Small Business Expo & Workshop — Today!

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It’s a bit of last minute news, but for those of you business owners who have the time this morning, Los Angeles City College is hosting a small business workshop and expo today, along with the Hollywood Business Source.  It’s a free event, so if you have the time, there’s really no excuse, if you have the morning available.  The campus is out for the summer, so no need to concern yourself with unruly students.  And the college provides plenty of parking in their structures.  Event starts at 10:00am.  So, If you’re up, go get at ’em!

3 Things in Life Daily

If you watched the Oscar’s last night, then you know that 12 Years A Slave took home best picture, Cate Blanchett won best lead actress and Matthew McConaughey won best leading actor.  If you didn’t, I’m sure you Googled it and this is not a surprise.  Some of the highs were Pharell’s performance of “Happy” from Despicable Me 2 and P!nk’s cover of “Over The Rainbow” which was splendidly done.  As well as the moment when Ellen claimed she took Pharell’s hat and started hitting up celebrities for money to pitch in pizza, singling out Brad Pitt who only tossed in 20 bucks.  But the moment that stood out for me during the entire show was Matthew McConaughey’ speech accepting best actor.

McConaughey said there were only three things in life he needed daily: something to look up to, something to look forward to and someone to chase.  Just three things.  Very simple, nothing over the top, nothing complicated.  What where his three things?  God, his family and himself — in that order.  Something to look up to, something to look forward to and someone to chase.   The first two were easy to follow and he explained quite eloquently how they all tied in.  But when he came to explaining someone to chase  — he had a little story about being asked who his hero was when he was 15 years old — he made it perfectly clear that he wasn’t chasing who is he now, the McConuaghey we saw on stage.  He was chasing who he wanted to be in 10 years from then and 10 years from now.  And that’s how he lives his life.

I’ve never thought about self-development as a chase.  I think of chase as cops and robbers, to an extent.  Being chased — trying to get away.  But Matthew McConaughey’s chase is about working his way towards a better self.  A self that he’s so focused on, so single-minded about, that he makes sure everything he’s doing moves him in that direction.   I’m probably ad-libbing here, but that was my takeaway.  That was my understanding of what he meant to chase himself.  Being so absorbed by a goal — by a state of mind — that nothing deters you.  Not because you’re perfect in every way, but because that’s where you want to be.  That’s what you want so badly, you’ll doing anything for.

Just 3 things he puts his mind to everyday.  Not some bucket list of all things he plans to check off the list before he dies.  Just 3 things.

Whatever it is that you’re working on or working towards, if you could learn to let go of all that you don’t need, what 3 things would you need to propel yourself forward?

February Save The Dates

Check out these February events for those in the Greater Los Angeles area.  No matter what business you’re thinking about going into, or if you’ve already started your own company, there are events here for all levels of business owners and entrepreneurs,

 

  • February 4th – Taking Your Grant Writing Research Skills to The Next Level Event organized by eCivis, Inc. from 9am – 4pm PST.  Event cost is $299 for the early bird fee, $349 for general admission.
  • February 5th FREE Self-Publishing Workshop located at 1246 Glendon Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024 (Westwood Library Branch) from 6-8pm PST hosted by the Toastmasters District One Speakers Bureau Workshop Committe, for more info, visit http://bit.ly/1fOqo6d
  • February 6thFREE Website Building Tools Class hosted by the Valley Economic Development Center from 6-8pm PST located at 5121 Van Nuys Blvd., 3rd Floor Van Nuys, CA 91403; from more information or to register, email hassali@vedc.org
  • February 6th – 8th – How To Sell To Women FREE Virtual Training Event hosted by Lisa Sasevich; to register http://bit.ly/1eHENio
  • February 7th – Women 2.0 Founder Friday, located at the Regus 3415 South Sepulveda, suite 1100 Los Angeles, CA 90034 from 6:30 to 9pm PST.  General admission starts at $22.09.  Visit http://bit.ly/1er4gjT for more information and to register
  • February 8thFREE Marketing and Promotions Event organized by the Business Entrepreneurship Club.  Event will take place the LA Mission College located at 13356 Elridge Ave, Los Angeles 91342 from 10am – 12pm PST.  Contact Dr. Norris Dorsey at  818.402.5050 and/or register at http://bit.ly/ML8CIQ
  • February 10th  — FREE Start Up Dos & Don’ts/ Business Plan class from 6-8pm PST hosted by the Valley Economic Development Center located at 5121 Van Nuys Blvd., 3rd Floor Van Nuys, CA 91403; from more information or to register, email hassali@vedc.org
  • February 10th – California Small Business Development Center is offering a How to Write a Business Plan Class for $40, hosted by Santa Monica College. Event takes place from 9am to 1pm PST on the campus.  To register, visit http://bit.ly/1fzdI51
  • February 19th – 2014 – 2015 Annual Economic Forecast and Industry Outlook hosted by the LA County Economic Development Corporation from 7 -10:30pm PST at the L.A. Hotel Downtown located at 333 Figueroa St, Los Angeles 90071; general admission is $155 if purchased by Feb. 14th.  Register at http://bit.ly/1acMC3E
  • February 26th – March 1st –  Black Enterpise Women of Power Summit hosted by State Farm held at the Boca Raton Resort & Club in Boca Raton, Florida.  Deadline to register for general admission is February 7th at $1395.  After February 7th, tickets to the event go up to $1695.  For more information visit, http://bit.ly/1ildZsN

(additional events may be added)

 

 

Size Matters

‘It’s not about the size of the boat but the motion in the ocean!’ 

Ha! How many times have we heard that one?  Well, I hate to break it to all the guys out there (and gals), but size DOES matter!!  Small has always been compared to big.  And for good reasons.  Bigger has more experience; smaller has more momentum.  Bigger has more reach; smaller has more flexibility.  There are thousands of bigger, but there are millions of smaller.  And if you think I’m talking about what below a man’s belt buckle, think again — think BIGGER.

Size Does Matter

Think business, big business.  Think of the Amazons, the Apples, the MicroSofts and all the big corporations out there that employ 500 or more employees.  They too started out small.  We’ve heard the stories — started out in a basement, at the kitchen table, the night stand in the bedroom, as a side gig — wherever.  Regardless, they were small, too.  Our businesses are smal.  They may feel much more bigger than where we were when we first started out, but they’re still small.  And as our ambitions and goals grow, so does our business.  And we have — if we desire so — to take our small enterprises and turn them into big businesses.

Is bigger better when it comes to business, though? Does it mean we’ve arrived and have reached the pinnacle of success?  Do more rewards and accolades follow when our business gets bigger?  Or do we have to incur more challenges as we grow?  Are we making ourselves more of a target for liabilities and costs as we get bigger?  But no one wants to be a big fish in a small pond forever.

So, how do we decide what size our business should grow to? After all, in business, size does matters.  Expansion is everything, even if it isn’t in the physical sense.  Innovation, Creativity, Productivity — these are the results of growth — of getting bigger (in some fashion or form).

How big do you want to be?

The Tortoise and The Hare

You’ve heard of Aesop’s fable of the tortoise and the hare.  The hare was faster but cockier and the tortoise won because, as the moral of the story pointed out, slow and steady wins the race.  Let’s think about that for a second.  Slow and steady.  Really?  Slow and steady wins the race?!  I don’t know what Olympic 100 meter dash Aesop ever watched, but slow and steady never got anyone the gold.  But, fast and reckless usually gets you no where quick, so which of the lesser evils is really worth our time?  What’s the method here?  Fast and reckless or slow and steady?

I don’t necessarily believe in those overnight successes.  One day a couple of friends had a great idea for a business and the next day, there in the millions with revenue.  Wow, right?  Not saying it isn’t possible, just highly improbable.  Look at Amazon and how long it took Jeff Bezos to get it where it is today.  Yet, working at an even pace, opportunities are going to pass you by because you’re too focused on maintaining speed — “maintaining”, when the core of business is anything but.  The tortoise didn’t win the race because he was slow and steady.  He won the race because he was persistent.  He never deviated off the path.  When the hare stopped to shoot the breeze — yeah, I’m paraphrasing here, I know — the tortoise kept going.  He never stopped forging ahead.  I’m taking the fable and making it more cliché, I know, I know, but go back and re-read the story.  Google it online.  When did the tortoise ever stop?  When did the tortoise ever get side-tracked or goof off?

Tortoise and the Hare

Better yet — let’s look at this from the hare’s perspective.  Yeah, he didn’t win because he knew he could and was kind of showing off.  I think he even took a nap while the tortoise was catching up.  And as a result, he lost.  But that’s not to say he didn’t finish.  He got to the end of the race too, just last (you really can’t call is second place if there’s only two participants).  He had the speed, the capability and plenty of time. He just didn’t manage them as wisely (how often do some of us do that, HELLO!). I’m gonna keep reiterating this.  The tortoise won, but the hare finished.   Technically, it can be said that both finished.  The prize for winning was just getting there first.  But what the’s point of being first?  MySpace came before Facebook, yet who’s number one now?

Decide if you’re more like the tortoise or the hare.  Some of us know we got the chops to get the job done, we just don’t always discipline ourselves well enough to be ahead of the game.  Fair enough, we need better will power, we can admit to that.  While the rest of us are path-driven.  We know where we’re supposed to be and where we need to end up.  That’s all that matters.  And as long as we focus on staying the course, we’ll get to where we wanted to be.  It’s a bit of a tunnel vision problem.  But, then what?  We’re first.  Doesn’t mean we’re the best or that we even matter?  We’re just first.

So, again, are you the tortoise or are you the hare?

What Makes You The Expert?

Ask The Expert

 

What makes someone an “expert”?

How much they know, how much schooling they’ve had?

How much experience they have underneath their belt?

Is it the amount of years they’ve put in?

Is it that they know everyone and everything in their industry and field?

Or…

…are they reliable, open-minded, flexible, and honest even when they don’t know something they should? We think of experts as people always knowing or having the answers.  And years of experience, schooling and regular training can gain expertise, but an expert isn’t a walking encyclopedia waiting to be opened and flipped through.  It isn’t someone who knows all and has done all.

An expert is wise.  Wise enough to listen, wise enough to try and wise enough to learn.  Someone we may consider an expert probably won’t have all the answers, but they’ll know where to find them.  They may not have all the resources, but they’ll know where to look.  And they may not have decades of experience, but they’re not afraid to learn.  We have to begin to unwrap our heads around this rigid concept of an “expert”.  Or “guru”.  Or “know-it-all”.  They’re limiting.  They’re fixed and unchanging.  Everything being in business isn’t.

Many of us are experts and don’t even know it.  We’ve held on to this belief that we have to have so many years of dues paid to experience and training that we ignore what knowledge base we’ve already accumulated — what lessons and failures we’ve already learned from.  Once we’ve mastered something — we got it down to a science of our own, no matter how long or short it took us to learn, we’re now an expert in it.  We may not have the degrees hanging on the walls or dozens plaques with our names on it, but we’re still experts.

Better yet, we’re masters.  We go about our plans, doing what we need to do as successfully as we can so we can do it over and over again.  And when things need to change — when plans need to be altered — we adapt, master and move on.

 

January — Save the Dates!

 

Look for more update as January progresses!  It’s a new year, take a leap and do what you need to in order to be and see success.