Friday, January 2, 2015

Invest In Your Business


I often encounter individuals who think they can start a business or operate a business without sufficient investment in the resources or business services required to keep a business operating successfully.  For instance, when starting a business and you are looking for a company or consultant to assist you in writing your business plan, do not expect that consultant or company to be overwhelmed with the task of putting your plan together, plus conducting endless hours of research for information gathering, only to be paid a minuscule fee.  If you are searching for a service to build your website, do not expect that a web designer is going to build you a high quality/highly optimized site, with well designed pages, videos, and a photo gallery for a few hundred dollars.  The designer to whom you present such an offer, will tell you to find someone else to build your site, or do it yourself.

When you seek professional services, expect to pay market value for the services of a consultant or company providing you a service.  Oftentimes, too many of us think we can beat someone down on a price for services rendered, and receive full value as if you payed a higher price for the same quality of service.  It does not work that way.  Entrepreneurs must grow comfortable with the fact that to make money, you have to spend money.  You have to "invest in your business".  If you can't afford to pay for basic services, and think you can get by without investing properly in the development of your BRAND and business, then you are not ready for business ownership.  You are still a dreamer.  Develop a realistic budget for services required, then seek the appropriate assistance.  Bypassing a professional for someone who does not invest in self-development, or for someone who offers a "side" service for a few dollars, places you at risk of looking unprofessional and unprepared for business ownership.  For instance, if you paid someone $200 for a business plan, because that person told you he or she can put a plan together that will get the same results as one at the full market value, chances are your business plan will not be an effective tool for you to use in growing your business and getting the necessary funding you need for working capital to operate your business.  Don't be overly frugal when it comes to doing the right thing to build your business.  Yes, we have to be cost effective and cost conscious, but understand that you pay for quality.

Another example is if you operate a bricks and mortar, and you have expensive plumbing and electrical work which have to be performed.  Determine what can be done by you and what has to be outsourced to a professional.  You may be able to perform some of the basic tasks yourself, and reserve the more arduous and complicated tasks for a professional.  Do not perform tasks yourself, if your sole intent is to save money.  You can get a licensed professional to perform the high quality of work you expect, with wonderful results.  Performing work yourself may compromise safety and put your clientele at risk, or cause greater damage, if you are not an expert at what you are doing.

In Summary, you get what you pay for.  If you cut corners, you will compromise your BRAND and your image may be communicated poorly to those who keep you in business.  Seek professionals who can take you the next level, which is becoming a successful entrepreneur.  Do your research, compare service providers, and select the company or consultants who are experts in their respective field.  Get referrals, or go to the Better Business Bureau's website to find consultants in your local area.  In the end, you will have the peace of mind knowing that you invested in your business the right way, and did not cut corners on your development.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Roland Martin Tweet

For the past week, I have been discussing with several of my friends and colleagues the suspension of Roland Martin from CNN following comments he made on Twitter about the David Beckham underwear ad shown during this year’s Super Bowl. Over the years, Roland has been a respected Political Analyst on CNN and among other circles, and has been in the forefront of political commentary during various major election primaries. Roland has become a serious and important BRAND with a global audience, and generated a loyal following by many who perceive him as a legitimate thinker on the science of politics. His political analysis is valued by many and with his ascension to a higher plateau, why would Roland take to his Twitter account to make a senseless and damaging comment about the David Beckham ad?

I’ve been saying for a long time that we seem to be losing our First Amendment right as Americans, as we no longer are able to voice our opinions openly and speak freely without fear of reprimand. We can look at cases such as Tracy Morgan openly joking about stabbing his son if he turned gay, Don Imus joking about nappy headed hoes, referring to the female basketball players at Rutgers University, Michael Richard’s “he’s a nigger” tirade during a comedy performance, and now the Roland Martin anti-gay tweet referring to guys who may be turned on by David Beckham’s underwear advertisement. The fact is despite the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, inappropriate and irresponsible comments, regardless of what nature, will not be tolerated as acceptable forms of expression. What we have to realize with Roland’s comments is that it offended a lot of people, whether gay or not, and his commitment to professionalism was compromised with his poor decision to publish his thoughts on Twitter.

Roland Martin, unlike Don Imus (a radio personality) or Michael Richards (a comedian), is held to a higher level of professionalism and degree of accountability as a respected employee/analyst of CNN. I am not judging Roland, and I am not saying that he is above criticism. However, Roland Martin should have realized that at the moment when he hit “send” to broadcast his comments about Beckham’s underwear, he would have been held accountable for those words, as they reflected a negative provocation of action to incite violence against people who live an alternative (gay) lifestyle. Roland should have realized that personal comments, such as those he made on Twitter, should have been best uttered and kept privately among his close friends and not made viral. Perhaps, this is a lesson from which all of us can learn. We are all human, not perfect. We should not be in the business of judging anyone, unless we take a long and hard look in the mirror first. I am sure Roland Martin regrets what he broadcasted and is searching for the most appropriate time to make his apology. He is now performing damage control to end the crisis and harm he has inflicted on his personal BRAND. Social media communication platforms provide the opportunity for us to connect and express ourselves freely, but let’s learn from this valuable lesson and utilize all media outlets to promote positive and responsible expression. God bless.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Mind Your Own Business


What is it to have worked all your life, never having the faith or raw courage to take a leap of faith and empower yourself in the spirit of entrepreneurship. What is it to have tried, and failed, then try a second time and fail again, only to be successful the third time around. The old adage is to climb back upon that horse after falling off, and complete your ride. What if Orvil and Wilbur Wright would have said "man will never fly"!!

Courage to leave the safe environment of a 9 to5 job, where your income is steady may take time to muster. The hesitant manner in which you approach your true destiny may cause you to make a decision that would dictate the remainder of your life spent working a job that you truly hate. Moreover, you continue the arduous routine until the proverbial gold watch is placed on your wrist, and you slip into a life of "what could have been".

Entrepreneurship is no easy task, but allows for a journey of self-discovery and infinite independence if planned properly. It is said that no one should start a business just to become rich, but to be involved in a commercial activity that they love. I firmly believe that if you enjoy what you do, and you do it well, the true riches from your endeavors will come sooner than later. If you have a talent or skill that may be marketable for your own commercial benefit, take the leap of faith. Don't just think about it, be about it. There are a plethora of opportunities to take the plunge, and a market waiting to be served with your products or services. You will definitely discover that you command more control over your destiny when your innovative thinking brings you a respectable return on your investment.

If you ever thought of starting your own business, take that leap and get started. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Thank you very much.