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Small Business Startup Essentials Podcast

Small Business Startup Essentials Podcast

Helping you to start a personal brand business later in life.


Welcome! to the podcast page of Small Business Startup Essentials show, where we dive into a myriad of topics and discussions relating to the small business startup process including how to make that pivot later in life. For those looking to start an online business with a solid plan and more clarity, this is the place for you. We’ll cover only the topics that are the most relevant to the challenges new, 40+ Entrepreneurs are facing. 

Listen in, also, to the interviews of men and women who have a successful business and hear how they turned their dream into a reality, but also how they faced, but overcame their challenges. 

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Ep 52: You Have a Great Business Idea : So Now What?

Here are some things to think about when trying to decide the right path for you and your business.

There’s pros and cons to every decision, that’s nothing new. And I’ve done both sides of the coin here in having my business be full time and part time, based on the economy and the market needs…also my family needs at the time.

I think I have enough experience from both angles to talk about this and hopefully help you to have more clarity when you’re making your decisions. Even if, ideally, you plan to run your business full-time, starting it up on a part-time basis can offer some significant advantages:

• It reduces your risk because you can rely on income and benefits from your full-time job and lets you have some additional ramp up time.
• It gives you more time to work on your 3 P’s (products, pitch and price)
• You’ll have more time to test the market and get a better feel of how easy or hard building this business might be
• More time to niche down to position yourself to stand out better instead of blending in
• It also allows your business to grow more gradually
But yet, the part-time path also comes with potential pitfalls as well:
• It can leave you with less time with family, because now you’re working on building your business when you’re not working your job
• And…as a result, you’ll feel like you’re always working. But let me say something to this point, if you hate your job and love working on your new business, and the ‘work’ is enjoyable, then, I can tell you that you might actually find yourself rushing to the computer when you get home and turning off the TV more and more, because, it really doesn’t feel like work at all.
• Clients may feel you’re not available as much as they need you to be
• You also run the risk of burning out. Holding down a full-time job while running a part-time business can leave you with little, if any, leisure time and your personal life may suffer as a result.

That is not to say a part-time business can’t work. You’re going to need to have excellent time-management skills, strong self-discipline, and support from family and friends. You’ll need a serious commitment and a strong vision that’s connected to ‘your why’ to keep you motivated.

Don’t think that, since you already have a job, you don’t really have to work hard at your business. You must have a plan of attack. I like to think of it this way. With 365 days in the year, if you take a small step every day toward your goal, at the end of each week, you’ve taken a serious step forward. At the end of each month, a huge leap.

So set some reasonable milestones that align with starting and running a part time business and celebrate those wins when the milestones are reached. Use any progress as a motivator to keep you going. Here’s a run-down of what you’ll want to consider before choosing which path is more appropriate for you and your business.

Making The Best Decision

If you find there is an unmet need for your product or service, no major competition and a ready supply of eager customers, then starting full-time might be the best plan. On the other hand, if you find the market won’t support a full-time business, but might someday with proper marketing and development, then it is probably best to start part-time.

Do some research on the competition in your industry, the economy in your area, the demographic breakdown of your client base and the availability of potential customers. If you are thinking of opening an upscale beauty salon, for example, jot down the number of similar shops in operation, the number of affluent women in the area and the fees they are willing to pay.

Maybe even ask them as they’re walking out of that salon what they like and don’t like about it? They don’t know you’re doing research. To them it just looks like you’re interested in being a potential client.

The next step is to outline your goals and strategies in a business plan. Now I just mentioned this recently in another podcast about how many pages you’ll need in the BP. Whether it’s 3-5 pages, whether it’s one page, or closer to 20 pages like mine, you just need to know you’re not going to have any serious surprises because you didn’t think this through and keeps the business on track.

Part-timers should write a business plan, too, as it will help you transition to full-time later on.

Evaluate Your Finances

Before launching a full-time business, most experts recommend putting aside enough money to live on for at least six months to a year. Now if you do live off your savings, you’ll need a way to earn enough through the business to not only replace what you’ve spent but to make it worth your while to have spent it in the first place.

I’m all about being profitable, and spending money on the business without doubling what you’ve spent just turns your ‘business’ into an expensive hobby.

But completing your business plan will show you in detail how long you can expect to wait before your business begins earning a profit.

If you’re leaning toward starting part-time, then set financial priorities. How do you know when your business is making enough money that you can quit your day job? A good rule of thumb might be, when you reach a part time income of 75% of your full time income, you can make the leap and switch to full time.

My business coach Mike Kim promised his wife that he would wait until he MATCHES his full time income for 3 months straight to quit his job and run the business full time.


Bring Your Family into the Process

The emotional and psychological side of starting a business is just as important in your decision as the financial and market aspects. Do your closest family members support you starting a business? Do they understand the sacrifices both full-time and part-time businesses are going to require?

Then work together to develop practical solutions to the problems you might run into. Also, lay ground rules for the part-time business. For instance, agree not to work on Sunday mornings, for example, or not to discuss business at the dinner table.

Don’t Forget About Your Own Needs

If the idea of taking the full-time business plunge keeps you awake at night then perhaps a part-time business is best. Building and running a business on stress spells disaster.

Assess the effects of both a part-time and a full-time business on your life. You’ll be most likely be working evenings, weekends and lunch hours, if not your holidays, sick days and vacation time, too. This is the kind of commitment you will need to make if you expect your business to be successful.

Whether to start part-time or full-time is a decision only you can make. Whichever route you take, the secret to success is an honest assessment of your resources, your commitment level and the support systems you have in place. When you consider the pros and cons of both situations, and you’re willing to pay the price either way, you’ll be able to make the right choice.


Rate this episode HERE and receive a free, helpful Tips and Tools Guide.

Very helpful Small Business Startup Resources, FREE!


Ep 51: 8 Ways to Know It’s Time to Give Up on Your Business Idea

Friends, I spend a lot of time creating positive, can-do content that focuses mainly on how and when to start a business. I talk about mindset reset issues and the different types of entrepreneurs…all of that.

And I’m really focused on the positive side of the startup process. I spend a lot of time explaining to people how to overcome their fears and helping them to see what’s possible. We live in the best country in the world and it offers so much opportunity.

But the fact still remains that sometimes, when somebody does finally make the decision to start their own business, whether it’s out of their home and it’s online, or not…sometimes they make the wrong decision on either the market they should be in or maybe the timing isn’t quite right.. or for some other reason, this business that they started, just isn’t working out.

So look for these 8 signs to see if you’re pursuing a poor business idea:

1. You hate it. Being a successful entrepreneur takes a lot of time, especially at the beginning. You’re going to have a miserable time if you don’t enjoy the business on some level. You might have the idea of creating something new, but if you can’t stand talking about it anymore and promoting it or selling it, you’re not going to be happy, and it’ll show in your sales, it’ll show in your voice, it’ll show in your life.

Even if sales are good but you hate it, get out. Sell the business to someone that doesn’t hate it.

2. It compromises your values. For example, if guns, porn, or animal products are against your values, then having a business related to one of those fields isn’t going to work for you. You have to be able to look at yourself in the mirror at the end of the day. Make sure that your business is aligned with your values.

3. You can’t handle the start-up costs. Certain types of businesses are just naturally expensive to start up. Like franchises, as an example. Few people have the means to even get started with a franchise and drop at least $50-100K for the rights to sell some sort of sandwich for $4. Finding investors, or partners is a major hurdle for most people. And even if you do, it’s still not the answer to your problems. You’ll just have different problems.

If you’re finding that you’re about to go broke for a very long time, try to figure out an exit routine that keeps a little money in your pocket.

4. The business doesn’t leverage your strengths. Now, I’ve talked about this a number of times. I recently recorded a podcast episode on this, Episode 48, How to Define and Develop Your Strengths. I have blog posts and an E-book on this as well, and I tell people to run with their strengths.

If you stink at sales, it’s probably going to show in your business bottom line. Every business needs sales and marketing. If you can’t do it yourself and you don’t have the resources to hire someone, and you’re not making money at this business, then it’s not a business, it’s a hobby. Either keep at your expensive hobby, or get out.

5. There’s no market for your business. There’s no market for pet alligators. Even if you love alligators, have great animal management skills, and can sell with the best of them, you’re not going to create a successful business selling alligators. Do enough people care about your product or service? Are there enough people looking to spend money on your product or service. If not, get out and try something else. Try a different kind of business.

6. Your business idea doesn’t solve a problem. People spend money to solve problems. The problem might be a leaky faucet. The problem might be a need for entertainment. The 3 main topics people spend money on are:

• Health
• Wealth
• Entertainment

Is your business helping people to feel better, make money or be entertained? Is there is a problem to be solved in one of those three areas? Does anyone need what you want to sell? And will they spend decent money on it so you can pay your bills and make a profit?

7. Your price point is too high for the market. You might have the most ingenious idea for a new trash can for homeowners. However, if the trash can costs $2,700, you’re going to be out of luck. People are only willing to spend a certain amount of money to find a solution. You can’t be outside that limit.

8. The market is saturated, and you can’t find a way to do it better or cheaper. If there’s no room for your business, you’re going to struggle. How is your product or service better than the rest?

Many of the most successful business people in the world have endured multiple business failures. While there’s no guarantee that your business idea will or won’t work, there are certain characteristics that suggest your idea is a poor one.

Be aware of your values and make sure that your business doesn’t violate any of your core values.

Rate this episode HERE and receive a free, helpful Tips and Tools Guide.

Very helpful Small Business Startup Resources, FREE!


Ep 50: Business Model Basics- 4 Types That Can Work For You

Over the years, I’ve tried my hand at different business models. For the most part, I’ve been successful, but there have been some struggles and ups an downs along the way. Some methods work better than others. Sometimes it’s all about timing and how the offer is presented.

And I’ve learned some valuable lessons along the way that I’d like to share with you. I hope these lessons help you focus your thinking on what the best business models are for you.

The great thing about all of these business models is that you can choose virtually any market.

All of these models WORK. The key here is to choose the models that fit with you and your business: your strengths, your personality, and your team, your vision, your dream. But also, the lifestyle you want to have as well.


Before you try a new business model, consider your personality type, what your strengths are, and what you naturally enjoy. If you’ve taken the KOLBE assessment or the StrengthsFinder test, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what these are. Use them to guide your decision-making process.

So what are the 4 we’re going to be focusing on today?

1. Creating information products
2. Promoting affiliate offers
3. Private consulting
4. Done for you services


Business Model #1: Creating Information Products

Why Choose this Model?

The profit margins: Creating and selling information products, online courses, E-books, and other education/information products have very high profit margins. You create something once, and if it’s a digital product then you have no need to stock inventory, and you can deliver it automatically to any volume of people at once.


Creating a digital information product is a low-cost way to get something started, and very easy to scale up from there.


Business Model #2: Promoting Affiliate Offers

Why Choose this Model?

Promoting products as an affiliate means that you don’t have to actually create the products that you promote…all you have to do is focus on selling. Sounds easy, right? Well, it can sound easy, but it’s easier with a good plan in place.

The crucial thing with this business model is choosing the right markets to find the right products that are proven to sell. Being an affiliate allows you to leverage the credibility and the authority of the product owners by association (if you choose right).

Business Model #3: Private Consulting

Why Choose this Model?

When you do coaching or consulting, people are paying a premium for your time and expertise. Working with someone one-on-one is the best way to get them results. And happy clients mean more referrals and testimonials.

Not only is consulting a great way to build your reputation before launching something else, it’s also the perfect opportunity for passive income.


Business Model #4: Done for You Agency Services

Why Choose this Model?

This is what a lot of people want! Come on, who doesn’t want a done for you service? It’s super easy to sell, and there’s a ton of demand right now for DFY (done for you) agency services.

I’ve found that by creating 3 different options for people to choose from, helps to show how valuable the DFY model is:

• Do it yourself coaching
• Do it with you coaching
• Done for you consulting

Rate this episode HERE and receive a free, helpful Tips and Tools Guide.

Very helpful Small Business Startup Resources, FREE!

connecting the dots

Ep 49: How to connect the dots when the dots keep moving

In today’s Internet-driven, mobile phone society, where everyone’s more connected through the Internet, small businesses need to evolve with consumer demands and expectations. People can access information so much more each year through more and more ways and are bombarded with sales pitches about how to have a 6 figure income.

But also, more and more, businesses and non profit organizations are falling behind and losing the edge they thought they had just a few years ago. It’s become less of an offline marketing platform and more of an online marketing platform.

And this is where the race needs to be run. Online. Where the people are. Not in Valpaks that come to your house and you just throw away, not in print ads that don’t get read. Not even in the personal networking that people still do where everyone attending is just out to promote themselves. I’ve been there and done that for several years and even after all the effort and money spent, just barely broke even.

The small business mindsets needs to shift. E-products are now a very real thing. Free downloads are the new coupon. It gets their ‘foot in the Internet door’, so to speak.

And if you’re just staring out, or thinking about starting a business, the language has changed quite a bit also. It you’re over 40, this can be a bit unnerving, because it’s like we need to learn a new language and we don’t have a choice.

If you want to have and run a successful small business, we need to build it with the right tools, get the right tools in our belt, but first we need to identify what the tools are and what those tools are called.

Instead of just playing ‘whack-a-mole’ with the issues, and trying to catch up with whatever problem we’re faced with for sales and marketing, let’s get ahead of the curve here and take control of the situation.

There’s a number of moving parts in the modern marketing realm. I’ve seen the playing field change over and over again. And I’m sure that it’ll change again, and quite soon, I’m sure.

But with my small business and IT background, I’ve been able to stay in the game and not be another small business casualty, where I just fade away because I wasn’t able to use the right tools, or able to keep up with the times. I’ve been able to adapt and accept the fact that change is a constant. I’ve been able to see technology changes as something to embrace.

Now, do I love social media? Not really, but I’ve come to accept that it has a purpose in today’s business realm and I just better get over it.

So, what are these tools that we need to talk about today?

• Blog
• Podcast
• Email marketing
• Landing page
• Email magnet
• E-products

Now, individually, these are all huge topics of conversation and strategy, but I’ve been spending more and more time lately as an integrator, so to speak, on tying these things all together. In a real, robust marketing strategy, these all work together.

Rate this episode HERE and receive a free, helpful Tips and Tools Guide.

Very helpful Small Business Startup Resources, FREE!


Ep 48: How to Define and Develop Your Personal Strengths

You can only reach your ultimate development in those areas in which you have passion. For example, you can never become a truly great golfer if you don’t even like to play.

Maybe you’re fortunate enough to already know what you’re the most passionate about. Or maybe you feel that you’ve never had the chance to really consider your aspirations. I wasn’t raised by parents to have goals and dreams, or to even think about the possibilities that come with living in the United States. My parents weren’t educated past high school and didn’t even have a conversation with me about my future. I had to figure that out on my own.

Now, I don’t know about you, but for me, this made success as an adult a lot harder to figure out. I didn’t know what my strengths were and didn’t know how to find out. When I took a personality test in High School, the results that came back said I’d make a good farmer. Great news for a kid that never set foot on a farm and lived in a small town all his life.

But if you’re finding yourself in a similar situation, where you have a dream of being an entrepreneur and you’re not sure which direction to go in, take some time now to find your passions.

Your greatest strengths will ultimately be those things that you do, practice and develop the most. It only makes sense to spend all that time on something that you love.

Rate this episode HERE and receive a free, helpful Tips and Tools Guide.

Very helpful Small Business Startup Resources, FREE!

two paths to take

Ep 47: Focus or Failure?

I prefer to focus on a positive mindset and to focus on success. We really don’t need encouragement to dwell on failure. For some reason we seem to gravitate toward the negative thoughts and actions and need to be convinced, over and over again to NOT dwell on negative things.

But at the same time, I think there’s value in understanding what could go wrong and what does go wrong.

So, over the last two decades of being in business, and seeing the changes I’ve had to make to stay in business, I’ve been able to look around, and talk to other small business owners to see what’s working for them and what’s not. And too many times, I’ve seen people I know, friends and colleagues, peers, fellow small business owners, just either fade away, or completely give up.

There seems to be some common themes about why some startups struggle and fail, and why others succeed. So why do some companies fail and others succeed?

Here is a short list of the top four reasons for failure (please listen to the entire episode to get all of the content):

1. Lack of focus
2. Lack of motivation, commitment and passion
3. Too much pride, resulting in an unwillingness to see or listen
4. Taking advice from the wrong people

So now that we know how businesses fail, why do some startups succeed? Well, it starts by not giving up. It starts by not quitting. If something doesn’t work out as planned, try again another way.

Here is a list of the top 9 reasons of small business success:

1. Founders are driven by impact, resulting in passion and commitment
2. Commitment to stay the course and stick with a chosen path
3. Willingness to adjust, but not constantly adjusting
4. Patience and persistence due to the timing mismatch of expectations and reality
5. Willingness to observe, listen and learn
6. Develop the right mentoring relationships
7. Leadership with general and domain specific business knowledge
8. Implementing “Lean Startup” principles: Raising just enough money in a funding round to hit the next set of key milestones
9. Balance of technical and business knowledge, with necessary technical expertise in product development

There’s qualities and talents that you have to have, to be a successful entrepreneur, but they won’t guarantee success. That said, it stands to reason that if you fixed the reasons for business failure, you would at least improve your chances of success.

Here’s the link I promised to include in the notes for the E-books I offer. 

Rate this episode HERE and receive a free, helpful Tips and Tools Guide.

Very helpful Small Business Startup Resources, FREE!

Ep 46: Branding Expert Mike Kim- Book Launch 'You Are the Brand'

In this episode, I interview the Boss of Branding, Mike Kim about his new book ‘You Are The Brand’.

The book gives great insight as to how he has helped people with their personal brand image and how to use that branding for every aspect of your business (Website, Marketing, Products, Emails etc.).

We talk about the path that he took through the years which led to writing the book:

 ·       His prior career path that he realized he didn’t want to pursue
 ·       His desire to become an author, coach and consultant
 ·       Writing the book based on his experiences in business and asked ‘why are some people struggling and some people successful?’
 ·       Becoming a brand building expert and how the world of marketing works

He also took some time to answer some questions:

 Q. If someone is either retired or retiring with purpose, what ‘s the best way for them to figure out what skills they should use to build a business?

He also describes what he did to help him to see his soft skills from a different perspective from his prior experiences in a unique way.

Q. What’s the difference between the ‘How-ToPreneur’ and the ‘Idea-Preneur’?

He describes the 2 types of personal brands:

1.     How-ToPreneur -defines a problem for someone and fixes it for them
2.     IdeaPreneur -someone who has a particular message or philosophy that they’re trying to spread. Trying to raise awareness of their philosophy and to get their idea to spread.

Q. how does someone stand out from the crowd and have their personal brand voice?

He answers with three questions to help you define your brand message and to gain more clarity about your purpose.

·      What ticks you off?
·       What breaks your heart?
·       What big problem are you trying to solve?

Q. Was the book part of his original business plan or did it evolve over time?

He tells us about how he signed the original book deal 5 years ago but life ‘went sideways’ so he had to put the book deal on hold even though he had 95% of the framework built.

Friends, please tune in to hear the entire episode. Mike is very insightful and there’s a lot of jam packed information for you that I’m sure you’ll benefit from. 

Rate this episode HERE and receive a free, helpful Tips and Tools Guide.

Very helpful Small Business Startup Resources, FREE!


Ep 45: DIY- Building an Email List

This week I’d like to talk about how you can build and grow your email list on your quest to have a portable, but profitable business.

Now for today, I’m going to focus less on the tools to use, and more on the methodology of creating and crafting the emails themselves.

But I’d be remiss if I left out the major components of how to build your email list and if you haven’t heard me mention these things in other episodes then it might be a good time to go back in time a little to hear those other episodes so you can piece this puzzle together a little better.

Ep 26- Starting a Business From Zero

Ep 33- The Email List and why you need it

These episodes have a different perspective and content about this subject but in different layers. We’re peeling the onion back a bit more in this episode with the details about the actual components of the email itself.

That’s coming up, but for now, let’s go over other components of how you can build your email list.

Lead magnet

Now I briefly went over this topic in other episodes, but this is an option that I see people overlooking more and more. A lead magnet is a tool for the website that offers your website visitor something in exchange for their email so you can hopefully, start and develop a relationship with them through your email campaign. I use lead magnets that have a specific focus so that I can redirect them to specific email marketing campaigns that will provide more specific content based on where they’re at.

I have a lead magnet for:

o A free E-book
o E-book of the month club
o The free gift of The Tools We Use

It’s better to try to figure out in advance what major category to put the reader into first and then work on where they’re at with interest level and what kind of products or services that could meet their needs.

E-book offer

Again, I mentioned this before a few times, and I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this but offering an Ebook is a very popular way to do a DIY build of your email list. You can give away one Ebook and sell another. Or, just give them all away if you have more than one. I have about 16 of them all on different topics related to mindset, social media, websites, SEO, building a business, launching a business. I’m working on one now about building a team.

And you can do this as well. Take what you know and pour out your thoughts on paper…digital paper, so to speak. But I’m at that age where I still like to print things out and have it in my hand as well, so when you’re creating your Ebook, make it something that people can print out. Too many times, I’ve purchased or signed up for a free Ebook and it’s so filled with full page graphics that I can’t print it out. I’m not going to dump all that ink into printing a lot of pages full of nice looking graphics. Not worth it to me. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth about their content.

So now, let’s dive into some of the details about the actual emails that you’ll be sending out to people that sign up for your content.

Keep in mind here, that these people are between either sort of interested, or very interested in you or your products and services but you need to walk them through the process of ‘know/ like /trust /try /buy’ process…which hopefully leads to ‘repeat’ buyer as well.

Email marketing campaigns need emails that have a predetermined structure.

Now, this structure isn’t carved in stone and it should be constructed in a way that doesn’t look like it has a pre-determined structure, but it does…and it should.

You’ll want to start with the overall structure of the campaign. The framework, so to speak.

• Theme of email content

o ‘Rule of One’ (focus on just one topic per email)
o Overall framework

Create a series from the framework

• Components of an email (not all are necessary)

o Headline (this is where you need to pull the reader in and persuade them to open the email
o Story- people like stories and find it more engaging. Try to tell a story, even it it’s a couple of sentences.

o Link to something helpful
o Link to something free
o Link to video
o Signature content- include most important links
o CTA (Call to Action) – Include 3 links to CTA in entire email content. Always include some kind of desired response for the reader.

 Click on this link
 Go to the podcast
 Watch this video
 Sign up for something
 Buy something
 Take this survey

o P.S. content- since a lot of people scan their emails and go to the bottom, this is your last chance to include something important.

• Know what your ‘most wanted response’ is: (pick just one)

o Click on this link
o Go to the podcast
o Watch this video
o Sign up for something
o Buy something
o Take this survey

This is a huge topic friends, so if you’d like to dive in more, please listen to the entire episode. 

Rate this episode HERE and receive a free, helpful Tips and Tools Guide.

Very helpful Small Business Startup Resources, FREE!

Ep 44: DIY-4 Products and Services to Enjoy a Portable Business

In this episode, I’d like to talk about how you can have a profitable, portable business, live anywhere and still sell a variety of high end products and services that help people. 

What kind of products am I talking about? Digital products. Why digital products? Well, here’s three very big reasons:
1. Low cost to make
2. No inventory needed
3. No employees needed to create or ship them

Having a portable business works well for me. I can be anywhere and still serve people and create content. Before I flipped to this model, I remember when I had just gotten on a cruise ship and still had cell phone service. I was standing out on the little balcony our room had and was making the initial phone call to a potential client. He gave the ok to get started and I had to tell him that he had to wait about a week and a half (it was a 9 day cruise). He wasn’t too happy about that and I almost lost the deal. 

I’m not a fan of working on vacations, but at the time, I didn’t even have a choice. So, what are the 4 digital products I’ll be covering today? 

1. E-books

One of the first and most important steps to starting a new business is deciding what type of product you’ll sell. One lucrative option to consider is creating information products you can use to generate passive income. If you have a lot of valuable knowledge that you know others can benefit from, this type of business model can mean putting work into a product upfront that you then continue to make money off of for months or years to come. 

2. Webinars

Now I’m actually putting together the pieces of a webinar that I’d like to have in the near future. There’s a lot to talk about in the small business startup realm and since people are more into video, and it’s a way to really get your point across with providing a lot of quality content, I’ve been sold on the concept of webinars for quite some time now. 

3. Courses

I’m a fan of online learning and I regularly purchase online courses to take a topic a bit deeper. And my wife is a teacher who had to convert her teaching to online over the past year. So the world has come a long way in the past year when it comes to online courses and I think the market for purchasing courses, or even using a free course to get your customers primed for a paid course is a smart way to go. 

I’m converting my E-books into video series’ and use Loom for that as well. 

4. Coaching/Consulting

Since the theme of this episode is to have a portable business, you can offer coaching and consulting remotely, anywhere now. And you can offer your services in a few different ways:

• 1:1 coaching/consulting sessions
• Group coaching (which I’ll be offering sometime in the near future)

Rate this episode HERE and receive a free, helpful Tips and Tools Guide.

Very helpful Small Business Startup Resources, FREE!

wordpress website

Ep 43: DIY-Getting Started With a WordPress Website

In this episode, I’d like to go over the core elements of what you’ll need to build a WordPress website. Even if you don’t do it yourself, this information could come in handy if you outsource the job to someone else and you want to know what’s actually necessary so you don’t pay for things you don’t need. 

You’ll need the following three things to start your WordPress site.
• A domain name – this is the name of your website such as google.com
• WordPress hosting – this is where your website files are stored.
• A few hours of undivided attention

How much does a WordPress website cost?

The answer to this question really depends on what kind of website you are trying to build. A typical business website can cost as low as a few hundred dollars to get started and then about $100 per year for the hosting and can go as high as tens of thousands of dollars per year. Why the huge difference? Because there’s a mountain of things your website COULD do but for 99% of people starting out, probably won’t. 

If you want to have:
• Lead magnets
• Email marketing
• Sales funnels
• Pop-ups to help build the email list
• Professional copywriting…Just to name a few, then you can expect to pay many thousands of dollars for website design and development. And yes, there is a difference. 

I recommend that you start small and then add more features to your website as your business grows. This way you won’t spend money on things that aren’t necessary for you right now. Later, maybe and we can get to that some other time. 

I’ll explain how to get you started and to add in more functionality as needed so you can do this on your own. 

Which is the best website platform?

There are many website hosting platforms in the world today. Currently, I recommend 2 main providers. Bluehost and Siteground. They’re both self-hosting sites for WordPress as your website platform.

Bluehost to get you started on a low budget hosting account and if money allows for having a faster hosting provider then I recommend going to Siteground. The speed of my website drastically increased when I made the switch.  

WordPress is the most popular website platform in the world. It powers nearly 28% of all websites on the internet. WordPress is free and comes with thousands of website designs and extensions. It is extremely flexible and works with almost every third-party tool and service available to website owners.

Once you create an account with whatever hosting provider you choose, you’ll have to do a few things afterward to get you going. 

• Register a domain name
• Register for a hosting account
• Install WordPress
• Install some plugins

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who are you

Ep 42: The Power of a Personality Profile : Building on Your Strengths

This week I’d like to talk about getting to know ourselves better and the benefits of using a personality test so we can focus on our strengths instead of developing our weaknesses.

Because when we focus on our strengths, our opportunities are the greatest. When we try to develop our weaknesses, we can get bogged down in the muck of…well, all things that are mucky.

We’re brought up through an educational system that focuses on what we did wrong and how we fell short. We live in a society that has a never ending focus on people’s shortcomings.

But the Gallup Organization did extensive research and found that people have several times more potential for growth when they invest energy in developing their strengths instead of trying to improve their weaknesses.

They also found that people who do have the opportunity to focus on their strengths every day are six times as likely to be engaged in their work and more than three times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life in general. 

It’s been said, seemingly throughout time ‘You can be anything you want to be, if you just try hard enough.’ I think the intentions are good with this advice, but it doesn’t take long for the child hearing it to figure out that it just isn’t true.

If you’re not naturally tall, you can’t be a pro basketball player. If you don’t have the natural ability to play sports in general, then you just won’t be a pro athlete in any sport.

But even as adults, we still have that tendency to think that if I try harder, I can climb the ladder of success and everything will just fit into place. 

Do we know what are strengths are and are we willing to put aside the things we’re not good at and let others do them?   

Take the Kolbe self evaluation test. 

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Ep 41: How To Expand Your Comfort Zone

Your comfort zone is a behavioral space where your activities and behaviors fit a routine and pattern that minimizes stress and risk. It provides a state of mental security. You benefit in obvious ways: regular happiness, low anxiety, and reduced stress.

Our comfort zone, is our safe place. Whatever ‘normal’ looks like for you, whatever you’re not even thinking about changing — that’s your comfort zone.

If we look at our comfort zone as a dartboard we might be able to shed a little more light on how we tuck in that comfort zone into many levels of our behavior. It was explained to me this way. 

The bulls eye is your comfort zone. The next ring out, is your ‘Stretch’ zone, the one next to that is your ‘Risk’ zone, and everything outside of that is your ‘Die’ zone.

(Now I’m not talking about actual dying, but that you’ll totally die to ‘self’ and abandon your fears to do a specific task.) 

Each time you move into a new zone, you have to go through a little fear, a little anxiety, because you have to think differently about yourself and what you’re capable of.” 

In the book ‘The Obstacle is the Way’ by Ryan Holiday, he puts it this way. ‘You will come across obstacles in life-fair and unfair. An you will discover, time and time again, that what matters most is not what these obstacles are but how we see them, how we react to them, and whether we keep our composure. You will learn that this reaction determines how successful we will be in overcoming- or possibly thriving because of –them.

Where one person sees a crisis, another can see opportunity. Where one is blinded by success, another sees reality with ruthless objectivity. Where one loses control of emotions, another can remain calm. Desperation, despair, fear, powerlessness-these reactions are functions of our perceptions. You must realize: Nothing makes us feel this way; we choose to give in to such feelings. 

I’m not talking about eliminating the comfort zone, but just stretching it; bit by bit, in small increments. You see, when we stretch our comfort zone, we usually find that what we just did wasn’t so bad after all, and all the worry or stress we just put ourselves through was all really unnecessary and we just ended up with a bigger comfort zone. 

Pushing your personal boundaries and stretching that zone can help you to have a more fulfilled life, yes, but also can help you to reduce the regret you’ll have because you’re doing the thing, or things you always wanted to do but didn’t have the courage to step out and do. 

You’ll have an easier time dealing with both planned change as well as the unexpected changes that happen. You’ll find it easier to dream about the possibilities that could be your new future. 

Please listen to the entire episode for all of the topics that are covered. A bit too much to put into the show notes here.

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podcast mini course

Ep 40: How to Start a Podcast : A Mini-Course

In episode 39 of the Podcast, I discussed the need to have a platform for your voice and why the option of having a Podcast was critical for the life and growth of your business. 

And in this episode, I’ll be going over the steps on how I started this podcast and try to provide enough content for you so that you’ll at least feel more comfortable starting your own, or talking to someone on how to get your own up and running.  

1. Research
Before you do anything, you’ll want to do your own research on the topic you want to cover and if the data shows that it’ll be something that people will listen to. I’m not going to recommend just a general Google search because it’s just too much general information to decipher. You’ll need more specific results to be able to come to a better conclusion.  

Target Audience

Using the results for Google Trends you can find your target audience easier. Searching for age groups and also gender may help to narrow things down for you a little better. 

2. Passion
• Are you deeply passionate about the topic? Do you think about it and filter the things you read and learn through the lens of your main topic?

• Could you easily come up with a lot of content? When you start writing about your main topic do the thoughts just flow?

• Do you have a deep understanding, or at least a decent understanding of the topic? People will want to know that you know what you’re talking about. 

3. Motive
• As I said in episode 3 of the podcast, ‘What is your why?’ What’s your motivation?

• Are you looking to be in the spotlight?
• Are you trying to prove a point?
• Will the podcast be feeding your ego?
• Are you expecting to sell a lot of stuff through your episodes?
• Are you expecting to make a lot of money from advertising and affiliations?
• Or… will the podcast exist to serve your target audience?

People listen to podcasts for three main reasons:

o Education
o Inspiration
o Motivation

Can you fulfill one, two or all three of these?

How I Started My Podcast

Decisions I Had to Make (please listen to the episode for all the details)

1. Niche Market
2. Logo
3. Platform
4. Distribution
5. Music
6. Content
7. Guests
8. Equipment 

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Ep 39: Your New Message for Maximum Impact

The Power of Your Personal Story

Today, I’d like to take your story…your message to another level. I’d like to continue the theme of how you can have a significant influence and impact in people’s lives, and promote yourself, promote your business, all through the process of helping people.

So every business needs to have a way of bringing in potential clients and getting exposure. Getting visibility. And the world of advertising has flipped upside down lately with the added realm of social media and how people can have both national and international visibility…for free.

What used to cost tens of thousands of dollars can now be done for free. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that all you need is social media. I think it certainly helps to gain visibility through social media, but I’m more concerned about sales than social media ‘likes’, ok.

The title of this podcast episode is Your New Voice for Influence and Impact. And if I’m not steering you toward social media, then where am I steering you to?


You can have your own podcast. You can have a national and international voice. You can have a worldwide influence. If others can do it and have huge success with their podcast then there’s a good possibility that you can too.

But you’ll need a plan.

Mindset Makeover
Now before you go down the ‘I can’t do that’ path (that’s what I used to say not too long ago), think about this for a bit. Stick with me to the end of the episode because I’d like you to really work through this topic at some point. If not today, then someday, but don’t just automatically jump on the ‘not for me’ bandwagon just yet.

Now I know that everyone’s different and that we all have different talents and strengths and abilities. I know that some people are just not into podcasts. But since you’re listening to this episode, I know that you are into them. That matter to you. That’s why you’re listening.

And they matter to tens of thousands of others as well. With podcast listeners increasing daily, the opportunity for having that national or international impact is also growing.
Michael Hyatt, in his book ‘Platform’ puts it this way; “More than four centuries ago, William Shakespeare wrote ‘All the world’s a stage,’…if you have something to sell-whether one-on-one, before a huge crowd, or on the Internet-you are also on stage. But the stage has never been more crowded-and simply being on it doesn’t matter much if the lights are not shining on you, or if there is no one in the audience.”

To be successful in today’s environment, you need two things. A compelling product and a significant platform. Why? Because the competition has never been greater with all the others already fighting for the attention of your target market, and because people’s attention span is shrinking and your message, if it isn’t very clear, won’t be heard at all.
Now is this reason to not even try? Or is this a reason to see it as an opportunity?

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Ep 38: Your Personal Story: How It Can Improve Sales

Gaps and building bridges
The goal of every business is sales. Without it, the business dies. Plain and simple. You need to sell your products or services one way or another. There are a lot of ways to do this, but there’s currently a huge gap between your target market and you and you need to close it. You need to build a bridge and then get them to walk over it.

Now this may happen one step at a time, over time, or you may have found a way to close that gap a lot faster. But people don’t normally buy something the first time they see it or hear about it. Normally, it takes a few times for people to warm up to you or your product or service and help them through the sales process. If you’ve been listening to this podcast recently, you’ll already know about the ‘know/like/trust/try/buy’ process. Simple, but not easy.

Closing the gap

So how do we close that gap so that people will buy our product? What bridges do we need to build? Do you just talk about your expertise and how great you are? Do you just talk about your products or services and how great they are? Or is there another way that’s proven to be successful.

More and more ads are persuading people to buy through the use of stories. And some, really tug on the emotions more than others but they use a blend of emotions and logic…and we’ll get to that later on.

But for now, I’d like to talk about stories in a different way. Your story.

How can you use your story to get your products and services into the hands of customers who need it? Those who bridge the gaps win. If you can use your story to build a connection with your target market you get them moving in your direction. They start coming to you.

But there’s many different kinds of stories and it’s not possible to go through them all, so I’m just going to talk about one in this episode; the Founder’s Story.

Since this is about you, your company and how you can sell your product and services, the Founders Story will be used to give yourself the credibility you’ll need to start bridging the gap. You’ll be the ‘hero’ so to speak in this story but we’re going to do it in a way that’ll give the listener a natural emotional connection, without bragging about you.

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dare to dream

Ep 37: Taking the Next Step- A New Choice

I mentioned in a much earlier episode that I made a later in life pivot.. a few of them actually and so I sort of know what it’s like to face change and to step out of the comfort zone.

Now for some, change can happen in a number of ways:
• It could be voluntary for many reasons
   o Maybe you want to retire with purpose and you’ve had this idea in your head for awhile
   o Maybe you’re already retired either from the military or the workforce and you want to        try life 2.0 but this time doing something that makes you feel alive
• Or maybe this life change you’re going through isn’t voluntary and you’re scrambling a
  bit to figure some things out
   o It could be because of a job loss
   o It could be because of a divorce
   o It could be a number of reasons

Either way, voluntary change or involuntary change, it’s still change. And that’s something that a lot of people have a hard time with.

But if nothing changes, then everything will stay the same right? And it’s for that reason alone that you’re even thinking about stepping out of the comfort zone. Maybe you’re tired of feeling comfortable.

And even though you used to think that you’d never really pursue that dream you’ve had to start your own business, now, with the situation you’re facing, it’s starting to look like it might not be such a bad idea after all. Am I right? Like I said, I’ve been through this scenario more than once.

Because our thoughts control our emotions. Ok.. so, do you want to have a successful business someday? Whether it’s something full time or part time? If you want to be successful, then it’ll start when you believe you’ll be successful. Don’t have a pathway yet for your dream, then make a path. You can do it. We were made to dream. I believe in you. How? I already told you. If I can do it, so can you.

Do you want to be an entrepreneur someday? Then start calling yourself one now. Start thinking of yourself as one now. You’ll need that mindset solidified in your head first, in advance, not later when you think you’ve arrived at some stage of accomplishment.
Are you thinking about being an entrepreneur? Then tell yourself you are one now. Think like one. Act like one. Plan like one. Live like one. Introduce yourself as an entrepreneur. It’s not being fake or phony. This is the way it starts the process of how you work through the startup phase of launching your dream. This is what needs to happen to turn that dream into a reality. 

A commitment. An identity. A new focus on life and how you’ll live it.
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Ep 36: Copywriting- Building Block #7-Laying a Strong Foundation to Your Business

I’ve found that, over the years, it can be easy to focus on the more tangible parts of a business. The parts that we can see and feel. The parts that we can have a more direct impact on:

• Sales
• Marketing
• Products/Services

The list can go on and on. But there’s one aspect of a successful business that I think gets overlooked time and time again. 


Not just any type of copywriting, but using words to move prospects or even the casual observer through the ‘know/like/trust/try/buy’ process.. and then we’ll add to that ‘repeat’ as well. Because as business owners, what do we really want? Sales? Yes.. but we also want repeat customers. 

So how does copywriting fit into the plan for getting repeat customers? It should fit into the entire plan for getting repeat customers. 

• The website content
• The marketing content
• The phone script content (if you have one)
• The email marketing content

Pretty much everything should go through the lens of copywriting. I can promise you this; that whenever you’re watching TV or listening to the radio, you’re being bombarded with sales ads that have gone through an enormous amount of copy revisions and testing. 

Once you learn the mindset and the method of quality copywriting, you’ll be able to pick apart the ads you hear and you’re going to understand what the advertiser is up to. Remember, that art of copywriting is using words to either sell stuff, or to move people to action. That’s what every business needs and that’s what every business owner should want. 

You can have the greatest products and services around. You can be the best at what you do. But if you can’t convey how great those products and services are… if you can’t convey how great you are to either you’re prospects or the casual observer, as I like to call them…people that are watching you from a bit of a distance right now and they’re not quite sold on you or your business…just yet. If you can’t convey your message to them through the sales process, and draw them in, then your message…your marketing message isn’t getting the results you need. 

Most people buy on some level of emotion. And when we can mix some emotion with the logic behind what we’re offering, then that gets them moving in our direction a lot closer. 

But just to be clear. I’m only talking about using effective copy in an ethical way. Not a guilt trip or manipulative way. People know what they want to buy and it’s our job to help them make that decision a little faster. 

There’s a right way and a wrong way to write copy. Following these simple copywriting rules will help your words to have more impact.  

Copywriting Rule #1: Simplify

Copywriting Rule #2: Spend as Much Time on the Headings as the Body Copy

Copywriting Rule #3: Focus on Benefits, Not Features

Copywriting Rule #4: Don’t Write AT Your Audience – Write TO Them

Copywriting Rule #5: Tell People What to Do Next

In the copywriting world, this is known as the call-to-action (CTA).


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Ep 35: Personal Branding-Building Block #6-Laying a Strong Foundation to Your Business

What Is a Personal Brand?

A personal brand is much more than a flashy logo or a color palette. A personal brand goes far beyond having a nice-looking business card. A personal brand is not just about having a website with your name on it, although that’s certainly part of it. 

Your personal brand is how you present yourself, both online and offline, to your ideal audience. Your personal brand is the image you put forth. It’s what you stand for. Your values. What you’re all about. The core of who you are as a person. 

It’s the combination of your values, unique skills, experiences, stories, personality, and image, all presented authentically to your audience. 

Why You Need to Build a Personal Brand
Every entrepreneur, coach, consultant, freelancer, etc. should be building their own brand. If you are trying to build a business of any sort, it’s important to build your own personal brand. Personal branding allows you to stand out from the competition. Your competitors can’t bring what you bring to the table. They simply don’t have what you have to offer. You’re unique. Only you are you. 

You have unique experiences, strengths, beliefs, perspectives, skills, and insights that set you apart from everyone else. Building your personal brand allows you highlight your strengths. With every piece of content that you share, you establish yourself as an expert in your field. The more you show that you’re an expert, the more people will trust you. 

Personal branding allows you to attract your ideal audience. When you’re an expert, you attract those who need your help the most. They want help from you because you’re the expert. It also generates more referrals from others in your field. And it allows you to charge a premium price. 

How to Build a Personal Brand
Step #1: Determine who you really are. Building your personal brand is about sharing your authentic self with the world.

Ask yourself: What unique skills do I have? What are my core values? What am I most passionate about? What unique experiences have shaped who I am? How can I most effectively serve my core audience? What do I have to offer that no one else does? 

Step #2: Determine what you want to accomplish. Once you’ve identified the core of who you are, it’s time to think about what you want to accomplish with your personal brand. 

Ask yourself: What would I like to accomplish, both personally and professionally? What do I want to be known for? If I could be the world’s foremost expert on a topic, what would it be? What key message do I want to communicate? If I could only give one piece of advice, what would it be? What is the “personality” of my brand? 

Step #3: Identify your target audience. There is a core demographic of people who will resonate deeply with you, your brand, and what you offer. This core demographic is your target audience.

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Ep 34: Marketing Plan-Building Block #5-Laying a Strong Foundation to Your Business

Marketing has gone through quite an evolution over the past 20 years or so. With so many businesses transitioning to Internet based products and services, it’s forced businesses to rethink their approach and what’s actually effective for modern consumers.  

Marketing, in today’s terms is: Getting someone who has a need to go through the ‘know/like/trust/try/buy’ process. I like to think of it this way. Marketing is serving and sales is a relationship. 

With modern marketing, it’s become the norm nowadays to create products and services that start off with a free element for people to try first so that it converts the casual observer into an active participant of our business. It’s the beginning of the ‘know/like/trust/try’ process. 

Strategy Before Tactics  

All tactical decisions should be filtered through your strategy. Who is your target audience? Who is your ideal client? Once you determine those things, then work on the strategy to reach them. 

Be Different 

Why did I include this as part of the marketing strategy? Because being different will help you to stand out among the crowd and to get noticed. Being different doesn’t mean being weird, but to merge your personality and expertise into a solution that solves a problem for people that can pay good money for it. 

Creating a plan

So now that we have a better understanding about modern marketing and how to niche down to an ideal client, what’s next? It’s time to create a plan. But let’s create a plan based on some facts and research not just your gut feeling or hope that it will all turn out ok. Let’s ask some questions:

• Is there a demand for your product or service? Another way of looking at this is: Will they want what I have and will they value what I do? 

• Will people pay good money for it? I’m talking about the main offer, not all products. I offer low cost E-books to help people but my main offer is the coaching services to help people tie it all together and give them clarity and focus, saving them a lot of time and money but also preventing some common mistakes people make when they don’t have that clarity. 

• Will you be a business owner or a business operator? Big difference between the two.

• What will be the sales path that your prospect could take? For example:

o What will be your free or trial offer?
o What’s your starter offer?
o What’s your core offer? (this is the bigger price point product or service that will actually pay the bills) 
o What are your add-ons to increase value?
o Will you have a ‘members only’ offer? 

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Ep 33: The Email List-Building Block #4- Laying a Strong Foundation to Your Business

What is an email list? An email list is a special list of names and email addresses of people who gave you permission to send them updates and promotions from your business. Many expert marketers say their biggest mistake was not building an email list when they first started out.

Why build an email list? Email marketing on average sees huge return on investment (ROI) for businesses in the USA. Because email subscribers joined your email list from your website and verified their identity by clicking on a link (double-optin), they are very interested in what you have to offer. This is why they’re more likely to convert into paying customers.

Usually an email list gets 10 times higher conversions than social media campaigns. And it makes sense if you think about the reasons that make email an incredibly powerful communication channel:

1. Email is Personal
It gives you access to someone’s inbox. It’s very direct and personal.

2. Email has a very specific purpose
To get updates from you, a user fills out a form to signup for your email list and confirm their email address. Someone doing this much work is obviously interested in hearing from you and what you have to say, and they’ll be much more receptive to your message.

3. Email is Targeted
As I said before, the user has already shown interest in your product or content. Since you already know what they like, you can send them offers that you already know they’ll want to see and get better results. 

4. You Own Your Email List
With all the followers you have on social media, you do not own Facebook, Twitter, or Google. Your social media campaigns and SEO efforts can go to waste when these platforms change their policies. On the other hand, you own your email list, and it isn’t influenced by decisions of the social media giants.

5. Email is One-on-One
People read email in the privacy of their own inbox, on their timing and it’s not a public comment or on display for the world to see. They can ask you questions directly in private with confidence. This helps build trust and connection.

6. More People Use Email Several Times a Day
You may have heard that Facebook has 1.4 billion and Twitter has 100 million daily active users. 

So let’s take a look at what you need to start building your email list.

3 Things You Need to Build an Email List:
1. A website or blog.
2. An email marketing service.
3. High-converting opt-in forms

All three of these are fairly easy to set up, and none of them require programming or design skills.

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business owner

Ep 32: Products & Services-Building Block #3-Laying a Strong Foundation to Your Business

Before we talk about products and services, we need to talk about sales. You need to sell your stuff. Whatever it is. Products or services, you need sales. Sales is what keeps businesses alive. So what do we do when we need to sell but we don’t like to sell? We help people. 

My approach to sales has ALWAYS been from the perspective of helping people. And it’s worked just fine for me. I just said pretty much the same thing all the time but in different ways. “You need help with ______________ (fill in your blank) , and I can help you with that.” 

When you focus on helping people you can relax and they can relax. Don’t worry now, when you help people, you’ll still be charging them. But all businesses help solve a problem for a profit. They all do this. You’re making decent money and what are you doing? Helping people.   

But I’d be leaving out a significant piece of the puzzle if I didn’t talk about your USP. Your ‘unique selling proposition’. What makes you the better option? Why should someone take a risk on you over someone else that they may even know?  

The answer to that question will be more about your personality and abilities than your experience or educational background. You are you and there’s only one of you. You’re passionate about _________ (whatever it is for you) but when you add to it your personality and the twist that you can give it, that’s what makes it unique. 

You have unique skills, you have a unique perspective and matched with your experience, WHAM! You’re the one they should want.

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Ep 31: Website-Building Block #2-Laying a Strong Foundation to Your Business

This podcast episode will continue to build that foundation to your new small business so that you won’t have to work so hard at growing it. You’ll have another building block in place to help grow your business on auto-pilot. 

For far too long, people have been creating Websites that just end up being another expense. Another black hole for the budget. But done correctly, and with some proper planning, your Website can be built with the theme of: ‘make me money’. 

Some people think that having a Website now optional, but I don’t agree. It offers value in many ways.  A properly done website validates who you are as a person and a business. 

Is there a right and a wrong way to do a website?

Well, I certainly think there is. Quick and easy isn’t always better. I understand if you’re on a tight budget, but that doesn’t mean that you cut so many corners, you’re better off not having a website after all? You don’t want this website to hurt your reputation because you didn’t reach out for help. 

The goal here is to use the Website to walk potential customers through the sales process of ‘Know/Like/Trust/Try/Buy process and convert them from just being interested, to buying your product or service. 

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Ep 30: Vision-Building Block #1-Laying a Strong Foundation to Your Business

Vision or Dream?

So..What’s the difference between dream and vision? Aren’t they basically the same thing? Dream and vision are not the same thing.

A dream is a more lofty idea you have in your head without a lot of details. I’d like to retire and live in a more southern state where it’s warmer and have a decent retirement income from my business, or the sale of my business. No details. Exciting, but painless.  

A vision is a dream solidified. Take your dream and attach a strategy. Now add the goals and tactics you’ll need to perform the strategy. Now you have a vision. You see, Dreams are nice. But a vision is work. A lot of work.  

What’s the short or long term goal you have for the next year? For the next 5-10 years? Is it even possible to set detailed goals that far out? Well, I think you should. You have to have something to shoot for so you’re not being blown around by the winds of change or shiny object syndrome.  

So… again, what’s your 1 year goal? Is it reachable? Does it stretch your abilities? Or are you playing it safe? Are you thinking too small? Don’t be afraid to think big and dream big. Big things aren’t accomplished by people that think small. Big things are accomplished by people that think big.  

But you see, it really all depends on what kind of lifestyle you want to have, along with the vision that you have, right? Are you just out to make as much as you can and the lifestyle or family will just have to get used to it and understand? 

Or are you looking for more of a lifestyle business scenario where you know how you want to live and you’re going to work this new business venture around that? 

You see, it’s one thing to have these great dreams and visions, but execution is the key. Again, dreams are nice, but a vision is hard work. 

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Ep 29: 8 Steps To a Strong Business Launch Using Social Media

Social media has evolved quite a bit over the years. Not too long ago, having some sort of social media account was considered to be something ‘extra’ in our lives…something that was sort of fun to do, but not taken too seriously. 

Back in the 90’s (not that long ago for some of us), social media didn’t even exist.

But today, with the advancement of the ‘smart phone’ (does anyone really call them that anymore? It’s really just ‘phone’ now), and how powerful they are, more and more functions are done on our phones instead of on a desktop or laptop computer. The focus of our time and efforts on what we now consider essential, revolves around social media in one way or another. 

With such a staggering number of people using social media every single day, it is one of the most POWERFUL ways to grow your business. 

You can get your brand in front of a vast audience who might otherwise not hear of you. Through consistent posting on social media, you can build a powerful brand that separates you from the crowd. 

And you can establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry by regularly posting new, insightful content. 

So if you’re about to launch your new business, follow these simple steps and race out of the starting gate to get noticed faster and to be more profitable quicker.

This episode was a condensed version of the E-book that I have on my website. If you go to www.tomclairmont.com you can download it from there.

Want the free E-book to dive in deeper for this topic? Click on the link:

Growing Your Business With Social Media

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Ep 28: The limiting beliefs that will hurt your success!

We live in a time where it’s very easy to get discouraged and think that only the wealthy can have opportunity and success. We seem to have a knack for dwelling on the negative, not the positive. We have to be taught to be positive thinkers and many people even pay to hop on someone’s course or community just to be part of the positive mindset and get help thinking and believing that a positive future is possible and obtainable.  

And when it comes to our dreams it can be easy to talk ourselves our of the very dream we thought up in the first place. You can make a lot of excuses why your business won’t fly OR you can come up with a lot of reasons why it WILL succeed. Do you really want what you say you want? Or do you just want to dream. Are you willing to take the action and put the effort in to make this dream happen? 

Are you willing to at least try? 

Dreaming about starting a business? Start your business. But don’t start on a whim. Start with a solid plan in place. Timing is important, and the time is now. You don’t have to officially start now, but you can start now in your head. Make it official. Tell someone. 

Are you a little older maybe and sort of finding it hard to come up with a dream you can believe in? I get it. My best dream came after 50. My best dream came after my deepest low in life. But when I was in the pit I started looking up. I started to hope again. I saw smaller milestones come and go and had hope that bigger things were possible. 

So if you’re considering a later in life pivot, or if you’re in the middle of one now, don’t be discouraged thinking that the best years are in the past, believe that the best years are coming and that this year will be the best one yet. 

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Emily Crookston-Owner of Your Pocket PhD, Ghostwriter

Ep 27: Ghostwriting REVEALED - Emily Crookston, Pocked PhD and how she makes the book writing process heavenly

Emily is a former philosophy professor who left the world of academia and teaching, but found that she could utilize her research skills when she discovered her love for longform writing, which led to her zone of genius as a ghost writer.

Think ghostwriters only work for celebrities or high profile execs? Emily believes that everyone could use another set of eyes on their content. If you’re strapped for time and itching to share ideas that you’re passionate about? Reach out to Emily Crookston.

Some of the topics we discussed in this episode:

·      How she worked through her transition from academia to self employment

·      How she chose the ghostwriting business model

·      The parameters of ghostwriting for business books

·      Tools of the trade

·      Which comes first? Book or business plan?

·      Flop or fortune? How she can tell if a book will make it big or be a dud.

·      The difference between being a good author vs. a great author


Website: https://www.thepocketphd.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/emilycrookston

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starting from zero

Ep 26- Starting a Business From Zero

Below is just the outline for this episode on the 7 major building blocks for starting a personal brand business. Are you required to have all 7? No. But I strongly recommend all 7. With these 7 building blocks, you’ll have a very solid foundation to not only start but grow your business.

1-Vision- you’ll need to start with a vision so you can know how to lay the foundation of the business and the direction to take for the other 6 blocks that are being laid.

2-Website -Some people think this is now optional, but I don’t agree. It offers value in many ways. You can only do so much from your phone and in my opinion, not having a website will hurt your chances of success, not make it any easier.

3-Product/Service -What are you going to sell? What is your USP (unique selling proposition)? 

4-Email list- creating, growing and maintaining an email list will be a critical tool in your toolbelt to sell products and have a profitable business

5-Marketing Plan- the marketing plan will provide the overall strategy for the tactics being used to start and grow your business

6-Branding- branding will keep your 3 identities consistent in whatever message you give

7-Copywriting- with quality copy, you can help walk people through the Know –> Like –> Trust –>Try –> Buy process.

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Ep 25- 4 Benefits of Starting a Business Later in Life

Here are a few benefits to starting a business later in life, based on my own experience and conversations that I have had with other older entrepreneurs.

1. Finding a Sense of Purpose
2. Meeting People Who Share Your Interests
3. Keep Your Mind and Your Body Healthy
4. Keeping the Dream Alive

What are you passionate about? What do you want to change about the world? What problem do you wish someone would fix? Maybe it’s time to be a part of the solution.

Starting a business in your 50s is a great way to make friends with people who share your interests. This is especially true if you focus on building a business around one of your passions. 

Starting a business after 50 forces you to stay engaged with the world. It gives you something positive to focus your attention on and tells the world that you are not ready to be invisible.

The dream… YOUR dream should always be the primary motivator for starting a business. Without a dream, it’s all just going to feel like another job… like you’re just putting  in your time to get more money. 

Your dream.. a good dream.. goes beyond the money, and keeps you pressing forward to greater things.. things that you always wondered if you could achieve them, and are now finding that you can.    

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3 steps-to-take-to-gain-clarity

Ep 24- 3 Easy But Critical Steps to Gain Clarity with Your New Small Business

Every day, more people are using the internet to start a side business, full time self employment or create a new revenue stream. There are always problems in the startup process. Issues that crop up that we didn’t expect, in addition to the problems that we did expect. But the solution isn’t more time or money, the solution is more clarity. 

Clarity is power. When you have clarity, you multiply your time because you know exactly what to work on next. When you have clarity, you conserve money because you know exactly where to invest it. When you have clarity, you can work through any issue that comes up and have the motivation to keep going forward without being sidetracked.  

STEP 1- Determine Your ‘Why’
STEP 2- Determine Your ‘What’
STEP 3- Determine Your ‘How’

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Sarah Justice

Ep 23- Taking the Boredom Out of Branding- Interview with Sarah Justice

What makes up your brand? What is “branding?” well Sarah talks about what branding is, the strategy behind your brand, and how it influences every part of your business.

She’s a Brand Specialist and the creative mind behind KindaWonderful. With a background in graphic design, Sarah is focused on helping businesses share their passion with the world by building brands that are impactful, profitable and engaging.

She encourages people to create the strategy behind their brand before diving into visual designs and marketing. 

Her passion for branding coupled with her desire to help small businesses succeed led to the creation of a one-on-one coaching program called PracticalBrand.


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Jen Groover

Ep 22- The Master of Getting MORE Out of Life- Interview with Jen Groover

Jen talks about her new book ‘The More Method’ and starts off the conversation by explaining the 6 core aspects of mindfulness and how she uses an auditing checklist:

1. Is what you’re doing hurting you or helping you?
2. Is what you’re thinking hurting or helping you?
3. Our words can hurt us or help us and the quality of our words
4. What we’re putting in our body and if it’s helping us to be more productive
5. What are we doing with our free time and what goes into our body and minds
6. The quality of our emotions and to be more aware of the emotional scale

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John Welch

Ep 21- From Good to GREAT!- Interview with Website Marketer, John Welch from Skymouse Studios

In this episode, John Welch from Skymouse Studios gives us a peek inside the realm of website marketing, design and function and how other marketing companies just don’t come through with what they promise. 

Turn your website from good to GREAT with the help of Skymouse Studios. 


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Ep 20- Freedom from the J.O.B.-Interview with Nick Loper from Side Hustle Nation

Nick Loper is an author, speaker, side hustle guru that started out with a blog in 2009 promoting ways for people to have a part time business and eventually built a nationally recognized and very successful full time business. 

Nick is very well known all around the world and if you want more information on how you can have a solid plan to move from job to self employment, you can go to www.sidehustlenation.com.

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Ep 19- The 8 Unbreakable Rules to Small Business Success author and serial entrepreneur, Sean Castrina

Sean Castrina is a serial entrepreneur, having started more than 20 companies over the last 20 years, and still seeks to launch a new venture annually. He is an investor, teacher and highly-sought-after speaker who communicates with humor and a bluntness that engages and captures his audience. 

He is the author of 8 Unbreakable Rules for Business Startup Success, The Greatest Entrepreneur in the World, and World’s Greatest Business Plan.    


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Ep 18- Mindset Miracles-Interview with Transformational Coach/Author/Speaker and Podcast Host, Matt Crump

Matt Crump, is an author, business coach/consultant, certified empowerment life coach & a purveyor of hope ready to meet another superhero…You!


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Ep 17- Speak your way to the top!- Interview with Public Speaking Coach, Donna Riccardo

Donna grew up outside of Princeton, NJ, then moved to New York City. She stayed there for 17 years while getting advanced education in the professional beauty field and becoming a premier haircutting specialist in top salons. She was a leading regional trainer for professional hair product manufacturers and learned the importance of relationships between clients and business. After moving to Colorado and giving up hair cutting, Donna began managing and mentoring several small business entrepreneurs.


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Ep 16- Startup Strategy Success Plan- Interview with Content Marketing Strategist, Kris Hughes

Kris Hughes is a Content Strategy Consultant who works with solopreneurs and small business owners to build trust, lower acquisition costs, and win back simplicity through content strategy. 

He’s located in the great city of Austin Texas and has a lot of useful information for us in this episode. 


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Ep 15- Video Validation-Interview with International Videographer Wesley Dean

Wesley Dean is the founder of Intermotion Media. He’s travelled around the world doing promotional work for non-profits and is currently based out of the Washington DC area.

Listen in to this episode to hear about his travels internationally and how he uses both the emotional and analytical skills he has to create and produce wonderful video creations. 


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Ep 14- Children's Author and Author Coach, builds Kindness App to make huge impact, an Interview with Wendy Gilhula

Wendy Gilhula is an educator, writer, kindness app creator, and best-selling author of the Pika Bunny Learning Series. Holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from The University of Tennessee, Wendy has created an innovative learning series that teaches understanding and kindness.


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Ep 13- Changing the world one Daddy at a time- an Interview with Serial Entrepreneur and creator of Daddy Saturday, Justin Batt

Fatherhood Disruptor | Healthcare Innovator | TEDx Speaker | OCR Athlete

Justin Batt is one of the fortunate people who found the collision of their calling and passion in life.  Justin is a healthcare innovator and works in the B2B sector with the largest bio-pharmaceutical and life science companies in the world.



LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/justinbatt/

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Ep 12- Givers Gain with The Generosity Culture- an Interview with Business Development Consultant, April Shprintz

April Shprintz has spent over two decades driving growth for companies through Generosity. She started her career in the Air Force and went on to specialize in sales, operations, and marketing, supporting Fortune 500 clients and generating over $1 billion in combined additional revenue for the companies she served. 3 ½ years ago, after her highest earning, 7- figure year in the corporate world,

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/aprilshprintz

Website: www.drivenoutcomes.com

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Ep 11- Does Following Your Dream Seem More Like a Nightmare?

Does the task of starting a business seem either vague, or daunting, or expensive, or something that just takes too much time or money?

Does any one…or ALL of these things stop you in your tracks so that you WANT to start a business, but you just can’t seem to get excited about it and actually DO something?

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Ep 10- Revolutionizing the book publishing world- Interview with Juliet Clark from Super Brand Publishing

What if you could determine who in your audience is your best client in 180 seconds?

Listen in to this episode to learn about the unique tools Super Brand Publishing uses to help you understand and grow your audience. 

Juliet has transformed the book publishing industry through unique methods that she explains here and how you, too, can be a successful author or publisher as well. 


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Ep 9- S.E.L.F. Made Fitness Trainer- Interview of Markus Copeland

In this episode, hear how Markus made the pivot to self employment with the encouragement of his wife, family and friends and created a professional workout space in a unique way. 

Website: https://trainwithselfdreams.com/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/markus-copeland-52998654/

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Ep 8- Small town author produces big time results- Interview of Christine J. Gilbert

In this episode, Christine shares with us her experiences through the writing, publishing and product development process and gives aspiring authors tips on how they can get started with their journey to being a published author as well. 

Christine also successfully added multiple product lines to coincide with her book sales and trademarked her logo. 


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Ep 7- From 'drinking' to 'driven' and how Kari Schwear helps others kick the drinking habit

Kari Schwear has spent most of her professional life helping people find the story they want to tell about the choices they make in their lives. For the past two decades, she has helped companies grow by finding new ways to serve clients.  Kari believes the best way for a company to expand is to help its clients expand.  She founded GrayTonic and Question the Drink (QTD) in 2018 for professionals like herself that are using alcohol as a coping mechanism for stress. Kari is a Discovery Coach, speaker, and a co-author of the book, The Successful Mind, Tools for Living a Purposeful, Productive, and Happy Life.

Website: https://www.graytonic.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karischwear/

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Ep 6- Finding Your Zone of Genius

Have you reached your true potential? 

If not, what is holding you back?

Do you know what your true potential is?

In this episode, we will be diving in to the possibilities of aiming higher and achieving much, much more than we ever thought possible.

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Ep 5- Creating a B&B Family Legacy with owner, Janice Clifton from Virginia Cliffe Inn

The Virginia Cliffe Inn has a rich history and an interesting story of transition and development. 

Listen to this episode where Janice shares some inside tips on how to start your own B&B business. 


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Ep 4- Starting a Business From the Inside Out

Some people may be struggling with not only developing your mission, but not even knowing what the mission is supposed to be. 

But where does the ‘mission’ fit into the bigger picture here of our lives? 

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what is your why

Ep 3- What is Your 'Why'?

As I talk to people about the startup process, I hear a question over and over ‘How do I decide if I should start a business?’ This all comes down to ‘what’s your motivation?’ In other words.. what is your ‘why’?

Many reasons motivate entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams of launching profitable companies. Some reasons are better than others while others are downright awful.

Before making a decision that is difficult to undo, it’s important to ask yourself difficult questions about your underlying motivations for starting a business. By doing so, you can protect yourself from unnecessary risk, and you may just confirm why you definitely should become an entrepreneur. Hopefully, this episode will help you with your ‘why’ for starting a business. 

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Ep 2- Don't Do What I Did!

When I started my business in 2002, I didn’t rely on people and other resources as much as I should have. As a result, the business startup process was harder and profitability was delayed. This episode will help you with recommendations on resources that are available to you now so that you can start your business and be profitable sooner.

In this episode, I hope you’ll learn from the mistakes that I made and that you’ll take the time to go through the business startup process in a planned and systematic process. 

Do the research and create a solid business plan to increase your chances of success. 

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Ep 1- Premier Episode-Welcome!

Welcome to the premier episode of the Small Biz Startup Essentials Podcast. 

Being that this is the first one, I’d just like to go over a few things on what you can expect for the theme and format- topics we’ll be covering, the length and frequency of the episodes, so that you won’t have any surprises. 

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