Saturday, August 27, 2011

Learn, Act & Share

In my religion we have a program to especially help the youth. It is called “Duty to God.” Youth are taught how they can serve God and how to be true Christians. As part of this Duty to God they are encouraged to Learn, Act and Share. There is much to be said about this program in relation to God, but the premises could very well apply to being an Entrepreneur.

Before becoming an entrepreneur you must LEARN a great deal about the product and service you are looking to get involved in. Is it a good product with some sustainability? The last thing you want is to start a business selling a product and have no demand for it. You get stuck with an inventory because the demand dried up too fast. Is it a product with a large or small public demand? If you customer pool is too small your business might not last because of the lack of customers. Are there multiple sources for you to buy the product? If you are only buying from one source and they quit selling to you product, you could be closed within days if not hours. Do you have the talents and skills to run a business? Look at yourself and be honest. Remember if you have the passion, you can learn and be taught most things about running a business. If you do not have the passion and drive to be an entrepreneur, that is OK for it is not for everyone. It is going to take a lot of work, so if you don’t have the passion to run your own business, don’t even try.

After you have LEARNED what you need to make a smart decision, then ACT. Too many people learn but never act. There are those that talk the talk and then there are those that walk the walk. Most of the time skeptical people have too much fear to act. The more information you can learn, the less fear you will have. But there gets to a point where you must act or nothing will ever happen. You will never get 100% of the information and if you think you need it, you will never pull the trigger on anything. I suggest once you have learned most of the important items about the business, make a decision and ACT. Be a doer and not a talker. If you never try, you will never succeed. Once you try, jump in with both feet and don’t look back, but only forward. Work hard and give great customer service and then work some more. Most businesses will not be an overnight success because it can take months or a few years. Once you become an Entrepreneur most will never go back working for someone else again.

The third part of this is SHARING. Once you are successful, reach out and help others. There are not many things more rewarding than sharing what you know and helping others succeed. Be part of the lives of those in need, either by being a mentor, trainer of small business start-ups or a financial contributor to organizations which encourage others to become entrepreneurs. Being able to share your knowledge or wealth is very rewarding personally. If you get help from a person, book, mentor or even a blog, you should “pay if forward”.

LEARN, ACT & SHARE are great principles to live by in church and it works very well for those looking to become entrepreneurs.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Feeding the Entrepreneur

Most people don’t realize it but networking can be a key to owning a successful business in more ways than one. Entrepreneurs feed off other entrepreneurs. That is one of the reasons you find the most successful ones read self improvement articles and books about successful business owners. Their stories inspire.

If you are able to see how others have made themselves into winners, you will be able to see how you can make yourself a winner. If you believe, you can make it happen! If you do not doubt yourself, you can fulfill your goals and dreams.

Networking with other business owners and entrepreneurs will feed your soul. Not only is reading good books and stories important but talking with other successful people will help you grow into become one. We all have heard of the quote, “You are what you eat.” If you put in garbage, only garbage comes out. If you surround yourself with smart, successful people, you will become one.

If you want to become an entrepreneur, go to your local Chamber of Commerce meetings. Find the local Toastmaster, Dale Carnegie, Business Alliance groups, join and attend their meetings. Their excitement for business will rub off and you will find yourself in places you have in the past only dreaming about.

Success in anything takes work. It is NOT handed to you on a silver platter. If you want to become an entrepreneur, work at it and feed the “animal” good inspiring food.

About the only time you will see a true entrepreneur down is when they have not fed themselves the right food. Do not feed yourself garbage!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

How can you get a SBA loan

Below is a test to see how much you might or might not know about SBA loan programs.

See how you do on this SBA (Small Business Association) Test

(True or False)

1. As you can imagine as with all government programs, there is a lot of red tape, paperwork, and time involved in obtaining an SBA loan especially compared to regular bank loans.

2. SBA loans are lower-interest than most normal business loans.

3. You must be turned down by a bank or credit union before you can obtain an SBA loan.

4. A SBA loan must be fully secured by collateral or it will be declined.

5. SBA business loans are designed to be longer term than traditional loans and do not allow “balloon” or other such call type features.

6. The term of the loan (length of the loan) is actually more important than the interest rate, especially concerning the impact on the cash flow of the business.

7. If I have an SBA loan, it guarantees my business will not fail.

8. Any bank or credit union can help me with an SBA loan.


1. False. Most SBA loans require about the same amount of paperwork as a regular bank loan. They will require collateral, good credit and probably personal guarantee’s, much the same as a regular bank loan. Banks like to give SBA loans because much of the loan amount is protected and if defaulted on will be repaid by the government.

2. False. Generally they are the same as regular bank or credit union loan interest rates. The SBA do not actually determine the interest rate on each loan and one particular program, the 504 loan program, offers a lower than market rate but many cannot qualify for this loan. Generally the interest rate will be the same or close to the normal rate charged by the bank or credit union.

3. False. Most SBA loans are just bank or credit union loans but are guaranteed by the SBA, therefore they must follow those standards set by the SBA.

4. False. Just like a regular bank or credit union loan, they do not need to be fully collateralized. Depending on the credit worthiness of the individual, 100% collateral aren’t always needed. If the finance company can get a person 100% of it collateralized, they will be happy to take it, but it isn’t always necessary.

5. True. There are stipulations on most SBA loans, so be aware of those stipulations and make sure you can live with them. Sometimes other non-SBA loans are better for a borrower.

6. True. Most of the time a borrower loan payment can be more important than the interest rate a person pays. A longer term of a loan can reduce the amount of the monthly payment and many times is a better deal. Cash flow for a business is very important to success or failure.

7. False. No one can or will guarantee the success or failure of a business. Having an SBA will give you some comfort because they require the bank and the borrower to follow proven steps in researching a business.

8. False. Only those financial institutions who have been approved by the SBA can give these type of loans.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Are you Happy?

If you don’t like where you are at in life, try something new. The worst thing we can do to ourselves is live in a mundane existence. Whatever you do, be happy, for life is too short to do something you do not like. If it is your job, your education or the way you feel about yourself, if you don’t feel comfortable about who you are or where you are headed, change! It is never too late.

Almost every potential entrepreneur comes to a cross roads in their life. Do they stay the same or do they venture out and take a risk. The entrepreneur takes the risk. The successful risk taker, does their homework and then makes their decision. They know their chances of failure sky rocket if they do not do the research before taking the risk.

"The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it."
Debbi Fields, founder of Mrs. Fields Cookies

We can sit around and wish for something that is not here, or we can go out and find it. As Debbi says, “The greatest failure is not to try.”

As Steve Jobs said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Most people will talk about it; the entrepreneur goes out and makes it happen.