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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Video for Baby Boomer Entrepreneurs

Baby Boomer business owners and Baby Boomers wanting to start businesses, we have a new video for you. It shares some of the key things you must consider to avoid the treacherous water with hidden dangers for new businesses. Topics include:
  • Are you looking to join the alternative retirement trend?
  • Are you starting a business to remain active?
  • Do you want to establish a new work/life balance?
  • What you need to build into the design of your business to make it work for you.
  • Why you must slow down to get it done faster.
  • Some things your life experiences will not prepare you to do.
  • Where do you look to find the right tools?
I hope you enjoy it.

Shallie Bey

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Baby Boomer Entrepreneurs, You Must Do More Than Just Buy Yourself A Job

Baby Boomers, the generation born between 1946 and 1964, are starting businesses at amazing levels. Though Global Entrepreneurship Week and similar efforts are focused upon getting young people to explore entrepreneurship, it is the Baby Boomer business owners who are answering the call at unprecedented levels. And if they don’t start right, they will experience failure at unprecedented levels. That is why you, as a Baby Boomer Entrepreneur, want to start smarter.

One of the key factors driving this trend is a change in the way people in this age group seem to view retirement. A recent USA Today/Gallop poll says that 63% of non-retired adults in the United States plan to work into retirement. These polls were taken during sound financial times and most people say they made the choice for non-financial reasons. Most say they get enjoyment from work. They just want to work for themselves rather than their current boss.

The vast majority of people who start businesses do so because they want to work for themselves rather than for someone else. This practice, often referred to as “Buying a Job”, is probably the underlying cause for most small business failure.

They jump into a business where they do the same type of work they were doing for someone else. So cooks open restaurants. Auto mechanics open repair shops. Pharmacists open pharmacies. And technically trained people become consultants. The problem is that knowing how to do the work in a business, knowing how to manage the work of that business, and knowing how to own that type of business are three different roles. If you are not working on all three roles, the odds of success are small.

People who do the work of the business, often open the doors thinking that people will beat a path to their door because they are the best at what they do. But the problem is that though you may be the best, people have to know you are out there before they can do business with you.

Excited that a few people stumble upon them, business owners often sell the service or product at attractive pricing, usually close to the amount you would have gotten paid when you were working for your old boss. But you now have overhead that your boss had to cover that was above a beyond what he paid you. You have telephones, electricity, and perhaps even some help that you never had to consider before. So how do you price what you are doing to make sure your can make money at this business?

And if you get lots of customers because word does get out that you do a good job, how do you avoid working longer hours than you worked before to serve your customers and make enough money to enjoy your “semi-retirement”. After all, that was the plan wasn’t it? You just wanted to do a little something to keep your mind alert while enjoying this new form of retirement, right?

With proper planning, these and other problems that tend to cause business failure can be overcome. And yes, they can be overcome much more easily than you expect. We hear about the high rates of business failures, but the failures are not 100% of businesses started. You want to know what the successful people are doing differently.

Three Tips For Getting Started At Something Bigger Than Buying Yourself A Job

First – There are many resources available online for free that will help you get the lay of the land. In response to the Baby Boomer Entrepreneurship trend, the US Small Business Administration has created a special web site to support Baby Boomer Entrepreneurs. Do a web search on Baby Boomer Entrepreneurs and you should find this site and other free resources.

Second – Get a good grasp of why businesses fail and what to do about it. Probably the best resource on this is the work of the author Michael E. Gerber. His book, The E-Myth Revisited: Why Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, is probably the best reference around. It is an easy reading book that will get you pointed in the right direction. A search under Michael Gerber’s name or for the book will give you a number of free resources including information from the book and interviews of Michael about how to work smarter rather than harder.

Finally – If you want to get going faster and to improve your odds of success, get some personal coaching from someone to help you apply the principles specifically. This can help you get off to a good start in understanding the entrepreneurial mindset, the ways you have to think differently to be successful as a business owner.

If you follow these principles you can experience the success that is being sought by Baby Boomer Entrepreneurs. You can have a profitable business that continues to fund your lifestyle. You can have a lifestyle with proper work/life balance instead of a life consumed by your business. You can join the successful Baby Boomer Entrepreneurs.

For more free resources on Baby Boomer Entrepreneurship, go to:

Shallie Bey

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Baby Boomer Entrepreneurs - What's It All About?

Baby boomer entrepreneurs are starting businesses at unprecedented levels. Is this a new breakthrough in gracefully aging and making contributions to society, a new form of work life balance? Or is this another fad like the hula hoop that marks the progress of Baby Boomers into a new set of distractions?

Many of the comments from surveys suggest that Baby Boomers enjoy their work but simply don’t like the place where they work. So the solution is to start a business.

This sounds remarkably like what the sage of why most small businesses don’t work and what to do about it, Michael Gerber, calls the Entrepreneurial Seizure. Is it about not having a boss? Is it about finally being the boss? Is it about being free from the limitations of working for somebody else? If it is, get the baby aspirin before the full seizure comes on. You are about to create “a business” with a mind of it’s own and that plans to enslave you.

If all you do is to start a business so you can create a place to work, will your dreams of work life balance come true, Baby Boomer Entrepreneur? Will you find happiness or yourself working for a new slave driver?

As the sub title to Michael Gerber’s great book, The E-Myth Revisited suggests, we know why most small businesses don’t work and what to do about it. A good place for you to start will be the free directories I have compiled for you on Michael Gerber’s work and on issues relating to Baby Boomer Entrepreneurship.

Join the Baby Boomer Entrepreneurs

Michael Gerber and the Book The E-Myth Revisited

Baby Boomer Entrepreneur, my fellow Baby Boomer, if you are going to do this, and I hope you will, make sure you know what it’s all about.

Shallie Bey

Friday, November 14, 2008

Seth Godin on the Number One Secret of the Great Blogs

Seth Godin wrote a very interesting blog post this morning. He says that the number one secret of the great blogs is that every one of them leads a tribe. The function of the blog, he says, is to be the standard bearer, the north star that tribe members can point to as a place to meet or for ideas to circle around. The blog isn’t about the writer, it’s about the readers.

Since reading Seth’s new book, Tribes, I have been trying to define in my mind the specific tribe for which the Smarter Small Business Blog is written. Of course, it is written for owners of businesses or people who want to become owners of businesses. Yet, it is not written for just any owner, but those who are or want to be true entrepreneurs. Even among true entrepreneurs, there are people who want to do things the hard way and those who want to be smart about what they are doing so that they can have a better work – life balance. I believe that is the tribe to which this blog is directed. It is written for the Baby Boomer Entrepreneurs who are forming new businesses at a rate that exceeds every other age group. It is also written for the young people who are responding to the challenge of Global Entrepreneurship Week to explore entrepreneurship as their way of making a mark on the future.

I guess that to lead this Tribe of Entrepreneurs, this blog must be about helping entrepreneurs find the Tribe that they will lead in the marketplace. We shall focus upon this in upcoming posts.

For now, if you would like to know more about this concept of Tribes, please see the Squidoo lens I have prepared for you. And if you want to see Seth’s direct comments on The Number one secret of great blogs, go see him at

Good luck at finding your Tribe. And if you are a member of that tribe of smart entrepreneurs who especially want a proper work – life balance, I hope you have found a home.

Shallie Bey

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Baby Boomer Entrepreneurs

Baby Boomers, the generation born between 1946 and 1964 are participating in Baby Boomer entrepreneurship at amazing levels. Though Global Entrepreneurship Week and similar efforts are focusing upon getting young people to explore entrepreneurship, it is the Baby Boomers who are answering the call at unprecedented levels.

In recognition that Americans aged 55 to 64 start small businesses at a higher rate than any other age group, the U.S. Small Business Administration has decided to focus upon making resources available to this sector. A new site, offers help to explore the benefits of business ownership at this age. The site seeks to offer helpful information to make choices about business ownership.

One of the key factors driving this development is a change in the way people in this age group seem to view retirement. A recent USA Today/Gallup poll says that 63% of non-retired adults in the United States plan to work into retirement. Most interesting is that this poll was before the current economic collapse and that people were making this decision for non-financial reasons. Most were saying they made the choice for the enjoyment they get from work. Most certainly, with the impact of the drop in the financial market, this group will swell due to people having financial concerns.

One smart entrepreneurial idea may be helping Baby Boomers who want to become entrepreneurs. The SBA site includes an Experience Corps comment that the number of Americans age 55 and older will almost double between 2007 and 2030 - from 60 million to 107.6 million. That certainly sounds like a niche market opportunity.

This is not a new trend. Nearly half the country's self employed workers - 7.4 million - are so Baby Boomers according to the U.S. Department of Labor. And a recent AARP study conducted by RAND Corporation discovered that one in three self-employed workers age 51 to 69 made the transition to self-employment at or after age 50. See the SBA site for more facts. Also see our directory on Entrepreneurship for New Entrepreneurs.

Shallie Bey

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Books for Entrepreneurs - The Back of the Napkin

When Dan Roam wrote The Back of the Napkin, he probably never thought he was writing a book for entrepreneurs. But that is exactly what he did. The book is about discovering ideas, developing ideas, and selling ideas. That is the entrepreneurship process. That is the way to develop entrepreneurial ideas and the foundation of the entrepreneurial mindset.

When Dan Roam wrote this book, he did have in mind presenting you with a set of visual thinking tools to help you learn how to tackle problems by looking better, seeing sharper, and imagining further. He does a marvelous job of accomplishing this task.

I have developed for my readers a Squidoo lens (Internet Directory) that takes you on a tour of the Internet on the topic of The Back of the Napkin. This site has excerpts from the book, YouTube presentations by the author and practical examples of how entrepreneurs have used this method to implement their entrepreneurial ideas. This is a great place to start if you are a young entrepreneur seeking to participate in Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Here is a quick sample of one of the videos you will find there.

Shallie Bey

Monday, September 29, 2008

Global Entrepreneurship Week Is Almost Here

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Is Global Entrepreneurship Week making you curious about how good an entrepreneur you can be? Well, the time to test yourself is coming closer and closer.

In November of 2008, during the week before Thanksgiving, the first ever Global Entrepreneurship Week will occur. It will encourage young people from around the world to explore entrepreneurship as a way of resolving many of the great challenges of the world.

In an effort to support Global Entrepreneurship Week I have scoured the Internet to collect some of the best advice on entrepreneurship that I could find. It is all organized on a Squidoo Directory to get you started.

This directory, called a lens by Squidoo, will 1) monitor the events leading up to Global Entrepreneurship Week, 2) Share insights on entrepreneurship, and 3) follow the progress once the event occurs.

Shallie Bey

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Entrepreneurship In A Word: Part 3 – Advisers

No matter how experienced you are as an entrepreneur, you depend upon growing by having good advisers. The challenge is making sure that your advisers are supporting your goals and dreams and not just selling you their own.

Joan Magretta, strategy editor of the Harvard Business Review during the 1990s and author of the delightful book, What Management Is: How It Works and Why It's Everyone's Business, has an interesting insight. She calls it “advice without context”.

She observed that the number of books and major articles on management has grown to over two thousand per year. Most of these focus upon a single idea in isolation and often out of context. But the practical reader wants ideas they can quickly use, so most literature is full of lessons learned and concrete to-do lists – the ten things you can do today to be effective or savvy.

The problem is that 10 things from each of 2000 sources suddenly turns into an overwhelming twenty thousand suggestions to you each year. This doesn’t even include the advice from friends, relatives, business consultants, customers, other successful entrepreneurs, and in today’s age the Internet. This is the problem of advice without context. Every piece of advice must be placed in the context of your personal goals and your business plan. This is the reason that you design your business plan to be your tool for designing your business. You must know not only what to do but why the advice supports your goals. So, as an entrepreneur, make sure you understand the motives of your advisers.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Entrepreneurship In A Word: Part 2 – Discipline

Entrepreneurs, regardless of what industry they are in, tend to follow similar patterns as they establish and grow their businesses. If you want to be successful faster than normal or at a greater scale than normal, you will do well to understand the patterns that lead to problems and the patterns that lead to success.


Discipline…control gained by obedience and training…is the key to putting the knowledge of patterns into play. After all, successful development of your business depends first upon having a good strategy and then upon good implementation.


Many business owners approach starting a new business as though it is an instinctive skill. They think that if they know how to cook chicken, they are fully equipped to open a chicken restaurant. It is this pattern of following your instincts, flying by the seat of your pants, that causes so many people to run into the same problems.


The discipline of starting a business begins with the fundamental three planning questions:


  1. Where are you now? This is about getting oriented to your current situation. If you have never owned a business before, you have a bigger learning curve ahead of you than the person who is opening their third business. If you have vast financial resources, you face a different starting point than the person who is already in debt.

  2. Where are you going? This is where you define your objective? Do you want a solo opportunity that will grant you a few hundred dollars extra income or are you looking to be at the top of the INC 500 in five years? What is it that you want to build?

  3. How are you going to get there? You might think of this as the bridge that you must build to cross the chasm between where you are now and where you want to be. You might call this your strategy.

Slow down to act with discipline. Begin by answering these three questions. You are likely to accelerate your overall success.


No one embodies the concept of discipline more than Marines. Look at how their discipline inspires us to think of them as super humans.


Talk with a drill sergeant. Ask them about recruits getting off the bus on day 1 of Boot Camp. Do you think they achieve becoming…one of the few…one of the proud…flying by the seat of their pants? Are you ready to begin your training? Will you inspire the people who must do business with you… your employees, your vendors, your lenders, your customers?

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Entrepreneurship In A Word -- Identity

Entrepreneurial success begins with knowing who you ARE. Unfortunately, many of the success formulas that will be dangled before you will be based upon HAVE/DO/BE.

These advisors tell you that you must HAVE stuff to be able to DO the right things. And if you DO the right things, you will BE a success.

The true formula works exactly in reverse: BE/DO/HAVE. If you will BE who you are in a genuine way, you will DO the right things. If you DO the right things, you will HAVE genuine results.

The best advisors to entrepreneurs focus upon having you plan your life before planning your business.

Michael Gerber, famed author of The E-Myth Revisited, calls this finding your Primary Aim. He puts it this way:

"I doubt that by now you’d be surprised to find out that I don’t believe your
business to be the first order of business on your agenda.

You are.

Nor will you be surprised to hear that I don’t believe your business is your life, though it can play a significantly important role in your life.

But before you can determine what that role will be, you must ask these questions:

· What do I value most?

· What kind of life do I want?

· What do I want my life to look like?

· Who do I wish to be?

Your Primary Aim is the answer to all these questions."

Startup Nation has the same message: “Plan your life, then your business.”

See their excellent discussion of how to make this plan at:

Look for the download templates of the sample life plan and the template to create your own life plan.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

A Symphony In Four Parts...The Art of Starting A New Business

Every business idea has to begin with a thought. That thought has to be developed. Regardless of the type business, there are certain universal principles that apply.

The 30 Day Challenge is designed to help an entrepreneur focus upon those principles to test the potential of a new idea. Ed Dale, the face of the 30 Day Challenge, shares the key concepts that he describes as a symphony. Like a symphony, it depends upon blending the right parts, in the right amount, in the right order, with the right timing.

Ed introduces the 30 Day Challenge and describes the four parts of the symphony:
1. Market Research
2. Traffic
3. Conversion
4. Product

A conservative estimate is that 95% of mistakes are made in the MARKET RESEARCH stage. This is because most people don't do the MARKET RESEARCH.

Following this universal pattern can't guarantee a success every time. The beauty is that it will help eliminate the stuff that will not work.

Whether you are doing a traditional business or an Internet business, the MARKET RESEARCH capability of the Internet opens new roads to success in starting a new business or growing an established business.

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Saturday, August 02, 2008

Ed Dale's Free 30 Day Challenge In Marketing Training

The past 24 hours have been amazing to me as a lifelong learner. I have added a tremendous amount of marketing wisdom due to an absolutely free resource.

Ed Dale is a marketing leader who specializes in the Internet. He is offering his 4th 30 Day Challenge. This is a way of using Internet resources to market a business that is either online or bricks and mortar. It assumes that your total level of computer skill is to be able to open a browser and to use e-mail.

As a business coach, I spend a lot of time researching marketing issues and helping my clients. In the past 24 hours, what I have learned has at least doubled my efficiency.

Though the program began officially on August 1, you can still join. There are an amazing number of resources, particularly videos, to make it easy for you to catch up and work at your pace.

To get more information, follow this link:

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sir Richard Branson Knows Joe Polish…Joe Knows…

Early this week, I received a surprise gift box from containing a DVD and a note:

Enjoy the DVD!
Best, Joe Polish

Some advice givers say, “It’s not what you know, but who you know!”

Others say, “It’s not who you know, but who knows you!”

Still others say, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”.

Regardless of which advice rings true for you, you need to know what Joe knows. Joe is one of the world’s leading advocates of relationship marketing: the concept that people like to do business with people they know, like, and trust. And Joe proves the principle by investing in relationships, often by giving gifts like the DVD about the life of a famous man that he thought I would find inspiring.

Joe is one of the kindest, most generous people that I have ever met. Over the past three years that I have known him, he has expanded my horizons significantly.

Through such generosity in the form of charitable contributions, he came to know Sir Richard Branson. Not only personally benefiting from that association, Joe has opened doors for friends and clients of his company, Piranha Marketing, to gain access to that wisdom. He even recently arranged for a group to spend a week on Necker Island, Branson’s private island, to meet and talk with Sir Richard.

If you doubt how valuable an opportunity that can be, you need to know of the book, Millionaire Upgrade, by Richard Parkes Cordock. The book is inspired by the true story of an eight-hour flight with Sir Richard Branson. It describes the principles of success that a frustrated employee learned about becoming an entrepreneur when he was upgraded on a long haul flight and finds himself sitting next to a self-made billionaire.

The book shares eight principles and a “magic ingredient” that ties the principles together. Though I won’t share the details of the “magic ingredient”, I will share one portion of it:

“Never think you can do it alone – you can’t”

That is why I am thankful that Joe knows me!

Thanks Joe!

For more information on Joe Polish and to see him interview Sir Richard Branson, go to