25 Lame Excuses People Give for Not Becoming an Entrepreneur

I had a conversation with my cousin/fellow entrepreneur/CEO of Urban Farmers, Inc. the other day and we were talking about the difference between being an  entrepreneur and being self-employed.  Just in case you weren’t aware, there is a difference. A self-employed person is more like a freelancer. Someone who wants to work for him/herself. They are tired or reporting to a boss and want the freedom that self-employment affords them. They are hard working and conscientious but any many ways still have that “worker bee” mentality. An entrepreneur however, is something much different. An entrepreneur is a visionary. It is a person who not only wants the freedom of self-employment but also wants the power of ownership. An entrepreneur wants to organize and operate a business. They want to take financial risks. They are confident, passionate, creative and flexible. An entrepreneur sees each obstacle as a challenge to be conquered. Each day is about the risk and the reward and the excitement of what the next has to offer. The goal of an entrepreneur is to create something new, to do something that hasn’t been done before. In a word, innovation. Entrepreneurs want to build, to grow, to evolve. We want to do big things. Therefore, if any of the excuses on this list apply to you, then maybe entrepreneurship is not for you, boo.

 ‘What’s holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?’

1. “I’m waiting for the perfect time.” There’s no such thing as a “perfect” time to start a business. Waiting for it will leave you on indefinite hiatus.

2. “I’m waiting for the perfect idea.” If your idea has flaws, take comfort — there’s no such thing as a perfect idea. So, make up for those flaws with new strengths.

3. “It will take too long to become profitable.” Delayed gratification — the personality trait that causes people to forego smaller short-term pleasures in favor of larger, long-term ones — has been hailed by renowned physicist and author Michio Kaku as the “hallmark of human intelligence.” If you’ve got what it takes to be successful, you understand and practice delayed gratification. And success will never feel too far away.

4. “I like my current job.” Sticking with the job you know can be comforting, but you’ll never know what lies beyond unless you go for it.

5. “I don’t like change.” Change can be hard, and even scary at times, but it’s necessary if you want to be fulfilled.

6. “I’m afraid I’ll fail.” The fear of failure holds many potential entrepreneurs back, but that risk will always be present, and even failure doesn’t mean the end. Successful entrepreneurs thrive in failure.

7. “I’ll make mistakes.” If you’re afraid you’ll make an error once you become an entrepreneur, stop worrying — of course you’ll make an error. You’ll make countless errors. It isn’t about not making mistakes, it’s about making up for the mistakes you do make.

8. “It will be too difficult to learn everything I’ll need to know.”Sometimes a little extra effort is all you need to develop the necessary skills for entrepreneurship.

9. “I don’t want to risk my money.” The financial stress of entrepreneurship is daunting, but there are grants, loans and lines of credit available to ease that burden.

10. “I don’t know anyone who can help me.” Attend networking events, be social and meet people. Your energy and enthusiasm will be contagious if it’s evident and legitimate, and you’ll find people who will be happy to help you.

11. “I’m afraid of an unstructured environment.” There’s a lot more freedom in entrepreneurship, but also a lot more ambiguity.

12. “I don’t have what it takes.” Confidence is the first step to achieving anything. There’s no one type of person that can be successful as an entrepreneur; anyone can, with enough dedication.

13. “Entrepreneurship is like playing the lottery.” You can’t just strike it rich, but you also aren’t bound by terrible odds if you work hard, work smart and persist with a burning desire for success.

14. “I don’t have enough time.” It takes time to start a business, but if you’re serious about it, you’ll make time no matter how many other commitments you have.

15. “I’m nothing compared to the big name entrepreneurs.” The celebrity entrepreneurs of the world seem glamorous and brilliant, but you don’t have to be. You just have to work hard and be passionate.

16. “I’m not a good leader.” Leadership is a role you grow into over time.

17. “I don’t like working with others.” You’ll pick the people you work with, so you can build the ideal team.

18. “I don’t know what to do.” If you don’t know where to go, start talking to people who do. Read publications, articles and ebooks about how to start a business. You might not know right now exactly what to do, but figuring it out isn’t hard.

19. “Starting a business requires a ton of money.” You can start on a shoestring budget, if you know how to minimize your expenses.

20. I’m afraid of life on “hard mode.” Entrepreneurship isn’t easy, but easy isn’t always good, either. Usually, the right path forward is the more difficult one.

21. “I need more formal education.” You don’t need any formal education to start a business — though you will need to constantly improve your skills and knowledge over time.

22. “I need approval from others.” If your parents or spouse or coworkers think you’re crazy, you’re in good company. Most innovators are seen as crazy when they first start.

23. “I need other things to fall in place before I can begin.” You may not have everything, but you probably never will. Start with what you have.

24. “If I fail, I’ll be ruined.” Things couldn’t possibly turn out as bad as you imagine. Usually, things aren’t nearly as bad nor as good as you think they are.

25. “It’s too late.” It’s never too late to get started, if you’re passionate and willing to work.

These inhibitions are more common than you might think, but understanding the roots of those fears, reservations, and concerns can help you overcome them and start pursuing your dreams.



Be Happier: How to Find Your True Passion and Purpose

We all search for greater meaning in our lives. Often that meaning comes from finding our true passion and purpose — but that’s easier said than done.

So I turned to a person who has successfully helped thousands of people find their passion and purpose: Valorie Burton, the bestselling author, speaker, life coach, and entrepreneur who helps people make major life changes, live happier lives, and achieve their professional dreams.

And that’s why Valorie Burton is another in my series of interviews related to the Strayer University Readdress Success program, an initiative intended to redefine success as “happiness derived from good relationships and achieving personal goals.” (Strayer has launched a petition through Change.org to change the Merriam-Webster definition. Sign the petition, and Strayer will donate 50 cents to Dress for Success, a nonprofit that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women.)

Passion is an overarching driver of personal growth and success. How much does the idea of passion come up in your work?

I link passion and purpose together. I think that your purpose is largely out of your passion. Passion is good, but you need to understand why you’re doing what you’re doing and I think purpose answers the question of how someone’s life can be better. When you put together your gifts — the things you’re naturally good at — and you know what you’re really passionate about… that’s where you find your purpose.

Perseverance really comes out of passion and purpose. If you don’t have passion or purpose you won’t persevere when it gets difficult. No one succeeds without facing obstacles, challenges, and setbacks.

Passion becomes the fuel that keeps you pushing forward when it doesn’t even look like things will come together.

Your background includes running a successful PR and marketing firm, and being appointed by Texas governor Rick Perry to the Governor’s Commission for Women for a two-year term. How did you become a life coach?

When I had my own PR firm, every time I would look at the vision for where we were going, I realized I was good at that, but I wasn’t passionate about it, not the way an entrepreneur should be passionate.

I think because one of my gifts is communication, PR and marketing were interesting to me, but I just couldn’t picture what that would look like 10 years down the road because I didn’t have that level of passion for it. I began seeking out what is my purpose and I had an epiphany one day at a Barnes and Noble store during a journalism convention in 1999.

It was just a sudden spiritual moment when I felt like my mission was to inspire others to live more fulfilling lives and I would do that through writing and speaking. I can’t explain it, I just remember the moment, I remember where I was standing, and I remember going back to my hotel room and writing down what I remembered. And it just made perfect sense for who I am. I’ve always liked motivation, personal growth, and helping people.

Even though I had never articulated it before, that was genuinely my mission.

Within about three weeks I started writing my first book. I finished that book in under three months and I had it in my hand by Thanksgiving and immediately started doing some media.

Read More

by Jeff Haden – INC published on: Nov 2, 2015


Regrets: How many of us have them?

I often hear people say that they live life with no regrets. Good for them. I have lots of regrets well maybe not regrets but things I wish I’d done differently. Not big things, but little changes I would have made early on in my adult life that probably would have made things a LOT easier right about now. But that’s a different post for a different day. But there is one thing that I know – I am in a position to implement a change in my life. And that’s what I’m doing. So if I have any regrets after this social experiment that I’m calling a life is over, then I only have myself to blame. True, I don’t have a time machine and there are some things that I can’t specifically change, but those are things I don’t regret. We all make mistakes, and those mistakes are just part of the learning curve of life.

I read this article last year and ran across it again today Those Top 37 Things You’ll Regret When You’re Old. The first item on the list is Not Traveling When You Had the Chance. Now you should all know by now I’m obsessed with travel. So it isn’t really a regret of mine I do wish I’d done more international travel when I was younger and had less debt, but I’m making up for that. But as I read through the list I realized that most of the items on the list are in line with what Lifestyle by Design is all about – looking at those choices that you’ve made in your life that you aren’t happy with and changing them. And most importantly, making yourself a priority. It is never too late to make even the smallest change in your life to bring you happiness and contentment. Life is too short to be unhappy. There are so many things in this world that we cannot change, why live with bad decisions that you can change? The first step is to look at that thing in your life that you want to change and ask yourself “what is the worst thing that will happen if I make this change?” Then ask yourself “how will my life be better or enriched if I make this change?”  Once you do that you will often find that the worst thing may be bad or scary, but the good thing will be so much better!

There are many items on this list that I have done in my life and therefore I don’t regret, so out of the 37 items on the list, these are my Top 10 Regrets (That I CAN and WILL change!)

  1. Being scared to do things
  2. Failing to make physical fitness a priority
  3. Supporting others’ dreams over your own
  4. Not volunteering enough
  5. Failing to finish what you start
  6. Not taking the time to develop contacts and network
  7. Not being grateful sooner
  8. Not stopping enough to appreciate the moment
  9. Not learning another language
  10. Caring too much what other people think

I believe the only regrets that we will truly have are those decisions that we feel were taken out of our hands; those decisions that you made based on someone else’s idea of what was best for you. If you leave this earth knowing that the life that you lived was 100% designed by you, how can you have regrets?


I’ve realized that as you start to become more self-aware you also become more aware of those around you. And during that process you notice that people are for lack of a better word, sad. You notice people going through lots of motions and creating lots of drama and buying lots of stuff to keep from getting to the heart of the matter – they aren’t happy. The majority of the time this lack of happiness stems from one source, not being true to yourself. People often make life decisions for a variety of reasons, and we’ve all done it. “My mom wanted to be a dancer and couldn’t, so I’m a dancer.” “There are 3 generations of lawyers in my family so I have to be a lawyer.” Some people make these choices and are completely fine with their decisions and live truly happy lives. But for others, life can be a constant battle between what is and what could have been. Some people are in constant rivalry with friends and family that don’t even know they are in competition.  I believe that it is never too late to be happy and live the life of your dreams. I’m not saying that at 50 you can become a prima ballerina, but you can classes and immerse yourself in all things ballet. You can do whatever you want! Don’t let fear of the unknown or fear of what others might say get in your way. It’s your life! Live it the way YOU want to.


Anais Nin once wrote, “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage”. If you’re longing to expand your life by going after your dreams, here are 7 ways to overcome fear which may be keeping you stuck.

  1. Shine the light on your fear. – Pinpoint the fear that’s plaguing you the most — about your body, finances, love life, career, dreams or yourself — and hold it up to the light of your awareness. Ask yourself honestly: Is this thought really true? Can I know for sure? Is there another way of looking at this? What would the highest version of me say about this? Remember, the word thought is not synonymous with the word truth. Your thoughts are not necessarily true or important and you don’t have to take them so seriously. Think of them like passing clouds in the sky — they come and they go. Your true self is the ever-present observer who watches your fear-based thoughts as they pass by.
  1. Reframe fear as excitement. – To your body and nervous system, fear and excitement are almost indistinguishable. So feel your fear as excitement running up and down your body. The most successful people in the world don’t feel fear less than everyone else — they just don’t interpret fear as a stop sign. They feel the fear and proceed anyway, because they want their dream life more than they want to avoid the feeling of fear.
  1. Use a mantra. – The phrase “this too shall pass” is a great mantra to use whenever you feel fear rising in your body making you hesitant to take action. It can help you remember that fear is a natural and temporary response in your body which rises and falls away like a wave in the ocean. When you realize it will pass, you don’t have to feel so afraid of experiencing it anymore. Of course you’re probably going to feel fear in a new situation or when you’re taking a chance on a dream or goal — that’s okay. Use the mantra to center yourself and move forward anyway.
  1. Remember the bigger picture. – Fear feels uncomfortable but in most cases, it won’t really harm you — but attempting to avoid the experience of fear will — because you are robbing yourself of the chance to experience the deep satisfaction which comes with listening to your heart and soul and creating a better life full of passion and purpose. Check in with your future self. How will you feel a year from now if you don’t take action towards your dreams? How about five or ten years from now? Remembering the bigger vision for your precious life can help you step out of your comfort zone and into the unknown.
  1. Take bold opposing action. – One of the quickest and most effective ways to overcome fear is to take one single bold step forward in the direction of your dreams, to prove to yourself that you are willing to do what it takes. It doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Sending one email, making one phone call, pitching one idea or writing one page can be the catalyst you need to spark massive change in your life.
  1. Write a gains list. – Our minds are often wired to focus on the ‘cons’ of our actions instead of the potential ‘pros’ or gains. To help counteract this negativity bias, write a list of all the things you stand to gain if you go after your goal or dream — like feelings of satisfaction and fulfillment, self-growth, being of service to the world, and being an inspiration to others.
  1. Anchor in the present moment. – The feeling of fear in our body is often triggered by thoughts in our mind — we are worrying about what may happen in the future, or we are creating our own negative stories about something that happened in the past — when nothing is actually threatening or disturbing us in the present moment. You can take your focus away from your thoughts by switching your focus to what is going on in the present moment. Pay attention to the sounds, sights and smells around you. Feel the energy in your hands and feet. Notice the sensation of the air on your skin or the clothing against your body. Take a few deep breaths in and out.

You should immediately experience a sense of relief, relaxation and growing inner peace. You can use the present moment as a safe haven all throughout the day, whenever your mind is triggering fear.


Mompreneur: Spotlight on Cristina Christopher

Being a working mom is nothing new. Women have been going to work and raising a children for centuries. Women have also been owning their own businesses and raising families for probably just as long but now there’s a term for it. Mompreneur. As I’ve said before, starting your own business is no easy task. To attempt to do that while navigating a household, a husband and children must be even more daunting so I applaud women who are willing to take this leap. But instead of jumping all the way off the cliff, they work full-time and run small businesses on the side. Women like Cristina Christopher.10424240_977145722312483_4833629928989665328_n

Cristina is a “mama-preneur” a wife and mother with two perfect children (I can say that because they are related to me) who works full time as a physician’s assistant. She is also a part-time Zumba instructor, has an Etsy page where she sells home-made craft items and still finds time to make cookies, cakes, pastries and ice cream – all from scratch! I’m not really sure when she sleeps. I’m not sure that she does sleep.  The best thing is that she and my brother still seem to lead fairly normal lives. They go to dinner. They go to the movies. They have adult conversation. The still call each other by their first names and don’t refer to each other as “mommy and daddy” when the kids aren’t in the room. They have lives that don’t revolve around their kids. Which I can only imagine is very important for a healthy marriage.  I’ve spent the last 3 days at home with her and my brother and I’ve never been more exhausted. And I haven’t even done anything! My niece and nephew are healthy and happy and full of energy. They literally never stop running. EVER. They both wake up with smiles on their faces ready to tackle the day. And tackle it they do! I have no doubt that if I had kids right now my household would be in utter chaos and destruction and I’d be crying in a corner with a bottle of Jim Beam and a fat blunt. Mommy would need rehab!

I had a mother who worked full-time. I was part of that “first” generation of kids who’s mothers went to work. The “latch-key” kids. And we survived. As a matter of fact, some of turned out pretty good. Studies have shown that daughters of working mothers actually turn out to be more successful. “Daughters of working mothers earn 23% more than daughters of stay-at-home moms in the U.S.” I remember going to work with my mother. She was a vice-principal at an elementary school. In fact one of my first jobs was at one of my mother’s schools. I have no doubt that my niece will be influenced by the stellar example that is being set by my sister-in-law.  People are always commenting on the bad examples being set by celebrities. However, when possible, role models should be found at home. I know that my niece will grow up to be a successful woman in her own right, not just because she comes from a fabulous family, if I do say so myself, but because of the lessons she will learn about work ethic, honesty, tenacity, and entrepreneurship from her mother.

12 Reasons You Should Be an Entrepreneur

Everything on this list applies to me except I’ve never been fired. I did have someone try to fire me after I’d already turned in my letter of resignation so that didn’t really count and she was crazy so yeah, I’ve never been fired. That same person also told me I have too many opinions and always expect people to do the right thing. So again there’s no big mystery in why I no longer work for her. Going out on your own is a scary thing. I’m a Libra so I never want to do anything alone. If it weren’t for Norma talking to me every single day for the last year and half and agreeing to flee the IRS with me I’m not sure I would have been as brave as I like to believe that I am.  I know that I would have eventually left regardless. But having a partner to go into business with definitely made the decision and transition much easier.

12 Reasons You Should Be an Entrepreneur by Grant Cardone 

Look, there are roughly 36 million articles on the Internet today that suggest entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. These same articles list common traits many successful people possess, such as persistence, persuasiveness, discipline and a strong work ethic. For over 25 years I have studied successful entrepreneurs and found that what contributed to their massive success was not what society typically considered valuable traits.

People like Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, and John D. Rockefeller didn’t achieve greatness by following the narrow path recommended by management gurus and treating these traits as setbacks.

Here are 12 things society may consider a liability, but which can actually be indications that you are meant to be an entrepreneur.

  1. Easily bored.
    If you find yourself easily bored you know how others start to view you as a problem. Nothing is wrong with you except that you are bored with activities that aren’t up to your potential and aren’t challenging you. This lack of challenge is why you hated most of the classes you ever took. Look at Bill Gates who dropped out of college to become one of the richest men in the world.
  2. Labeled a rebel.
    Greatness lies outside of the lines and boundaries of authority and you don’t think laws, policies and regulations apply to you. You have been labeled a rebel, a rule breaker and would defy gravity if you could.
  3. Hate the status quo.
    Doing something the “time-honored” way doesn’t make sense to you when there is no explanation why. You don’t like to sit idly by, you refuse to just go through the motions and you won’t follow the pack.
  4. Bullied as a kid.
    You may have been heavily picked on, criticized and even bullied as a child or teen. This has given you a drive to excel to prove to the world that you are indeed a force to be reckoned with.
  5. Resisting authority.
    Whether it was your parents, teachers, bosses or anyone else in a position of authority you have a lifelong record of resisting them. You don’t go along with the agreed upon norms of the group or community you work and live in.
  6. Fired from jobs.
    When it comes to working with others you’re too creative for your own good. You may have some history, as I do, of losing jobs. Being a cog in the wheel is very difficult for you because you want to create something others can be inspired by and be a part of with their own contributions.
  7. Obsessed
    You may have been labeled obsessive because when you get started on something you have a difficult time letting go of it. Don’t let anyone convince you that this is a disease or deficiency. All great entrepreneurs become completely immersed in their vision — obsessed. Howard Schultz stuck with Starbucks, even when his family tried to persuade him to let go of his ‘little’ coffee shop. Steve Jobs was told the iPhone was a bad idea and to abandon the project by colleagues.
  8. Unable to unwind.
    Sleeping is not an option because you can’t turn your thoughts off. Your ideas may even manifest themselves in your sleep — your mind is never turned off or on vacation. The next morning you’re still consumed with the idea, distracting you from the job you’re supposed to be doing.
  9. Not fitting into the norm.
    You have always been a little uncomfortable in your own skin–until you get used to the idea you’re in fact different from most people. It could prove to be a problem or exactly the motivation you need to acknowledge the entrepreneur screaming to get out.
  10. Bad at small talk.
    You aren’t any good at making the kind of small talk so many people get comfort from. The social pattern of relationships and rapport building seem like a waste of time to you and makes you uncomfortable.
  11. Scared to go solo.
    Your inner entrepreneur is scared of going out on your own, but you’re also terrified of not doing so. This fear is very common in our society because we’ve been conditioned to think being an entrepreneur is riskier than getting a “day job.” The reality is there is instability in both.
  12. Ready to improve everything.
    You always see how you could do things better. You are likely opinionated and freely give your two-cents about your better way of doing things — even if you’re not asked.

Don’t believe how others label you or what they say about you. What others say are your liabilities may turn out to really be your assets for success.


5 Simple Rules for Living a Life of Happiness

Happiness-is-a-choiceI read this book a few months ago called The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor and one thing that he said really stuck with me. He said that people always think that once they get that promotion or lose weight, or quit their job or get married they will be happy. They don’t realize that once you are happy all of those other things fall into place.  Happiness is so underrated. If you aren’t living a life of true happiness how can you ever be comfortable, successful, wealthy, loving or compassionate?

5 Simple Rules for Living a Life of Happiness by Doug A. Sandler

One of the greatest feelings you can possess is happiness. When you are happy, people want to be around you. It’s a simple attraction principle; when you are happy, you attract other happy people. Happiness can spread quickly and is very contagious when gratitude, generosity, and positivity are added to your relationships.

Hundreds of studies have been conducted on the positive effects and health benefits of being happy. It’s hard to argue with the facts — a happy you equals a healthy you. Although I have always considered myself a happy person personally, as I have developed my professional life as well, I have discovered that the happier I am, the more successful my business became too.

Here are five rules to help you live a life of happiness:

1. Don’t Take Life So Seriously – As I was growing up my dad would always have to remind me that worrying about things that are outside of my control was harmful to my attitude and ultimately challenging my ability to be happy. Plus, I had no control so I should stop worrying. He’d continue by saying that worrying about something within my control was not needed since I had the ability to fix the problem by taking action. Our time on this earth is limited, and it’s extremely important to make the most of it while we are here. Look at life as a dress rehearsal — even if we mess up our lines, we can stop, take some advice from the experts that support us and guide us through it, and get back to the show.

2. Define for yourself what success means – Don’t let others define what success means to you. Success to you might be a filled bank account, fancy automobiles and material items. To others it might mean free time, lots of family gatherings and plenty of staycations. Professionally, success to me means working for myself, never having to hire staff and creating my own products and services. Personally, it means loving and being loved while enjoying the time I have in this lifetime. Someone else might define success as being CEO of a Fortune 500 company, having hundreds of staff members and having a corporate Amex card. You have the ability to make your own goals, dream your own dreams and define what success means to you.

3. You have an unlimited amount of do-overs – About 40 years ago, my brother and I would play ping pong in our rec room. To the right of the ping pong table stood a rubber tree plant. When the ball either hit the rubber tree plant or came too close to make a return shot, we’d yell “DO-OVER!” As an adult we have unlimited do-overs. As your professional career evolves, if you don’t like the direction you are going, take a do-over. Nearly three years ago, at 48, I decided to take a professional do-over, reinventing my professional life to where it is today as an author, speaker and business consultant. I have never been happier in my life and while there have been some very scary moments, it has also proven to be one of the most rewarding directions I have ever gone, making me extremely happy.

4. Worry less about what they think – Who the heck is they anyway? And honestly, until they are paying my bills and living my life, “they” don’t know what is best for me. I get to define my happiness and determine what life is all about for me. What it really comes down to is this: you have to deal with the consequences of your actions and “they” get to walk away. There will always be a court of public opinion and you will never be able to please all of the people in that court, so you may as well make decisions and take action based upon what works best for you and not “them.”

5. Play by your own rules – There is nothing worse than a static policies and procedures manual. Sure, there are some rules that are very important to follow. I usually put them into the category of common sense. Rules like, “Don’t harass your coworkers,” or, “Physical or verbal bullying will not be tolerated and subject to termination.” People breaking these rules need to get a life and should actually try to harness that negative energy into something positive, lasting, and beneficial to the human race. Happiness is created by treating others fairly, doing what feels right, making a positive impact on the planet and by following what you are passionate about.

When I originally sat down to write this blog, I was challenged by the idea of creating a set of rules pertaining to making rules for your life. Use these rules as guidelines and suggestions. Keep in mind, these are the rules that apply to my life and are “serving suggestions” for you. If you don’t like them, get your own set of rules and start getting your happy on, today. I know it will be worth it and will ultimately, your happiness rules will make you very happy.


Why Isn't Access to Credit for Small Business Improving in 2015?

The economy is improving. Consumer confidence, although still volatile, has returned to pre-recession levels and business confidence has rebounded to near-record highs. A majority of small business owners anticipate revenue and profit increases in 2015. So, why isn’t small business access to credit improving accordingly?

In that piece last year, I expressed concern about the “choke point” in small business financing. I’m still concerned. The 2014 Year-end Economic Report of the National Small Business Association cites an uptick in small business owners’ overall positivity about the economy, but also notes that “nearly one in five small firms cannot meet increased sales demand due to inability to garner financing.” Perhaps the most appalling statistic I’ve seen recently is that 50 percent of small businesses ($250,000 to $1 million) received none of the financing they had applied for in the first half of 2014.

The relationship between credit and growth is particularly significant for small businesses. The NSBA survey reveals that 47 percent of the businesses denied credit were forced to delay business expansion. Twenty percent of small business owners relied on credit cards and business earnings to finance their credit needs. Other businesses delayed hiring.

It confounds me that in a year of record lending by the Small Business Administration, entrepreneurs still struggle to get the financing they need even when all indicators point to the opportunity for growth. In a positive move, the SBA recently launched the LINC program, an online matchmaking service that helps connect creditworthy small business borrowers with interested lenders. You start by filling out a simple online form to answer 20 questions. Your completed form is sent out to LINC’s network of local, statewide and national lenders, and potentially puts you on a fast track to consideration and approval.

But if you are denied traditional bank financing, don’t give up! Follow the lead of many of your fellow entrepreneurs, who are finding funds through well-established financing alternatives. Read more

7 Things the World’s Richest People Never Do

I don’t ever want to be rich. I think rich people have to work too hard. However, I do appreciate whatever advice the richest people can give to help me keep and grow the money that I do have because the more money I have, the more traveling I can do. The goal for my life is not to amass a fortune and log into some account every day and count my zeros or buy fancy cars or build big houses. I do like my purses and shoes though. What I want is to live a comfortable life and earn enough money to travel – somewhere between budget friendly and luxuriously.

This article is interesting though but not really surprising. You don’t see many lotto lines in Beverly Hills when the jackpot is high. There are many people out there that would rather put there hope in lotto numbers or a craps table instead of putting the effort into the hard work and dedication that it takes to be an entrepreneur and run a successful business. And for the majority of the population that’s okay. But for that segment of us that doesn’t want to spend 40 years making someone else’s dream a reality entrepreneurship is the way to go. I may not want to be rich. But I surely don’t want to be poor. So if there’s a choice to be made I’m going to err on the side of the richest people. As they say, “when in Rome.”

7 Things the World’s Richest People Never Do by Jayson Demers

Our habits tend to define who we are. If you make it a point to drive recklessly every day, nobody will be surprised when you eventually get into a traffic accident. This seems obvious to us. Yet the financial equivalent of this principle, tolerating bad monetary habits on a regular basis until you’re driven into poverty, seems less obvious.

For the most part, the richest people in the world didn’t get to their position overnight. They didn’t stumble into money, and it wasn’t given to them as a gift. They accumulated it, and continue to maintain it, as a direct result of their daily habits and their underlying philosophies.

These are seven things you’ll never catch the world’s richest people doing:

  1. Playing the lottery.The lottery comes with a bold promise: a chance to win more money than you’d ever know what to do with. But the odds of winning are astronomically low, and logically, you have a far better chance of creating your own wealth than getting lucky and winning someone else’s. The world’s wealthiest people had no interest in taking chances; instead, they chose to forge their own paths, and as a result, they worked harder, and saw more tangible results. Plus, remember that instant wealth means nothing if you don’t know how to manage it–countless lottery winners found themselves bankrupt shortly after winning because they splurged or managed it poorly.
  2.  Hoping for better outcomes.There’s nothing inherently wrong with hope; it’s a positive emotion that leads us to more optimistic lives. But for the world’s richest people, hope isn’t nearly enough. Hope doesn’t solve problems. It doesn’t create opportunities. It doesn’t change anything. If you want to move past a certain chapter of your life, or achieve a certain outcome, you have to move beyond hoping and start taking action. Only through initiated, meaningful changes will you be able to make any difference. The next time you find yourself in a bad situation and hoping for something better, stop hoping and make a better situation for yourself.
  3.  Abandoning their goals.Goals are crucial for success; they keep you focused, they help you prioritize, and they lead you to bigger, better things. By some estimates,80 percent of the world’s richest people make and follow goals regularly. Compare that to only 12 percent of the poor. But it isn’t enough to merely create goals–it’s the process of sticking with them, no matter what, that separates the strong-willed from the weak-willed. If you set your goals sufficiently high, you won’t be able to hit all of them all the time. But instead of giving up when you fail to meet a goal, it’s better to transform or reimagine that goal. Keep making progress.
  4.  Forgoing self-improvement.Self-improvement is a crucial step in accumulating wealth. People tend to make money based on how valuable they are, and their monetary value stems from their experience, their skills, their expertise, and their familiarity with their respective industries. All these qualities can be meaningfully enhanced through simple, gradual exercises, such as reading the news every day or going out of your way to challenge yourself and build up your skillset. In the words of Richard Branson, “I see life almost like one long university education that I never had–every day I’m learning something new.”
  5.  Living above their means.When most people fall into debt or find themselves unable to pay the bills, it comes down to one critical mistake; living a lifestyle that requires a greater income than you’re actually receiving. Imagine for a moment you make $2,500 a month, and you pay $1,500 in rent and about $950 in other regular expenses. That only leaves you $50 leftover–if rent goes up or you have an emergency, you’ll immediately start accumulating debt, which becomes more and more difficult to pay off. The world’s richest people got to where they are and continue to stay there because they live below their means. If they made $2,500 a month, they’d make sure their expenses never went above, for instance, $1,800, leaving an ample $700 a month for unanticipated expenses, saving, and investment.
  6.  Settling for less.Rich people started out with their minds made up. At some point, they decided they were going to be rich someday. They convinced themselves that they deserved to be rich, and they started seeing their lives in different terms because of it. While not necessarily demanding, rich people never settle for less when they know they deserve more. They negotiate. They seek higher salaries. They look for better opportunities. They don’t just accept things and move on; they’re always looking for the best of all possible scenarios.
  7.  Letting their money sit idle.Last but not least, you’ll never catch one of the world’s wealthiest people keeping money in an idle bank account. You need to make your money work for you by investing it in something–it could be stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, or anything with a proven track record of success. Investing lets your money earn you passive income, which if reinvested creates a powerful system of compounding interest. Otherwise, inflation will continue to rise and your money will actually lose value.

Eliminate these bad habits and reckless decisions from your daily life, and eventually, you’ll find yourself in a much better financial position. Again, there are no shortcuts, so understanding these concepts won’t help you get rich overnight, but they will help you set a long-term course for a much brighter future.


7 Reasons People Who Travel Are More Likely To Be Successful

DSCN1056 Every day I read something that gives me a little more insight into how my mind operates.  Before I quit my job I would have conversations with one of my co-workers about my plans for my future business.  She used to say to me, “You have a good job. You make a good salary. Why can’t you just be happy?” And my response was always the same, “because I’m not.”  Then I would tell her about a trip I was planning and she would say, “You are always going somewhere. Why can’t you just sit still?” And my response was always the same, “because I can’t.” It never really occurred to me until recently that these two parts of me, my independent business nature and my insatiable wanderlust, are two halves of the same coin – both driven by that part of me that ignores the fear, steps off the cliff and then checks to see if my bungee cord is attached. Maybe it isn’t prudent or exactly smart. But I choose not to live my life ruled by fear. Of course I get scared. And I may proceed cautiously and hesitantly but I proceed!

 I love to travel. I love to go places and explore. When I was little and we were driving around I would ask my mother if we could get lost. I know she often wondered if they switched babies on her at the hospital. I am saddened by people who are afraid to fly or who claim to have no desire to see new things. Or when I hear of people who are adults and have never left their city or state. But even if you are afraid to fly (which is a valid fear today) there are so many things to see right here in the US. Or take an international cruise or train trip. You can drive to Alaska dontcha know?  In 2007 my brother and I did a road trip from Atlanta to LA. Talk about family bonding! We got in the car and just followed the I-10 til we got home. It was a wonderful experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

 I believe I bring that same sense of adventure to my business ventures. It is hard to make taxes seem fun and sexy. But I approach each case with the same sense of wonder and excitement and take on the challenges without fear of failure. Some cases are more complex than others. But so it getting lost in Prague without a map and finding yourself outside of the tourist area where no one speaks a word of English. Bring it on IRS!


7 Reasons People Who Travel Are More Likely To Be Successful by Aly Walansky

 We all want to be successful, and some of us will be, while others won’t. There’s a lot of debate about what creates the road to success.

It’s perseverance, working hard, and being focused and motivated, no doubt. But can success come from knowing when to walk away and take a vacation? There’s a lot of evidence that people who travel frequently tend to be rather successful. Here’s how:

 1. Fear of the unknown drives your ambition. Traveling helps you acquire skills naturally while building your character. “Frequent traveling gets you outside of your comfort zone, opening up new worlds and experiences. Faced with new scenarios and encounters, you learn effective coping strategies that help you survive and manage your fear of the unknown,” says Dr. Ben Michaelis, a clinical psychologist and mental health expert.

When you travel, you learn to take action and accept challenges. You also learn creative ways to adapt to change and use your resources wisely. All of these behaviors lie at very core of achieving success in business, and inspire innovation and creativity.

 2. Trying something new can expand your horizons. So many of us go to the same desk in the same office and work at the same computer each day. It’s comfortable. But sometimes we can learn a lot and think more when we leave the familiar and see new things.

We may leave with some new ideas. Embracing change can help us in all areas of our lives.

 3. You’ll always see the big picture. When we don’t take time away from work, it’s easy to get caught up in the immediate pressures of the day to day. A little time away, even if it’s just a long weekend, can create the psychological distance to make it easy to see what really matters.

“When we get some distance, it’s easier to see the big picture, to focus on what we want versus just what’s right in front of us, and to be more open to taking risks to get to what we want. While it’s nice to turn off fully on a vacation, I suggest setting aside just 15 minutes at some point to think about what really matters in your work, because you’re much better equipped to see it with psychological distance,” says neurocoach Josh Davis, Ph.D.

Reconnecting with what really matters in your work will make you better at prioritizing.

 4. Vacations improve your overall health. “Stress accumulation increases our risk for almost every disease. Disease and poor health affect the ability to consistently maintain personal and professional goals.Vacations can decrease anxiety levels and boost metabolism. Not only do vacations impact our health, but they also promote creativity, allow time to recharge, and boost positivity, increasing productivity in the long run,” says Jessie Gill, a holistic nurse. There’s a beautiful world out there waiting to be explored.

Read More