Yes, you guessed it – June’s blog schedule is already behind due to playing catch-up on May posts during the first week of June. That, and having to apply some of the prioritizing strategy to tackle other obligations.
I am continuing with the Article Writing Strategy of specific thematic posts for each day of the week. This post– originally scheduled for June 4, which was a Wednesday–was designated for guest blogging. SO …today’s post features the writing of a friend and fellow writer, Lew Newmark.
Here is his bio from a site called Quantum Stones:
Lew Newmark is almost a force of nature. Diagnosed in June of 2008 with Churg Strauss Syndrome, an autoimmune disease he’d never heard of, he started a local support group in 2009 and took up the cause of advocating for awareness of his disease through his skills as a writer and health blogger.
Today, Lew is the creative force behind four blogs, including his health blog, Lew Newmark: My Domestic Life-Living with Vasculitis, as well as a Social Media consultant and content writer.
When Lew’s not keeping up on the latest information about Vasculitis, content writing, and social media, he spends time with his two grand-cats, Estaban and Bibi, and stays out of the way of his wife of 32 years, Sue.
Lew also enjoys reading a well-written comic book, seeing a great hero action film, and playing Magic the card game with his select group of friends.
Now onto what Lew has to share with us today.
Starting a Business Takes More than Just Hanging a Shingle
Let me say from the start that I’m not your normal everyday kind of guy. As I look back over the past few years of my life as a business person, I’ve come to understand that I’m what you’d call a serial entrepreneur.
In other words, I’ve run a few different internet business ventures, and I’m proud to say that I started these enterprises on my own. I’ve gone through the steps it took to get them up and running, but let me tell you that these ventures didn’t just happen!
That Light Bulb Moment
Some people never have that special moment of inspiration when the proverbial light bulb in your head lights up because you’ve hit upon a great idea and you think to yourself, This would be a great business.
I’ve had that experience several times over I’d say a 20-year period. Several of those light bulb moments were all internet-inspired, and two of them actually began their lives as real world ventures or were combinations of both.
Those ideas have led to several business ventures that included:
- Video game rental delivery business
- Online video game retail business
- Combination eBay/blogging retail business that sold comic books, anime and hero action figures and even resin figures, and an overseas import deal in support of that venture
- Elance business venture that crashed and burned all too quickly
Okay, I’ll admit that I see things a bit differently. When I come up with an idea for a business, I’m not thinking small…I think BIG! I think about this small idea that I’ve come up with and I try to look at it in a big way.
My friends have said to me on occasion that I’m a Big Thinker, and they’re right…this isn’t a bad thing and I’ll tell you why.
You, yes I mean YOU, can take a business idea and start it on a shoestring. You can say that you’re a business person and that’s fine…but it’s only fine if you’re really not looking to run a business.
If you really want your idea to become a business, then you have to do your homework and think big! And thinking big mean that you need something to help you go from point A to point Z in your business.
What you need is…
A (Business) Plan
The moment you begin creating a business plan is the moment you know that you’re serious about your idea. Writing a business plan means thinking big and looking past the first few days or months of your venture.
It means having a plan that stretches for three to five years down the road. It means doing things like projecting potential sales figures, figuring out the cost of goods or services sold, determining where your breakeven point is, and most importantly, envisioning when you can expect to see a profit.
All of this is called doing your Due Diligence, and this is very important if you plan on applying for a bank loan to say, buy inventory and business supplies.
Admittedly not every venture that I’ve started has been an overnight success or even an eventual success. My business startups have all (but one) had some modicum of success and I’ve learned from the mistakes and failures that have come out of each venture that I’ve been involved in.
I’ve also been able to take those lessons and apply them to every new venture that I’ve ever started, including my current one, which is being a freelance writer, social media consultant, and business and health blogger.
Right now I’m getting ready to plan my future, which–at almost 57-years-old–has nothing to do with retirement.
Being a freelance writer allows me to pursue opportunities that I didn’t have when I was a full-time worker in the real world, when I had to report to a job that held me prisoner for eight or more hours a day and caused me stress, and sometimes even depressed me.
Your future can start right now with that one light bulb moment, so the next time that you come up with an idea that you see yourself doing and you have a big smile on your face…well, that may just mean it’s time for you to write a business plan, and make that idea your reality.
Lew, thanks for sharing your experiences and what you have learned along the way! There is certainly some valuable insight here. I appreciate you being my first guest blogger for this Article Writing Challenge!
Blog readers–do any of you own a business or have you thought about the idea? Have you used some of Lew’s suggestions?