03 April 2014

Lesson 12

This week I made a presentation about my $100 Challenge.  I was able to report on my success, how much profit I made, and what I would do differently in the future.  I narrated the slides and saved it as a video on YouTube.
I also watched some great videos about the importance of failure and learning from our experiences instead of being hindered or discouraged by them.  I did a little research on Beethoven as an example of someone who never let his trials and challenges stop him or slow him down.  Even with the loss of his hearing, he continued to be an incredible musician and composer.

I learned about an entrepreneur named Tom Nall.  He also learned from every experience and uses what he learned in his business today.  He viewed his previous jobs as his “internship” for where he is now.  He expressed the importance of being yourself and being different.  He integrates core values into his business and tries to make the world a better place through his company.

29 March 2014

B283 Update

This week I was able to learn a lot about family businesses!  This was very interesting and informative for me since I have often thought about the possibility of opening a family business.  I learned about the important of developing equity plans and succession plans right from the beginning to avoid any confusion, tension, or other problems in the future.
I really enjoyed my $100 business challenge and I’ve been thinking about my final presentation for it.  It worked out perfectly for Juliet’s family as well as for my class with the timing and everything!  I probably would have continued watching Juliet even after the challenge if they needed me, but having her dad be at home with her now is also a good thing for them.  I’ll miss having her over as often, but she’ll still come over on occasion when they need a babysitter!

I also learned about an entrepreneur named Erick Slabaugh.   He seems like a great person!  Even at a young age, he was willing to give up a fun social life to help his family’s business.  He even invested in the business, buying out a partner’s equity for himself.  He worked long hours every day and even weekends without the nice paychecks that his friends were receiving.  But his hard work paid off – he was able to see great success with the company and he became the CEO.  He also learns from his mistakes and asks lots of questions.  He emphasized the importance of having a mentor and he wished he asked more questions when he was younger.  His insight encourages me to ask lots of questions and not try to know everything.

22 March 2014

Entrepreneur Journal

My $100 business challenge is wrapping up now.  Juliet’s dad is doing better and is out of the hospital, but he is withdrawing from school for the semester and will be taking care of her while his wife is at work.  It’s been so much fun taking care of Juliet and watching her grow!  And the experience I gained in caring for two kids is invaluable and will undoubtedly help me for when I have another baby.
This week I was able to learn about franchising and learn about some of the benefits as well as disadvantages of opening one.  I studied a case study about some friends who wanted to start a business and their business deal with an ice cream franchise.  It helped me to see the potential problems as well as strengths that come with working with franchises. 

I also learned about an entrepreneur named Nicole Donnelly who sells baby leg warmers.  I love how Nicole Donnelly relates her snowboarding experience to her business.  She was able to make a great transition from being a snowboarding bum to a successful business leader.  I love her sense of giving back in a bigger way and her willingness to donate and help as many as she can through her business and products.  Her giving attitude is an inspiration to me and helps me to want to give back as much as possible.  I know from person experience that there is a great sense of satisfaction and fulfillment that comes from giving and serving others.  Sometimes I get tired of doing everyone’s dishes every day for them, but if I maintain the right perspective and see my contribution as a way to give back to the world, I can be happier to do them all the time.  While a lot of my giving and service is done just at home, I also want to look for ways to give back to the community and the world.  I’ve had a recent experience of donating services and items for a charity auction for my friend’s mom in the hospital.  Doing so made me feel noble and that I was contributing to a good cause.

13 March 2014

B283 Update

My $100 business challenge is still going well.  Juliet’s dad had to go to the hospital due to some health issues, so she only came twice this week.  I feel like I don’t want to charge them this week either since they’ll be facing some medical expenses along with overall stress!  I have already made $100, so I feel fine about not charging!
This week I wrote up a report on my interview with an entrepreneur, learned about Roxanne Quimby (the founder of Burt’s Bees), as well as other entrepreneurs, Catherine Rohr and Corey Bell. 
Catherine Rohr was able to transform her view of those incarcerated in prison.  From seeing them as wild animals to individuals with great potential, she was able to establish a program to help these people to learn and discover their own “business plans.”  One of her main objectives is to help them transition back into society and to become leaders.  She was able to learn the importance of second chances and giving others the opportunity to create new lives for themselves.  The program gives these people new hope and encouragement as others express belief and confidence in them.

Corey Bell was able to move forward through challenges, keeping in mind his vision and goals for his life.  He didn’t want to give up, get a job and work for someone else, and wonder “what if.”  That is a great way to keep things in perspective, especially when things get tough.  He doesn’t let anything stop or slow him down – he doesn’t believe in the word “can’t”.  He believes that anything is possible if we really set our mind to it and want it enough.  I also appreciated his viewpoint on giving back to the world – it is a great motivation to do everything you can to the best of your ability so you can contribute and give back to the community and world.

07 March 2014

B283 Update

Taking care of Juliet is still going well!  We’ve got things down to a routine now and I really enjoy watching her.  I’ve made $60 so far – I’ve almost reached my $100 goal!  (Although, I’ll probably make at least $120 since Megan pays me $30/week).  Oh, I checked up on the person I selected on Kiva and he already got his loan!  I’ll have to select someone else to help now.
This week I was able to write a book report on the E-Myth.  It was a fun book that discussed several potential pitfalls, obstacles, challenges, as well as opportunities that entrepreneurs face during the different phases of their businesses.
I also learned about a couple of entrepreneurs, Matt Stewart and Henry Stein.  Matt Stewart didn’t let challenges or obstacles slow him down.  When faced with challenges, he kept moving forward and took them as opportunities to learn and grow.  He made changes and improvements to his company as a result of difficult circumstances, such as a death of an employee.  He maintains a strong value system in his life as well as his company.

Henry Stein also was able to learn lessons from his life and use them in his businesses.  He was able to learn the importance of being a part of something bigger than himself while in the Marines and he carries that attitude with him in his companies.  Furthermore, he wanted to have great people to work with him as well – people who wanted to make a difference and be a part of something bigger than themselves too.  Having these type of people are more likely to challenge themselves and make improvements than those who are just content to have a job to provide for their families.

27 February 2014

Progress Update

My $100 business challenge is going well!  Juliet is a joy to take care of.  Originally I was going to charge my friend $25 a week to take care of Juliet, but she pays me $30!  I really like being able to help my friend by offering low-cost child care – Juliet is so easy to take care of and I know that my friend doesn’t have much money.  She is a part-time teacher while her husband finishes school, so their income is somewhat limited.  I feel like I am making a positive influence in their lives by helping them to save more money and work while knowing their child is in loving care while they are away.  Sometimes I wonder if I should even charge them at all, but I need to make at least $100 for the assignment!
Also during this week, I was able to learn about different leadership styles and what style I tend to use.  I am a delegating, democratic type of leader.  This doesn’t surprise me at all!  I always want the input of others when making decisions – I never want to feel like I’m imposing my own decisions on everyone else.  Dictating others has never been my style, but I could probably use some more decisiveness and persuasiveness in my leadership style.

I also learned a little about an entrepreneur named Russ Rosenzweig.  In a video, he shared some important insights about targeting a specific market.  He and his new company struggled at first because they were trying to market to the world rather than a target market.  Once they narrowed in on a focused market, they were able to achieve success.  This is an important thing to note, because I can see how tempting it could be to market to everyone and anyone possible!  But without a lack of focus, we lack the ability to market effectively.  I also loved his thoughts on material wealth and acquiring possessions.  As he experienced wealth, he realized he accumulated more and continually wanted more and more.  But his experience in India opened his perspective and he realized that there is so much more than accumulating material wealth and possessions – life should have meaning and purpose.  Rather than focusing on external sources of happiness or success, such as acquiring material wealth and possessions, we should focus on our internal source of happiness and success.  As we do so, we can help improve the world and make it a better place.

21 February 2014

Rising Stars Update

Taking care of Juliet is still going well!  She only needs part-time care, which is great for me since I still have homework and housework to do.  I think that if I went further with my daycare idea, I’d probably want to try to have older kids.  While I love babies and I love taking care of Juliet, little babies require a lot of attention and care.  Older kids (2 and older) are better able to play and entertain themselves and don’t require as much hands-on care.  Plus, it’s easier to play with group activities and interact with everyone when they’re a little older.  But babies do take lots of naps, so that is a baby bonus.  If I wanted to expand, I could hire someone to help me (like my husband) and that way someone could focus on baby care and the other person could take care of the older kids.

I made a 5-year financial forecast for a different class using my daycare idea.  I think that it could be extremely successful with minimal expenses!  My husband could easily quit his job to help me and we’d be doubling our income if we had 16 kids enrolled!  I looked into licensing requirements and 16 is the most we could take care of together.  But we could always hire a helper if we wanted to take care of even more!  There are different types of home daycare licenses – a home care provider, such as myself, or a family child care provider, which would be my husband and I.  There are pros and cons to each type as they do have their differences.  But I think it would be most advantageous to register a family daycare!

14 February 2014

Elevator Pitches!

This week I was able to try my hand at elevator pitches!  I recorded more than I can count (mostly due to Jasper’s ‘help’).  But writing and delivering elevator pitches helped me to clearly identify who my target market is, what makes my services different from my competition, and how I plan on being successful. 

Furthermore, I have recruited a sweet baby to join my daycare 3-4 days a week!  I’m friends with her mom, so I didn’t want to charge her my planned price, but I will still bring in some revenues anyway.  Jasper loves this baby – she tries to take care of her, covers her with blankies, feeds her bottles, gives her pacifiers, shows her toys, and talks to her.  It’s so fun to watch them interact.  They are almost exactly a year apart, so Jasper is gaining some valuable “big sister” experience!

I  also learned about Phil Romano, an incredible artist and entrepreneur.  I absolutely love his creativity, enthusiasm, and passion (and Macaroni Grill!) – he incorporates these things into so many parts of his life.  He shows a focus on serving and helping others while success is simply a result of doing so.  I love that he doesn’t stick with just one thing for a long time – he moves forward and creates something new.  I can definitely relate to that mentality – I find myself feeling bored or claustrophobic when I am doing the same thing for too long.  I need to always be experiencing different things or trying something new.  I feel like life has so much to offer, but we must be willing to accept the different opportunities we have rather than remaining content within one opportunity.  Sometimes I feel limited in my opportunities or what I can pursue since I am married and have a baby to take care of, but Romano helped me feel more able to do what I want to do – life a life full of new experiences and following my passions in life – even with a family. 

06 February 2014

Business Funding!

This week I was able to fund my business for the $100.00 Challenge!  I decided to fund my business using personal capital.  I chose this because I have the sufficient funds to invest and I won’t need to pay anyone back or owe any interest.  I considered asking some family members to contribute $5/each with a promise to pay them back $8/each, but I figured that if I have my own $20 to use, I might as well and not have to worry about owing anyone!  So I have my $20 bill available to buy the supplies I need for my daycare business!  I will be using the $20 to buy snacks (Goldfish, fruit snacks, juice – $10), Clorox wipes to keep things sanitary ($5), and hand wipes to keep little hands clean ($5).

I arranged an interview with an entrepreneur as well as learned about a couple of entrepreneurs.  The entrepreneurs I learned about are Desh Deshpande and Ken Zolot.  Both of these entrepreneurs have wonderful lessons to share. They both had to overcome their own, personal challenges.   I was very impressed with Dr. Deshpande’s ability to become a successful entrepreneur after immigrating to the USA with only $8!  It shows that hard work, creativity, and the right attitude can overcome even the most difficult challenges or barriers.  I loved what Dr. Deshpande said about optimism – his positive outlook inspires me to be more optimistic in my own life.  My husband watched these videos with me, and he feels quite certain that luck was a part of Dr. Deshpande’s success.  He thinks that there are a lot of people who don’t have many resources who still work hard and use their creativity, but don’t experience success.  Perhaps Dr. Deshpande’s optimistic attitude attracted good luck?  Ken Zolot shared his experiences about how curiosity can feel like an asset as well as a hindrance at the same time.  But using one’s curiosity and creativity in meaningful ways can create wonderful innovation and success.  Zolot was able to show me that it’s ok to not conform to institutions – we need to be comfortable with ourselves and who we are.

31 January 2014

Business Plans!

This week I learned about creating a business plan and made one for my daycare business idea as well as for my yoga studio idea.  Putting things down on paper in a concise way helped me to gain a better vision of how I want my business to operate and what it could become.  It helped me to think of potential obstacles and challenges and what I could do to address them effectively.
I also was able to learn about the importance of taking things slowly, focusing on one thing at a time, and not trying to do too much all at once.  We had a case study this week about Heather Evans, an MBA student who was launching a clothing business while finishing her education.  It was insightful to see what the other class members thought of the case, but overall, I think we decided she was trying to grow her business too fast and she was doing too much at once and wasn’t able to dedicate her focus to one thing at a time.

Lastly, I learned about a businessman named Paul Robshaw.  I had never heard of Paul Robshaw before, but learning a little about him and his life helped me to see that character, values, and faith are things that can never be taken away from us.  Some consider Robshaw as having lost everything, but he maintained that he still had his core values, his faith in God, his honesty, and integrity.  This reminded me of Job of the Old Testament – despite trials and difficulties, he remained strong and hopeful.  Robshaw is a great, modern example of that principle.  He also learned the importance of hard work at a young age.  It sounds like he had to work for everything he had most of his life.  He also displayed a positive attitude about the fact that his dad didn’t leave him anything in his will other than “the will to work.”  I think there is a great sense of satisfaction that comes with working for everything you have rather than relying other others for help and support.  I know I feel great when I am self-sustaining and can care for myself and not rely on others.