Entrepreneurship – the Loneliest Adventure

A recent blog article by one of my fellow Michigan entrepreneurs,  Nancy Sherman of southwest Michigan-based Business Success Unlimited, caught my attention recently as she pointed out some of the pros and cons of going into business for yourself. As any of those who’ve done it know, the costs (not including financial) can be very high – but so can the rewards.

In her article she pointed out one of the issues I hear about most often from entrepreneurs, the isolation.  They don’t have anyone else they can talk things over with to help make the decisions they need to make.  In previous corporate lives, they had co-workers, bosses, or employees – now they have themselves, especially when they’re just starting out or if they’re running a virtual business. And that can be difficult. Not that they’re depending on others to give them the answers, but we all know, sometimes it can help just to talk it thru with an impartial party.  Nancy’s article pointed out an interesting solution that I would recommend all small business owners explore for themselves. Learn about it below, and if you’d like a referral to a co-working center, I bet Nancy would be happy to help you out, just reach out to her at Nancy@thessbi.com .

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In my 30 years of being an entrepreneur, I have spent time in my home office, in my brick and mortar office and in the coffee shops and restaurants around my town. Each has their own good points and bad, but I think the thing that I like least about any of it, is that I have no one to share with, no one to talk to except the cats.

I was married for 22 years to a really great guy (we’ve probably got the best divorce ever — we’re still great friends), but he just didn’t get it. He would tell me, why don’t you get a real job. You’re home all day, why don’t you do the housework, or cook or clean or whatever. I couldn’t talk to him about the isolation, about the needs for others to be around. When the office phone would ring at 11 at night, he’d complain because I didn’t answer it, and when people showed up at my front door at 7 am on Sunday morning, there would be more complaining. Then when I got a “Real” office and had monthly rent to pay (to the tune of $5000), he’d shake his head and say things like “here we go again. You’re just playing dress up”.

It was not easy. And he was not alone in saying — and thinking — such things. My best friend was right there with him. She works for the government and has tried since the ’90s, to get me to apply for a job there as well. “But what about the benefits? The health insurance? The regular schedule? The paycheck? These are all valid questions, but when you’re an entrepreneur, someone who wants to do it for him or herself, these are really irritating comments.

If you’re like me, you get the frustration of being alone and want to find someone else who also “gets it” to talk to, to share with, to be close to. But how do you do this? You can go hang out at the coffee shops, spend money on drinks and pastries, and maybe talk with someone else for a few minutes, but you don’t really find friendship or business collaboration there. The same is true for a library or restaurant. And how comfortable is it to hold meetings in your home office?

Well, now there’s a great new way to work on your own business while being in the company of like-minded individuals who are also working on their own businesses. It’s a place to rejuvenate your thoughts and ideas, a place to work on the Internet, to get help and support from administrative professionals, a place to sit and chat in the lounge, meeting rooms, private conference rooms, kitchens — all the amenities of an office space without the cost and politics of businesses. It’s a co-work center and they’re springing up all over the world; not just this country but literally around the world. If you’re a homebased business, a freelancer, or travel for your company, find one and check it out. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

SSBI Announces FREE Mobile Marketing Seminar for Kalamazoo Area Business Owners and Marketers

Southwest Michigan’s ‘Strategic Small Business Initiative’ is Sponsoring a FREE Seminar for Kalamazoo Area Small Businesses Interested in Exploring the Use of Mobile Marketing Services to Promote Their Firms
 

RICHLAND, MI – Richland’s Strategic Small Business Initiative today announced its upcoming FREE seminar for Southwest Michigan area businesses interested in learning about Mobile Advertising, and the many ways it can aid them in promoting their businesses and increasing revenue.  This event will be held on Wednesday, August 18th from 6 – 8 p.m. at Comensoli’s Pasta Pasta located at 762 W. Main Street in Downtown Kalamazoo.  Space is limited so reserve your spot now by registering on our Facebook Fan Page at http://www.companies.to/TheSSBI; click on the “Events” tab, or contacting us directly by email at Nancy@TheSSBI.com.

SSBI’s Executive Director, Nancy Sherman, explains the reason for SSBI’s sponsorship of this event, “Our organization focuses on providing resources to our small business members; resources that can help them run and grow their businesses.  Recently I found out about the mobile services provided by Strategic Growth Concepts and met with the firm’s CEO, Linda Daichendt, to learn more.  I was blown away!  I knew right then that we had to take advantage of this technology and make it available to our members as soon as possible.  Mobile advertising provides them an opportunity to take their businesses to the next level with an easy-to-use, high-response, low-cost technology; it’s a tool all small businesses should be looking at!”

According to the Mobile Marketing Association, “Mobile Marketing is a set of practices that enables organizations to communicate and engage with their audience in an interactive and relevant manner through any mobile device or network.”  In today’s marketplace, that communication and engagement is being implemented by marketers from the smallest ‘mom & pop shop’ to the largest multi-national corporations.  As the traditional marketing channels suffer various levels of decline, mobile marketing is experiencing triple-digit growth annually.  Statistics from recent studies provide insight:

  • 97% of SMS (text) messages are read within 15 minutes of receipt, and acted upon within 1 hour.  Nielsen Mobile
  • There are 285.6 million mobile subscribers in the United States, stated another way, that’s 91% of the population! CTIA
  • Mobile devices will pass PCs as the Internet access device of choice by 2013. Gartner
  • $2.2 billion of physical goods will be purchased via mobile device in 2010. ABI Research
  • Mobile retail to reach $12 billion by 2014. Juniper Research
  • 27% of U.S. mobile web users have clicked on a mobile ad. ABI Research
  • 53% of mobile users would share their location to receive more relevant ads. Mashable
  • Mobile coupon redemption is 10x that of traditional coupons. Borrell Associates
  • B2B mobile marketing to grow from $26 million in 2009 to $106 million in 2014. Forrester
  • By 2015, more than 50% of mobile users will participate in mobile banking. eMarketer
  • Mobile users watch 3 hours and 37 minutes of video on their phones per month. Nielsen
  • Hilton Hotels reports “seven digits a month” in mobile revenue. USA Today
  • 36% of people are interested in receiving grocery coupons on their mobile phone. Compete

The seminar’s speaker, Linda Daichendt, is CEO of Strategic Growth Concepts, a Detroit-area based new media marketing firm that specializes in mobile marketing, social media marketing and virtual events production.  Daichendt is an award-winning blogger on the use of new media in growing a business, and a recognized business expert with 20+ years of corporate, small business and franchising experience.  She can be reached at Linda@StrategicGrowthConcepts.com, and the Strategic Growth Concepts website can be viewed at http://www.StrategicGrowthConcepts.com.

For additional information about this event, contact SSBI Executive Director, Nancy Sherman, at Nancy@TheSSBI.com or via the company’s website at http://www.TheSSBI.com.

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Strategic Small Business Initiative (The SSBI) is the latest incarnation of a small business support and networking organization that was founded more than 20 years ago in Washington, D.C. to enable small business growth thru educational events, marketing opportunities, support programs, and relationship building. Now based in Southwest Michigan, the firm provides weekly and monthly support programs for small business owners, an annual conference with well-recognized presenters, and a wide variety of additional services and support programs designed to help small business owners achieve success. The firm’s Executive Director, Nancy Sherman, PhD, is a life-long entrepreneur with an innate understanding of the entrepreneurial mindset, and the ability to lead small business owners to resources that will enable them to overcome any challenges they may be facing. Nancy can be contacted at Nancy@TheSSBI.com, and the company website can be viewed at http://www.TheSSBI.com .