Freshbooks Survey Finds Majority of Self-Employed Professionals Have No Intention of Returning To Traditional Employment

Freshbooks Survey Finds Majority of Self-Employed Professionals Have No Intention of Returning To Traditional Employment

FreshBooks Survey Finds Majority of Self-Employed Professionals Have No Intention of Returning to Traditional Employment FreshBooks, the #1 accounting software solution in the cloud for self-employed professionals and their teams, today unveiled a new survey that shines a light on the challenges, trade-offs, and mindset of small business...
Silicon Valley Is Right?—?Our Jobs Are Already Disappearing

Silicon Valley Is Right?—?Our Jobs Are Already Disappearing

Silicon Valley Is Right – Our Jobs Are Already Disappearing Stephen Hawking says that “we are at the most dangerous moment in the development of humanity” and that the ” rise of artificial intelligence is likely to extend job destruction deep into the middle classes, with only the most caring, creative or supervisory roles...
March Madness or March Sadness?

March Madness or March Sadness?

Can you believe that almost 3 months have passed since the New Year’s celebrations? A few weeks ago, I read a quote about time on Forbes which basically stated that time is the only commodity you need to generate money. And it struck me how strongly I felt about it. I thought it was the rashest rationale ever. First, you can’t leverage time! It is a man-made construct to satisfy our psychological need to anchor our perceptions from to moment to moment as reality that hold true forever and it comes into a finite packaging. 24 hours in a day; 60 minutes in an hour and 60 seconds in a minute; not one more! If you have only 24 hours to make money by “selling your time”, you can only make a finite amount of money. Now, if you are selling “value” as opposed to time, the more value you deliver, the higher the price, regardless of time. Second, if that quote held true, then every single entrepreneur who had a plan, goal, milestones, or even the faintest idea of what the new year will look like in terms of revenue, would have achieved their objectives. We were all granted the same amount of time. Is that what happened? Has every entrepreneur out there achieved their financial goals? If you have, congratulations! If you didn’t, why? You probably have heard this anecdote before, when Bill Gates and Warren Buffet each took a piece of paper, and without consulting each other, wrote down what’s responsible for their success. They both chose the same word: FOCUS. Focus is the hardest thing...
How to Benefit Most From Mentors & Advisors (Hint: They Are Not Seeking Jobs!)

How to Benefit Most From Mentors & Advisors (Hint: They Are Not Seeking Jobs!)

What causes startups and businesses to fail? I contend that it is not the quality of their product or service or the intellectual property that protects it, but rather the entrepreneur’s inability to leverage their power to secure and capitalize on commercial opportunities. A prerequisite and mandatory step to leverage your power is to evolve, develop yourself, and mature as an entrepreneur: self-assess, understand your capacity and learn from experiences both inside and outside of your business. Almost every successful entrepreneur can recognize a few key mentors and advisors who have influenced their journey and helped them along the way. If you have raised equity funding, you may benefit from the guidance and mentoring that investors provide (yes, qualified investors don’t just write a check!). After all, it does take a village to raise an entrepreneur! Both mentors and advisors are an important part of the entrepreneurial journey, and although the terms are being used interchangeably, it is important that you understand the difference so you can benefit the most from their guidance.   Mentors: A mentor is someone who will support you and encourage you to develop your skills and knowledge as the leader of your company to maximize your business potential and achievements. They have some entrepreneurial experience and a general business acumen. They can be close friends, professional acquaintances or come from organized resources group like Score or the Business Mentor Team. Mentors are most beneficial in the ideation and early stage of a business. Why? Because their main focus is you as your business results are in direct relation to your development and maturity as...
Don’t Tell Me About The Labor Pains, Show Me The Baby!

Don’t Tell Me About The Labor Pains, Show Me The Baby!

When you are an entrepreneur, you find yourself having to tell your story over and over. Traditionally we have been taught to master an elevator pitch, which certainly has its time and place. When dealing with investors, you have to paint them your master piece, your Sistine chapel! Don’t let them guess or work hard to get to it. Many entrepreneurs are so focused on their mechanism, their how-they-do-what-they-do, that they fail to show them the baby! A great framework to help you articulate your story is Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s journey. It involves a protagonist who goes on an adventure, wins a decisive victory after a crisis, encounters some more challenges and eventually returns home, transformed. Sounds familiar? From Finding Nemo to Star Wars, you find this narrative in classic literature, movies and even religious texts. Now, don’t get carried away! You are not writing a Hollywood production! Your business plan, pitch deck, etc. still need to be in an investor-grade format (cf. From MVP to VC: Strategic non-starters and how to avoid them).     Investors want to know who you are: The first step in the Hero’s journey is the “ordinary world” where you learn details from the hero’s ordinary life before he starts on his adventure. It anchors the hero as human and gives us a chance to connect. Translated to business: Who are you? Who are the members of your management team? And how will your experiences aid in your success? Are you trustworthy? Are you coachable?   Investors want to know why did you get started: That is the second step “the call to...
Why 2+2 Doesn’t = 4 in Money

Why 2+2 Doesn’t = 4 in Money

First let me preface by saying it’s not your fault. School doesn’t teach you money. It teaches you math (2+2=4), but in money 2+2=2.5. Why? Truth is there are a myriad of reasons, but to keep it simple, here are three:   1. Time value: The value of money diminishes over time. What a dollar could buy as little as a year ago, that same dollar cannot i.e. candy bars last year on average were $1.29, today they are $1.39 and up.   2. Cost of money: When you borrow money it usually has a positive rate associated with it i.e. 5,10, 20%. This is your cost of funds. We educate that the cost is not as important as the return. If it cost 20% but my return is 60% it may be worth it. Obviously, this is a case by case basis.   3. Cash flow: When you are extending credit to your clients or customers you are minimizing your access to utilize that money as you see fit. Therefore; you must consider and monitor your outstanding receivables vigilantly, as the longer it is outstanding the less buying power it has.   How does this apply to you?   Time value: by understanding this you can price accordingly to reduce diminishing return. When you have financial controls in place you will know your average outstanding receivables timeline, therefore you can plan accordingly. Create a budget and better manage sales cycles, inventory, production cost, etc.   Cost of money: always understand return v. borrow ratio. If your cost of funds is high make progress to adjust. Interest rates are in...