The Cure to the 100 Hour Workweek

I hope this isn’t you. I hope that you’re not finding yourself working 12 hours per day, 7 days per week, or more. It’s not me. Perhaps it used to be me, but I left that life behind. I hope that this doesn’t scare away any potential future employers, but I don’t mind saying this in the job interview even. If you’re expecting me to work 80 or more hours per week, on an ongoing basis, please tell me now.

To people who find themselves spending 12-15 hours per day either at work, or commuting to and from work, I beg you to think far in advance to where that leads. Are you doing this so that in 6 months you will get promoted to a director level and won’t have to do that any more? Perhaps if you know this, then that’s a reasonable choice.

But are you doing this because your employer is just giving you more work than you can handle? Are they refusing to hire another person in your department, or refused to replace someone who left and just expected everyone to pick up the slack?

Or is there someone now who is not putting in an honest effort? Are you … Continue reading

Book Review: Street Smarts

Street Smarts: An All-Purpose Tool Kit for Entrepreneurs

Street Smarts: An All-Purpose Tool Kit for Entrepreneurs, is a book based partly on the monthly Street Smarts column in Inc Magazine by Norm Brodsky. Brodsky has decades of experience building companies, and shares what he’s learned in this book. He built a document storage business (among others) and explains how he was able to build that into a large successful business against larger competitors.

I did enjoy this book, although I’m not sure it’s worth listening to multiple times. There are many very insightful tidbits of information in there, and you can really tell that Brodsky has lived through this experience and knows what he is talking about.

This book is great for anyone trying to build a company from scratch (or purchase a business to run). He has particular advice for people just starting out or wanting to ramp up their business from a hobby to a full-time income.

For instance, he speaks of some friends of his who decided to turn their hobby IT supplies business into a full-time family income. He examines their books, and discovers they are actually running it at a loss right now and ramping it up to a larger business would … Continue reading

Twitter Doesn’t Make You Money

I belong to a number of Facebook groups, and other forums online, and see this question or announcement come up often:

  • “Major milestone: I got my 100th Twitter follower today!”
  • “Breakthrough: Someone with 1 million Twitter followers just followed me!”
  • “How do I get more Twitter followers?”
  • “I’m tweeting all of my blog posts, but am not getting any retweets. Why?”

Newsflash: Twitter doesn’t make you money.

I’ll say it again because it’s worth repeating. Being followed on Twitter does not increase your income in any way.

I know plenty of people with 100 Twitter followers, myself with a few hundred, others with thousands, and hundreds of thousands. I challenge you to tell me how having 100,000 Twitter followers makes you money.

How can you say that? I have 100,000 Twitter followers!

How many of those are real? Few people with a lot of Twitter followers will have the guts to use this tool: Status People Fake Followers Checker. Some of the largest Twitter accounts (with 40 million+ followers) end up with 45% inactive followers, and 40% fake followers. That’s only 15%-20% of followers who are listening and very, very few of those who will actually see any particular … Continue reading

New Online Course: Startup CEO

StartupCEO by Matt Blumberg

Business ideas lead to businesses. And businesses need real leaders to wear all the hats that need to be worn to run them effectively. A CEO needs to communicate the business mission and be the most passionate about the company, needs to be the company’s first salesperson to bring money in the door, needs to be strategic about decided what the company should do (and should not do), when to raise money, and even who to hire. The CEO wears all these hats as well as running the day-to-day operations of the company to start.

There is an interesting course online called “Startup CEO“, run by Matt Blumberg, CEO of Return Path. The intro video looks interesting, and for $250 is not a bad offering to learn from someone who’s done it what it takes to become a good startup CEO.

I think you will find this interesting.

If you are into online learning, I highlight more courses such as these on my other blog, Coursemania.

 

Book Review: How to Get Ideas

how_to_get_ideas

I recently listened to a book called How to Get Ideas by Jack Foster. The book caught my eye because it was written by someone who’s been in the ad business for many years – and ad people are usually pretty good at coming up with dozens of ideas to find one good one. What better book for a business ideas site than one that helps you get more ideas?

Essentially, you get ideas by setting yourself up properly to have them. The author uses an interesting anecdote to demonstrate what that means.

If you ask someone to come up with one good idea, and give them 24 hours to do so, many will not come up with even one idea. But if you ask them to come up with 10 ideas, and tell them they must do so within the next 30 minutes, the ideas will start flowing. Essentially, trying to come up with one good idea is hard because the idea has to be perfect. It has to be your best idea. And it’s too easy to discard it because of perceived imperfections.

Whereas, being forced to come up with 10 ideas in … Continue reading

Business Insider – Tour of Alibaba

Alibaba in China, Source Nicolas Carlson of BusinessInsider.com

There’s a very interesting article (more like a photo journal actually) of a recent tour somebody had of the Alibaba office in China.

I’ve written before about Alibaba as a source for finding manufacturers for your drop-shipping or light-bulk business.

But Alibaba also owns two of the largest e-commerce companies in China. One is Taobao, which can be compared to eBay. In fact, Taobao beat eBay at their own game in China because the site is free for both buyers and sellers, while eBay attempts to extract every nickel it can out of sellers with it’s ever-increasing fees.

But it also owns T-Mall. T-Mall is a place where offline businesses can do online commerce in China (kind of like Yahoo Shopping used to be). Big global brands set up their stores on TMall, much like a real life mall.

Both of these businesses add up to Alibaba being worth north of $100 Billion.

Interesting article. Not super in-depth, but you can clearly see some of … Continue reading

10 Ideas for Attracting Visitors to Your Site

SEOHelp

Recently, someone posted a question to a Facebook group I belong to, expressing his feelings of frustration and feeling stuck:

“Not one visitor to my site! Not one comment! Paying out money I don’t have and still I feel stuck and like so much to do but so much info to absorb.”

Often times, when you’re doing writing or blogging or just trying your hand at Internet business, it feels like you’re alone. Here are a few things you can do to try to let people know about the great work you’re doing.

1. Reach Out and Tweet Someone

One of the great things about Twitter is that it allows people to express their feelings to the world. Anyone can go to http://search.twitter.com/ and find people who are looking for help that you can provide.

For instance, if you are an SEO expert, and can help people get their website to the top of the Google results page, you can search twitter for someone asking for help and reply to them … Continue reading

The Inner Game of Business

Source: Le Batteur de Lune at flickr

Before mastering the game of business, you need to have control of the inner game. The inner game is what goes on inside your own head. Do you doubt yourself? Are you afraid to act? Even if there’s a clear opportunity waiting to be seized, are you hesitant to pull the trigger and sometimes lose them? Mastering your inner game allows you to control your fears, emotions, and insecurities and operate your business with confidence.

Inner game is not the only thing needed to succeed in business. Inner game is not “the game”. But no matter how well you execute your business ideas technically, if you are operating from a base of fear and doubt you will not be succeeding as well as you could be. It’s the foundation level of the business house.

Mastering inner game is starts with identifying what is holding you back from success. In a room full of people, are you afraid to approach people who you don’t know and talk to them? Are you too shy or humble to promote yourself, and constantly undersell your product or service? Or the opposite, do you hide behind your product in public and are afraid to be genuine? Or are you loathe … Continue reading

Book Review: The Little Book of Trading

The Little Book of Trading, by Michael Covel

I recently began thinking of a more active form of investing, and wrote a post on this site about investing as a business. Well, as happens, I heard a podcast interview with Michael Covel, and what he said made a lot of sense to me. Fast forward an hour, and I’m listening to Covel’s book, The Little Book of Trading, Trend Following Strategy for Big Winnings.

Trend Following is the type of trading where you do not care about the stock (or market) that you are trading in, nor attempt to predict the future of that. You can trade Apple Inc (AAPL), Oil, the US Dollar, or even Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice a la Trading Places. It doesn’t matter what the market is, it only matters about the trend of the price.

I was expecting a clear strategy in this book. I was expecting to hear about stocks, entry points, exit points, and such. There are brief mentions of various trend following strategies, but the book doesn’t dwell on the “how to” of trend following that much.

Instead, the book introduces us to the original traders who invented and popularized modern … Continue reading

Random WordPress Advice III

Wordpress Logo

This post continues the slight departure from the business ideas blog to talk about things you should do when setting up your WordPress website.

Spam is a major problem with any blog that allows comments. On the one hand, you want to encourage a community and allow people to easily engage with you. On the other, web marketers have created a sophisticated bot system that posts nonsensical comments to blogs attempting to get a link back to their sites. It’s a constant battle.

I want to keep comments enabled, but I also don’t want to have to delete hundreds of spam comments every week. It’s a waste of my life energy to read through them and even decide whether they should stay or go.

That’s why I implemented a WordPress plugin named “Conditional CAPTCHA for WordPress“. I love the way it works. If a comment is likely SPAM, instead of sending it to a SPAM folder, it asks the commenter to fill out a captcha as a second step. Most spam robots do not do this second step, and so that comment goes straight to my trash. I don’t even look at it. This plugin is brilliant.

If you struggle … Continue reading