Posts Tagged ‘ startup ’

Human Business Works

I.    Am officially.   A “startup.” startup

In the business world, a “startup” is just that–a brand new company with an idea, product or service which hasn’t quite gotten going.  It needs to have its affairs in order, begin drawing as many customers as possible to it, build buzz around it by word of mouth or other marketing techniques, and most of all, start making money.  A startup almost (emphasis on almost) always runs in the red for a period of time before its revenues overtake initial launch and operating costs (read: “makes more than it spends”).

Well, all of that applies to me, at the moment.  Since beginning in real estate, I’ve had relatively small startup costs, but I do owe it to those invested in me to repay them in short order, and do with their funds exactly what I said I would.  (I’m working on it, and I have.)  I’ve convinced my first few clients to hire me as their Realtor, and I’m busting my butt to provide the highest level of customer service that I know how to, in hopes that they will like me enough to refer others to me.  What more can I do, right?

Well, there is something.

Besides staying informed by reading blogs like Seth Godin’s, Marcus Brotherton’s and Mark Cuban’s (among others), there are ways to boost business.  Chief among them is to partner with someone who knows what they are doing (which I’ve done at Keller-Williams Capital Properties by hiring a 20-year-veteran mentor).  Well, after doing a lot of homework, here’s the next big thing for me.
ChrisBrogan

If you are running a business–or WANT to run a business–you need to sign up for this newsletter.  This guy’s name is Chris Brogan, and the man is unbelievable.  His newsletters show up in your email once a week on Sunday mornings, and they are the perfect way to open up the day:  I literally make my coffee, then sit down and start reading for about 4-5 minutes, and come away uplifted and motivated and creative.  His messages aren’t canned, and probably 90% of the time, they aren’t even sales pitches.  Hell, looking back on it–I didn’t even know what he was selling until about 4 weeks in, when I went to the site on my own.  The guy just puts down in words the ethos that he lives each day, and if you can harness some of his (err, actually, your own) energy, it really sets you up to face the week positioned well from the outset.  I’m serious–it’s one of the highlights of my weekend.

He’s got a brand new book (which I’ll be getting on order this weekend), and no, he hasn’t paid me to say any of these things.

He responds to emails when you have questions, he’s an established businessman…it’s like having an even BIGGER mentor, in my opinion.  Seems like a smart, logical next-step for a startup like me.  I’ll be “leading with revenue,” of course, but I’ve got my eye on some of the courses on the Human Business Works website.

Are any of you out there already affiliated with Chris or HBW?  Have you ever taken any of the courses?  What did you think??

 

The Wanderer

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I Felt A Little Like This Guy

Since I’ve recently parted ways with my last employer, I’ve come to find that it was in everybody’s interest that I left.  On my first day of unemployment (probably six weeks ago now), I felt a certain calm that I hadn’t realized I was missing.  When you work in a place that is genuinely not a good fit for you, it doesn’t mean that you are a sub-par worker; it means that, no matter how hard you try to “fall in line,” the fact that your goals/aspirations/personality/insecurities/any-other-parts-of-you are different from the environment that you are in every day, will eventually show through in your work and attitude.

The fact is, if you are unhappy at work, it is failing to give you something you are seeking.  If work is unhappy with you, you are failing to give them something they are seeking.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was actually dealing with both.  I was trying to further my own agenda for the company in an environment that wanted no part of my opinions.  I was learning as much as I could for the experience, of course, but also because I had “bought in” to the company–I wanted to do everything I could do to help it succeed and move toward greater progress.  I wanted to feel like I was a true part of it, and rise out of simply being another cog in the machine.  I thought that my willingness to reach for positions greater than I’d ever held would show ambition, but it seems, in hindsight, that my actions came across as naive, foolish, and “wanting to run before you can walk,” as they say.

I’ve picked up work since then, so (luckily) my wife and I haven’t had to deal with starving or getting behind on bills.  In fact, the work I’m doing now pays far better money, but mainly because I am on a contract which is two and a half hours from home, and two states over.  (Hence, two months since my last post.  Sorry about that.)  We’re holding it together well enough, but all of this solitary time I suddenly have on my hands has given me time to think.  Here’s what I’ve come up with.

I was recently accepted to a university here in the DC area, and in five or six months, I’ll be returning to school to complete a Bachelors of International Business (or maybe Finance…I haven’t decided yet) degree.  I’ll be attacking this education with a fervor and commitment that was not present within me twelve years ago, when I started college the first time.  My appetite to learn has only grown over the years, and I cannot wait to learn so much new stuff about the single industry that makes the world go round.  As they say, “Nothing happens until somebody sells something.”

In keeping with my (apparent) run-before-you-can-walk tendencies, I have my eyes set on starting a franchise which is very popular in the Chicagoland area, and literally nowhere to be found in the DC metro area.  I’m sitting on an untapped market, and once I can find startup funding, will have access to a business concept that has been successfully replicated several times already.  It almost seems like, with the exception of coming up with the (extremely startup-capital-intensive) funds, the hard part is already done.  Of course, I have observed that running a business is no walk in the park no matter how automated the business is, but much of the burden of proving the idea is already taken care of.

This is my idea.  I think it will do well in the densely-packed DC metro area, but hey, I’m a total rookie at this.  What the heck do I know?

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