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    21 Nov

    When I was young, Thanksgiving was about turkey, getting out of school for a couple of days and the sign that the Christmas season was starting.  It took a while for me to really appreciate the idea and the importance of being thankful for where I am and what I’ve got.

    With that in mind, as a business owner I’ve got a different perspective than I would have had in previous years.  Here are some of the things I’m thankful for now:

    1. My clients:  I really enjoy and appreciate working with people that are smart, interested in learning new things and trying to accomplish big things.  My clients all have these characteristics and more!  This was why I wanted to get into this business and it’s been great.  The next step is to get more great clients like the ones I’ve got now…! Read More…
    16 Nov

    Superhero

    There’s a pervasive cultural image of the Entrepreneur as the new age Superman (or woman) that not only is supremely creative, but extremely business savvy, smooth talking and only requires 3 hours of sleep per day.

    In the E-Myth Revisted, Michael Gerber starts out his book with the following:

    The E-myth is the myth of the entrepreneur.  It runs deep in this county and rings of the heroic.

    Picture the typical entrepreneur and Herculean pictures come to mind: a man or woman standing alone, wind-blown against the elements, bravely defying insurmountable odds, climbing sheer faces of treacherous rock – all to realize the dream of creating a business of one’s own.

    …Well, while there are such people, my experience tells me they are rare.

    Gerber originally wrote this well before the dot.com boom (and bust), but the Silicon Valley mystique only adds to the myth.

    The thing is…it’s not true.  There are definitely people out there that fit the descriptions above, but 95% or more of business owners and entrepreneurs are down to earth, regular people that like what they do and want to make a business out of it.

    Read More…

    13 Nov

    We went downtown on Sunday night to catch the touring edition of Avenue Q.  Side Note – there must be something to this Kansas City downtown revival – there were at least 3 major events going on during a Sunday night and parking was a challenge.  It was great to see that many people out and about and having fun.

    Anyway, we were there to see Avenue Q.  It’s a Tony winning Broadway musical that mixes puppets with live action actors…somewhat similar to Sesame Street – for adults!

    It’s a little unusual, especially during the puppet on puppet scenes…but it’s really funny!

    From the Broadway website:

    AVENUE Q is the story of Princeton, a bright-eyed college grad who comes to New York City with big dreams and a tiny bank account. He soon discovers that the only neighborhood in his price range is Avenue Q; still, the neighbors seem nice. There’s Brian the out-of-work comedian and his therapist fianceé Christmas Eve; Nicky the good-hearted slacker and his roommate Rod — a Republican investment banker who seems to have some sort of secret; an Internet addict called Trekkie Monster; and a very cute kindergarten teaching assistant named Kate. And would you believe the building’s superintendent is Gary Coleman?!? (Yes, that Gary Coleman.) Together, Princeton and his newfound friends struggle to find jobs, dates, and their ever-elusive purpose in life.

    There are a lot of life lessons covered in this fairly short show, here are a few that I thought were especially good!

    1. The opening song is “What do you do with a BA in English”.  The lead character is a very bright and idealistic young puppet that soon realizes that academics don’t exactly prepare you for the real world.

    2. It’s very important to find your purpose…or the purpose of your business.  You will drift, not be productive and generally be unhappy without knowing what your doing or why.

    3. Everyone at some point in time really wishes they could go back to when they were in college.

    4. When you give something to someone in need, you will feel great about yourself and gain much, much more than you gave.

    5. Even though life can be difficult, it’s best not to get too hung up on it, it’s only ‘For Now’ and you can always change it later…!

    Great show and I would highly recommend it to anyone that hasn’t seen it.

     Shawn Kinkade   www.aspirekc.com

    10 Nov

    A few months ago I did an entry on using a simplified financial break-even calculation that a business owner could use for high level strategic planning based on what they’d like to make.  You can see the details here.

    As a quick summary, the revenue you need to reach a financial break-even point is your Fixed Costs divided by your Profit Margin.

    Read More…

    06 Nov

    I’ve been having a great ongoing discussion with a couple of friends on a business opportunity that one of them is facing.  Over the course of the last 10 years or so, this friend has been doing sales transaction analysis and consulting for small to medium sized companies.

    What’s really interesting is that he’s uncovered a set of patterns and commonalities across more than 50 companies that are extremely consistent, despite different sizes, industries and situations.  This data contradicts conventional thinking on how to approach sales and growth for companies and can really pinpoint how to improve results.

    In short he has a repeatable process that can make a substantial positive impact to a client’s bottom line for a lot of business clients.  Additionally he has a unique situation and approach – he’s been working on this for 10 years…it’s not going to be easily duplicated. Read More…