Tag Archives: business startup

10 Traits of the Entrepreneurial Mindset

Do you have an entrepreneurial mindset? Entrepreneurs are some of the coolest entrepreneurial mindsetpeople on the planet. Entrepreneurship, on the other hand, can be a difficult journey. It takes a certain type of person to become a successful entrepreneur.

After over 20 years of partnering with small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, we have observed many of the common traits shared by the entrepreneurial mindsets of the clients we serve. We have outlined the top ten traits of the entrepreneurial mindset below for you to determine if you have what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur.

10 Traits of the Entrepreneurial Mindset

  1. Unique – Entrepreneurs have a different perspective of looking at the world around them. They tend to march to the beat of their own drummer. For this reason, many entrepreneurs may feel alone and like most people don’t get them. Successful entrepreneurs make sure they seek out like-minded individuals who will celebrate their uniqueness.
  2. Creative – Entrepreneurs are highly imaginative and often get inspired by even the most minute things. Often, entrepreneurial pursuits are an artistic expression of the ideas flooding one’s thoughts. Entrepreneurship serves as a creative outlet for these overflowing thoughts.
  3. Innovative – Due to their massive creativity, entrepreneurs are responsible for many of the ground-breaking concepts that have emerged throughout time. They are pioneers of their craft often discovering new ways to tackle everyday problems.
  4. Bold – Entrepreneurs are some of the bravest people you will ever encounter. Their courageousness emboldens them to face challenges head on despite the negative noise of naysayers.
  5. Visionary – Entrepreneurs are big-picture thinkers. They can see beyond what’s readily visible by most people. Entrepreneurs dream constantly, day and night. If you have an entrepreneurial mindset, you may be regularly accused of always having your head in the clouds.
  6. Curious – Entrepreneurs possess a natural interest in everything around them. They question societal norms and the traditional way of doing things. This curiosity often leads to a new understanding of complex concepts, patterns and much more.
  7. Flexible – The most successful entrepreneurs understand that they have to be willing to change at a moment’s notice. The world is constantly evolving all around us, especially in terms of technological advances. Entrepreneurs must be willing to adapt to sudden shifts in their industry, political climate or even in themselves as they learn and grow as a business owner.
  8. Resilient – Entrepreneurs must be able to bounce back from failures quickly. Fail fast and often is a reoccurring them in the successful entrepreneurial mindset. Successful entrepreneurs not only face obstacles head-on, but overcome them through perseverance.
  9. Servant Leader – The number one reason most businesses are started is because an entrepreneur had a vision to serve or help others to address a particular problem or concern. Successful entrepreneurs are natural leaders who inspire and motivate through their service.
  10. Coachable – The most successful entrepreneurs don’t waste time trying to reinvent the wheel. They recruit partners, consultants and coaches who can help them become better decision-makers and direct their time on mission-critical, income-producing activities. These entrepreneurs understand how important it is to be open to different perspectives, best practices and industry trends to sustain and grow their businesses.

Do you have what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur? Tell us in the comments below if you agree with these top ten traits of the entrepreneurial mindset or if there are other characteristics that should be included. Should you have found value in this post, please do share it with your networks to help others learn if they have an entrepreneurial mindset too.

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Make the Best Use of Your Startup Investment

Aspiring entrepreneurs often ask our consulting firm how to make the best use of their startup investment. During the startup phase while budgets are tight and there are many unknowns, your best use of available funding will always be wherever you will receive the highest return on your investment (ROI). You have to ask yourself which strategy(ies) will yield the most bang for your buck and lead you to generating revenue the fastest.

I recommend completing a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis before you spend a dime of your startup investment.startup investment A cost-benefit analysis is a systematic, quantitative approach that helps you to weigh the pros and cons (benefits vs. costs) of a particular transaction. In your case, I would create a chart with at least 3 columns.

How to Evaluate the Best Use of Your Startup Investment

  1. The first column of each row will indicate the action being evaluated. You would list your options – website, SEO, packaging/branding
  2. The second column lists the costs of the action as close to the actual dollar amount as is possible to achieve. Request quotes from vendors or perform a little research if you aren’t sure of exact costs. Make sure to consider resources available for successful implementation of the intended action as there are costs associated with this as well.
  3. The third column should identify the expected results or outcomes (the benefits) of implementing the action. Again, it is important to be as concise and specific here as possible. Focus on how much revenue will be generated (or even costs reduced if that’s a factor) as a result of taking this action. Create a sum total of all benefits associated with any action taken.

Now, review your completed chart and determine which solution will be a) cost the least to implement yet b) generate the most benefits in terms of revenue earned. Since every business model is a little different, without knowing more about your specific situation, performing a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis is my best recommendation to determine the best use of any startup investment. If you want additional assistance with this process, I highly recommend requesting an Emergency Biz Boom Session via Skype to really tackle this decision head-on.

How did you decide how to make the best use of your startup investment? Did you have a plan? Let us know in the comments below and if you found value in this post, please share it with your networks.

Hire Your Kids

For small business owners with kids, the most often forgotten deduction is sleeping in the Hire Your Kidsnext room: your children. Sure, you deduct them as a dependent, but if that’s the only tax savings you’re getting, you’re missing out.

Here’s the thing. As a business owner, you can legally hire your kids and avoid paying many of the taxes that go along with having an employee.  If you have ever been to my office during summer break or attended a weekend event at which I was a vendor, you would have met my now thirteen-year-old son.  He assists in my office with filing, shredding and other administrative tasks and he helps man my vendor booth at events, especially if I’m scheduled to speak.

Hiring your kids is great!  Things like income tax withholding are not required for the underage children of the business owner unless you are a corporation. Sole proprietors and LLCs do not have to deal with payroll, even though technically your child is an employee. You also don’t have to cover them on your worker’s compensation insurance.

Even better, when you hire your kids, you don’t have to pay income tax on the money they earn. To a point, anyway – the threshold is high enough where this usually isn’t a problem.

All that said, though, there are a few rules you have to follow.

Work, not Just Chores When You Hire Your Kids

You have to be careful that your kids are actually working in the business. Things like raking leaves and doing dishes won’t qualify – unless your business is a lawn service or a restaurant, that is. Instead, have them do tasks you would normally either do yourself or hire outside help to handle.

Depending on the ages of your kids, such tasks might include:

  • Internet research
  • Video editing
  • Site updates
  • Basic graphic design
  • Addressing envelopes
  • Simple bookkeeping

You will also need to be able to show proof of hours worked, and that the pay was reasonable. In other words, you can’t pay your child $50 an hour for a job that – if anyone else were to do it – would normally pay $10 an hour. Set up a timesheet, and make sure he or she fills it out and turns it in every pay period, so you can have it on file.

Paying Your Kids

Each pay period, you’ll pay your children just as you would any other employee or contractor. As we already said, there’s no payroll tax or other deductions to worry about, so they get paid everything they earned. Even better, your business can claim the expense.

What about income tax? Your kids (and everyone else, for that matter) can earn up to $5,950 tax free. That’s the standard deduction, and it applies whether you pay your child or a total stranger, so it just makes sense to keep that money in the family if you can.

Not only that, but since you’re the parent, you still get to claim your kids as dependents. So your kids earn money tax free (which is a great way to start teaching them about budgeting, etc.), your business claims the expense without worrying about payroll taxes, and you claim the deduction. It’s a perfect system for getting work done while at the same time saving a substantial amount of money on taxes every year.

Hiring your kids is one of the best decisions you can make as a bootstrapping entrepreneur.  You not only save money but you are also giving your kids a valuable lesson about business ownership.  Guess what my son wants to be when he grows up?  You guess it!  An entrepreneur!

If you found this post valuable, by all means, please do comment and share.  Did you hire your kids to work in your business?

3 Simple Strategies for Quick Start-up Success

If you are like most aspiring entrepreneurs, you often feel stressed and overwhelmed by the entire business Quick Start-up Success Strategiesstart-up process. You have a great idea, a big dream, you want to see realized but it’s just taking so long to get there. You want to see your amazing vision come to life now, and right now, because everybody needs your products and services today as in yesterday.

The urgency you feel is not uncommon.  In fact, these are the exact feelings most of our small business clients have experienced during the initial start-up phase of their own business development.  Just like you, they wanted to know how to manage their time effectively to achieve quick start-up success.

After over 15 years’ of partnering with small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, we have observed 3 common traits that are shared by every one of our clients who has experienced quick start-up success.

Strategies for Quick Start-up Success

  1. Retrain.  Aspiring entrepreneurs are usually pulled in many different directions.  You often still have several responsibilities and obligations to meet outside of establishing your business start-up.  Parents, friends, spouses, kids, and even your church rarely understand your new priorities.  You will need to educate them that you no longer have the time and resources to be available as you may once have had.  Quick start-up success requires you to retrain those around you to respect the time you now have to redirect to your business.  You may need to have several hard conversations with loved ones to relay this message and you most likely will need to remind them often.  The faster you can set boundaries, the faster you will realize start-up success.
  2. Recruit. One way to gain the respect and support you need from those around you is to include them in your plans.  You will need all the help you can get.  As a bootstrapping entrepreneur, you are probably doing a lot by yourself and have very little capital to hire help.  Ask your loved ones to pitch in on business activities.  Small kids can hand out flyers.  Teens can file paperwork, do internet research, and make phone calls on your behalf.  College students can assist with website development, marketing, and even operations.  Spouses and friends can be put to work as your sales force.  In order to remain competitive and prosper, you will need to hire help for your growing business as soon as possible.  Recruiting from your pool of loved ones is surefire way to achieve quick start-up success.
  3. Recharge.  As I said earlier, you are probably doing a lot on your own.  You are being pulled in many different directions.  You still have commitments and responsibilities outside of your start-up company and you probably have a lot of new, innovative, and amazing ideas running through your mind all the time.  This level of activity takes a lot of stamina and can take down even the most gifted athletes among us.  What you need is good old-fashioned rest and relaxation.  Take the time to take a purposeful pause. A little bit of rest goes a long way.  Rediscover the proverbial “me” time by doing something you love and enjoy for at least thirty minutes every day.  You can meditate, take a bath, read a good book, or even take a nap!  I personally try to take at least 3 unscheduled naps every week and it does wonders for my clarity and creativity.  Recharging is really necessary to keep your sanity while building your start-up success.

Are you feeling stuck, overwhelmed or out of balance in your business?  Building Bridges Consulting transforms dreamers into successful entrepreneurs by partnering with you to bridge the gap between where you are now and where you need to be to build a successful, sustainable, and profitable business model.  If you are seeking to realize your small business success dream and make money faster than you could on your own, book your FREE strategy session and get started on the right path to quick start-up success today.

We’d also love to hear your thoughts and comments on this article.  Please let us know in the comments below if you have used these or any other strategies to achieve quick start-up success.

 

Archived Comments

  1. Hi Coach Niquenya!
    It is really true that you must ‘Retrain’ family and friends to keep moving forward in your business. Also like the idea that you can involve everyone in your success.
    Thank you :)

  2. Well, I was less stressed when I started cause I didnt know how much I need to know. There are so many moving parts to a business & social media marketing.

  3. These are great strategies. I especially like “Recharge.” I didn’t do this when I first started my business. I’d work long hours and hardly took a break. Not a good idea! We have to take the time to recharge. It makes us stronger and happier which will have an impact on our business. ;)

  4. I like them all, it is important for people to understand what you are doing and why. I know I was asked and still asked why don’t I get a job.

    Even after being in business for 10 years I need to learn how to recruit and recharge better. so that thanks for the reminder.

  5. It is so true that there is strength in building a community around you and having support so you don’t feel like you are doing it all alone. Those who want to remain independent and work as an entrepreneur, would learn much from your three “R’s” so they don’t feel they are going it alone. Feeling overwhelmed and stopping yourself because of that, is often a reason people give up before they even get started. Thanks for the tips on living your personal and business life in more balance.

  6. Retraining those around you is so important. I know folks tended to think that since I was home I was free to run around, or pick something up, or be there to just chat when they wanted to. It was hard for them to process that I was working. These are great tips. Thank you for the post!

  7. Very valuable tips on how to have quick start success! Nice share and good information that will help even the overwhelmed marketer :) Great share!

  8. I wish I had this great article at my disposal when we decided to open our private counseling practice. I struggled with retraining and recharging! I am close to a place where things are slowing down and I am getting more of a handle on entrepreneurship. Under 2 years in I am still in the infancy phase and struggle more with recharging because I feel I need to maximize every second. I plan to reach out for a consultation. Thank you!

  9. I think most entrepreneurs suffer from overload or overwhelm. Like you say in your blog Coach Niquenya we are being pulled in all directions and it’s tough to stay focused. I particularly like your recharge tips and maybe it’s a cue to implement some into my own very busy life. I think that good old fashioned rest and relaxation is calling me and so your blog is very timely. Your tips are worthy of an extra splash of bubble bath tonight! :)

  10. Kudos! Addressing the overwhelm in business is HUGE. It hinders growth, that is for sure. It’s hard as a new biz owner to discern what they need, do, etc… or not. It can get pretty crazy. I like your term, “purposeful pause.” Great article, Missy! :)