Archives for August 2012

The Psychology of Free

I’ve noticed in the past few years that the number of things that are offered for free has really increased. Free ebooks, free webinars, and free consultations. It sounds good to get something for nothing, but we all know

psychology of free

psychology of free

that there’s no free lunch really. There’s always a catch. And I think people have finally figured that out.

I was told to give away a free webinar in order to get people to sign up for a paid webinar. It made sense, so I tried it. Even with a free webinar I wanted to give the best information possible in the most entertaining way. I polled my Facebook friends and asked what they really thought about a free webinar. Overwhelmingly, most of them said I should charge something, even if it was a small amount, because they wouldn’t appreciate it if it didn’t have some kind of value attached.

I have to say that I think they were right. I would get people to sign up, then carve out the time on my calendar, and get myself psyched to do the webinar. Then no one would show up. So, I guess it’s true that they didn’t really place a value on something that they didn’t have to invest anything into. But I can’t blame them, because I do the same thing. If there’s a free webinar, seminar or class, I will sign up for it, but often don’t show up. Not because it’s not a good class, or that I don’t want to hear it, I just forget or get busy. If you pay for something, even if it’s a small amount, you’ll make the effort to show up. [Read more…]

Create A Job For Yourself

Create Your Own Job

Create Your Own Job

As an entrepreneur, one of the things you can’t predict is how your customers will respond to what you have to offer them. I’ve been speaking at job fairs for a couple of years now and I would see some of the same people show up time after time. These were people with great resumes, well dressed, ready to work, with good attitudes. Everything you would think you’d want in an employee. But they were still having a hard time finding suitable work.

So, I asked them “If I could show you how to create your own job, would you be interested”? I had a line all the way out the door of people signing up. I realized I was on to something. Finally, a way to help those who really wanted to work!

I came up with this method after losing a job myself. I had a job I hated, making almost no money, but it was still a job. One night I got a call that I had booked a commercial for a phone company. It was too late to call my boss, so I called him the next morning from the set. I was actually calling from a phone as the cameras were rolling. My boss told me not to bother coming in…I was fired. I kept a smile on my face for the camera, but inside I was crushed. Even though I was fired from a job I hated and made no money at. But at least it was a lifeline and now the lifeline was cut.

I spent months trying to find a job, but with no luck. I finally went to a friend that owned a production company and asked if he had any jobs for me. Nothing. [Read more…]

Do You Need a Business Plan?

I’ve been having this discussion on Linked In about whether a start up company needs a business plan or not. If you ask any Ivy League MBA you will probably hear that you absolutely do need one. And you need to spend thousands of dollars to have someone smarter than you put one together.

entrepreneur's business plan

entrepreneur's business plan

But if you ask my friend Oliver who owns a print shop or the dog groomers around the corner or my acupuncturist, they would tell you they never had one. I’ve run 3 businesses and have never written a formal business plan. One of them is an international manufacturing company and I’ve never had a business plan for it. Once I had already been in business for years I was planning to expand and needed to raise money. That’s the only time I have put anything down on paper, but it still wasn’t a business plan, more like a presentation with corporate bios and projections of how many would be sold, etc.

I took that presentation out of the closet and read through it. 90% of what was in it wasn’t even true anymore. None of my employees are with me anymore because of the downturn in the economy. So, what I thought my business was going to be, which was sales reps and full time employees, wasn’t even close to what I ended up with. Now I have distributors who are independent and simply buy the product from me and get marketing and PR support. [Read more…]