Friday, February 26, 2010

You've Got to Toughen Up- Holla!

See this fierce looking fellow right here? That's my Yorkie, Eliot, barking at me furiously because I told him, falsely, I think I saw a "kitty cat"!

You're real tough, Eliot, with your Trick R Treat Halloween t-shirt on there, buddy.
I hate to tell you, but the cat would first laugh you to death.
And then he'd claw your eyes out.

But you see, we can all learn something from Eliot.
In his mind's eye, this is how he sees himself, no lie:

You've heard it said that people look like their dogs?
I'm not sure about that, but in attitude, Eliot and I are two peas in a pod.

I'm going to shoot damn straight with you today. Business is tough. Life is tough. People aren't always going to like you.

What are you going to do about that?

I'll tell you what you're going to do about that.

Realize most people have a strong desire to be liked.

Now that you know that, you have an advantage. You drop that strong desire to be liked right away.

Seriously, get the hell over it. Pandering to what other people want you to do, think you should do, tell you to do- will never get you anywhere of consequence. And besides all that, who respects a Milk Toast?

Many of my friends are elected officials in the community where I live.
One told me recently, "It's like this- no one owns me. I vote according to my beliefs. I say, if you don't like it, then don't vote for me- so what?"

And you know something? That guy is the most respected leader out there.

Entrepreneur Chick has mananged to be successful in business because I don't care if you like me or not.

If I did, I probably wouldn't have married a black man.
But I won't start something just for the sake of it.
(Tony loves to say, "Don't start none, won't be none.")

However, after I've been all sorts of gracious, and it has not been met in kind;
I will peg you for the ass you apparently are.

You're pegged. And I'm done.
Pretty simple.

Sales, The Bottom Line

If you're going to be in business, you have to learn to sell. I've never seen one business yet that didn't have its heartbeat firmly established in sales.

As my good friend, and fellow business owner, Greg, observed, "You can make an awful lot of mistakes but sales will always keep you afloat."

Most people can not sell. The very thought of selling something shakes them to the core.

When they (finally) get the prospect in front of them they start to get nervous, start to sweat, start to not listen, and go on and on and on. Would you buy something from a person like this? I'd lay odds, you wouldn't.

Why can't they sell?
What's holding them back?


Being told "no" is too scary.

Again, get the hell over it. As George, my father, who was a consummate salesman loved to say, "You won't die."

Are you open minded?
Then I 'd like you to watch something for a little bit. You might not like it, you might not agree with the lifestyle, you might find it offensive.

But I'll tell you- this is the thick skin I'm talking about.
These people came up from nothing. Nothing.

Do you think these men were told no a few times? Do you think they turned tail and ran, or did they slug it out and come right back- only harder?
You be the judge.
The next time you drive up to a sales call, Entrepreneur Chick wants you to imagine pulling up in your Cadillac Snoop Deville!

You take a cue from these gangsta's swagger and develope a little bit o' yo own-
 holla back!

P.S. Both Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent are amazing salesmen and outstanding entrepreneurs. Both of them are so adept, they could sell vodka to Russians.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Get Goaling!

Now that I have everyone's attention, there is a new website the Entrepreneur Chick has found which has tremendously helped me not just clarify and focus on my goals, as in the oooh, la la photo above, but additonally provides an easy and measurable way, along with action steps, to help insure I meet them!

Reading many of your blogs I see that there's a common theme really, amongst those who seem to have goals, objectives and dreams that they very much want to reach but struggle in frustration, at times, to that end.

In the past, I have always relied on my notebooks- which understandably, is not very high tech; just humble pen and paper- to keep me moving in the direction I want to go.

I have to say it has been effective, and I have reached many of the goals I have set for myself.

The biggest of which were:

(1) Leave sociopathic husband.
(2) Maybe marry someone decent.

After obtaining those goals I had:

(3) Start a business.

Although I've had smaller goals along the way, and certainly every business I started was not a success, those three goals have been the plumbline, the hallmark, the gold standard- of the past ten years.

My current goals?

(1) Increase business sales by a certain amount of thousands every six months until two million a year is reached. (For business number two.)

(2) "Entrepreneur Chick"- the book! Should be completed by October nineteenth of this year.

(3) Radio show! Oh, why not? If I have a book, might as well. I can sell it on the show, invite guests, take callers, that sort of thing.

(4) Eat right and DO NOT EAT AT NIGHT! Eating right is pretty easy for me, but at night, some alien takes over my body and dips my hand into potato chips, forces me to make root beer floats, and other no nos.
Yeah, that's it.

If you have that same problem, here's a little trick I found to help me stop.

When I get hungry, I mix a teaspoon of this in water and drink the whole thing.
If that doesn't work, I do it again.

And now for the site I've been telling you about-

And guess what?
It's FREE~ 

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Sunshine Award!

This award is  "to celebrate the positivity and creativity of our fellow bloggers".
Mimi and Tilly, who's "Art of a Glittery Life" I positively adore, passed this award to me.

I so appreciate and feel honored you thought of me, Mimi and Tilly! Thank you! :)

To accept this award, I must pass this on to twelve bloggers who exemplify the same.

Therefore, in no particular order, I am pleased to share some blogs with you today that never fail to delight me.

Some are brand new to me, just discovered today, as a matter of fact, which is
Decades a Go Go. I can not believe he found a car and bought it, just like my grandparent's Rambler! Congratulations.

Here they are- do enjoy!

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Pollinatrix- Reader's Business Ideas- Part 3

The Pollinatrix second business idea is very progessive and cutting edge;

"Green Suds Laundromat."

Taos, where she lives, is a tourist town.
The good thing about that is that tourists have dirty clothes and no way to wash them unless, I'd suppose, their hotel offers a laundry service.

On top of that, there's only one other laundry mat in town which is quite inconvenient.
People, Susan told me, will actually drive a whole hour just to go to this particular laundry mat.

But the real deal maker is not only is there an apparent demand for a laundry service, this is not just any run of the mill, business as usual, laundry mat.

As hinted at in the name, "Green Suds" is exactly that.

You could not do better than being green right now.

Without breaking the business down in such detail as I did in my last post,
let me say more succinctly what I believe the pros and cons of
Green Suds are.

There's a demand (in Toas) and it's relevant.

But after running the numbers I find that owning only one location could prove more time consuming than it's worth; especially given the fact that her other business, Illuminated Manuscripts
is generating cash flow and has such a big potential.

One of not only Entrepreneur Chick's faults, but a fault of entrepreneurs in general is this:

Entrepreneurs incorrectly will spend eighty percent of their time to make ten percent of their money!

We can't even shake a stick at how often I have fallen into this sandtrap.

The carrot on the stick always seems to be, oooooh! But this is NEW.
Oooooh, but I think I can make this work!
Ooooh, it's worked a little, maybe I can make it work A LOT.
Ooooh, no one is doing this like I'm going to do it!

A business associate of mine said once, "Don't worry about being the first. The first settlers were the ones who took all the arrows."

Susan will also need an investor for this. That's a business partner.

Rule of thumb.
Do you know what's good about having a business partner?
Not having one.

It's a joke among entrepreneurs.

Things can get very sticky and legally screwed up with a quickness when another person is involved.

Those of you that have read me for awhile might notice that overall, I'm a very positive, enthusiastic person- which is true.

I, however, become very un-positive and un-enthusiastic when someone is screwing up the business and screwing up my cash flow!
Then I am positively enthusiastic about kicking your ass- so I suppose I'm still positive.

Tony, being my business partner, has my best interest at heart. I know he does.
But there's been extremely heated times, especially in the first few years of owning our businesses, that I not only didn't agree with him, I wanted to rip him a new one!

And I love the guy with all my heart but could, at the very least, kick him in the shins; he made me so mad.

An excellent book, "Let's go Into Business Together" by Azriela Jaffe is an invaluable read for those who are considering that approach.

While there certainly are successful business partnerings and much has been accomplished in the way of invention and commerce, it's true- Entrepreneur Chick's suspicion that far more of these parterings fail than thrive.

High Start Up Costs

Start up costs for a laundry mat and leasing issues are also dicey, making me leery.

Let me give you two examples of business owners that I know personally, who sadly, have fallen on the sword.

The first is an indoor bounce facility who unjudiciously located itself in a retail location.
Bad, bad, idea.
I knew at their ribbon cutting they were'nt going to make it- and I wonder even more about what sort of doofy bank would loan money on a venture like that.

Retail locations are reliant on customers coming in all day long and making purchases.

The bounce house business had over ninety percent of its customers coming in
on weekends only.

Their rent ate their lunch, and in short order- not even making it to their year anniversary.

The other business I'm thinking of bought a franchise, so, theoritically you'd think that they'd last longer and be successful because of the tried and true, proven method.

But no.
These former corporate America employees did not have the business experience to see what needed to be corrected within their establishment, fix it, and generate positive cash flow.

That and a huge road construction project, making the area a nighmare for motorists, took them down.

Did these former business owners just say to themselves, "Oh well. We'll just get right over this and go on"?

While they might have, the sad reality is that those leasing demands to the tune of probably six thousand a month still have to be satisfied.

Let me ask you, if these owners businesses are a wash, where are they going to come up with that kind of cash to pay back that bank loan?

They aren't.

Bankruptcy. Yep. It's unavoidable.

This is again, why I favor a business that has overhead that's so dog gone low, especially if you are a novice, that you can make an awful lot of mistakes and still turn a profit and not go under.

Projected Profits

After some research, here is what a niece said of her uncle's laundromat business:

Earnings of a Laundromat Owner

"I was looking for the answer myself and do not own a laundromat myself but, my research shows that an average laundromat which would cost you roughly $150,000 makes a profit of between 25 and 40 thousand dollars annually. Of course you would have to subtract the payments on the loan that you take out to pay for it. But after the loan is paid, I think you can expect to make about 25 to 40 grand and you actually only have to do about 15 hours of work per week if you want it that way.

My uncle owns 4 laundry mats in the town i live in. It is a very small town. I am positive he makes more then 25 to 40 grand annually. If you want to build a new one you could save thousands in the long run if you knew how to do electrian work and plumbing. I am not sure his exact figure but I can give you an idea how good a life you will have if it is a succesful laundry mat business. He lives on the lake in an over 1million $ house. He drives a Yukon just because he doesn't give a crap about cars. My cousin which is his daughter drives a new 2007 BMW. Recently he bought a brand new Mastercraft x30 paid in cash on the spot. So if you had a succesful one you could make alot of money."

Okay, the neice is not the best communicator, but her point is valid.

Did you notice her uncle owns FOUR laundromats?

Though I understand this is to be a green business, the numbers overall will be roughly the same as a traditional laundromat- start up costs for a green laundromat could be even higher due to more specialized equipment, but by the same token, profits could be even higher due to the savings on electricity over the long haul.

After researching laundromats for sale, those numbers do weigh themselves out.
The asking price of a traditional laundromat is usually $150.000.00 to $200.000.00 and yet the gross generated profit is only about fifteen to thirty grand!

You'd honestly have to own more than one to really make any real money.

Bringing this back to Susan- I believe she can do far better and make far more with her current business, especially if she starts hiring staff as she becomes too busy.

Let's recap.




Business partner
High start up costs
Low profitability
Loan to be paid back
Though I love the idea of Green Suds, from its forward thinking, progressive, enviromentally friendly vibe and groovy atmosphere-  the cons tell me that this could be a cautionary tale and to carefully weigh how badly I want it relative to how much I expect to extract.
Entrepreneur Chick's take on all this is simply,
if you really want it, proceed with extreme caution.

P.S. I've told Susan this, and interestingly enough- Entrepreneur Chick's parents also owned a laundromat! My mother created a store from the room on the side and called it, "The Snack Shack", with the characters from the Peanuts Gang on the windows painted by a professional artist.  Children would walk home from school and stop by for their candy and sodas. Customers could by snacks as they waited for their wash to finish.
My parents sold the laundromat mostly because of a major highway that was going to cut right in front of their business. Today it's an "Indian Trading Post" in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Pollinatrix- Readers Business Ideas- Part 2

I've had seen through my years in business that usually, one's

treasure is in their talent.

Certainly this has proved true for Entrepreneur Chick, as I actually started all my positive cash flow now simply from the ability to dance well, which I then leveraged into many other opportunities- and I believe it is especially true for Susan. (The Pollinatrix. "The Whole Blooming World.")

Susan's talent is writing, and writing well.

Recently she launched Illuminated Manuscripts, joined her local chamber of commerce, and has begun receiving work.

Let's evaluate Susan's new venture through Entrepreneur Chick's six point success check list, if you will, that was mentioned in the last post.

(1) Is Illuminated Manuscripts relevant?

Oh, heck yes!

Why do I know that?
Susan recently sent me a link to a literary agent's blog, Nathan Brandsford.
Just guess how many followers Nathan Brandford has?

Three thousand and seventy eight!
Those are just his Google followers.

How many other followers/readers do you suppose he has that are not even listed?
I'd say you can safely double that number.

Now we are up to six thousand one hundred and fifty six readers!

Let me ask you- out of that six thousand one hundred and fifty six readers, how many of those writers and aspiring writers write spot on? Write well? No misspellings, no grammatical errors?

Maybe even only two in ten are up for that task.
That's where Illuminated Manuscripts shines.

Besides that particular market, which is writers, on the corporate end of things, actually, it's not much better.

A corporation needs to effectively communicate their message in a vast and confusing market place.
Would you risk millions of marketing dollars with only a nominal command of language?

What about grant writing? Don't even get me started!

So, we can conclude the Polly's business is enormously relevant.

Remember, if you are not relevant, you are not what?
Nothing. That's what.

(2) What does Susan know about the business?


Her graduate studies have been in this field, she teaches on a college level in this field and also made a comment to me, in so many words that, "I don't mean to sound like I'm arrogant but writing is easy for me- a lot of people don't know how to do it, but it comes easy for me."

(3) What's the R.O.I. or return on investment?

Return on investment or: "how much for how much"?
Though I do not know her exact numbers, I can give a fairly accurate "guesstimate".

Susan's start up costs were not large due to her not having to purchase real estate, sign leases, pay a huge staff, meet outrageous insurance demands, consult with all kinds of attorneys and so forth.

What Entrepreneur Chick absolutely adores about a service oriented business is that it is easier to maximize profit because expenses can be kept low, but all the while, the business will continue to grow and expand.

(4) Where is the break even point?

The break even point, you remember, is reached when the costs for starting the business have been satisfied and anything after that is pure profit.

Her break even point, because of her low start up costs and the fact that work is steadily coming in, was reached quickly.

Yet another reason why I like a service oriented business.

(5) How does the business stand out in the market place?

This is a question only Susan can answer.
What does she do that is superior to her competitors?

Could it be a faster turn around time?
Could it be she actually helps you find an agent?
Could it be she specializes in one type of writing over another?

A business should always ask themselves, not only in the start up phase, but all the time-  what do we do that's better, different, and more compelling than our competitors?

Remember, average is just that. Average.
No one builds a great business on mediocrity.

(6) What is Susan's projected profits?

This is where it gets really fun, kids.
Running the numbers.

To run numbers, it's essential that we take into consideration the geographic realm of the business.

How far does her customer base reach?

Is she bound at all by a geographic location?


Susan's clients can be literally anywhere in the world.

What does this mean for her bottom line?

She's going to have one nice, round, hip-hop baby's momma booty, that's what!
Bootylicious if I ever saw it.

My suggestion to Susan for even greater profitability, is when her workload becomes such that she herself, can not meet the demands, she simply hire others.

If you want to make more money you simply expand your system and hire more people.

This is exactly how I make all my income today.
I do not physically work myself.

When people ask me about how much business my companies is generating, and I tell them, they invariably say, "Wow! You must be busy!"
Well, no.
I'm not busy.
My STAFF is busy.

I hire other people to do the work for me and make the deferential.

Basically, I'm a pimp.
Yeah, I took it there.

If Susan would also like to be a pimp, she'll really rake in da dough.

In conclusion, Illuminated Manuscripts has all the earmarks that I look for for success.

If she lived closer, we would so be sippng some bubbly right now!

P.S. I do teach ballroom with a little bit of hip hop thrown in on Monday nights because Greg and Lisa are just wonderful people and fellow entrepreneurs who have a real desire to learn.  I do enjoy teaching just a little bit still.  Four hours a month, that's all.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Reader's Business Ideas, The Pollinatrix- Part 1

Pollinatrix, Polly, as I've come to call her, from The Whole Blooming World, who's reliably lyrical and deeply insightful blog that I totally enjoy reading, is also one of Entrepreneur Chick's followers. (As I am hers.)

A few weeks ago, I asked for my reader's business ideas and will feature three.

Those three are:

 (1) Susan, (Polly) The Whole Blooming World
(2) Andrew, The Sententious Vaunter
(3) Chloe, Fortune Cookies and Men

Polly's business ideas are:

1. Writing service

2. Green Laundromat

3. Teen Cafe

Very good, Pollinatrix! You do not lack for vision, nor do you lack for diversity.

Looking at these businesses through Entrepreneur Chick's lense of evaluation:
we ask ourselves the following five critical questions;

1. Is the business relevant?
2. What do we know about the business?
3. What is the return on investment or R.O.I.?
4. Where is the break even point?
5. How does the business stand out in the market place?
6. What is my projected profits?

Point five, that I did not mention last time, is very important, which is called the break even point.

The break even point is reached when start up costs for the business have been met and anything after that, is considered profit.

Neither did I mention point six, which is usually how I determine if I'm even interested in a particular business or not, because I always want to run my numbers to get an idea of projected cash flow.

If I see that there's too much work involved relative to low profit margins, or a system that is not replicative, or if there is little to no leverage, I'm not going to be interested in that business.

Starting with those three ideas, in three parts, we will break down Polly's business ventures.

Again, fabulous ideas Polly!

Next time, "Polly's Writing Service".

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chocolate Martinis all Around~ Happy Valentine's Day!

Tony just got back from the liquor store and here's what he bought us!

Six martini glasses, silver drink shaker; which I notice my finger prints seem to already be about so I'll try not to murder anyone tomorrow- and fixin's for chocolate martinis, of which I've had a craving for three days now.

Chocolate Martinis

2 oz Stoli Vanilla Vodka
2 oz cream de cocoa

Pour ingredients into shaker with ice, then pour into martini glasses, drop in a cherry or two or three- I like a lot of cherries-

Happy Valentine's Day to me!
Oh, and you too.

I hear you can only have about two of these before bad things start to happen.

Off the subject of drinking and Valentines, but I wanted to show you what the trees in the back looked like just two days ago.

Mind you, I live in Dallas!

What romantic and delicious things are you doing to celebrate Valentine's Day?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

She Remembered her Panties, Blog (I'm Ba-ak!)

Okay, I'm going to give her points for remembering to wear panties on such an important day; but IS SHE KIDDING?

Did you borrow those bad boys from your grandmother?

In her defense, Victoria's Secret was not around in 1965 and apparently, neither was a nice white lace thong.

Only I can equate panties to blogging, I know. You don't see the connection?

 Could be all the meds I've been on, because it's clear that remembering to blog and remembering your drawers
are about the same thing.

Essentials for a happy life.

I'm back. Really.

P.S. Catherine Deneuve is more than a beautiful French actress but she's also quite the entrepreneur- "Deneuve introduced her own perfume, Deneuve, in 1986. She is also a designer of glasses, shoes, jewelry and greeting cards." We can only hope she adds undies soon.