Thursday, August 30, 2012

Eminem: Life Lessons for Entrepreneurs

Eminem. Slim Shady. Marshall Mathers III
. Love him or hate him, no one can deny that he leaves an indelible impression, nor can one argue his staying power.

Sure, he is not the only kid to come from a poor and broken home, or to have changed school every few months, or to have flunked the 9th grade three times. There are plenty like him who don't make it; but, make no mistake, Eminem has earned everything he has, fair and square, and there are inspiring life lessons to be learned here, for every entrepreneur pursuing a dream.

When the Going Gets Tough, Eminem gets Going (and then some):

Eminem is a fighter. He has overcome struggles, both physically and mentally, when most would have collapsed from overwhelming exhaustion. He's taken on challenges hardly suitable for the faint hearted (battling the Goliath of hip-hop as a young, white male). He had little emotional support from his family (his father left him when he was 18 months old and was raised by his mother on welfare); the one positive influence in his early life, his uncle Ronnie, committed suicide in 1991. A few years before that, Eminem himself almost died after being beaten up by a bully in middle school, leaving him in a coma for ten days. Barely in his early 20s, Eminem has a daughter. To top it off, rap labels continue to reject him because of the color of his skin, regardless of his rap skills. The odds were stacked against him before he was even out of the gate. Juggling the responsibility of a father with a less than stable career choice, e.g. aspiring white rapper, is enough for any sane person to go crazy.

The fight, for Eminem, never really stops. Despite his stardom, he still struggles with internal and external demons. In 2006, his best friend Proof was killed. There was concern that the tough Eminem had finally reached his breaking point. He almost nearly did. Amidst deep depression, his best friend's death, and an elaborate cocktail of prescription pills, he collapsed from an overdose in 2007; he was later told that had he been found just two hours later, it would have been too late.

Eminem doesn't pretend to be Superman nor act as if it's been a smooth ride, and in that humble honesty, is yet another layer of his unique toughness. He has an uncanny ability to lift himself out of some of the most traumatic circumstances, even when his own inner voice is driving him to further self-destruction. This isn't trite, this takes serious guts. It's this "signature" Eminem drive that every Entrepreneur should heed.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

How to Start Online Without Money

IF you want to start online lots of people will tell you that you need a website, or two, or three.

While it is true that you will eventually need a website to build a residual income by having a squeeze page, or a blog, you can first start online without money, i.e, by not paying for having a website.

There are actually many ways you start online without money.

They are:

Having a Facebook account, and starting a Facebook fan page and driving traffic to it via the normal ways.

Set up a YouTube account and post videos to your account either using a web camera, or iPhone.

These are the best two ways that you could get started online without paying money for getting a website.

There are advantages to these than having your own website, but, there are also cons as well.


The advantages of these two methods are that you are on the two top traffic sites and unlike when you first set up a website, you don't have to worry about backlinking properly because wherever your backlink is, you are using the two top traffic sites on the internet that are classed as "authority sites."

Another advantage is that YouTube videos rank better in Google, and you are more likely, if done properly, to rank a video better in Google than a website.

A website or blog may take a while to build up page rank, whereas a video can be an instant hit on the rank checker.

Another advantage is that your affiliate links or website links will get more clicks if you post videos - but you have to do it right.


However, there are a couple of disadvantages, and these include:

1) Your YouTube account may be shut down at any time or flagged if you are caught doing anything improper or unusual in Google's eyes. Google own YouTube. Technically, your YouTube channel is not yours..

2) Even if you were not doing anything improper, it could take a while for you to get back your channel - in some cases you may never!

The big question you have to ask, is, is start online without money a good idea in the long run?

The best way to maximise is to have a website so that all your videos you post to video sharing sites are safe.

It may also in the long run be worth subscribing to a video site like Viddler or Vimeo where you can host your videos on a paid video sharing network so that your videos are safe just in case Google decide for whatever reason to shut you down.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Good Credit Score Is Critical to Business Success

A good credit score is critical to business success and this seems simple enough. However it plays out in many different ways. When a new business starts out, it makes sense to keep costs low and save time by simply operating the business as a Sole Proprietorship. As the business becomes successful, the business owner wrestles with many aspects and one of these includes if and when to move from a Sole Proprietor to a separate legal entity such as a corporation or LLC. This is an important decision as legally separating the business assets from the owners personal assets may provide some protection if the business loses a lawsuit. It also helps when the business grows and needs access to finance or capital to grow or wants to apply for credit from suppliers. Moving into a new legal entity can be a good business decision.

One of the reasons to consider when making this move is that it allows the owner to separate their personal and business assets. Personal assets are fairly obvious as they include the family home, car, family bank accounts and personal effects. The business assets are also fairly obvious and include items such as the fixtures, furniture and equipment, the inventory, goodwill items such as the name of the business, and any intellectual property you as the owner create.

Hopefully from day one of opening the business, there is also a separate checking account and bank deposit book for the business that is kept separate from the business. This separation may mean if the owner is sued, if the legal action has any negative outcome may only touch the business assets and not the personal assets. Plus there is always insurance to help mitigate the owner's risk.

As the business grows, however, the business may have the need to borrow. To manage that risk, it is time to separate the personal assets from the business assets. One of the main reasons to do this is so that it protects the personal credit and credit score of the owner.

With the business assets sitting in a different legal entity, there is a need for the business owner to manage the credit and credit score not only for themselves personally, but also for the business. This is not to say that a business owner can be loose with their business credit and walk away from money they owe to others. However, the system we work in puts a high value on our credit score for so many aspects of our personal and business life.

This applies especially when borrowing money, buying a car, applying for a job etc, it is critical to manage each credit report and score in its own right. If something untoward therefore happens that means the business has to close down, the personal credit score and report of the owner is not damaged and life can go on.

This applies equally to a buyer that wishes to buy a business. With the many personal bankruptcies from the housing crash and the difficulty trying to get a job, many are turning to buy a business. However, the banks are not willing lenders even for SBA loans if the borrower has a personal bankruptcy even if it goes back many years.

The financial system provides a lot of incentive to manage money correctly. Interest paid is able to be deducted to lower tax payments, credit is available from suppliers for a period of time of say 30 days so sales can be made in advance of payment, and many other benefits. Managing and protecting a credit score is a critical requirement to enjoy all the upside.

Andrew is a 5-time business owner that helps entrepreneurs exit or enter business ownership. His services include helping owners sell and/or buyers purchase an existing business or consult on purchasing a franchise. He also provides certified machinery and equipment appraisals and business valuations.

Andrew currently holds the Certified Business Intermediary (CBI) designation from the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA), the highest credential awarded by the IBBA and the Certified Business Broker (CBB) designation from the California Association of Business Brokers. He also holds a Brokers License with the California Department of Real Estate, is a member of the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce and the Chair of the Sacramento Chapter of the California Association of Business Brokers.