Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Dr. King & Entrepreneurism

In commemoration of Dr. King's life and legacy, and my recent focus on entrepreneurship, I wanted to take a moment to not only remember a great American, but also to illustrate how Dr. King's life was in my humble opinion, a testament to many of a successful entrepreneur's characteristics or attributes.

Below you will find a list of some of those characteristics:

Dr. King had a fierce sense of urgency, not complacency.

During the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. King didn't sit idly by whenever he saw an injustice. During the Civil Rights Movement, he took a stand and got involved with a fierce sense of urgency.

Indeed, he organized others, made speeches, and conducted all sorts of rallies. Like Dr. King, it is important for entrepreneurs to act with a sense of urgency when it comes to finding a need in the marketplace and filling it with their knowledge, skills, and abilities. Real entrepreneurs take day to day steps to get their small business venture off the ground whether it be doing market research on what needs are not being met in the marketplace or whether it is developing a business plan, entrepreneurs take action.

Dr. King saw opportunities, not obstacles. He focused not on his fears, but on his faith in his vision of a better tomorrow.

Indeed, Dr. King was not deterred by the obstacles he and others in the fight for civil rights faced. He knew that there were going to be naysayers and other individuals that would fight his efforts tooth and nail, but that didn't stop him.

Indeed, Dr. King was driven not by these fears and anxieties but by his deep faith in a better tomorrow. Like Dr. King, entrepreneurs will face obstacles as well. They may face obstacles like not getting the funding or support they need to get their small business venture off the ground. They may encounter obstacles like working long hours and not seeing their friends and family as much as they would like. But true entrepreneurs do not let these obstacles deter them. Real entrepreneurs soldier on despite the obstacles. 

Dr. King had a compelling vision of a better tomorrow.

Despite the grim realities of his era (injustice, war, poverty), Dr. King envisioned a better tomorrow where individual's would not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

As entrepreneurs, it is likewise important that we develop a clear and compelling vision for our small business endeavors. To understand how to craft a vision for your small business, ask your self basic questions such as what makes you cry? What makes others cry? What makes you smile? What makes others smile? For more information on crafting a vision, click here

Dr. King was a constant ambassador of his vision for a better tomorrow.

Like any entrepreneur that is worth his or her salt, Dr. King understood the importance of constantly spreading the word about his vision of a better tomorrow through his powerful speeches and eloquent sermons. Everywhere he would go, Dr. King would discuss the importance of his vision of a Beloved Community.

Its equally important for entrepreneurs to constantly share with others their small business vision. Through sharing with others, the aspiring entrepreneur may enlist the help of others who can play vital roles in the success of their small business venture. 

Dr. King kept his eye on his vision despite setbacks and challenges.

Dr. King's was arrested more than 20 times. His home was bombed and yet he kept his focus on his vision of a better tomorrow. I know what you may be saying, most entrepreneurs don't have to deal with their homes being bombed, and I get that, but please don't miss the point I'm making here, which is that no matter what setback you face, the idea is to stay focused on your goal, no matter what.

This is true with entrepreneurism as well. Sure, you may not have got that small business loan from the bank like you wanted, but that should not stop you from continuing to pursue your small business dream. It just means you may have to try an alternative route to your goal. Even though the strategy may change, keep your eye on the prize or ultimate goal of your endeavors.

For more information on how to start your small business, check out these resources that I have put together by clicking here

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Entrepreneurial Focus

For some reason or another, this time of the year, I'm on this whole start your own business, go for dreams type of thing. So, the next couple of blogs will revolve around this concept of focus and how it applies to the world of entrepreneurship.

Indeed, from interviewing different small business owners and studying entrepreneurship as a whole over the years, I have found that being focused is such a fundamental part of being a successful entrepreneur that separating these two ideas would be as unwise as bringing a knife to a gunfight.

As an entrepreneur, if you are not focused, there is a big chance you may miss out different opportunities that could be capitalized on. 

As a case in point, before I started this blog years ago, I noticed that the Trentonian's blog center had business blogs, but they had no blogs specifically for small business in the city of Trenton. So, after observing this, and reflecting on my skill set and research interests, I found it to be a no-brainer to start a blog that would fill this void I noticed. And then Anwar's Reflections was born.

The bottom line here as an entrepreneur, it is critically important that you keep your eyes and ears open for gaps or opportunities in the marketplace you may be able to fill with your knowledge, skills, and abilities. So below are some things you can do to develop an entrepreneur's laser like focus:

Use Google, Use Google, Use Google

Here the idea is to constantly search the Internet to find gaps or opportunities in the marketplace that you may be able to capitalize on. I'm not saying you have to stop 'Googling' who said what on the latest episode of Empire or American Idol.

All I'm saying is that if you're entrepreneurially inclined, its vitally important to set aside a little bit of time during your day to day Googling to see if there any opportunities in the marketplace you can take advantage of. If you need help perusing or surfing the Internet, visit these sites for more information, click here or here

Watch, read, or listen to the news paying particular attention to gaps or opportunities in the marketplace

When taking in your daily dose of what's going on in your world on television, radio, newspaper, or the Internet, don't just pay attention to the latest murder or robbery (unless that's your thing), instead keep your eyes open for different gaps or opportunities in the marketplace.

This could be something as simple as noticing that a group or organization is in need of a service or product that you can bring to the market with your knowledge, skills, and abilities. I can't say it enough, keep your eyes and open. Stay focused.

Talk to your friends,family members, and co-workers about your entrepreneurial interests

While catching up with your friends and family members on the phone, in-person, through social networks, and what have you, set aside a little time to mention your small business idea and where you are at with it.

Your friend or family member may have an idea or suggestion that you never thought of that can point you in the right direction as it relates to kick-starting your small business venture.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Small Business Resources

TRENTON-- Since this blog started out with a focus on small business, but somewhere along the way, got focused on community issues, I thought it would be good to go back to my roots and share with everyone some important resources I found that may help aspiring small business owners as they take their business idea and seek to turn it into a reality. 

So, I did some research online, and below you will find some of the resources I came up with, I hope this helps, happy holidays:

SBA or the Small Business Administration

This organization provides a wealth of information on how to start your business and get funding for your start-up. This site also provides information on business opportunities and different laws and regulations related to small businesses. To access the Small Business Administration's official website, click here

BizFilings

This organization has a small business guide that walks you through many of the practical things an entrepreneur or small business owner has to go through when launching a business. It also gives you critical tax information about starting and maintaining a business venture. To access BizFilings website, click here.

Google Docs

This site can provide you with spreadsheet software similar to Microsoft Excel or Word. These programs can help you better manage your business without the extra cost of other software. Both of these spreadsheets can prove to be integral to your small business needs when you are starting out. To access Google Docs, click here

IRS (Internal Revenue Service)

This site or organization can give you a wealth of information on how to define your business entity. It can also give you information on how to stay current on tax laws that affect business owners or entrepreneurs. Along with the IRS, its also important to refer to your state's taxation department or division to ensure you are registered with them properly as well. To access the Internal Revenue Service's website, click here.

U.S. Department of Labor: Office of Small Business Programs

This organization promotes opportunities for small business, especially disadvantaged businesses. To access the agency's website, click here

Bottom Line:

So, whether you are thinking about starting a barber shop, pizza place, or antique boutique, you as an up and coming entrepreneur are going to need various tools to cover all of your bases. Indeed, starting a business can be both rewarding and challenging.

Indeed, with your own business, you get to be your own boss, work your own hours, and pursue something that you may have always been passionate about. Can't get any better than that right, well...wrong. The other side of running a business involves its drawbacks or challenges. For example, having your own business will probably mean long hours, lots of homework or research, and a long term perspective. But nevertheless, by having your own business, the pros outweigh the cons. So, if you are feeling that entrepreneurial itch, go for it, what are you waiting for??? Now is the time, the sky is the limit....