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 »

What Inspires You in the Home Office…?

Motivation & Inspiration
December 26th, 2008 No Comments »

We saw the flick Marley & Me last night. While I wasn’t crazed about the movie itself (2.5 out of four), the flick — and book — really did it for me on several levels as a home office dad and freelance columnist.

John Grogan was a fellow newspaper columnist here in South Florida. He then relocated to Pennsylvania, and found success as a magazine editor and again, as a columnist with the Philadelphia Inquirer.

I wrote to John back in early ’07, after I’d finished Marley & Me in short order, followed by my then 11-year-old. (Much to my surprise, Grogan had recalled my columns from the Sun-Sentinel). My message then was that I was inspired to journal my own life. Coming out of the movie last night, I was inspired anew to pen my experiences as a home office father, husband and pet owner.

If you have any New Year’s Resolution(*) this year, make it one that fulfills your soul. Read More »

10 Tips to Clear Your Home Office Head & Secure Your Future

Commentary, Marketing & Publicity, Motivation & Inspiration
November 12th, 2008 No Comments »

DHL announced U.S. closures – and the pink-slipping of 10,000 employees.

GM, Chrysler, Ford and other U.S. automakers are pondering Chapter 11, restructuring, and factory closures that would jettison thousands of workers (and, more importantly to top brass, those pricey and pesky ‘commitments’ to health and retirement bennies).

Lost in the news are all the supporting businesses, vendors and suppliers, restaurants and dry cleaners, who serve, service and supply the companies, products and people.

Where does the home office “vendor”? or freelance contractor fit in this equation? How can we ensure the avalanche of bad news doesn’t sap our spirit or weaken our resolve…? Read More »

How to be Inspired to Greatness, Even When the Mentor is Corporate

Create & Run Your Biz
October 27th, 2008 No Comments »

My friend and fellow home office denizen, Owen Frager, had a great piece on what one little shoe company can do to inspire its workers and change how corporate America works with its people. The company is called Zappos and if you haven’t heard of them yet, Google them.

Then search for their tweets on twitter.

Then watch this piece from Nightline (remember that show Ted Koppel created during the first Iran crisis?). OK, it’s a little sappy, and those who know how behind-the-scenes news TV really works, it is very staged. But the business mechanics are spot on.

The real check arrives around 4:15 where they talk about employee benefits. Does your business offer some of these perqs for you? Do you, as a home officer, offer it to yourself, or your contractors, or even those you work with — or for? Benefits aren’t just what you get from others.

They’re very much what you give, too.

Contributor Claims: No Starving (Freelance) Writers Here.

Commentary, Create & Run Your Biz, Home Office Parenting, Lamentable Truths, Soloing
August 21st, 2008 1 Comment »

“A friend of mine told me last week that he decided to leave his boring desk job behind and ‘go freelance,’ But this venture into self-employment wasn’t entirely his idea. Truth is, he’d been fired.”

So begins a tale recently told on Marketplace Radio by commentator, (freelancer) writer and author Megan Hustad. It was a pretty pithy passage on the state of freelancing, 1099ers, (the declining numbers of) W-2ers. Not necessarily home office workers, but hey, the shoe fit.

“The anecdotal evidence is mounting: Severance packages are being negotiated that allow the injured party to claim publicly that they’re leaving of their own free will. The temptations of this deal are obvious. Say you’ve ‘gone freelance,’ and you avoid the embarrassment of the pink slip. You also sound proactive. You’re no victim of tough economic times! You’ve simply made an alternative lifestyle choice!”

Listen in to hear the rest…

Have a tale to tell? Share it with us…

Pink Slipped to Chief Home Officer: Considering the Transition

Lamentable Truths, The New Entrepreneur
July 30th, 2008 No Comments »

I have this friend. We’ll call her Mindy.

Mindy worked at a publication for just shy of a decade. She was a skilled writer, a keen editor and a good person.

The pub was sold. She was one of dozens let go in the months that followed. She knew it could be coming. But still, when that Friday morning came that HR gave her the news, she was floored.

Now, she’s at a crossroads looking in the mirror and lamenting what’s behind her — and wondering what lies ahead. Should she: Become another W-2er, an employee who works at the pleasure of some boss who may (or may not) care about his/her minions? Or join the growing legions of Form-1099ers, people who have pink-slipped traditional employment for entrepreneurship, reporting to a boss for being the boss, a wage for balance…?

Mindy called seeking my opinion (over the years, I’d written scores of articles and columns on entrepreneurship for her paper. I had become a trusted resource for her). We spoke for the better part of an hour. I promised some thoughts in a follow-up email. Here’s what I told her… Read More »

Do Home Officers Have That ‘Seinfeld’ Frame of Mind…?

July 26th, 2008 1 Comment »

Do you have that ‘Seinfeld’ frame of mind? Are Thursdays or Fridays your day for business? Are you grumpier on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, than later in the week?

How does your circadian rhythm play into how your mind and body work with the calendar? Do they at all? Do you even notice?

Listen to this recent interview with Jim Blasingame to discover if — or how — your mind, body and biorhythms collaborate (or conspire) to accent your ability to do business.

Got a Home Office Quote of the Day…?

Commentary, Creativity, Motivation & Inspiration
June 2nd, 2008 2 Comments »

Brandie Kajino of The Home Office offers a quote of the week. Her latest was from William Shakespeare and discussed disorder. “We do not keep the outward form of order, where there is deep disorder in the mind.

I love quotes in the home office — or in any business or life environment. They inspire and motivate. They help us remember who we are and why we do what we do.

One that hangs on my wall reads: “The really efficient laborer will be found not to crowd his day with work, but will saunter to his task surrounded by a wide halo of ease and leisure. ” Henry David Thoreau wrote this two centuries ago.

To that end, one quote I’ve long used — and endlessly paraphrase — is from Aristotle. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” Use excellence as a qualifier for anything we aspire to do better — writing, design, parenting.

For example, “Excellence in organization is not an act, but a habit.”

It means we have to strive, persist and work to perfect what we seek to do well. It can serve as a motivator that should drive us to seek improvement or greatness.

I’m still working on that one about parenting…

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