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5 Ways To Determine If Freelancing Or Entrepreneurship Is The Right Life For You

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5 Ways To Determine If Freelancing Or Entrepreneurship Is The Right Life For You

The Idea of leaving traditional employment and seeking the entrepreneurial or freelance lifestyle is a choice that many have decided to make for this year.

Maybe you want to quit your job and start that bakery business you always dreamed of, or maybe you want to follow a life long passion such as writing or doing tasks that you are qualified to do.

Knowing the commitment you will have to make and how it will fit into your life is very important.  Entrepreneurs and freelancers play different roles in society, but make no mistake, they are both key in our economy and to its growth.

How do you decide if you want to be an entrepreneur or freelancer?

Here are 5 ways to determine which job might be the best fit for you:

1. Are you a creator or a contender

Entrepreneurs are the people who have the skills and initiative necessary to create new ideas that will solve a systemic problem in our cultures; this includes but is not limited to, cultivating new jobs out of those ideas, and deciding how those ideas can be recycled and implemented into profitable outcomes.

A freelancer is not employed continuously but is hired by one or more people or companies to do specific assignments. They often contend in an entrepreneur’s vision or cause but are not in charge of the total outcome. They provide a service and do so on an hourly, by project, or set fee agreement. A freelancer has the security of knowledge that once their task is complete there is nothing else to appertain to.

“It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.” – Scotty Belsky

2. How do you define yourself

A freelancer is defined by what they do. They can be a good web designer, a good seamstress, or even a good writer. Their primary value is in their skill set and how they perform it. If you want to be a successful freelancer make sure you are the expert in what you do and do it exceptionally well, If you do, opportunity will always be open to you.

An entrepreneur is defined by what they create. They put into use the intangible unseen forces of unborn opportunities and convert those thoughts into conveniences that make life easier for all those who are in a space in which they create.

When one thinks of an entrepreneur they think of people such as Steve Jobs who created Apple, and Sam Walton who created the Walmarts.  Both men possessed dominating thoughts of what things would look like if they took their ideas and cast them into the world.

 

3. What you think about when everyone is asleep

When everyone else is asleep entrepreneurs are the ones that are up all night thinking of new ways to assure that ideas come to fruition. Their time is often spent figuring out how all the pieces will work, as well as determining how the project might get funded, from starting at scarcity without finances, content to marketing, customer care, recouping losses, and calculating how they will gain profits.

While freelancers are also often up all night when others are asleep they are thinking of ways they can improve the way they do their tasks, how to get more clients, or they are working on doing the actual tasks themselves.

 

4. How you make money

The most money a freelancer can make is equal to the number of hours in any given month multiplied by their going rate. The plus side in this is the only person they depend on or have to worry about to assure payment is themselves.

An entrepreneur is someone who can make money during all hours of the day (even when they are sleeping) if they find the right people, and put them in place to make sure ideas work for the benefit of a vision, organization, and others. However, unlike freelancers, an entrepreneur’s success is dependent on everything they put in place to work as planned. If one of the moving parts fail to work it can slow down the payment process and they can even lose money.

 

5. Working in your business or on it

People often mistake owning a business with being an entrepreneur. Owning or starting a business does not necessarily make someone an entrepreneur. Nor does it make them a freelancer. If you start a business based on a skill that you have and it requires you to be involved in that business to produce the product or service then you are a business owner.

You may take the time to develop new ideas and visions for your business but they are not new concepts to the world. You are expanding on skills already known to the world. If you are only willing to perform a certain task in a business and envision only working a certain amount of hours in a day or week, you will be playing the role of a freelancer.

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell

The realization is that times are changing, and quality of life holds a new set of values for people. The world we live in is demanding new ideas and new ways of doing things. With ingenuity and perseverance, new opportunities are being created every day and modern technology has given us accessibility to resources that were once out of reach.

These very resources have given us the ability to fulfill those demands for new ideas and allow us the chance to live a life that is built around our passions and dreams. Whether you start a new business, become a freelancer, or create the next life changing thing… whatever you do– Do Good Things!

When are you going to start your new business or become a freelancer? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

I am a 5 time stage 4 cancer survivor who founded a company called 2 Dream Productions,Inc. There was a time in my life I did not think I would get to live my own dreams so I created a company to help others live theirs. It was through their dreams I began to live my own. I am contributing writer for places such as the Huffington Post, The Good Men Project, and She Owns It. My goal is to inspire others to live their dreams and to leave a legacy for those who dare to believe that anything is possible. You can find me at www.michellecolonjohnson.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/2DreamProductions?pnref=lhc.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Billie Myers

    Jan 31, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    Extremely informative article and I would like to ask if you would
    be interested or even have the time to maybe look at my corporation
    of many IDEAS.
    http://auniverseofwonders.com/
    I am in need of funding and mentorship.
    Please let me know what you think
    and your professional advice.

    Sincerely,

    Billie J. Myers

    • Michelle Colon-Johnson

      Feb 13, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      Hi Billie,

      Thanks for reaching out. I am glad you enjoyed my article. I would not be the best person to look at your corporation. Your requests are not in my wheel house of expertise. I would suggest finding someone that works successfully within the space you are looking to create. There you will find mentorship, and even possible avenues for funding.

      Wishing you continued success.

      Have a Magical Monday!

      -Michelle Colon-Johnson

  2. freelance web developer

    Nov 26, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    That is really interesting, You are an overly professional blogger.
    I’ve joined your feed and stay up for searching for extra of your magnificent
    post. Additionally, I’ve shared your website in my social networks

    • Miche

      Jan 7, 2017 at 3:39 pm

      Thank you for the kind words! Have a Magical 2017!

      -Michelle Colon-Johnson

  3. Charlene Rhinehart

    Feb 5, 2016 at 5:30 am

    Thanks for sharing this article, Michelle! This point reminds me of myself, “When everyone else is asleep entrepreneurs are the ones that are up all night thinking of new ways to assure that ideas come to fruition.” I’m so excited about the possibilities that I wish I could stay up longer so that I can work on them. Connecting with others and working to make a dream a reality is what keeps me moving forward as an entrepreneur.

    • Michelle Colon-Johnson

      Feb 8, 2016 at 5:10 pm

      Thanks for the kind feedback. An entrepreneur’s life is for sure not always glamourous. But when your dream becomes the thing that changes the life of many including your own it makes the journey worth it! Thanks for reading my article!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Entrepreneurs

5 Productivity Tactics to Help You Win as a Creative in Your Online Business

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productivity strategies
Image Credit: Unsplash

The shift in business has made online entrepreneurship as easy as visiting your local grocery store. The possibilities are endless and the variety is abundant. As creative entrepreneurs, your mind is always powered on flying through hundreds of ideas, thoughts and visions at any given moment. It’s the Jekyll-Hyde of being overwhelmed with too many ideas or a drought of none.

Online business is both a blessing and curse in that, you can reach a wider audience while getting caught up in the noise of your competitors keeping you from being competitive.

Here are the 5 productivity tactics that will help you win in online business as a creative entrepreneur:

1. Create Before You Consume

As a creative, you’re wired to look to the world for inspiration. With social media at our fingertips it makes it easy to get caught up in what our competitors are doing falling victim to comparison syndrome. Start your day off by journaling and using an outlet to release your creativity that’s been bottled up through the night. Only once it’s been released should you then consume the content of others for inspiration. The idea is to only absorb what will help you and not get caught up in the quality of their work to yours.

“Productivity is less about what you do with your time and more about how you run your mind.” – Robin Sharma

2. Silence Your Creativity

The blessing and curse of a creative mindset is our inability to switch it off. We often get so consumed in striving for our goals that we missed all the signs leading us to burnout. We then hit a wall that stalls us for a few days, weeks or even months. Dedicate time every day to doing something non-creative. Go for a walk, meditate, get lost in a book and let your mind relax to refill your creative juice tank.

3. Lean On the Right Support

It’s so easy to get caught up in doing everything on our own. You hold massive visions and goals for your life that others simply won’t understand. The beauty about that is, we all do. Take that first step and reach out to others in your network or invest in a coach or mentor who can keep you from getting deep in your negative thoughts and motivate you to keep pushing through. Support is crucial especially for a creative entrepreneur. You need someone to communicate your vision to and help you create strategies to achieve it.

4. Invest in the Right Tools

Having the right tools can make or break your creative career. Tools don’t have to be a heavy financial investment. Some of the best tools you can use are free. Find the ones that work for you to keep you on track, organized and productive. A hangup many creatives encounter is their ability to lose track of time. The Pomodoro Timer is a lifesaver when it comes to keeping you on track to achieving your goals.

It has three time options, a 25, 10 and 5 minute setting with the 5 and 10 minute settings being used for necessary breaks before restarting the 25 minute timer. Another tool popular among creatives is Trello. It allows you to tap into the Type A personality while still owning your Type B. These are just a few of the many available to you.

“Productivity is never an accident, it’s the results of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning & focused effort.” – Paul Meyer

5. Establish a Healthy System

What makes entrepreneurship fun for creatives is their ability to tap into the world around them for creativity at any given moment. Where this becomes a challenge is they often neglect their own self-care to fulfill their creative big-picture vision. Start by dedicating 30 minutes to yourself every morning to relax, enjoy the calm and ease your mind into the day. This will allow you to create a steady and consistent flow throughout your day instead of jumping right in and burning out quickly.

What do you use that helps your productivity as an entrepreneur? Comment below!

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Entrepreneurs

8 Tips for Launching a Business on Amazon

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Amazon business
Image Credit: Unsplash

Launching a business on Amazon can either seem like a breeze or the most daunting goal you’ve ever set for yourself. Neither is entirely true, but it’s safer to think the latter than the former. The market is indeed very competitive, but it’s by no means a gargantuan task to get you started. While there are comprehensive guides available that’ll walk you through each step (see below), there are a few things you should be aware of before you take the plunge.

Here are 8 tips for launching a business on Amazon:

1. Take one step at a time

It’s important to take it one step at a time when it comes to building your business on Amazon. The key to a happy life, according to psychological studies, is to have low expectations. That’s not to say that your ambitions shouldn’t be sky-high. Things will take time.

For example, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your business on Amazon won’t be either. Fortunately, there are handy online guides that’ll teach you how to build your empire step by step, even if you’re on a budget.

2. Invest in low-ticket products

It’s tempting to go for products with a big price tag because they often yield a large profit margin. Beginners are not advised to take this route, however. Why? Because you can wave goodbye to that large profit margin if you only have a small stock purchase budget to work with.

You need to buy in bulk from the manufacturer if you hope to knock down the price and increase your profit margin. Going for low-ticket items will allow you to negotiate with the manufacturer, as you’ll be buying hundreds of things rather than tens of them. Buy products that match your buying power, and then move up the ladder from there.

“If you don’t understand the details of your business you are going to fail.” – Jeff Bezos

3. Don’t play the undercutting game

Many entrepreneurs build their business by undercutting the competition. That’s not a good strategy for a budding business, because your budget and sales volume probably won’t allow for it. You’ll be competing with the big boys (sometimes even Amazon themselves) who buy in vast quantities and therefore have very favorable buying and shipping costs.

It would be better if you instead focused on competing on quality of service rather than price. Feel free to knock yourself out in the undercutting game later, once you can afford your warehouse.

4. Avoid branded products

It’s challenging to make a profit out of selling branded products, such as Apple or Nike. The game of branded goods is exceptionally competitive, and you’ll quickly find yourself in the deep end — just like if you compete on price.

While there is a chance you can stumble across branded goods on clearance, even these will be difficult to get rid of on Amazon. It would be better if you instead spent time developing your business brand.

5. Avoid cheap imitations

Don’t be fooled by Chinese factories on Alibaba that claim to sell branded goods. They’re usually cheap knock-offs that’ll only hurt your seller rating on Amazon. It’s no secret that China produces many imitations, and you don’t want to risk being caught up in a criminal case.

Some of the most sought-after fake products are electronics. Ask yourself if you’re going to risk your imitation product blowing up in the face of your customers is worth the extra profit margin.

Big brands are also aware of the fact that factory workers in China are tempted to sneak out a few iPhones to sell for their private gain. Naturally, the companies monitor these factories to make sure that doesn’t happen.

6. Put your money where your mouth is

Anyone who’ve scrolled through the job listings on sites like Craigslist will know that there is an abundance of offers that are too good to be true. Work from home and make all the money in the world with no up-front investment.

Guess what? Cliches like “it takes money to make money” and “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” are all true. Launching a business on Amazon will require you to budget for your products, shipping of your products, your Amazon seller account, product photography, graphic design, online marketing, and other expenses related to running a business.

7. Don’t do everything yourself

It can be tempting to save money by taking your product photos, designing your logo, create your Facebook ads, and filing your accounts. After all, there are loads of free YouTube videos on how to do these things yourself. Don’t do it.

Chances are the result will scream amateur hour. Your friends might be impressed, but your customers won’t be. Your job as an entrepreneur is to work on your business and not in it. If you can’t afford to hire professionals to accomplish these tasks for you, then wait until you can. Your time is better spent working in your field of expertise.

“Position yourself with something that captures your curiosity, something that you’re missionary about.” – Jeff Bezos

8. Commit to lifelong learning

If you think industries are changing rapidly out there in the real world, then wait until you learn about online businesses. Reading this article is just the start of your learning curve.

Amazon is just a platform, but even so, there are many things you have to stay on top of. You have to know about carving out a niche, ranking well on Amazon, advertising your products across social media channels, and improving your online reputation.

Never stop learning because the landscape is changing every year, if not every day. Make sure to read up on basic Amazon business tutorials, and subscribe to relevant blogs to stay up to date.

Starting a business on Amazon is a lot easier and cheaper than starting a business from scratch. The online platform is already built for you, and Amazon has warehouses in which to store your goods. It’s possible to do it from home with a laptop and an Internet connection — but you need capital to get your business off the ground.

Have you thought about or launched a business on Amazon? If so, let us know what your experience is down below!

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Entrepreneurs

7 Skills That Will Make You a Successful Entrepreneur

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Entrepreneurship is all about fitting into various roles and standing as a potential leader to roll in a successful business. What it requires to become an entrepreneur is assessed differently by different people across the globe. Some consider passion as the primary quality, while others take selflessness as a measure. Regardless of this, entrepreneurship is a result of the innate desire to make a change for the better. This desire, when characterized with certain crucial skills, will bring a successful entrepreneur to life.

There are about 400 million entrepreneurs in the world and to stand out from the crowd, here is a list of key skills that an entrepreneur should possess:

1. Thinking outside of the box

Entrepreneurship signifies a creative approach towards work. Successful entrepreneurs think outside of the box and are adept at finding possibilities and value in places where others have lost hope.

In simple words, they begin their journey from where the world stops thinking. Almost anyone can start a business, but turning the tables and creating something out of nothing; that’s how an entrepreneurs mind works.

2. Excellent communication skills

A major part of your business journey will involve communicating and interacting with more and more people. Be it your investors, customers, or your employees, what and how you convey your message to them plays a great role in determining your success as an entrepreneur.

In addition, communication skills also include your potential as a listener. The more you are skilled to listen to others, the better you become at communicating your thoughts and ideas to the crowd. This exchange of ideas and thoughts, in turn, helps to step-up the ladder of success.

“Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.” – Plato

3. Power to flip failure into success

Leading a business isn’t a cake walk, and the ups and downs are its never-ending parts. A crucial skill for an entrepreneur is to be prepared to stay calm in failures and take those times as opportunities to become better. They should learn to carve their mindsets to bring the best out of the worst.

4. Leadership qualities

Running a business is not just about monitoring the sales and profits, but it is more about leading a diversely skilled workforce to put their abilities to best use. True entrepreneurs possess exceptional leadership qualities and know how to lead by example. They are self-driven and act as sources of motivation and inspiration for others.

This way they help in building a potential team by guiding them throughout their projects. Further empathy, passion, the ability to support their co-workers and a desire to keep learning are some of the entrepreneurial leadership qualities that one should possess to become a successful leader.   

5. Potential to change hats – ‘multitask’

Entrepreneurs are their own bosses, and being your own boss implies handling multiple tasks single-handedly. From the pettiest issue to something serious, everything has to be looked at by an entrepreneur.

The key skill of a successful entrepreneur is changing hats swiftly and transitioning from one role to the other without making a big deal of it. You may also call this as ‘organizational skill’- a skill that entrepreneurs should possess to manage and organize multiple tasks without being overwhelmed to streamline business operations.  

6. Money-management skills

How you manage your financial ins and outs matters a great deal in your success as an entrepreneur. According to recent studies, 29% of startups that failed stated ‘out of cash’ as their reason for it.

Entrepreneurs need to be well-versed in knowing how much, when, where, and why they are spending money. Keeping an accurate analysis of all your expenses is another crucial skill entrepreneurs should be adept at.

“Too many people spend money they earned..to buy things they don’t want..to impress people that they don’t like.” – Will Rogers

7. Ability to take calculated risks

One of the many qualities that contribute to running a successful venture is the ability to take calculated risks. Whether it is making a new investment or seeking a loan, entrepreneurs need to assess if their next step would bring a change for better or turn into a huge loss for their business.

Successful entrepreneurs understand that taking risks is a part and parcel of their life. Hence, they know that in what circumstances taking chances will be beneficial to them.

If reading out all those skills made you resonate with your personality, then tighten up your shoe-lace to run the entrepreneurial race with the world.

Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group once said: “No two successful entrepreneurs are the same.” Hence, there’s a lot more to explore to set your future as a entrepreneur.

You need to find your way towards success, but the seven skills mentioned above are what you can use as the base or foundation to proceed further.

Which one of the above skills resonates most with you to succeed as an entrepreneur?

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Entrepreneurs

5 Motivating Tips for Mompreneurs to Balance Work and Motherhood

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

Being a woman entrepreneur may be one of the most challenging jobs in the world, but being a mompreneur (mom and entrepreneur) is more so. You have to live two demanding roles, that of a mother and an entrepreneur, simultaneously.

Choosing between breastfeeding a baby and taking an urgent client call is never easy. It may bring you down on your knees sometimes, urging you to trade one dream for the other. Nonetheless, you must hold on! Many successful businesswomen believe you can balance motherhood and entrepreneurship perfectly.

As you can’t give up contributing to the household income, you must find a way to balance the two roles. Here are five tips that will prove helpful:

1. Keep Honing Your Time Management Skills

As you will need to live a double life, you have to function at your maximum efficiency almost 24/7. Without impeccable time management skills, you will be wasting the time you don’t have. So, you need to keep improving your time management skills forever.

You should have a well-planned daily schedule every day, even on weekends. Also, make sure to plan your next day the day before. Thus, you will be able to distribute your time to all the tasks at hand. Make a to-do list using a planner that suits you.

How much time and energy will you require for completing a particular task? Will you have enough energy left to tend to the subsequent responsibility? Consider these two factors when planning the day. However, know that you can’t get it all done, and that is okay. No one can do it all to perfection. Perfectionism can be disastrous. That’s why you need to set realistic goals and have realistic expectations as well.

If you try to do it all yourself, you will probably end up messing it up and putting everyone else under a lot of stress. Because of this, include only the amount of tasks that are humanly possible to handle in a day, both, as a mother and an entrepreneur.

“The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.” – Stephen R. Covey

2. Avoid Mom-Guilt at All Costs

For many women entrepreneurs, mom-guilt is the biggest concern. Sometimes, you may not have the time to attend a soccer match on account of a string of important business meetings, or you may not be able to make time to bake cookies.

No one wants to flaunt dirty dishes and messy floors. However, all moms have kids that disobey or get in all sorts of trouble; and there’s always a pile of dirty laundry sitting in the corner. Even most full-time moms are unable to make it to every soccer game or bake cookies. Your life as a mompreneur isn’t going to be any different.

Guilt is a toxic emotion that can impair your performance on all fronts. However, as all your struggles are in your head, it is up to you to learn to say no to mom-guilt. Getting rid of mom guilt is not easy, but it is doable. The moment you stop thinking about it, you will not feel guilty as a mom nor as an entrepreneur.

3. Delegate Responsibilities

As mentioned in the first point, you can’t do it all. That’s why you should delegate personal as well as professional responsibilities to others.

For example, if you need some mommy time, you can hand over a few of your entrepreneurial duties to your deputy for the day. You can also delegate some responsibilities to your deputies on a daily basis. This will allow you to have more family time or concentrate on the most crucial tasks at work.

On the family front, you can get help from your partner. Talk to your better half about how he can help you. Chances are he will have a full-time job too. So, you will need to sit down and figure out how to share chores and parenting duties.

You can also have an extended help network from other family members and friends. Don’t forget to show your appreciation for the help you are getting from your partner or other family members. A simple “thank you” after they have put the kids to bed can go a long way.

“When you delegate work to a member of the team, your job is to clearly frame success and describe the objectives.” – Steven Sinofsky

4. Learn to Roll with It

Leading the life of a mompreneur is often messy and unpredictable. Despite your perfect planning, things may spiral out of control occasionally. You will fail to meet your daily goals from time to time, even though they are realistic. Being a mompreneur isn’t always glamorous.

You have to learn to roll with the punches life throws at you. Accept that you will miss a deadline occasionally or have your baby spit-up on your blouse while attending a client call. Once you accept this reality, you can eliminate a lot of stress.

Doing this will make not only your life easier, but also of those around you. Remember, acceptance is the key to professional and personal success.

5. Mompreneurs Need Me-Time Too

One can easily get lost in their attempt to find balance between being a mother and an entrepreneur. If you are working from home, the lack of separation between these two roles often makes it difficult to set aside some me-time.

However, you can’t afford to compromise your mental or physical health. You not only need enough sleep, exercise, and nutrition to keep you going, but also solace whenever time permits. You can take up a hobby, visit a nearby spa or relax for a few minutes while sipping a cup of hot coffee. Just make sure to do it regularly. Make time for self-care in your busy schedule.

Being a mompreneur is no easy task. From keeping your time management skills up-to-date to setting aside some me-time, these five tips will help you become a successful mother as well as an entrepreneur. They will help you create a balance between these two critical roles.

Are you a mompreneur? What did you do to set up a successful business while changing diapers? Share your experiences in your comments.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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10 Lessons for Bootstrapping Your Startup to $1M Annual Revenue

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Image Credit: Unsplash

In an entrepreneurial landscape dominated by headlines of unicorn startups and billion-dollar acquisitions, getting a company to $1 million in annual recurring revenue (ARR) may sound like small change. Let’s be real, though, hitting $1 million ARR is an aspirational milestone most young companies can relate to. And it’s not that easy, especially if you’ve secured modest investments or no investment at all. (more…)

Kenneth Burke is the Marketing Director at Text Request, a business texting software company.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Billie Myers

    Jan 31, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    Extremely informative article and I would like to ask if you would
    be interested or even have the time to maybe look at my corporation
    of many IDEAS.
    http://auniverseofwonders.com/
    I am in need of funding and mentorship.
    Please let me know what you think
    and your professional advice.

    Sincerely,

    Billie J. Myers

    • Michelle Colon-Johnson

      Feb 13, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      Hi Billie,

      Thanks for reaching out. I am glad you enjoyed my article. I would not be the best person to look at your corporation. Your requests are not in my wheel house of expertise. I would suggest finding someone that works successfully within the space you are looking to create. There you will find mentorship, and even possible avenues for funding.

      Wishing you continued success.

      Have a Magical Monday!

      -Michelle Colon-Johnson

  2. freelance web developer

    Nov 26, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    That is really interesting, You are an overly professional blogger.
    I’ve joined your feed and stay up for searching for extra of your magnificent
    post. Additionally, I’ve shared your website in my social networks

    • Miche

      Jan 7, 2017 at 3:39 pm

      Thank you for the kind words! Have a Magical 2017!

      -Michelle Colon-Johnson

  3. Charlene Rhinehart

    Feb 5, 2016 at 5:30 am

    Thanks for sharing this article, Michelle! This point reminds me of myself, “When everyone else is asleep entrepreneurs are the ones that are up all night thinking of new ways to assure that ideas come to fruition.” I’m so excited about the possibilities that I wish I could stay up longer so that I can work on them. Connecting with others and working to make a dream a reality is what keeps me moving forward as an entrepreneur.

    • Michelle Colon-Johnson

      Feb 8, 2016 at 5:10 pm

      Thanks for the kind feedback. An entrepreneur’s life is for sure not always glamourous. But when your dream becomes the thing that changes the life of many including your own it makes the journey worth it! Thanks for reading my article!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Entrepreneurs

5 Productivity Tactics to Help You Win as a Creative in Your Online Business

Published

on

productivity strategies
Image Credit: Unsplash

The shift in business has made online entrepreneurship as easy as visiting your local grocery store. The possibilities are endless and the variety is abundant. As creative entrepreneurs, your mind is always powered on flying through hundreds of ideas, thoughts and visions at any given moment. It’s the Jekyll-Hyde of being overwhelmed with too many ideas or a drought of none.

Online business is both a blessing and curse in that, you can reach a wider audience while getting caught up in the noise of your competitors keeping you from being competitive.

Here are the 5 productivity tactics that will help you win in online business as a creative entrepreneur:

1. Create Before You Consume

As a creative, you’re wired to look to the world for inspiration. With social media at our fingertips it makes it easy to get caught up in what our competitors are doing falling victim to comparison syndrome. Start your day off by journaling and using an outlet to release your creativity that’s been bottled up through the night. Only once it’s been released should you then consume the content of others for inspiration. The idea is to only absorb what will help you and not get caught up in the quality of their work to yours.

“Productivity is less about what you do with your time and more about how you run your mind.” – Robin Sharma

2. Silence Your Creativity

The blessing and curse of a creative mindset is our inability to switch it off. We often get so consumed in striving for our goals that we missed all the signs leading us to burnout. We then hit a wall that stalls us for a few days, weeks or even months. Dedicate time every day to doing something non-creative. Go for a walk, meditate, get lost in a book and let your mind relax to refill your creative juice tank.

3. Lean On the Right Support

It’s so easy to get caught up in doing everything on our own. You hold massive visions and goals for your life that others simply won’t understand. The beauty about that is, we all do. Take that first step and reach out to others in your network or invest in a coach or mentor who can keep you from getting deep in your negative thoughts and motivate you to keep pushing through. Support is crucial especially for a creative entrepreneur. You need someone to communicate your vision to and help you create strategies to achieve it.

4. Invest in the Right Tools

Having the right tools can make or break your creative career. Tools don’t have to be a heavy financial investment. Some of the best tools you can use are free. Find the ones that work for you to keep you on track, organized and productive. A hangup many creatives encounter is their ability to lose track of time. The Pomodoro Timer is a lifesaver when it comes to keeping you on track to achieving your goals.

It has three time options, a 25, 10 and 5 minute setting with the 5 and 10 minute settings being used for necessary breaks before restarting the 25 minute timer. Another tool popular among creatives is Trello. It allows you to tap into the Type A personality while still owning your Type B. These are just a few of the many available to you.

“Productivity is never an accident, it’s the results of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning & focused effort.” – Paul Meyer

5. Establish a Healthy System

What makes entrepreneurship fun for creatives is their ability to tap into the world around them for creativity at any given moment. Where this becomes a challenge is they often neglect their own self-care to fulfill their creative big-picture vision. Start by dedicating 30 minutes to yourself every morning to relax, enjoy the calm and ease your mind into the day. This will allow you to create a steady and consistent flow throughout your day instead of jumping right in and burning out quickly.

What do you use that helps your productivity as an entrepreneur? Comment below!

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8 Tips for Launching a Business on Amazon

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Launching a business on Amazon can either seem like a breeze or the most daunting goal you’ve ever set for yourself. Neither is entirely true, but it’s safer to think the latter than the former. The market is indeed very competitive, but it’s by no means a gargantuan task to get you started. While there are comprehensive guides available that’ll walk you through each step (see below), there are a few things you should be aware of before you take the plunge.

Here are 8 tips for launching a business on Amazon:

1. Take one step at a time

It’s important to take it one step at a time when it comes to building your business on Amazon. The key to a happy life, according to psychological studies, is to have low expectations. That’s not to say that your ambitions shouldn’t be sky-high. Things will take time.

For example, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your business on Amazon won’t be either. Fortunately, there are handy online guides that’ll teach you how to build your empire step by step, even if you’re on a budget.

2. Invest in low-ticket products

It’s tempting to go for products with a big price tag because they often yield a large profit margin. Beginners are not advised to take this route, however. Why? Because you can wave goodbye to that large profit margin if you only have a small stock purchase budget to work with.

You need to buy in bulk from the manufacturer if you hope to knock down the price and increase your profit margin. Going for low-ticket items will allow you to negotiate with the manufacturer, as you’ll be buying hundreds of things rather than tens of them. Buy products that match your buying power, and then move up the ladder from there.

“If you don’t understand the details of your business you are going to fail.” – Jeff Bezos

3. Don’t play the undercutting game

Many entrepreneurs build their business by undercutting the competition. That’s not a good strategy for a budding business, because your budget and sales volume probably won’t allow for it. You’ll be competing with the big boys (sometimes even Amazon themselves) who buy in vast quantities and therefore have very favorable buying and shipping costs.

It would be better if you instead focused on competing on quality of service rather than price. Feel free to knock yourself out in the undercutting game later, once you can afford your warehouse.

4. Avoid branded products

It’s challenging to make a profit out of selling branded products, such as Apple or Nike. The game of branded goods is exceptionally competitive, and you’ll quickly find yourself in the deep end — just like if you compete on price.

While there is a chance you can stumble across branded goods on clearance, even these will be difficult to get rid of on Amazon. It would be better if you instead spent time developing your business brand.

5. Avoid cheap imitations

Don’t be fooled by Chinese factories on Alibaba that claim to sell branded goods. They’re usually cheap knock-offs that’ll only hurt your seller rating on Amazon. It’s no secret that China produces many imitations, and you don’t want to risk being caught up in a criminal case.

Some of the most sought-after fake products are electronics. Ask yourself if you’re going to risk your imitation product blowing up in the face of your customers is worth the extra profit margin.

Big brands are also aware of the fact that factory workers in China are tempted to sneak out a few iPhones to sell for their private gain. Naturally, the companies monitor these factories to make sure that doesn’t happen.

6. Put your money where your mouth is

Anyone who’ve scrolled through the job listings on sites like Craigslist will know that there is an abundance of offers that are too good to be true. Work from home and make all the money in the world with no up-front investment.

Guess what? Cliches like “it takes money to make money” and “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” are all true. Launching a business on Amazon will require you to budget for your products, shipping of your products, your Amazon seller account, product photography, graphic design, online marketing, and other expenses related to running a business.

7. Don’t do everything yourself

It can be tempting to save money by taking your product photos, designing your logo, create your Facebook ads, and filing your accounts. After all, there are loads of free YouTube videos on how to do these things yourself. Don’t do it.

Chances are the result will scream amateur hour. Your friends might be impressed, but your customers won’t be. Your job as an entrepreneur is to work on your business and not in it. If you can’t afford to hire professionals to accomplish these tasks for you, then wait until you can. Your time is better spent working in your field of expertise.

“Position yourself with something that captures your curiosity, something that you’re missionary about.” – Jeff Bezos

8. Commit to lifelong learning

If you think industries are changing rapidly out there in the real world, then wait until you learn about online businesses. Reading this article is just the start of your learning curve.

Amazon is just a platform, but even so, there are many things you have to stay on top of. You have to know about carving out a niche, ranking well on Amazon, advertising your products across social media channels, and improving your online reputation.

Never stop learning because the landscape is changing every year, if not every day. Make sure to read up on basic Amazon business tutorials, and subscribe to relevant blogs to stay up to date.

Starting a business on Amazon is a lot easier and cheaper than starting a business from scratch. The online platform is already built for you, and Amazon has warehouses in which to store your goods. It’s possible to do it from home with a laptop and an Internet connection — but you need capital to get your business off the ground.

Have you thought about or launched a business on Amazon? If so, let us know what your experience is down below!

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7 Skills That Will Make You a Successful Entrepreneur

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Entrepreneurship is all about fitting into various roles and standing as a potential leader to roll in a successful business. What it requires to become an entrepreneur is assessed differently by different people across the globe. Some consider passion as the primary quality, while others take selflessness as a measure. Regardless of this, entrepreneurship is a result of the innate desire to make a change for the better. This desire, when characterized with certain crucial skills, will bring a successful entrepreneur to life.

There are about 400 million entrepreneurs in the world and to stand out from the crowd, here is a list of key skills that an entrepreneur should possess:

1. Thinking outside of the box

Entrepreneurship signifies a creative approach towards work. Successful entrepreneurs think outside of the box and are adept at finding possibilities and value in places where others have lost hope.

In simple words, they begin their journey from where the world stops thinking. Almost anyone can start a business, but turning the tables and creating something out of nothing; that’s how an entrepreneurs mind works.

2. Excellent communication skills

A major part of your business journey will involve communicating and interacting with more and more people. Be it your investors, customers, or your employees, what and how you convey your message to them plays a great role in determining your success as an entrepreneur.

In addition, communication skills also include your potential as a listener. The more you are skilled to listen to others, the better you become at communicating your thoughts and ideas to the crowd. This exchange of ideas and thoughts, in turn, helps to step-up the ladder of success.

“Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.” – Plato

3. Power to flip failure into success

Leading a business isn’t a cake walk, and the ups and downs are its never-ending parts. A crucial skill for an entrepreneur is to be prepared to stay calm in failures and take those times as opportunities to become better. They should learn to carve their mindsets to bring the best out of the worst.

4. Leadership qualities

Running a business is not just about monitoring the sales and profits, but it is more about leading a diversely skilled workforce to put their abilities to best use. True entrepreneurs possess exceptional leadership qualities and know how to lead by example. They are self-driven and act as sources of motivation and inspiration for others.

This way they help in building a potential team by guiding them throughout their projects. Further empathy, passion, the ability to support their co-workers and a desire to keep learning are some of the entrepreneurial leadership qualities that one should possess to become a successful leader.   

5. Potential to change hats – ‘multitask’

Entrepreneurs are their own bosses, and being your own boss implies handling multiple tasks single-handedly. From the pettiest issue to something serious, everything has to be looked at by an entrepreneur.

The key skill of a successful entrepreneur is changing hats swiftly and transitioning from one role to the other without making a big deal of it. You may also call this as ‘organizational skill’- a skill that entrepreneurs should possess to manage and organize multiple tasks without being overwhelmed to streamline business operations.  

6. Money-management skills

How you manage your financial ins and outs matters a great deal in your success as an entrepreneur. According to recent studies, 29% of startups that failed stated ‘out of cash’ as their reason for it.

Entrepreneurs need to be well-versed in knowing how much, when, where, and why they are spending money. Keeping an accurate analysis of all your expenses is another crucial skill entrepreneurs should be adept at.

“Too many people spend money they earned..to buy things they don’t want..to impress people that they don’t like.” – Will Rogers

7. Ability to take calculated risks

One of the many qualities that contribute to running a successful venture is the ability to take calculated risks. Whether it is making a new investment or seeking a loan, entrepreneurs need to assess if their next step would bring a change for better or turn into a huge loss for their business.

Successful entrepreneurs understand that taking risks is a part and parcel of their life. Hence, they know that in what circumstances taking chances will be beneficial to them.

If reading out all those skills made you resonate with your personality, then tighten up your shoe-lace to run the entrepreneurial race with the world.

Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group once said: “No two successful entrepreneurs are the same.” Hence, there’s a lot more to explore to set your future as a entrepreneur.

You need to find your way towards success, but the seven skills mentioned above are what you can use as the base or foundation to proceed further.

Which one of the above skills resonates most with you to succeed as an entrepreneur?

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5 Motivating Tips for Mompreneurs to Balance Work and Motherhood

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Being a woman entrepreneur may be one of the most challenging jobs in the world, but being a mompreneur (mom and entrepreneur) is more so. You have to live two demanding roles, that of a mother and an entrepreneur, simultaneously.

Choosing between breastfeeding a baby and taking an urgent client call is never easy. It may bring you down on your knees sometimes, urging you to trade one dream for the other. Nonetheless, you must hold on! Many successful businesswomen believe you can balance motherhood and entrepreneurship perfectly.

As you can’t give up contributing to the household income, you must find a way to balance the two roles. Here are five tips that will prove helpful:

1. Keep Honing Your Time Management Skills

As you will need to live a double life, you have to function at your maximum efficiency almost 24/7. Without impeccable time management skills, you will be wasting the time you don’t have. So, you need to keep improving your time management skills forever.

You should have a well-planned daily schedule every day, even on weekends. Also, make sure to plan your next day the day before. Thus, you will be able to distribute your time to all the tasks at hand. Make a to-do list using a planner that suits you.

How much time and energy will you require for completing a particular task? Will you have enough energy left to tend to the subsequent responsibility? Consider these two factors when planning the day. However, know that you can’t get it all done, and that is okay. No one can do it all to perfection. Perfectionism can be disastrous. That’s why you need to set realistic goals and have realistic expectations as well.

If you try to do it all yourself, you will probably end up messing it up and putting everyone else under a lot of stress. Because of this, include only the amount of tasks that are humanly possible to handle in a day, both, as a mother and an entrepreneur.

“The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.” – Stephen R. Covey

2. Avoid Mom-Guilt at All Costs

For many women entrepreneurs, mom-guilt is the biggest concern. Sometimes, you may not have the time to attend a soccer match on account of a string of important business meetings, or you may not be able to make time to bake cookies.

No one wants to flaunt dirty dishes and messy floors. However, all moms have kids that disobey or get in all sorts of trouble; and there’s always a pile of dirty laundry sitting in the corner. Even most full-time moms are unable to make it to every soccer game or bake cookies. Your life as a mompreneur isn’t going to be any different.

Guilt is a toxic emotion that can impair your performance on all fronts. However, as all your struggles are in your head, it is up to you to learn to say no to mom-guilt. Getting rid of mom guilt is not easy, but it is doable. The moment you stop thinking about it, you will not feel guilty as a mom nor as an entrepreneur.

3. Delegate Responsibilities

As mentioned in the first point, you can’t do it all. That’s why you should delegate personal as well as professional responsibilities to others.

For example, if you need some mommy time, you can hand over a few of your entrepreneurial duties to your deputy for the day. You can also delegate some responsibilities to your deputies on a daily basis. This will allow you to have more family time or concentrate on the most crucial tasks at work.

On the family front, you can get help from your partner. Talk to your better half about how he can help you. Chances are he will have a full-time job too. So, you will need to sit down and figure out how to share chores and parenting duties.

You can also have an extended help network from other family members and friends. Don’t forget to show your appreciation for the help you are getting from your partner or other family members. A simple “thank you” after they have put the kids to bed can go a long way.

“When you delegate work to a member of the team, your job is to clearly frame success and describe the objectives.” – Steven Sinofsky

4. Learn to Roll with It

Leading the life of a mompreneur is often messy and unpredictable. Despite your perfect planning, things may spiral out of control occasionally. You will fail to meet your daily goals from time to time, even though they are realistic. Being a mompreneur isn’t always glamorous.

You have to learn to roll with the punches life throws at you. Accept that you will miss a deadline occasionally or have your baby spit-up on your blouse while attending a client call. Once you accept this reality, you can eliminate a lot of stress.

Doing this will make not only your life easier, but also of those around you. Remember, acceptance is the key to professional and personal success.

5. Mompreneurs Need Me-Time Too

One can easily get lost in their attempt to find balance between being a mother and an entrepreneur. If you are working from home, the lack of separation between these two roles often makes it difficult to set aside some me-time.

However, you can’t afford to compromise your mental or physical health. You not only need enough sleep, exercise, and nutrition to keep you going, but also solace whenever time permits. You can take up a hobby, visit a nearby spa or relax for a few minutes while sipping a cup of hot coffee. Just make sure to do it regularly. Make time for self-care in your busy schedule.

Being a mompreneur is no easy task. From keeping your time management skills up-to-date to setting aside some me-time, these five tips will help you become a successful mother as well as an entrepreneur. They will help you create a balance between these two critical roles.

Are you a mompreneur? What did you do to set up a successful business while changing diapers? Share your experiences in your comments.

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