Pole Vaulting Over Mouse Turds

Pole Vaulting Over Mouse Turds In my informal study of asking people if they have a business idea or want to someday become an entrepreneur, a great percentage of them have some deep-seated desire to be their own boss. In fact, some will even tell me how great it would be if they could do whatever they wanted every day as “the man”. Naturally, my question is: Why don’t you? From the extensive empirical data I’ve acquired (*sarcasm*), the number one thing that keeps people from venturing out on their own is fear. The old adage about fear standing for False Evidence Appearing Real is legitimate. You could probably name at least half a dozen people that have started businesses that weren’t successful. Some may have even had enormous hardships when the business failed. If a million businesses are started in America this year, 80% of them will be out of business by next year. That scary statistic is probably enough to keep anyone off of the entrepreneur’s path. However, when you dig in a bit deeper to the stories behind those failed businesses you’ll probably find people who were not properly funded, folks with serious family baggage they weren’t able to shed, or just a complete lack of business acumen. The bottom line is not all entrepreneurs are made equally. I’ve found that the fear that most employees face when looking at “hanging a shingle” comes from playing out ‘what if’ scenarios in their mind and thinking of the …

Where Do I Start?

Where Do I Start? A good friend of mine and I were having breakfast a few days ago and started talking about entrepreneurial mindset. This is a guy who dropped out of college because he felt it was keeping him from going out and making a living. He got married early, realized he needed to provide for his wife and coming child, and jumped into doing about the only thing he was qualified to do — drywall. Drywalling wasn’t something he was especially passionate about, it was something he could do and make money at. He learned from some of the best in the business by asking around who was busier than anyone else. He studied what they did, went to work for some of them, realized he could do certain things better and then set out to do just that. His company is called Professional Drywall and it’s worth close to a million dollars right now. His work week ranges from 15-25 hours and the company provides a really solid living for he and his family. From the time he began the business, his goal was to continually build massive passive permanent streams of income so that at some point he would be free to retire. He built mini-storage buildings which are now filled to capacity. He started a custom home-building company and does a couple projects a year. He bought a chunk of land and had it developed for new construction homes. All of this because he started …

Not All Entrepreneurs Are Created Equal

Not All Entrepreneurs Are Created Equal If you consider yourself an entrepreneur, it’s important to know just what kind of entrepreneur you might be. I always thought that entrepreneurs were cut from the same cloth.  Some were just better at building businesses than others.  And as I began to surround myself with other risk-takers, it became apparent that some were really good at strategy, some were super creative, some were savvy money managers, others incredible at managing people. It wasn’t until a good friend of mine referred me to an entrepreneurial profile test that I realized there were multiple different varieties of entrepreneurs. The test clearly indicates your dominant entrepreneurial tendencies AND suggests some of the things you should leave to others. For example, you may be more of a creator — the one with the ideas who’s great at starting things but terrible at finishing.  Or, maybe you’re more of a mechanic who likes to take businesses apart and put them back together more efficiently.  Whatever your dominant skill set is should be where you spend a majority of your time and energy. Doing anything other than what you’re really good at takes you out of your “flow”. That’s why the most successful entrepreneurs learn to maximize their strengths and hire to cover their weaknesses. That, by itself, is really really critical to understand.  But what I’m about to share is what will put you on the road to financial AND time freedom. True entrepreneurs build a system that automates their …

She Died…

She died… A couple weeks ago my trusty old Black Beauty gave up the good fight.  She and I had a lot of great times together.  We spent hours and hours listening to great music, books on tape, and just the hum of the road.  She outlived all the rest, and was better to me too.  She wasn’t as pretty as when we first hooked up and kind of smelled funny, but I still enjoyed her to her final hours. And in the end, I sold her for $350 for scrap parts. In October of 2001, I bought a 1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue.  Off the top of my head, I’m not sure exactly what I paid for it, but I’m thinking it was around $13,000.  It had just over 50,000 miles on it. In May of 2012, I sold the Oldsmobile Intrigue to my mechanic for $350.  It had just over 179,000 miles on it. You’re probably thinking “wait a minute – that’s 11 years!”  I know, I know… way too long to have a car, but hear me out on this. My intent was to drive the car for a handful of years and eventually get something newer, nicer, and more schnazzy.  But the damn thing ran like a top for so many years with NO problems that I just couldn’t justify spending money on something else.  Plus, after awhile it just became a challenge to see how long it would go.  All the while, I was squirreling money away …