Entrepreneurship

Review: Ready, Fire, Aim

Each Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal productivity, personal development, or business/entrepreneurship book of interest. One topic that doesn’t get nearly enough coverage on The Simple Dollar (or on other blogs as well) is entrepreneurship – the transformation of an idea and a passion into a full-fledged business. It can be a splendid way …

My Entrepreneurial Inspiration

Since quitting my “real” job to become a full-time writer, I’ve heard many rather negative comments from friends and family who seem absolutely shocked that I’d quit a stable, solid-paying full time job to hide in my home office every day. The comments went all over the place, ranging from a general idea that I …

Categories: Entrepreneurship

Review: Built to Last

Each Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal productivity or personal development book. About a year ago, I began to really look at The Simple Dollar as the beginnings of a small business – likely one that would only ever have one employee (me), but a business nonetheless. I proceeded to dive into a big …

Encouraging Young People to Be Entrepreneurs

When I was young, I was a budding entrepreneur. In the late 1980s, one could easy get forty cents a pound for aluminum, so I adamantly collected cans. I provided garbage cans for neighbors to toss their empty cans in, then I would go on a route and collect those cans, adding them to my …

Categories: Entrepreneurship

How To Start A Business: 10 Things To Do First

I’ve had the opportunity to launch two successful small businesses in my life. Because of this, I regularly get emails from readers who are quite excited about starting their own business. They write out their plans to me and send it on, hoping to get some feedback on their ideas. What I’ve found, though, is …

The “Seed Money” Idea: A Different Way of Looking at Saving for Your Child’s Future

A few days ago, I had lunch with a person in the local community whose opinion I respect quite a bit. He has two adult children, only one of which attended college straight out of high school, and both of which run their own business. What I wanted to know from him was how exactly …

7 Things You Can Do Right Now To Chase Your Dreams

My last post, on figuring out where I should go next with my lfe, drew an outpouring of great comments and a lot of emails to me. Many of the emails asked me how exactly I put myself in such a position. How did I find the time to get started on such a lark …

Categories: Entrepreneurship

How To Minimize The Cost (And Maximize The Benefit) Of Eating Out For Business

I’m a pretty avid follower of the “brown bag club” – I take my own lunch to work very regularly and have some soup at my desk for the days when leftovers aren’t present. However, there are simply some times where, for business or social reasons, I must eat out with others. Here are seven …

Multiple Income Streams: How They Can Work For You

Not too long ago, the only method I had for earning money was my job. I’d get up, go into work, come home, and collect my paycheck – and I believed that was good enough for me. When I had children, though, I began to realize that my life was not all that different than …

Taking The Leap Into Entrepreneurship: Where Is That Financial Safety Net?

I’m a big advocate of entrepreneurship and I truly admire people who take the plunge. Here’s a question from a brave reader who went forward with his dream. I’ll call him Walt, for fun, after a character in one of my favorite books: I’m starting a personal training business, and I’ve been marketing for about …

Building a Better Blog: Celebrate With Your Readers

As you continue to blog, your regular readers will eventually grow accustomed to your voice as a writer, even if you write in a mostly factual fashion. Over time, you’ll come into contact many of your readers by email and comments and you’ll begin to establish a relationship of sorts with them. What does this …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Don’t Forget the Fundamentals

When I’m actively blogging, I often assume a great deal about my readers and their pre-existing knowledge of my topic. I often go so far as to assume that, even after I’ve researched a topic, I’m roughly on par with them in terms of really understanding the topic, so I focus on my own reflections …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Don’t Clutter It Up

When a visitor comes to your site, the first thing they’re looking for is content. They want to see what you’ve written and they don’t want to be distracted by confusing things. The more confusing options you throw out there, the less likely they are to feel welcome on your site and the less likely …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Talking To Other Bloggers

Many bloggers operate in a bubble. This bubble includes themselves and perhaps a small number of bloggers that focus on topics similar to their own. I know that this is often true, even for me: I talk to a lot of other personal finance bloggers, but I rarely communicate outside of my own “circle.” So …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Engage The Casual Visitor

One issue that has always interested me is how one can maximize the retention of visitors from social bookmarking sites like Digg. These visitors are only coming to your site to read a particular article; typically, they don’t stay around to read other things. A similar notion is true about visitors from search engines (though …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Post Consistently

After discussing the dangers of leaving your audience hanging, it became clear that a concise description of why a posting schedule is useful and how it should work is needed. Although many professional bloggers offer up the bromide of how important a posting schedule is, it is rare to find a description of the actual …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Write In Series

I’m often baffled by bloggers who confess to having a complete lack of ideas to blog about when the possibilities for dozens upon dozens of posts are sitting there right in front of them. All that you need for a large number of posts is one idea that can be broken down into a lot …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Use The Senses

The web is inherently a visual medium, and like any other visual medium, a big portion of success in the medium is sensory appeal. Many, many people recall things based upon imagery and visual impressions and blogs are no different: time and time again, we see that images help make for memorable posts. Take, for …

Categories: Blogging

Building a Better Blog: Don’t Know It All

In high school, I was friends with an individual who repeatedly acted as if he knew everything anyone was going to say. If you got him started on a subject, he would completely dominate the conversation with minutae and commentary on every aspect of the issue at hand, while everyone else sat around staring at …

Categories: Blogging