Busting The Myths

Have you ever thought about starting a business? Did you ever have an idea for a product that you thought could make millions? Have you ever seen a successful entrepreneur interviewed and think to yourself, “They don’t seem any smarter than me.” So, what’s holding you back? There are a handful of common myths that keep people from moving forward. Let’s talk about some of those myths and a few well known entrepreneurs who didn’t buy them.

Myth #1-“I don’t have enough money.”

This is probably one of the biggest myths out there. As an entrepreneur, if you aren’t familiar with the term “bootstrapping,” you should be. Many of the most successful entrepreneurs have been great bootstrapper’s. That is to say they “pulled themselves up by their bootstraps” and got creative when financing their start-up. There are many ways to do this. One of the more common ways is to continue working your current job. Most new businesses won’t generate revenue immediately. So, rather than put yourself in a financial crunch, rely on your current income as long as you can and work on your new venture in the off hours.  This will also allow you to re-invest once you do turn a profit. Another way you can get creative is to bring on a partner; someone who shares your passion and can help absorb the initial costs. And of course, don’t forget wealthy ‘Aunt Betty.’  Many times relatives or friends are good potential investors, especially once they see how passionate you are about your new venture.

Ray Kroc

Ray Kroc

Did you know that McDonald’s was not Ray Kroc’s idea? Ray Kroc had a job as a milkshake salesman when he met the McDonald brothers and saw their operation. How much money do you think Ray Kroc made as a milkshake salesman?($14k/yr) Here was a 52-year-old man who had no seed money,  but saw an opportunity.

 

Myth #2-“I’m too old.”

Do you know at what age men become most productive? Studies have shown that men become most productive at age 40. Many women are discovering home-based businesses after the kids leave home. Today, we are living longer lives and enjoying better health than ever before. In 1960, the average life expectancy was 70 years old. Today it is almost 80 years old. So, it’s true “40 really is the new 30.”

Col. Sanders

Col. Harland Sanders founder of Kentucky fried chicken, was 60 years old when his restaurant was shut down due to a new highway being constructed. At that point he was forced to live on his $105 pension.  At the age of 62, he traveled across the country by car from restaurant to restaurant, cooking batches of chicken for restaurant owners and their employees. If the reaction was favorable, he entered into a handshake agreement that would pay him a nickel for each chicken the restaurant sold. Do you think Col. Sanders believed he was too old?

Myth #3-“What if someone steals my idea?”

While you do have to protect yourself and your idea, the notion that someone is just waiting for you to give them an idea so they can run with it is not very realistic. There are many ways you can legally protect yourself. The bigger question is, if you think your idea is so great why aren’t you capitalizing on it? The Internet gives you direct access to the USPTO(United States Patent and Trademark Office). Here, you can file paperwork to protect your idea. Now, could someone still take your idea? The answer is yes. Should that stop you? The answer is no!

Walt Disney

In 1928, Walt Disney suffered a devastating setback. At 26 years old this inexperienced businessman naively signed away his ownership rights to his first successful cartoon creation, “Oswald the Lucky rabbit.” Can you imagine the disappointment Disney must have felt? What if he had let that stop him?

The question is, “do you feel you are called to something greater than that which you are currently doing?” If the answer is “yes,” no matter what the excuse is, you can’t deny the person you are meant to be. American Underdog

Advertisements
Published in: on March 24, 2010 at 7:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

Is Your Glass Half Empty?

What does your glass look like these days? Has the economy put a hole in it? Or, are you one of the few who understands some of the most successful businesses in the world began in a recession? Companies such as Burger King, Microsoft and FedEx, to name a few, started in a down economy.

Winston Churchill once said,

Winston Churchill

 

“The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, the optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

These days most people want to talk about banks not lending, an unstable market and an uncertain future. Let me ask you a question, do you think we are in a recession? If so, do you think it will last forever? History has shown us whenever this country has gone through a recessionary period a booming economy has followed. So, will you sit on the sidelines and wait? Or, will you jump in now and be one of the few who is prepared when that time comes? Do you realize real estate prices are the lowest they’ve been in years? You can negotiate lease agreements that would have been unheard of just a few years ago. The Internet and social media alone present an incredible opportunity to begin a new business with minimal start-up costs. You have more resources, as a business owner, at your fingertips than ever before.

Don’t let anyone tell you this is a bad time to pursue your dream! Furthermore, if you find yourself surrounded by others whose glass is half empty, you need to find some new friends. Most often, it is those closest to you who will discourage you most. You have to understand it isn’t because they don’t want you to succeed. But, if you follow your dream and you’re successful then they will be forced to follow theirs. Remember, “whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”(Henry Ford) Why not surround yourself with people who think you can!

Published in: on March 22, 2010 at 5:11 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

What Happened To Customer Service?

What happened to customer service? Are we even allowed  to talk about it anymore?  What  happened to the days of friendly employees, knowledgeable staff and the general thinking that, “the customer is always right?” It seems, today we find grumpy employees, clueless staff and an attitude that suggests you’re a jerk unless you tip.

At one time I vowed to write a book entitled, “can I speak to the manager?” It seemed I was asking this question with more and more frequency.  Have you ever found yourself on the phone with a customer service representative that couldn’t care less what your situation is? I finally reached a point where I almost immediately asked to speak to a supervisor if I wasn’t receiving the help I needed. It wasn’t long before I realized it wasn’t just the employees who lacked proper customer service skills. I have since decided the name of my book will be, “can I speak to a manager who cares?”

We already established that by being in business for yourself you are an underdog. No matter what field you are in you have to determine how to differentiate yourself from the competition. It seems to me, if you are in the service industry, having excellent customer service would be the best place to start.

Truett Cathy

Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A fast food chain once said,

We must motivate ourselves to do our very best, and by our example lead others to do their best as well.”

Now, I don’t know about you but I don’t really expect great customer service when I go into a fast food restaurant. But, here is an example that no matter what business you’re in good customer service begins at the top. If you walk into any Chick-fil-A in the country you will be greeted with a smile and the words ”my pleasure!”

I don’t care if you’re selling burgers, designing websites or driving a taxi, if you are in business for yourself one of the best investments you can make is to ensure that everyone involved with your business understands what great customer service is.

American Underdog

Published in: on March 22, 2010 at 2:32 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

Do You Lack PASSION?

 

Would you say you are passionate about your work? Do you love your work enough to do it for free?(I always thought that was a dumb question) But, it’s true! Shouldn’t we enjoy what we do, every day, enough to do it for free? I’m always amazed when I meet people who hate what they do. Okay, maybe you only dread your work:) What is your plan? Have you ever dreamed of doing what you enjoy doing and getting paid for it? Maybe you are asking yourself, “what’s wrong with me…I’m not passionate about anything?” Before you crucify yourself, understand passion has to be developed in many people. I know there are those people who seem to be passionate about everything they do.But, that doesn’t mean everyone is born with passion.

If you are one of the millions of people out there re-thinking their life(plan) right now, maybe it’s time to start asking these questions. Remember, if you’re not willing to make a change, nobody else is going to do it for you. Take a small step today. Just give some thought to the question, “Am I passionate about what I do every day?” Don’t think about what you’re qualified for or if you’re too old to make a change! Just start there.

Understand, if you are willing to even ask yourself that question, you are an “underdog.” That is to say you are in the minority and many people will discourage you from even thinking that way. This is the first post ‘from one underdog to another.’  Follow my blog and let’s kick some butt! American Underdog


Published in: on March 18, 2010 at 3:56 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,