Archives for June 2006

The Best Online Resource for Entrepreneurs

Today’s post isn’t going to be long, but I just wanted to share what I think is the greatest online resource for all of your entrepreneurial needs.

Today I wanted to do some research on developing a solid online marketing strategies, so I checked out

Three hours and 20 articles later, I think I’m an expert.

The breadth and the depth of the information on is absolutely astounding and I would highly recommend it for any entrepreneur, or, for that matter, anyone who’s already in business.

Hopefully you learned something new. If not, check back tomorrow and I’ll try a little harder.

The Power of Positive Thinking

For those of you who know me, I think it’s fairly safe to say that I’m pretty much a pessimist; the glass is half empty sort of guy. It’s not that I particularly like being that way, it’s just how I’ve always been.

I’m trying to do something about that though.

The more I get into trying to start and run a successful business, the more I realize that in order to get to where I want to be, I need to have a more positive outlook on things and, more importantly, learn to trust my gut.

Look, I’m not trying to post a self-help manual here; that’s not what I’m about. But I do think that there is something to be said for having a positive outlook as well as being confident in your abilities to make good decisions for both you and your business.

Let me give you a real world example, two million dollar example.

In the winter of 2004, I was reading a stock picking forum on Yahoo! and I came across this one penny stock that for some reason or another caught my attention. The ticker was (pk means it was traded as a pink sheet, so technically it wasn’t really traded on any major exchanges) and was actually the stock for the first dedicated gay and lesbian cable television station.

While the station itself was of no interest to me, the idea behind it was, and I remember a year or two before Bob Johnson sold Black Entertainment Television (BET) to Viacom for over a billion dollars. I likened this new TV station to the next BET.

Anyway, I did my due diligence, researched the stock, checked the balance sheets, called the company – basically all the stuff you should do before you invest in any company. After all of my research, I thought this would be a good investment and was ready to throw down $10,000 on the stock.

For some lucky people, 10 grand may not sound like much, but at the time, that was about 50% of my free cash.

The next day at work, I entered all of the transaction information into my Ameritrade account and was ready to make the trade. I had done my homework and everything in my gut told me to make the trade.

Then the little voice inside my head said to not do it. It was too much money. Why would you invest in that stock? It was too risky.

So, that day the negative, little voice in my head won out and I didn’t make the trade.

Within in three months, that $10,000 investment would have been up to $2,500,000. Instead, it was still $10,000. I essentially lost $2.5 million dollars by simply not listening to my gut.

So, don’t tell me it doesn’t pay to be positive, confident and listen to your gut. You’ve done the work, you know what you’re doing, so you might as well trust in your abilities and let the chips fall where they may.

Sites to Use To Drive Traffic to Your Blog

When I started doing this whole blog thing, I never realized how many people were blogging for more than their own enjoyment; a lot of people are actually making a ton of money doing it.

So, after figuring all of that out, I thought it would be a good idea to go about adding Google AdSense (all of those links on the top, side and bottom of all of my blogs), if at the very least, to try and earn enough money to cover the cost of hosting each of the sites.

For the most part, I’ve made a small amount each day, probably averaging less than $1 per day. Not that I’m complaining, I mean, that’s $30 per month, more than covering the $12 per month I’m spending on all of my hosting accounts.

Obviously, the days where my sites have experienced a spike in the number of hits, I’ve received more money for the increased number of AdSense clicks. For example, the last two days, I’ve had over 10,000 hits on my Daily Fuel Economy Tip site, and I’ve made about $10 each day. I know that’s not enough to go and quit my day job, but it works for me.

In an effort to try and get more hits to my sites, I’ve found a couple of places where you can post links to your sites as a way to help drive traffic. Here are the sites that I’ve found to be the most helpful:

You can set up a free account on each of these sites and use them PERIODICALLY to post articles; you shouldn’t post links to your articles very often. Otherwise, you’ll be labeled as a spammer and then nobody will want to read what you have to say. Your articles should be good enough that the new traffic you’ve generated will do the work for you.

More Ways to Come Up With the Next Big Thing

You’ll have to forgive me; I’m using this forum as a way to think out loud. Hopefully you’re getting some sort of benefit from it as well. If not, feel free to point and laugh.

Anyway, on the way in to work this morning, I kept thinking about some other ways to come up with “The Next Big Thing.” I liked what I posted yesterday, but I felt like it came up a bit short, like it needed some extra juice.

Because I’m a super nerd, I bought one of those digital voice recorders about two months ago, and thought it would be a good idea to quickly blurt out any idea that came to mind. Here’s what I came up with.

Look inward: Yesterday I advocated taking a step back to observe the things around you, which is fine, but I think it’s probably a better idea to look “within yourself,” specifically try and think of what could make your life easier.

The reason why this is such a great way to attack the problem of finding the next big thing is because if you can come up with something that makes your life easier, I’d be willing to bet there are tens, if not hundreds, of millions of people who would be willing to pay to have their life made easier, too.

What is something that will be needed by everyone at least once?: This one’s probably easier said than done, but think about it anyway. These are the items that typically cost a little bit more, but allow you to have a little bit higher margin.

That was one of the reasons I felt, and feel, In My Memories is a solid idea; at some point we’re all going to be affected by the loss of someone close to us. While making money certainly isn’t my only motive, most businesses do want to make a little of it.

What is something that will be needed by everyone many times?: Again, probably easier said than done, but worth the investigation. These are the items that are typically small ticket items, but are sold so frequently, that the small margins quickly add up to big bucks.

This is how Wal-Mart was built. Whether you like or dislike the store, Sam Walton was obviously on to something, and if he were still alive, would be the richest man in the world.

Come up with products to support the current “Big Thing”: One of the people that posted a comment yesterday beat me to this, but it’s worth repeating. If you can come up with a good idea to “accessorize” the current in thing, you’re going to make a killing. The perfect example, which was in the comment, was the booming business that’s surrounding the accessories for iPods.

Anyway, feel free to post a comment telling me I’m completely off track and how you’ve got it all figured out… but leave some bread crumbs for the rest of us.

Coming Up With The Next Big Thing

The other night my buddy and I were talking about how great it would be to put together a solid business idea that would make us instantly wealthy; rich enough so that we could each do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted.

I think this is the reason why I’m never actually going to come up with that idea, because spend too much time talking and dreaming, not enough time actually doing. But, I’ll save that for another whoa-is-me post.

Anyway, I think my buddy summed it up perfectly when he said, “it’s not about copying something that’s currently successful, it’s all about being lucky enough to come up with the next big thing.”

I think that sentence there encompasses the entire entrepreneurial spirit – searching for the next big thing.

Now, if I knew exactly how to come up with the next big thing, you’d be paying to read this post and I’d be working from my 75 foot yatch somewhere in the middle of the Caribbean. That being said, I think I have a couple of good places to start.

Step Back and Observe: Your multi-million dollar idea doesn’t have to be a world changer. I’ll bet there are probably four or five ideas that you could implement around your town or city that could do well by you.

Changing Demographics: Plain and simple, America is changing. But change can be good, especially if you can find a way to capitalize on it. For example, the Hispanic population is growing faster than any other group of people in the United States. What are some businesses you can develop that can serve this growing (both in population and in amount of money spent) group?

What Are You Good At?: I know it sounds cliche, but more than likely, you can probably do one (or more things) better than anyone in the world. How can you capitalize on your talent and turn it into a wealth generating businesses?

Use Technology To Your Advantage: With the most recent advances in technology, many items related to business have become more efficient and less expensive. How can you take advantage of that? Can you incorporate it into your business to finally turn a profit? Can you find a way to integrate it into other small businesses and generate wealth that way?

Look, I’m not a business genius, I’m just a guy who wants to come up with a solid idea and run with it. These are the sorts of things I like to think about to try and stimulate some thought or dialogue that may end up generating the next big thing.

I’m sure you’ve got some ideas on where to look, or things that you’ve used, so if you want to share them, feel free. I’m sure there are plenty of want-to-be entrepreneurs out there who would love to open some dialogue.