Monthly Archives: February 2008

Systems in Business and Family

Business systems are NOT those things you see sold on 1 page websites where someone claims that you can buy their guaranteed “system” and just plug it in and have it earn money for you. That kind is always a fraud.

Business systems are any one of the following things:

  • Tools that streamline a repetitive task.
  • Routines that facilitate smooth functioning of a specific segment of your business.
  • Processes that are implemented to ensure fast and predictable results.
  • Anything that you analyze, improve the performance of, and then repeat at higher performance.

Good business systems help to keep a business moving forward and help it absorb changes in personnel, clients, and projects. Good systems adapt easily to change, and are designed with sustainability in mind.

When I first learned about business systems, I realized that my father had taught me about them long ago. He just did not label them. I remember him saying, as he taught me to vacuum the shop floor, “Do it systematically!”

I also realized that I had already been using systems in our home – with a big family, certain things have to be done around routines, and standards. We had a daily routine. We had systems for giving haircuts, washing dishes, preparing meals, answering the phone, and yes, vacuuming the floor.

Within a family, some people wonder whether routines will replace humanity. In a business the same danger exists. This is why the best systems are flexible. They take into account the differences in individuals, and the need for periodic assessment and change.

Once you realize the power of systems, they become a terrific tool for keeping order in either a home, or a business, and especially when the home IS the business! They can smooth out regular annoyances, get you over the hard times of day, and help your kids know what is expected so they can meet that expectation.

In a business, they become the glue that holds the business together during the busy times, and through growth. That’s a powerful tool!

Managing Time – Moving from Hobbiest to Professional

It seems pretty easy when you first start a business, if that business is not your sole source of income. You have no particular need to develop intense efficiency, you can dabble at some things, network when you feel like it, and explore new avenues just because they are there.

Moving from hobbiest to professional though, means that certain things must change. You have to think about working in the most efficient and productive manner.

You have to consider which networking is effective, and which is just enjoyable, and sort between the two. There isn’t a lot of time for idle chatter anymore, yet there must also be casual conversation and not just business conversation if you are to build friendships around which network marketing thrives.

Productivity becomes a huge issue. If you move into working full time and living off your business income, the dynamics of productivity change. You end up analyzing on a regular basis, to see if the prices you are charging are sustaining the amount of work you are putting in. If they are not, you have only two choices:

  1. Raise prices. This is only possible if you have not reached the top of your value bracket. Eventually, there comes a point where you cannot raise prices any more without pricing yourself out of your target market, or pricing yourself beyond the value of your product or service.
  2. Become still more efficient. Find ways to reduce the time you put in, without reducing the value. This is hard, and every serious company goes through this pretty much constantly, assessing, reassessing, looking for ways to shave a little time here, a little cost there. This attitude is, in fact, more of a determiner of a true professional than just raising prices. It comes from an understanding of your clients, and caring for them, as well as a desire to survive in business.

In addition to this, you learn how to schedule, and how to organize task tracking. You may need good tools to do this. Notesbrowser (Google it) is a nifty tool to start out organizing information and tasks. But eventually you may need more. A full scale project manager may eventually be needed. If you work with others, they may need to learn to use a group project manager (these are available online, or a web professional can install one for you into your own hosting space).

Once you begin to make the transition, it will never end. You will, from then on, be engaged in regular adjusting to manage better, track better, get more done in less time, and re-evaluating your solutions to make sure they are keeping up with the ever changing needs of business.

Large corporations deal with these issues every day. Tiny startups don’t. And in between the two, there is a wide gulf where enterprise solutions just aren’t needed, but SOMETHING more than a pad and pencil is required. We transition step by step from one extreme to the other, and it is largely our ability to survive the middle stages that determines our ability to grow beyond a certain point. This is, indeed, why many sole proprietors choose not to grow beyond that point. If you intend to, you must survive those transitional years.

Everything is Grist for the Writing Mill

When you first start a blog, you are full of ideas. Coming up with the next one is not difficult at all. For at least the first three days!

Somewhere between 3 and 15 days, you start to wonder how you are going to keep it up. You usually struggle for a while – learning how to brainstorm for ideas of things to write. Then a slow change takes place. You begin to think about blogging throughout the day – topics occur to you at the most unusual times. You find yourself thinking, “I should blog about this!”.

When you become a true blogger, you realize that everything is grist for the mill. You don’t have to produce something profound every time. It just needs to be something of interest, worth writing down. I can blog about watching the tree bud from the livingroom window near my office chair. I can blog about how in between business projects I am thinking about the garden we’ll grow this summer. I can blog about how nice it is to be able to weave the necessities of life into my daily employment. I don’t have to produce Pulitzer Prize quality editorials every time!

I used to blog once a week. When I did that, I could mull over what I said, really think out a conclusion, consider what the most important thing was. It was a column, more than a blog. Useful, and appreciated, but different.

Since stepping up the pace, I’ve noticed a change in how I write. I’m less concerned with the huge concept, more able to explore the trivial. Sometimes there is value in trivia – not that it should ALL be trivia, but, like the old parenting argument of “quality versus quantity”, sometimes we actually define the profound better in detailing the small things than we do in trying to consolidate it into a large conclusion.

The essence of blogging changes when we blog more frequently. I don’t think it changes in a bad way, because I think those profound editorials still find their way in. But we find the opportunity to explore more things in a more detailed way, as well as just dash of peripheral or surface observations in a way that we miss when we are focusing on one thing a week.

Give yourself the freedom to explore things in a new way. When that happens, you find a voice you did not know you had.

This article is a companion to an article on Keeping Track of Blogging Ideas on our MicroWeb Blog Community blog.

It’s Never What the Client Wants, No Matter How Good it is

Redesigning a site is always exciting. I get to think about what the business is, who the target market is, and what kind of visual message will display it well. Then I get to go create. It is a lot of fun – unrestrained creativity!

Finally I have it completed – something that looks good, coordinates, and has that snap of class. But at that point, it isn’t done, because the client has to approve it – and they NEVER do!

No matter how good a designer you are, it is almost never right on the first try. And it isn’t because you aren’t good at what you do. It is because the way you see their business, and the way they see their business, aren’t the same. To truly do a good job, you have to find that blend in between the two.

Ego really gets in the way – you send this out, and it is a little like sending your firstborn to school for the first time. You don’t know if the other kids will like them or if they’ll come home beat up. Sometimes your design comes back beat up – totally wrong. Usually it isn’t totally wrong, usually it is just a little off.

So you morph it a little, get it a little better, tweak it some more, and it is finally right. Not quite what you envisioned, but still good. Often MORE than you’d have done on your own. Sometimes less. Because people see things differently, like different things.

The real difference between a pro and an amateur is NOT whether or not they can get it right the first time. It is whether or not they accept the preferences of the client and gracefully make the changes required. A true commercial artist knows that ultimately, the goal isn’t to produce a masterpiece, much as we’d like to think it is. The goal is to please the client.

One of our clients is also a designer of a different sort. As we were building her gallery, she sent a shot of a project she had done, along with the description. She said, “Funny, I’ve never known if that one was better before, or after the job!”. I told her it did not matter – because it wasn’t about HER preferences, it was about what the client wanted. She wrote back and said that was true, and the client had LOVED it.

Sometimes we don’t think it is as good as it could have been. But if the client is pleased, the job was done right. That is hard when we know we are capable of so much more, or when their preferences seem to get in the way of good presentation. Success is built on more than just our talent to produce amazing things – it is also built on humility and kindness in dealing with clients and their own visions.

Over and over we do this – put all we have into it, then go back and change it to make it into something else. Over and over we graciously tell the client that we’ll make changes, and keep at it until they are satisfied, even when they hate our favorite part.

Because that is what professionals do.

The Best Ideas Come on Saturday Night…

I’ve noticed that my week usually really gets interesting about 9:00pm Saturday night. I take Sundays off. So that is just NOT a good time to have a great idea, or to really get into working on something.

I’ve learned something about that though. A lot of times, the things I think of Saturday night, are really just distractions. Other times, when I’m finishing something, I’m very productive during that time, so I finish up the week with a burst of accomplishment. I think it all depends on whether I’m getting excited about a new idea, or whether I’m finally getting the motivation to finish an old one!

Having ADD makes me have new ideas all the time. Once in a while, one of them is brilliant. Of course, ALL of them feel brilliant in the first blush of inspiration. The good ones though… They can last until Monday, even if I ignore them on Sunday.

I’ve had to learn the trick of taking notes, so I’ll finish the stuff I need to finish, and put the new ideas aside for a while. The good ones stick, I come back to them, and they STILL seem like a good idea, and they grow into something grand. The less impressive ones don’t seem to take on a life of their own.

Saves me a lot of wasted time, actually. Saturday night, when those ideas strike, if I just write them down, and then go back to finishing what I need to finish, they have time to sort of ferment. The good ones develop in my mind, and I add more notes. The less impressive ones never get started. I used to follow up on all those Saturday night ideas – I’d just be so excited to jump in, I’d forget to let it have the test of time to see whether it was a keeper. I got distracted a lot. I get distracted less now, I finish more, and I keep working the business that I have, rather than trying to branch out before the line I’m working fully roots.

Sunday morning I battle too – getting my mind in gear for Sunday. I need that day – that one day – without business. Time to turn my mind off of business and worries, and get it into a higher mode. I’ve found that Sunday mornings are the hardest few hours of the whole week. If things are hard financially, that is when it falls on me. I have time to think about it, for one. And I can’t do anything about it! Usually takes till the middle of church for my mind to really settle, but I come home feeling much better.

I think that life is like that. Hurdles to get over just to get a day of rest. Ideas and work intruding when we really ought to be shutting down. If success is to happen though, order has to prevail. Little by little, I think it is in our life.

Declaring War on the One Page Website!

Back in the dark ages of the internet, when HTML was new, people could slap up a web page with a quick overview of a business, and stand back and admire the fact that they had a new website.

Ever watched old cartoons? I mean the REALLY old ones… with bad sound tracks, lame story lines, and black and white characters. We look at those now, and we wonder why anyone ever bothered to watch them. They seem so cheesy, and so absolutely devoid of humor or value. They put it on the screen and made it move and talk. They weren’t expected to do much more than that, because it was new and fascinating just because it was new. The standard of expectations today is much higher. We expect color, we expect something clever, and we expect a PLOT!

The web has evolved in the same way. Anything at all used to be good enough.  Not anymore. We expect color, certain pages to validate credibility, good organization, and we expect certain things to be in certain places so we feel comfortable there.

One page websites have none of that. Legitimate businesses just do not use them anymore. In fact, only two kinds of businesses use them:

1. Scammers. A one page website is the surest sign I know that the product being sold is not going to do what it says it will!

2. Inexperienced business owners. Some business owners still believe the tale the scammers tell, that a one page website is effective. Experienced business owners on the right side of honesty simply do not use them.

They don’t work except to bully the greedy or the inexperienced buyer into buying something that the buyer HOPES will actually do what it says. You really have to lower your principles to get them to work in the first place, and even then, scamming is a saturated market, and hard to compete in, should that be your goal!

My real issue with one page websites is this:

1. Some web designers are still selling one page packages as a way to “get a start on a website presence”. Given that a one page website, or ANYTHING less than about 6-8 pages, will HARM your business more than it helps, I find that such a tactic is itself the next thing to a scam.

2. What is being sold on them. They invariably contain info-products or software that is worthless, or even harmful. The exceptions to this are so rare that as a guideline for judging quality, you can follow the rule of avoiding anything on a one page website, and never miss anything of genuine value!

As a business owner, I do not want to sell something in a dishonest manner, nor do I wish  to be lumped with those who do. I’ll avoid both the practice, and the appearance of the practice.

A one page website won’t help a business to grow. It will hinder the progress and make cautious and intelligent people shy away. I would not build one, nor would I recommend one for any business.

Personal Photos on a Business Website

I recommended to the real estate agent that she put a photo of herself on the home page of her website. Two days later, someone on a forum we both participated in posted a long article about how putting photos on a home page was tacky, and how no real business did that. The woman I recommended it to gave me the email equivalent of the pitying look, and went elsewhere.

I still recommend a home page photo to real estate agents, and to a few other select business professionals. I do not recommend it as a success tactic for most businesses, though I do recommend that they use photos of themselves on the site where appropriate. Yes… it makes you look like a Mom and Pop business. But guess what? People LIKE Mom and Pop businesses! The key point is, to use the photo in the right way for your business.

You see, a photo on the home page for a product sales business, or even most services, makes you look overeager, and self-promoting. But for some businesses, and some purposes, photos of the business owner or personnel are highly effective.

  • For microbusinesses, the only advantage you have over a corporation is personal attention. They can outgun you on just about every other front, but you can be more personal than they can ever be. So placing a photo of yourself on the about page, (not on the home page!) or photos of your employees, gives the business a face and conveys that message of personal touch. That’s something large corporations cannot really do, though they really try to imply that they can.
  • For personal service businesses like real estate, or insurance, where the agent IS the difference, a photo actually belongs on the home page. If they want impersonal service, they go to When they want a real person, they look for a real estate agent’s own website. Putting a face on it right up front helps to reinforce the message that they found what they were looking for. The agent’s personality is HUGE with that kind of website, and a photo, if done well, helps to appeal to the kind of people the agent wants to be working with. Without the photo, the site loses that moment of instant message of a real person being behind the agency. In this instance, the agent IS the purpose of the website, so the photo is an integral part of the purpose of the website, which is, to introduce the agent.

Unless you are emphasizing that you are a family business, leave off the kids and the dog. But get the human touch in there. It helps you to compete with big business in a way they just can’t touch!

Essential Vision – The Beginning, but not the End

Vision is nothing more than a complete plan. Being able to see ahead of time, the full scope of your goal, and what it will mean to achieve it, as well as the steps to getting there. All of those elements are necessary, and there are all sorts of ways to gain a full vision of where you are going.

A business plan is nothing more than a detailed documentation of your business vision, completed with the components necessary to get you there. Many people who begin a business do not have an idea of where they are even going, much less of how they will get there. If you ask them, they will reply, “I want to be rich and famous.” But if you ask them what that means, they don’t really even know.

Between vision, and accomplishment, lies the wide gulf of work, determination, and smart adaptation. Many people start out with a good idea, but fail to achieve. The quote about planning to fail and failure to plan is not the full truth – many who plan, fail to plan completely, but even more, fail to DO.

The thing about doing is, you have to KEEP doing. Some people don’t even get off the ground. They’ll make a first step, then abandon it. Others will make an effort, but when it proves harder than they’d though, they let it dribble off into nothing. Still others get somewhere with it, until they meet an obstacle which requires that they adjust their plan, at which point they are incapable of doing so. It is the exception that succeeds, by passing all of these challenges and embarking on a lifetime of growth, learning, and adjustment. Business is all that, and more.

A good business vision will be crafted with the understanding that there will be unexpected challenges. That the entire course may take longer than anticipated, that opportunities may present, or roadblocks may arise which necessitate a change in course, either temporarily, or permanently. Most successful businesses are in a constant state of flux and change. The changes keep them moving in the direction they need to go to grow.

It does begin with a vision – the steps, the pieces, the end concept. Getting that means you need some quiet time, and maybe a way to draw, write, or diagram your grand plan. Any way that makes sense to you is fine.

Then you focus on what you need to do now, to make your vision a reality. A list of prioritized tasks. A planned time each day to fit in the work.

At that point, you are still dead in the water if you do not get up the next day, and go to it. Start down that list of tasks, and accomplish them one by one. Keep getting up each day and working through your tasks, keep adding to your task list, prioritizing, and crossing off as you achieve.  Get used to it. It has to happen every day that you intend to be a successful business person. Without consistent, repeated, intelligent action, no business succeeds.

There are no shortcut systems. Anyone who promises that there are wants your money, and doesn’t care whether you gain from it or not. It is against the laws of nature to get return without work. If you want success, roll up your sleeves and get to it.

What is your vision? And what are you doing about it?

The Pink Book

I’ll be teaching Blogging for Business this summer for the University of Wyoming Enrichment Program. I figured that while I know the software pretty well, perhaps a little more info on blogging might be of use, so I went to the bookstore to see what I could find.

The only blogging book they had was pink. I opened it to see if it had anything of use in it. The page I opened to actually had a useful tidbit of information on it, so I assumed from that page, and from the promises of real information on the back cover, that the book would be useful… Ah, the danger of assumptions based on first impressions!

I got the book home, and read the first fluffy chapter. Lots of girlfriend chatter, lots of giggling and an assumption that I needed a great deal of hand holding. The first chapter basically said that blogging was big, that it was fun, and that I’d learn a lot. It took about 5 pages to say that, with cutesy and distracting infoboxes scattered across the pages. They then presented me with a recipe for cocktails lest the information had been too stressful, and in case I just really needed to wind down after absorbing that critical knowledge.

The next chapter was no better – I had to really WORK to get useful information out of the giggly text, it felt more like talking to a 1980s LA Airhead, who knew something, but couldn’t quite pinpoint how to communicate it – instead of too many “y’know”s, it was peppered with more verbose inanities. The recipe at the end of the second chapter wasn’t any help either.

By the time I got to the end of the book, I was still wondering when I’d get to the helpful part. I’d learned how to open an account in about 6 different blogging platforms, that I COULD choose other options for blogging (but not how), and I’d learned how to keep my typing fingers baby soft, where to find good lip balm, what the hottest gossip blogs were (c’mon girls, I have a LIFE!), how to make several different kinds of alcoholic drinks, how to model a blog after RuPaul’s blog (I’m a REAL woman, folks!), how to throw a really good block party (including tips on getting good decorations), and I’d been warned multiple times that if I danced unclothed on the table at a party, or photocopied my bare body parts on the office copier, and posted photos on the internet that it might affect my reputation with prospective employers (I found their assumption that their readers would be that kind of people incomprehensible). They also had the attitude that one night stands, getting naked in public, or taking photos of either was fine, that making a good drinking blog was a cool thing, but they sternly warned me that I could get the wrong kind of weight loss pill ads on a blog if I used context ads.

Where there should have been realistic warnings, there were only ridiculous scenarios that bore so little relation to real life, that no one would even connect it to the things they really NEEDED to be warned against.

Each area that ought to have had genuine information gave a token nod in that direction, and then swept on past in a gaggle of idle chatter and empty fluff. The book was 2/3 filler, and 1/3 information, and the information was incomplete, vague, and only really good if someone just needed someone to say, “I know blogging is this scary thing that is such a huge commitment that you need me to hold your hand while you click the “Signup” button to get your new account.” Where there should have been a list of a dozen things, there were three. Where there should have been genuine help, there was just common knowledge passed off as a helpful tip. Anyone who has been in the blogging community for a week would not need the book, and anyone who is starting a blog would read this one and wonder what they do after they click the signup button.

It was so much work to actually garner any helpful info from the book, that by the time I finished I was really fatigued. It made me tired just trying to string together the scattered bits. They could have taught the same stuff in about 30 pages, and STILL had room for jokes. David Pogue sets an admirable example.

I’m not the only person who disliked this book. There are three negative reviews of it on Amazon, and they pretty much thought the same thing I did. There are a number of good ones also, mostly fluffy. Most people who dislike a book WON’T give it a negative review. They’ll just toss it, or resell it. There are a lot of copies of it for sale used on Amazon also.

Was the book a waste of money? I did learn about three things that I really wanted to learn, though none of them were covered in enough depth to have had any relevancy or usefulness to someone who had less background on how to apply them than what I have. It certainly was not worth $25. But I also got a great story out of it. When I related the story of the pink book to one of my classes, the students had a really good time of it. It is good for a few laughs, and may be for years to come.

But I also learned something about human nature. When we make the move from doer, to teacher, we sometimes doubt our ability to teach everything we need to teach. We feel that we need more knowledge before we can be the instructor. And often times, we don’t. And we don’t learn that until we go looking for the knowledge, and realize that we have more than many of the others do who are teaching. Self esteem is funny that way.

Contemplation, Rumination, and Communication

Sometimes it is difficult to know just how much to say publicly. If you tell a story about a client, that client may read that story, and even if you omit names, they may put two and two together. So when you have examples of negative things, you have to be careful what you say, and how, and to whom. Even if you don’t hurt their business, you may offend.

It is even more sensitive with family. How much do you say, when they may be the next visitor to drop in on your blog, just because. How many of these blogging mommies out there will one day be hated by their children for the things they said of them in public?

That said, sometimes it is very hard being a mother with grown children, with both of you trying to carve out an identity and a career. Kids, like clients, can often be difficult to communicate with. In the age of communication ease, the task of actually HEARING hasn’t really become any easier.

One thing is certain – we must make sure that what we say online does not become a substitute for what we say each day to our loved ones. They aren’t going to read our blogs to find out that we were pleased with something that we felt was brag-worthy. And they could care less that someone on such and such a forum knows that they did something great, if we have failed to say it to their faces.

The internet has truly added more tools for talking. But I think it has also added layers of complexity to the simple tasks of relating to those whom we most need to talk to.

It’s Official! Pre-Launch Sneak Preview is LIVE!

Ok… that was SO full of hype! Truthfully, I am genuinely excited about this, because we’ve been working on MicroWebmasters Alliance for about 4 months now, getting near launch, but not quite far enough along to really announce a date. Well, we’ve got the date now!

March 1, 2008, MicroWebmasters Alliance will be officially live, open for business, and accepting paid memberships. Until then, we are running a pre-launch preview, free of charge.

If you register before March 1, you’ll get a 1 month free membership. We’ll do our best to make it value packed and full of good stuff. The site has over 100 pages of instruction, tools, and some good marketing benefits. Every single page of content has been screened for quality and usefulness – this isn’t a “free for all” article directory! If it isn’t good, it doesn’t get onto the site!

Check it out at: (Yes, that’s an affiliate link – members can also enroll as an affiliate if they choose – we’re using this one for tracking purposes.)

MicroWebmasters Alliance encourages cooperation between MicroBusiness Service Providers, and provides training materials to help you learn to provide more affordable services for your clients, while increasing your own profit margins. Tried and true success strategies, useful business tools, recommended productivity software (a lot of it is legal free software), and help in streamlining business tasks. You’ll get a good marketing benefits package also!

Membership is open to Web Service Providers, related Service Providers, and Do It Yourselfers. If you aren’t a web service provider, but want to learn more about serving MicroBusinesses, you can get an Associate Membership, with all the marketing benefits, and all the MicroBusiness specific resources from the site.

This organization is totally unique in the Trade Association world. We aren’t just giving you a few marketing benefits. We’re offering a ton of strategies and tools for doing business more profitably – no hype or scam there, this is the stuff we’ve practiced that has had to measure up against our ethics standards. We are out there actually DOING what we recommend. Our goal is to have at least one “ah-ha” moment in each instructional page of the site.

You have to actually QUALIFY for membership! We don’t take people who are not actively trying to uphold good business practices, and who are not actually serving a MicroBusiness market. We offer a Junior, and a Professional level membership. To get Professional status, you have to be able to demonstrate a certain level of experience. If you cannot, then you get Junior membership – but it is still VERY high value, because if you get designated as a Junior member, you also get training assistance, to learn the stuff you need to learn to get Professional status! We’re talking personal, helpful assistance that improves your skills in a very profitable way! No other trade association offers that!

We’re setting out to change the MicroBusiness Web Service world. We’d love to have you along with us!

A Great Idea, and a Great Product = Half the Job

Our clients are often surprised at the amount of work that goes into marketing and selling a product or service. They are also caught off guard by other aspects of business preparation.

To sell a product that you manufacture, you must not only manufacture a great product, you must package it, prepare marketing materials, document your business policies and procedures, and make sure that your purchase process workflow (offline or on) works smoothly.

With a service, sometimes the documentation process is even more involved, because there are generally more variables.

If you self-publish a book, you may feel that when you have the book written, that you are close to finished. But that was also only half the work. You still need to format it, create a cover, put it into a standard book format, have it edited and reviewed for errors, and put it into the published format. Following that, you still have to set up a sales venue, and promote the book in an effective way, which also involves prepping good marketing materials.

Some clients come to us wanting an affiliate program, feeling that they just need to obtain the appropriate tracking software and it is done. If that were true, everybody would have an affiliate program. To have an effective one, you have to think about how your program will operate, document your policies and procedures, configure the affiliate software to work the way you need it to (this is a fairly big job in itself and involves some forethought), and then create your affiliate support pages – program overview, program details, and affiliate resource page.

Anything worth doing, that is going to get you something worthwhile in return, takes work. If it is going to get you something big, then it takes a lot of work. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either misinformed, ignorant, or dishonest.

People who do not realize the amount of work going into a project usually do not have a clear vision of what they want to accomplish. It stands to reason that if you are aware of what you want to accomplish in selling something, that you will consider HOW you want to sell it. And if you want other people to sell it for you, that you will be willing to give them good information about selling it, create good policies to make paying them sustainable, and that you will be willing to set up a good framework to support those sales.

Those who are not willing to INVEST the necessary work, are not really serious about operating a business. This may sound harsh, but it gets even harsher. They do not want a business, they want to gamble. Because only gambling even pretends to offer something for nothing, and only gamblers get taken in by it. Because we know that with gambling, everybody loses except the “house”, and the occasional RARE winner. With a business gamble, you aren’t going to win.

Most of our clients, when presented with a large amount of work to achieve a goal, do one of two things:

  1. They revise their goals to something more attainable in the short term.
  2. They look at the work, figure out how to prioritize it to make it achievable, and they tackle it one step at a time.

Most of our clients do NOT totally bail, because when they get to the point of working with us, they’ve already committed to owning a business. They’ve already faced similar circumstances where a project seemed overwhelming and so much bigger than they’d thought, and they’ve worked their way through that. So they have a history of hard work and some success under their belt, even if the success is merely overcoming the initial discouragement.

To succeed, we have to think ahead, and be willing to lay the proper groundwork, and then to tackle additional hurdles as they come. Giving up at the outset guarantees failure. Determination, planning, documentation, and hard work, on the other hand, can come together into something purely amazing.

Grow a Garden!

Gardening doesn't have to be that hard! No matter where you live, no matter how difficult your circumstances, you CAN grow a successful garden.

Life from the Garden: Grow Your Own Food Anywhere Practical and low cost options for container gardening, sprouting, small yards, edible landscaping, winter gardening, shady yards, and help for people who are getting started too late. Plenty of tips to simplify, save on work and expense.