4Success has implemented a new Telework Savings Calculator which shows that U.S. companies could add over $260 billion a year to their bottom line, and consumers could collectively save $228 billion—that’s between $2,500 to $11,000 a year each. Uncle Sam could save another $14 billion. How? By sending people home.

Home Office Highway - Where Vocation Meets Vacation on the Open Road again in Summer '09

Finally, Home Office Highway is deep in the throes of planning for the Summer ’09 mobile office adventure. The Vocation-Meets-Vacation event will depart South Florida and spend July touring the Southeast U.S. – and showing how a home office dad can work and play from the open road. Already on board: Verizon Wireless and Office Depot. More to be announced soon, and sponsorships still are available. Interested? Contact me directly

Entrepreneur Fatigue? 8 Tips to Mastering Small Biz Malaise

Motivation & Inspiration
April 4th, 2009 No Comments »

Exasperated 1099erFourteen million jobs lost last week. Unemployment at 73 percent. The worst economic depression since the Dark Ages. Defrocked CEOs cashing in their tin pocket watches for “Will Work For Bailout” sandwich boards.

It’s a crazy time out there — worst we’ve seen since fourth quarter ’08.

Surely, I jest.

But if you’ve been reading the news of late, you’d have to wonder.

And if you’re running a home-based or small business in today’s economy (loosely defined as people working for a handful of beans — unless you’re one of those social media gurus who claim six figures last week), it’s easy to fall into the funk of entrepreneurial fatigue. Even teleworkers — toiling in the often isolation of the remote work place far afield from the corporate hive, where co-workers are wishing they were the ones in the home office, far afield from the often toxic environment of the corporate office — have to find their path to enlightenment in uncertain times.

Bust through. Here’re eight ways how… Read More »


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