Monthly Archives: June 2017

4 Ways to Recognize Time to Make the Leap and Start Your Own Business

one percent of Americans are interested in being self-employed, however most don’t start their own business, largely out of fear of what would happen if they don’t succeed. I was part of the 51 percent and feared remaining part of that statistic forever, never taking the leap to go out on my own.

For a decade, I worked as a Division I college athletics marketer and sports marketing professor. Then, during what should’ve been one of the most joyful times in my life, I almost lost my life. A near-death experience during the birth of my daughter prompted me to realize it was time to take action towards building a life and career I would be happier with.

I started working on launching my business while I was still employed full-time, doing things such as building my website after I’d put my daughter to bed for the night and while my husband was working the night shift. I was working towards my goal, but burning myself out and trying not to give in to the mounting pressure. I kept wondering, “How would I know when it’s the right time to make the big leap?”

The truth is there is no life script that tells you when it’s time to start your business and live your dreams. You can map out each step of your next move, organize all of your business plans and strategize every last detail, but none of this tells you when to flip the switch and go. What I learned, firsthand, is that there will come a point when you know there is no turning back and only then will you be ready to make the change.

Looking back three years, when I finally made the decision to start my business and make it my full-time job, my fear was overtaken with my joy of knowing that my world was about to open to something that I’d never experienced before. At the time I left my collegiate career, I was a mess of emotions — happy, scared, joyful, worried, more free than ever before. In retrospect, there were four things I knew then that helped me realize the time was right to make the big leap.

1. Know your numbers.

Two of the biggest reasons people don’t start their own business are financial fears: lack of a steady income and enough personal savings tostart a business. If you’re ready to go out on your own, be crystal clear on how much money you have going in, how much money you need to make to live at a level you’re comfortable with and how that all translates to client numbers, immediately and for the future.

2. Decide it’s happening, no matter what.

Regardless of the reason you’re starting your own business, be it for the love of what you do, freedom to control your work experience or to build a legacy, it’s important to dedicate yourself to making the business happen. For me, it went from being “what if?” to “when?” I decided I was going to make this transition in my life, without question, and it took the guess work and the over analysis out of the equation.

3. Trust your intuition above all else.

There is no one who can tell you, ultimately, what’s right for your life and your business but you. Trust your gut. Research has shown how our bodies are able to speak intuitively to our minds when it comes to making decisions, big and small. The wisest parts of me knew that it was time to make the shift in my life in the pursuit of what I was ready to create.

4. Make the leap.

There comes a point where you have to make the investment in yourself and your businesses and walk away from what’s no longer serving you. It doesn’t have to all happen in the same day, but the quicker you start creating your business plan, the sooner you can start putting it into motion and starting your own journey. After all of the preparations you’ve made to get to this point, don’t be afraid. I had one client when I made that leap, but somehow I knew I was doing the right thing.

It’s your turn. Think about what you want the most and how your life is supporting those desires. If your life isn’t supporting those desires, it may be time to make the leap. Don’t feel like the life you want is too far from reach. Quite often, it is just one decision away.

How Side Hustlers Can Get Biggest Business Results in Quantity of Time

With so few free hours in the day, it can be tough for side hustlers to feel like they are getting anywhere in their business, gig or project.

But your limits are actually your blessing.

“The time constraints you have are an advantage, not a limitation,” says Adrienne Dorison, a business consultant and strategist. “They require you to focus only on the most important things, and you’ll get results faster because of it.”

As an expert in productivity and business development for entrepreneurs, Dorison is all about streamlining strategies. With a few shifts, she is able to find gaps in mindset and workflows to  provide big results while minimizing effort.

In a Facebook Live, Dorison will be provide advice to side hustlers,including myself, on how to set the right priorities to grow your business. The episode is the first in the Side Hustler edition of our new series “Tough Love Tuesday,” in which business owners like you get support, resources and actionable advice.

In this talk, Dorison will cover:

Developing a strategy so you’re tackling the right problems
Determining where your bottlenecks are — and which ones to address
Streamlining your processes and setting your priorities

She’ll also share what most side hustlers get wrong when it comes to getting focused and what no one is doing but should be.

 

5 Successful TV Shows and Successful Businesses

Running any small business is tough. You don’t have the capital. Your competitors can crush you, especially when you are still building a solid base of customers you can rely on. But I’ve learned a lot about running businesses, particularly when it comes to my penny stock trading lessons.

I appeared on TV with Steve Harvey, where I was interviewed about my penny stock course and the students who have made six and seven-figure sums. But when I look back, I thought about what TV can teach us, and here’s what can be summarized.

1. Keep it simple.

The format of most TV shows is extremely simple. Take your average TV drama as an example. There’s a problem, which may be carried over from a previous episode, a conflict and a resolution (and sometimes an additional problem for the next episode).

This is a simple format that has carried on since the invention of TV. That’s the simplicity you should apply to your small business. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Follow what came before.

2. Money won’t make you happy.

It might make you successful, but you’ll quickly burn out. Small businesses are run on fire and passion. Every successful small business owner has wanted to change the world. They want to do something. The motivation was never money alone. And that’s the same with any TV show. Writers and producers are excited about what they’re going to see come to life.

3. Build a community.

I regularly post successes and tips from my students. Why? It’s not about bragging it’s about informing myself and the wider world. Always look to network and you’ll build that community. The most successful TV programs have a huge following. That’s how they keep getting renewed for another season. The networks know they’re going to tune in.

4. Patience is a virtue.

Not every TV show or format is going to immediately take off. Most TV shows don’t get popular until the end of season one or the start of season two. The point is that I would never give up on an idea just because it didn’t yield instant success, and you shouldn’t either.

5. Don’t stop pushing the envelope.

How many times have we seen TV networks fall flat on their faces? And how many times have we seen them succeed hugely because of a crazy idea? That’s because they always push the envelope. Apply that same logic to your business and you’ll eventually hit upon that one idea that blows up. You’ll see.

The 10 Best and Most Popular WordPress Themes to Choose From Website Projects

The digital world is spawning at an exponential rate. Every hour, roughly 1,000 websites are created. We’re talking petabytes of new data every single hour. To understand the sheer size and volume of that, there’s one million gigabytes in a petabyte or 1,000 terabytes. Considering that the human mind is estimated to be able to hold 1.25 terabytes of data, one petabyte is equivalent to approximately 800 human minds.

While those numbers could most certainly shock and awe you, the truth is that many of the newcomers to the online world rely on the WordPress platform to help streamline the process of getting their website up and running quickly and easily. With over 100 million websites and counting, WordPress is by far the most popular CMS in existence. That might be why the WordPress theme market is burgeoning and exploding.

However, with tens of thousands of themes in existence, how do you know which WordPress theme is the best one for your next website project? While this can most certainly be a subjective topic, these pre-built themes, which offer a far smoother transition into cyberspace, are scooped up in droves.

Some of these themes are terrific for ecommerce stores while others are great for starting a blog. However, the best theme for your project will be based on a few criteria. Not only should they be aesthetically appealing to the eye, but they also need to be mobile responsive. Considering that Google’s search is now a mobile-first index, and mobile searches far outpace desktop, responsiveness in design is important.

When a design is responsive, it looks and functions just as well on mobile and tablet devices as it does on desktop. However, building a responsive design on your own is no simple feat. Trust me, I’ve built loads of them. And unless you rely on a system like Twitter’s Bootstrap, building responsive designs for different media types is an exhaustive endeavor. That’s why some of the best WordPress themes have placed special weight on this one crucial aspect.

Related: CMS Battle for Beginners: WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal (Infographic)

How to choose the best theme for your website.

Whether you’ve just started a business, or you’re trying to figure out the type of business you want to start, there are some things to look for when selecting a theme for your WordPress site. Some themes offer great support for ecommerce stores while others are terrific for membership-based sites. Either way, you’ll usually need some plugins to make everything function smoothly with one another.

After nearly two decades of software engineering, web development and SEO mastery, I can tell you that there are 7 critical categories that any software application or extension (i.e. WordPress theme) is judged on.

1. Ease-of-installation: While there are tons of WordPress themes out there, the best ones are easy to install. There should be a simple interface that will help you get started quickly and easily, without a lot of fuss or programming know-how.

2. Degree of customization allowed: Pre-built add-ons, tailor-made plugins and a high degree of customization make themes that much more powerful. While some themes focus on a high degree of customization, others don’t.

3. Mobile usability: Mobile usability is crucial. Considering Google places heavy weight on this, finding the right WordPress theme that supports a responsive mobile design should be one of the defining factors in your quest for the ideal theme.

4. Overall speed: As a developer, I can tell you firsthand that your style of coding counts for a lot. It can either be bogged down by excessive code, or be light and compact. The latter is important to facilitate the overall speed of page loads, which is a crucial factor when it comes to things like SEO and visitor retention.

5. Aesthetic appeal of design: The aesthetic appeal of the theme is important. How polished is the look and feel? Does it look amateur or professional? People pay acute attention to design, so be sure to select the right theme that supports a high-quality design.

6. Customer reviews: Reviews are important when it comes to any product or service. And, when it comes to discovering the right theme, you should do your due diligence into the experiences of others. What’s the general consensus on that theme? Are they authentic reviews?

7. Ongoing support and upgrades: Support is an important aspect in any business, especially in one that requires constant evolution and upgrades to keep up with core upgrades to the WordPress platform. Be sure that whatever theme you purchase, that they provide some sort of on-going or limited support and that they’re constantly evolving, upgrading and adding new features.

Related: 25 Reasons Your Business Should Switch to WordPress

Top themes for WordPress sites.

While any list of themes for WordPress might be considered subjective, the preceding list of criteria help to laser-focus the approach to finding the perfect one. Below are what I consider to be some of the best themes that are out there.

1. X-Theme

I’m partial to X-Theme. It’s the theme that I presently use on my blog. And I’ve had an incredible experience with it. It hits all 7 of the criteria that I’ve laid out and does so particular well. X-Theme was created by ThemeCo, and it offers a highly-customizable, mobile-friendly, easy-to-use interface for your WordPress website. This one is definitely worth checking out.

2. Avada

Another one of the most versatile themes I’ve come across out there,Avada is one of the best-selling themes of all time and was created by Theme Fusion. It offers up a powerful design interface, allowing you to customize nearly all of the graphical elements of your WordPress site.

3. Hexater

Hexater is a fantastic theme that allows you to quickly and easily customize your site without investing hundreds of hours trying to figure out how it works or having a PhD in graphic design. This theme offers quick-to-market renditions for things like product launches, ebooks and niche authority sites, as just a few examples.

4. BeTheme

BeTheme is a massive theme built for WordPress with over 260 variations that can be launched with a single click. This powerful theme is beautiful, responsive, fast-loading and highly customizable. The company offers fast and reliable support, lifetime updates and the framework is optimized for SEO.

5. The7

The7 is one of the most customizable themes that are available for the WordPress platform. It includes a visual composer with a beautiful design wizard and over 750 theme options, along with over 26 pre-built websites that are quickly and easily launchable with a single click.

6. Flatsome

Flatsome is a great theme if you’re planning to run an ecommerce store with the WooCommerce plugin. It’s by far one of the best-selling WordPress themes for WooCommerce out there. It’s highly customizable, provide on-going updates, is fast-loading, boasts a responsive design and has beautiful pre-built designs with on-going updates.

7. Uncode

Uncode is a WordPress theme that gives you with the ability to create beautiful designs within an ultra-fast-loading framework. There are over 200+ layouts, a versatile visual composer and provides over 30 ready-for-market designs to get you up and running quickly and seamlessly.

8. Genesis

Gensis is a framework for WordPress that allows you to create beautiful and stunning websites that are highly customizable. This theme offers a light-weight design that’s highly optimized for speed, and provides advanced customization options, giving you the ability and flexibility to build just about any type of website with the framework.

9. Pixelgrade

Pixelgrade offers a visually-stunning WordPress theme that’s designed for a variety of situations, best suited for a variety of occupations such as restaurateurs, photographers, bloggers, designers and more. The theme is customizable, responsive and very easy-to-use.

10. Storefront

Storefront is a bulletproof WordPress theme that was specifically designed for the WooCommerce add-on. It’s a great way to build an ecommerce store quickly and easily, offering up extensible customization options with a fast-loading framework that makes creating an online story easy and straightforward.