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The Entrepreneur / Business Owner's / Self Employed Lounge
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Off The Reservation Away
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The Entrepreneur / Business Owner's / Self Employed Lounge
Welcome business owners and self employed and those that want to be.

Let this thread be a place to share stories and general advice and questions.

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03-27-2016 10:54 PM
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Wreckingball Offline
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RE: The Entrepreneur / Business Owner's / Self Employed Lounge
Piece of advice:
Never neglect marketing. Digital or "old-school". Marketing is more than just a chick-job. If you're interested building and maintaining your business learn about marketing.
Use the Resource Based View /VRIO model in an objective way, so that you know what brings value to your business and what doesn't.

Learning a bit of finance and basic management doesn't hurt either.

I've tried to start 2 projects. One of them didn't went through because suppliers were extremely expensive, and the other was seen as more social project, which meant not enough money for me.
I will be launching something in the "High-end Turism" market, with very few associated costs.
(This post was last modified: 03-28-2016 06:36 AM by Wreckingball.)
03-28-2016 06:35 AM
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RE: The Entrepreneur / Business Owner's / Self Employed Lounge
Enjoy it, or enough aspects of it for the process to be worthwhile. There are a thousand interesting ways to make enough money to enjoy life. Building/running your own business is no better or worse than any other employment that engages you and stretches you.

Building and running a business is a real headache in many regards - employing people can be very difficult if they are critical and unreliable, dealing with the constant risk of years worth of work falling apart almost over night can be a headache, losing big clients, managing cash flow etc. all these things can be overwhelming unless there are many and varied aspects of what you are doing that you find engaging. I would say, purely based on casual observance, that many businesses fail at the start up stage because people don't stick with it long enough to refine a system and reap the rewards, and that this is generally because they aren't actually engaged by the practical process of running and building a business.

So, when I say that employing people can be a nightmare, the flipside is that hiring the right people, sorting applicants, trying to identify things in people that they may not themselves be aware of, building an office environment that improves every member of your team, that reflects your own ideas about what a business, as a little world of its own, should look like. All of this is a wonderful, engaging, exciting process for me, and an endlessly interesting thing to study in action in my office. When I have the headache of critical people going missing at critical times, it is outweighed by the interest and satisfaction that the other aspects of employment give me.
03-28-2016 10:35 AM
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ScrapperTL Offline
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RE: The Entrepreneur / Business Owner's / Self Employed Lounge
For me, strong Networking has been a major staple of my success in life.

Practice everyday, 7 days a week at coming off as a "Genuine Friend" - even if in your heart you know you are not.
Business is a cutthroat thing.
Being Charming and Exuding Bravado will only get you so far, you also need to be believable & ultra likable.
Most Salesman won't tell you this but Looks, Copycatting, Facial Expression and Body Language are very important.
Reading personalities is huge too, some clients want you to Listen and others want you to Talk/Lead.

Talk like a Writer. Be interesting, exciting and captivating.
Don't overuse the same words too much.
You don't want to make people feel like an "outsider" so stay away from slang that only you and your closest friends know.

Also don't get "Shut Out" in large groups (where you are the only one not doing any talking) this makes you appear very Beta.
In group settings you must maintain your relevance and value.

Make yourself available as much as possible for Phone Calls, Text Messages and E-mails.

Using the above techniques I have raised a lot of Investment Capital, Joint Ventured on some very fun & lucrative projects and have a lot of useful contacts in my back pocket for when I need a specific expertise in a matter (usually at no or reduced cost to myself)
(This post was last modified: 03-28-2016 12:55 PM by ScrapperTL.)
03-28-2016 11:58 AM
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storm Offline
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RE: The Entrepreneur / Business Owner's / Self Employed Lounge
Every once in a while, let yourself win the small victories. We have a tendency to beat ourselves up when our successes are not big enough. Resist that, revel in your petty conquests.

The positive reinforcement will help you succeed.

If you're going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It's the only good fight there is.

Disable "Click here to Continue"

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03-28-2016 01:47 PM
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Apollo21 Offline
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RE: The Entrepreneur / Business Owner's / Self Employed Lounge
We definitely need to keep this thread alive. It's probably one of the most important areas
that keeps everything else going.

What have been your biggest breakthroughs this year and how do you plan on growing?

For me it was understanding that I really need to implement an automated lead generation funnel
so I can create more predictable income and enjoy a true location independent lifestyle.
03-28-2016 04:12 PM
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TheFinalEpic Offline
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RE: The Entrepreneur / Business Owner's / Self Employed Lounge
It all starts with mindset. You need to be unable to see yourself failing, yet be able to see where you may be going wrong. There are those that succeed and those that don't. If you do not give up, you will eventually inevitably be the former. I have been through multiple businesses and ideas, I found one that stuck, and am continuing to build on that. Persistence is key, and having an unwavering confidence is paramount.

I love being an entrepreneur, and chose an occupation to pay the bills that is also self-employed (real estate). I need to kill to eat every single day; people that work in office settings for a salary will never understand the rush. Game and sales overlap in so many ways, both are altering other's emotions and perceptions to get what you want. It's a game of chess that most people are too scared to play.

Time is a massively under cherished resource, put the work in now for a passive stream of income forever.

"Money over bitches, nigga stick to the script." - Jay-Z
They gonna love me for my ambition.
03-28-2016 05:21 PM
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456 Offline
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RE: The Entrepreneur / Business Owner's / Self Employed Lounge
- If you're not a little nervous while quoting your price -- the price is too low!

- Never give prices in ranges, people only hear the lower end (if they're paying) or higher end (if they're receiving). Anchor if anything.
03-28-2016 05:22 PM
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RE: The Entrepreneur / Business Owner's / Self Employed Lounge
(03-28-2016 06:35 AM)Wreckingball Wrote:  Piece of advice:
Never neglect marketing. Digital or "old-school". Marketing is more than just a chick-job. If you're interested building and maintaining your business learn about marketing.
Use the Resource Based View /VRIO model in an objective way, so that you know what brings value to your business and what doesn't.

Learning a bit of finance and basic management doesn't hurt either.

I've tried to start 2 projects. One of them didn't went through because suppliers were extremely expensive, and the other was seen as more social project, which meant not enough money for me.
I will be launching something in the "High-end Turism" market, with very few associated costs.

I completely agree. Marketing is just as important as the product itself. Direct mail marketing, while old school can make you millions if you get the right list of people to mail to.
03-28-2016 06:34 PM
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Disco_Volante Offline
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RE: The Entrepreneur / Business Owner's / Self Employed Lounge
I've been trying to sell my own piece of oilfield technology for 1.5 years now. I have a lead with a venture capital firm who specializes in energy tech like mine, but holy fuck it takes FOREVER to get a deal done.

It's always shit like 'oh that's interesting, I'll get back to you in a few weeks'. it just drags on and on and on. It's horrible. This particular fund usually takes a new 'class' of startups every year but shutdown and isn't taking any new ones due to the shit economy. Hopefully they make an exception for mine.

They're very defensive now in this economy. Cashing out has become extremely difficult. It takes years and years to make any real moves.

I've had companies act really interested then you just never hear from them again. Multiple levels of management have to be on board for them to acquire you. Almost impossible in this climate. It's like women. If you have to ask, then the answer is already no. If they aren't coming to you on their own then they won't buy you.
(This post was last modified: 03-28-2016 08:44 PM by Disco_Volante.)
03-28-2016 08:32 PM
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RE: The Entrepreneur / Business Owner's / Self Employed Lounge
Disco_Volante is your technology something that requires a big business behind it? Have you tried going out on your own with it? Or are you just wanting to have someone take over or just cash out?
03-28-2016 10:07 PM
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Disco_Volante Offline
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RE: The Entrepreneur / Business Owner's / Self Employed Lounge
username.

Nope, I simply need to make the prototype a little sleeker with better parts (about 10k), hire a better patent attorney to re-write the patent (15k or so), then my programmer has to do some additional tweaks which might run 5k.

So really I only need about 30k and I could perfect the prototype and get it used on a drilling rig. which is dirt cheap as most oilfield tech costs tens of millions to develop.
I also have about 80k in IRS and student loan debt I need to pay off, which is why I'm hoping to get 200k-500k from a venture capital firm to give me a safety cushion so I wouldn't have to worry about that shit. Baker Hughes' people were impressed by it, but they were laying off so many people (and possibly heading towards bankruptcy), they made it clear right off the bat they wouldn't be buying anything. It's depressing.

I really thought I could do it all on my own but the financial reality means I have to sell at least some of it.
(This post was last modified: 03-28-2016 10:20 PM by Disco_Volante.)
03-28-2016 10:15 PM
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Saweeep Offline
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RE: The Entrepreneur / Business Owner's / Self Employed Lounge
Disco,

I know nothing about your product or your industry, but you're obviously struggling to gain traction.

Have you thought about upping the money you need? Your low costs might be causing you a credibility problem.
03-28-2016 10:19 PM
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RE: The Entrepreneur / Business Owner's / Self Employed Lounge
Crash- I can't even really get to that point of talking $$$ with them.

Even though the oil industry spends billions a year on R &D for any new technology, they're very distrustful of any technology they haven't developed themselves.
I'm a nobody, I'm not part of their group or circle. I'm pitching it to managers who are 55+ and I look like I'm 23. Right off the bat they're suspicious of me. Many of these drilling companies will be insolvent within a year or so. They simply don't want to spend money developing something they haven't already planned for.

The cheapness is the brilliance of it. It's an imaging system which images rock chips, runs an algorithm, then tells you what type of rock it is. So an oil company knows what rock they're drilling through without paying for a wellsite geologist. It's designed so any retarded roughneck could use it, eliminating the need for a geologist to babysit the well.

Venture capital is my only hope since the companies are suffering so much.
(This post was last modified: 03-28-2016 10:30 PM by Disco_Volante.)
03-28-2016 10:27 PM
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RE: The Entrepreneur / Business Owner's / Self Employed Lounge
Very interesting product Disco Volante. Unfortunately the oil industry getting slaughtered the last few months has had all the companies and VC pull back like a turtle going back in its shell. Many of the companies are in a fight for survival and have put acquisitions and R&D on the back burner. It sounds like your product has potential outside the oil industry. Seems like it could be useful in various construction projects as well.
(This post was last modified: 03-28-2016 10:46 PM by username.)
03-28-2016 10:44 PM
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RE: The Entrepreneur / Business Owner's / Self Employed Lounge
(03-28-2016 04:12 PM)Apollo21 Wrote:  We definitely need to keep this thread alive. It's probably one of the most important areas
that keeps everything else going.

What have been your biggest breakthroughs this year and how do you plan on growing?

For me it was understanding that I really need to implement an automated lead generation funnel
so I can create more predictable income and enjoy a true location independent lifestyle.
How do you automate?
03-28-2016 10:46 PM
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RE: The Entrepreneur / Business Owner's / Self Employed Lounge
I have been beefing up my skills at marketing and copy lately.

I have a lot of notes from Gary Halbert (quotes from Boron Letters and some seminar tapes he did)... one of the greatest copywriters ever.

If anyone is interested, I can post them in this thread. There will be a slight overlap with some concepts in The Make $ Copywriting Datasheet.
03-29-2016 12:26 AM
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Chemistry Offline
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RE: The Entrepreneur / Business Owner's / Self Employed Lounge
Can I run up in here with questions and enquiries?

My trouble is trusting OTHER people to do the work for me. I could continue what I'm doing ('freelancing') forever, but obviously I yearn for even more freedom ... how can I let go of the stress that comes from letting other people do 'jobs' for me? I'm in a hands-on industry (like plumbing I suppose) where facetime with the client counts.
03-29-2016 12:32 AM
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RE: The Entrepreneur / Business Owner's / Self Employed Lounge
Chemistry

I'm in a similarly hands-on industry. For years I've had a policy of my employees referring questions from customers to ME instead of giving information to customers directly, because they would invariably unwind the deals I made if they said things the wrong way. Unfortunately, that made me a bottle-neck for every customer. What I've had to do is slowly train my key employees in sales and get them involved in the success of the company as a whole (401K program with a match that grows depending on sales). It's been a slow process and, unfortunately, about 50% of them do NOT respond to sales training. When they've gained my confidence, I loosen up their restrictions.

It's been a journey for myself as well as them, but we're doing more business than ever.



(03-29-2016 12:32 AM)Chemistry Wrote:  Can I run up in here with questions and enquiries?

My trouble is trusting OTHER people to do the work for me. I could continue what I'm doing ('freelancing') forever, but obviously I yearn for even more freedom ... how can I let go of the stress that comes from letting other people do 'jobs' for me? I'm in a hands-on industry (like plumbing I suppose) where facetime with the client counts.

"I remember reading an article from the NY Times, where women made significantly more money than their husbands - and one wife was like, "I made 7 figures this year and he stayed home, I'm not sucking his dick" - WIA
03-29-2016 12:56 AM
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Valentine Offline
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RE: The Entrepreneur / Business Owner's / Self Employed Lounge
(03-29-2016 12:32 AM)Chemistry Wrote:  Can I run up in here with questions and enquiries?

My trouble is trusting OTHER people to do the work for me. I could continue what I'm doing ('freelancing') forever, but obviously I yearn for even more freedom ... how can I let go of the stress that comes from letting other people do 'jobs' for me? I'm in a hands-on industry (like plumbing I suppose) where facetime with the client counts.

Use technology to keep them accountable eg GPS tracking apps, body worn cameras, etc.
03-29-2016 01:17 AM
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RE: The Entrepreneur / Business Owner's / Self Employed Lounge
(03-28-2016 10:46 PM)offthereservation Wrote:  
(03-28-2016 04:12 PM)Apollo21 Wrote:  We definitely need to keep this thread alive. It's probably one of the most important areas
that keeps everything else going.

What have been your biggest breakthroughs this year and how do you plan on growing?

For me it was understanding that I really need to implement an automated lead generation funnel
so I can create more predictable income and enjoy a true location independent lifestyle.
How do you automate?

Traffic buying is the simplest method. Could be banner ads, solo ads, sponsored content etc etc

Or outsource any form of normal traffic generation eg content marketing, relationship building, syndication etc
03-29-2016 01:20 AM
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RE: The Entrepreneur / Business Owner's / Self Employed Lounge
A few thoughts:
- Read The Lean Startup and learn all about Minimum Viable Products
- Don't quit your day job til you've got >1 year savings
- Plan how you will automate the business even before you start it. A business you can't automate and sell is a career (not necessarily a bad thing but just know what you're getting into)
- Assume that your business idea will fail to be profitable. But it won't matter because you should only pursue business ideas which will give you some form of long term value even if they do fail eg a useful skill like sales, high value contacts, niche market knowledge etc
- Bootstrap abroad if your business allows you to be location independent eg many places in SEA are cheap and have fast internet
- Read less. Do more. Don't get caught in the trap of thinking you need more knowledge - just try new things and see what sticks.
03-29-2016 01:31 AM
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roberto Offline
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RE: The Entrepreneur / Business Owner's / Self Employed Lounge
(03-29-2016 01:17 AM)Valentine Wrote:  
(03-29-2016 12:32 AM)Chemistry Wrote:  Can I run up in here with questions and enquiries?

My trouble is trusting OTHER people to do the work for me. I could continue what I'm doing ('freelancing') forever, but obviously I yearn for even more freedom ... how can I let go of the stress that comes from letting other people do 'jobs' for me? I'm in a hands-on industry (like plumbing I suppose) where facetime with the client counts.

Use technology to keep them accountable eg GPS tracking apps, body worn cameras, etc.

Accept that they won't do the job to the standard that you would. Realise that whilst you would like to deliver 110%, the average customer is happy with 80% of what you would consider a perfect job. Go round and check the jobs, talk highly of your staff to the customer, talk the job up, make slight adjustments if needed with a smile on your face. Build a rapport with the customer.

This was (and still is) a big mental hurdle for me to overcome. You need to slightly bullshit even to yourself, if you are a perfectionist like me.

They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety- Benjamin Franklin, as if you didn't know...
03-29-2016 05:31 AM
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Off The Reservation Away
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RE: The Entrepreneur / Business Owner's / Self Employed Lounge
(03-29-2016 12:32 AM)Chemistry Wrote:  Can I run up in here with questions and enquiries?

My trouble is trusting OTHER people to do the work for me. I could continue what I'm doing ('freelancing') forever, but obviously I yearn for even more freedom ... how can I let go of the stress that comes from letting other people do 'jobs' for me? I'm in a hands-on industry (like plumbing I suppose) where facetime with the client counts.

I am in an industry that I cannot trust to other people. As one person put it to me, No one wants to see the nurse they want to see the doctor, you are the doctor. What he told me is true for my and some industries. But it does make me want to start another type of business which could be automated.
03-29-2016 11:21 PM
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Saweeep Offline
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Post: #25
RE: The Entrepreneur / Business Owner's / Self Employed Lounge
I learned a long time ago that having staff was not for me. Too many headaches.

As a result of this I structured my business from the off as a franchise model that fits around my life. A few ball busting years at the beginning have given way to something that requires very little input from me beyond motivation and training others to do the same.

Too many people start businesses with no idea what they actually want out of it and therefore do not structure accordingly.
03-30-2016 12:22 PM
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