Book Review: The One Minute Entrepreneur

Posted by 9 February, 2009 (3) Comment

The One Minute Entrepreneur

I recently read The One Minute Entrepreneur by Ken Blanchard, Don Hutson, and Ethan Willis. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I suspected it would be short given the “One Minute” in the title.

The story is about Jud McCarley, a fictional character, and his entrepreneurial adventures. The book is an interesting twist between fiction and non-fiction characters. It’s a quick read and guides you through Jud’s life as he acquires and perfects a skill at his first job, meets the love of his life, and starts a business based on his ability to give speeches. Throughout the book, there are a number of lessons learned about starting a business that are applicable across the business spectrum:

– Bring in more money than the expenses for your business

– Dream BIG. You’ll never achieve more than you think you can

– Take care of your employees

– If you only focus on managing costs, your business will never flourish

– Create raving fans

– A strength taken to an extreme can become a liability

– Everyone in your organization should be encouraged to be a leader

The best management system includes day to day coaching that acknowledges when people do things right and redirects their efforts when they are off base

– “To live a happy and fulfilled life, be generous with your wealth, time, and talent”

I think these are all good things to strive for when starting a business. The story line also stressed the importance of a work-life balance which I think is vital if you want to keep your friends and family close.

Overall, I thought this book was a good read. I give it 3.5 stars out of 5. It’s has a neat story and teaches a few basic principles about business. I think it’s worth your time to read it, but it’s not a book I’d suggest keeping on your shelf for future reference. I suggest getting this book from the library (that’s where I got my copy).

Have you read this book? What did you think about it?

Outside Resources:

‘One Minute Entrepreneur’ has Bite-Size Words of Wisdom
Book Review – The One Minute Entrepreneur – Ken Blanchard

Other Posts:

Interview: FairRepair.com
Carnival of Personal Development – February 2, 2009
Book Review: The How of Happiness
Interview: Financial Independence Through Dividends and Thrift
Interview: The Franchise King

Categories : Book Review Tags : ,

Interview: Financial Independence Through Dividends and Thrift

Posted by 26 January, 2009 (13) Comment

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This is an interview with William Spetrino. He is financially independent through through investing in dividends, being smart with his money, and doing right by others. You can read more about him on his Squidoo page or his blog.

Question: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Answer: In college I was an accountant who graduated at the bottom of my class. In finance we learned the efficient market theory which meant throwing darts was as important as analyzing stocks. In 1987 I was first introduced to Warren Buffett and tried to read as much as I could. In the absence of the internet gathering information was not easy. What you are able to learn now in a month it took me over 10 years to learn. In 1988 I started with sports memorabilia but the problem is most of profits went to pay for living expenses. DON’T quit your job until you have at least 1 year of living expenses. In 1993 I finally got started with 7000 dollars and it all took off from there and was a slow steady grind until 1998 when I realized the internet’s vast amount of information was able to speed up my learning process.

Question: You have stated you are financially independent. What does that mean to you?

Answer: Financial Independence is knowing that your annual dividend income EXCEEDS your total living expenses. More importantly if you build your dividend machine “properly” the income should double every 6-10 years which should more than keep pace with inflation

Question: I really like the idea of living off of dividends. What got you interested in dividend paying stocks? Also, why dividend paying stocks? Why not real estate or some other avenue that offers cash flow while preserving the capital asset?

Answer: In 1993 I bought the stock that is now Altria when it had its dividend yield of 5.75% and a low PE. That original investment 15 years ago with reinvested dividends will pay me about 60% in 2009 of the original amount invested. That got my attention. And then if you go on my squidoo lens http://www.squidoo.com/Creating-Dividend-machine you will see Jeremy Siegel’s study of the top performing stocks with reinvested dividends. Let me just add I bought Altria more than 10 years before I read his study, but reading it made see the power of it. Siegel also said that 97% of the Dow’s gain since 1900 was because of reinvested dividends and 3% was ‘appreciation”. That made a lot of sense to me. Real estate is something that is capital intensive, you need to involve attorneys, contractors and was the way I thought wealth was to be developed in the 80s and early 90’s. But as time went on I realized that buying stakes in companies like Altria, Coca Cola, Johnson and Johnson when they are PRICED RIGHT is the easiest way to financial independence.

Question: We’ve spoken on the phone a few times and stressed the power of networking. Can you share you experiences in networking and how that has gotten you where you are today?

Answer: Networking is summarized in my book Consume Consume and Consume More which has been sold in over 15 countries and is now starting its second printing. Check out the reviews http://www.atfreeforum.com/billyticketswin/viewtopic.php?t=17&start=0&mforum=billyticketswin. Whats ironic is the 2 people who have helped me along the way were people I tried to sell an insurance policy to. Thankfully BOTH of them remembered my words. If you ever need ANYTHING at all. Please call me. Both people who are opposite as can be helped provide two separate income streams which provided me the finances to build my dividend machine. Listen closely to this story. When I used to tell one of my old mentors that I was more interested in helping others than selling he asked me if I believed in our product and I said sure. He said then well if you aren’t sharing the product WHO are YOU helping? That made me realize that waiters, construction workers and everyone I came in contact with was fair game. However I do it differently. Most people try and “push” one thing. I build a network of “generous”, positive , competent people and then I expose products to them. THEY will decide what they want. Remember No one loves to be “sold” but everyone LOVES to buy.

Question: I know that you are not a broker and can’t offer financial advice, but are there any dividend paying stocks you would suggest people investigate?

Answer: Unlike a broker who has a vested interest in what and how often you buy I will recommend companies that you understand. Pepsi Coca Cola McDonalds Altria Proctor and Gamble etc. The KEY is what PRICE you get the stocks at. In my book which can be ordered at ticketbill@aol.com gives the EXACT formula and filters to tell you WHEN and WHAT to buy.

Question: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Answer: My book will teach you how to start with NOTHING and achieve financial independence by following each step that is SIMPLY stated. The book is less than 50 pages but is full with MEAT which took me 20 years and over 1000 articles and books worth of reading to amass. There is a case study from almost 4 years ago where I analyzed 5 stocks and the 2 stocks I “recommended” are BOTH up even though the stock market is down drastically in that time span. My blog is at www.billytickets.blogspot.com. Feel free to submit questions an we can see how many we can get to. Peace.

Contact Information:

William Spetrino

E-mail: ticketbill@aol.com

Squidoo Lens: http://www.squidoo.com/Creating-Dividend-machine

Blogs: www.billytickets.blogspot.com

His Forum: http://www.atfreeforum.com

Photo by: Epicharmus

Other Posts:

10 Ways to Become Financially Independent
What Would Happen if More People Were Financially Independent?
10 Reasons Why I Want You to Be Financially Independent
Will Your Ambition Beat You?
What’s the Best Financial Decision You’ve Made?

Categories : Entrepreneur,Financially Independent Tags : , ,

Interview: The Franchise King

Posted by 22 January, 2009 (4) Comment

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This is an interview with The Franchise King, Joel Libava. He is a franchise expert and was nice enough to give us his insight into the franchise world. You can find out more about him on his blog, http://thefranchiseking.typepad.com.

1. Can you start out by telling us a little about yourself?

I am a Cleveland, Ohio based franchise consultant, blogger, and marketer. My late father, Jerry Libava, was one of the first real franchise consultant/brokers, back in 1991. I joined the firm in 2001, after being downsized {fired} from a management position in the Automotive franchise industry.

2. Why should people consult you prior to considering a franchise?

Because they don’t know what they don’t know. A lot of folks that I talk with have blinders on; they are thinking food, food, food, when it comes to franchising. There are so many different opportunities out there. There is really nothing wrong with investing in a food-related franchise. {If you have real life food industry-restaurant experience} One can do very well in a franchise that cooks and serves food. It’s a matter of lifestyle. If someone with previous restaurant experience invests in a food type of franchise, they have a much better chance of being successful, because they know what they are in for; super-long hours, big time employee turnover issues, and a high investment.

Another reason to consult with someone like me is that I have access to opportunities that they may not yet know about. A great reason that one may want to talk with me, before they embark on their franchise adventure is that I am independent. I get to choose which franchise companies that I want to work with, and help grow. I used to be  with a large national franchise brokerage group, and they told me who to work with. I have lots of latitude, and lots of very unique franchise concepts that I work with.

Finally, one should consider working with a franchise consultant or broker because they usually know what types of franchises are doing things right, and which ones are not.

3. What type of person fits the franchise mold?

Here is my one sentence answer:

Someone who is ok working and following someone else’s business idea and business system.

4. The economy is down. Should people look at franchising right now?

Yes, it is certainly ok to look. I am recommending that people be very careful about what types of franchise opportunities they are exploring. Here is some food for thought; In a down economy, are consumers buying what they want, or what they need? Investigate opportunities that provide a need. The ones that provide a want, may not do as well in a recession. Another words, would you rather be the franchise owner of a senior care franchise, or an upscale massage studio? I am not saying that investing in any one of the 3-4 massage studio franchises is a bad thing. What I am suggesting is that watching consumer spending trends during tough times is well worth it.

5. I stress alternative income, known to some as passive income. Are there any franchise avenues that allow a person to own a franchise part time or better yet, hands free?

There are very few legitimate franchise opportunities that allow for part-time ownership involvement. Franchises like Great Clips, and Best Cuts are examples of franchises that actually encourage their franchise owners to keep their jobs for awhile, while they are ramping things up. They are not the hairdressers, anyway. As for hands-free franchise ownership, I don’t know of any opportunities like that.

6. If someone was interested in owning a franchise, can you give us some resources that would be of value?

I suggest spending some quality time with some of the major search engines, and type in several different words that include franchise of business opportunities. This will lead you to articles, franchise news sites, and maybe even some opinions from current and former franchise owners, that could prove to be valuable. I also recommend reading anything that has to do with trends in franchising. See what the future looks like. There are a number of book out about franchising. Just go to your local library or bookstore.

7. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Yes. These are difficult times, and anyone who tells you otherwise, or tries to convince you that this is actually the best time to invest, is not living right. It is what it is. For now. Things will get better. Personally, I just finished the toughest year I have ever experienced. It was so tough, that in order to cut my expenses, I have moved my office to my home. It was not my 1st choice, but I had to do it. I am actually enjoying it, so far, though.

One more thing. If anyone you know is looking for a franchise, I always suggest that they work with a local franchise consultant/broker. Number one, they know the local area, and hopefully have great connections that can assist them with legal and real estate issues. Number two, by working with local consultant/brokers, the fees that they are paid by the franchise companies stay local, which contributes to the local economy. I know that it may not sound important, but it is.

My info:

The Franchise King, Joel Libava

franpro@sbcglobal.net

216-831-2610

877-262-2816

Company website:

http://www.FranchiseSelectionSpecialists.com

Award winning Franchise blog:

http://thefranchiseking.typepad.com

My e-book on How to Research a Franchise:

http://www.FranchiseResearchSteps.com

Photo by: Tony the Misfit

Related Posts:

Interview: Do You Have What It Takes to Own a Franchise?
Interview: So You Want to Own a Franchise?
Case Study: My Adventures in Forex Trading
Interview: 2 Million Dollars Made in Network Marketing – It’s All About Leadership!
Do You Squidoo?

Categories : Entrepreneur Tags : ,

Case Study: My Adventures in Forex Trading

Posted by 15 January, 2009 (22) Comment

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Welcome to our Forex Case Study on Happiness Is Better.

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I am being coached by Forex expert, Mindy Yost. She has been Forex trading for over 8 years and full time for 6 years. I will be detailing my progress through a monthly report. I opened a demo account and am currently trading under her guidance through Skype (wow, Skype is really handy!). Skype is essentially an internet-based phone/text communication service (VOIP).

To start off our training, Mindy had me read through a handy website, Baby Pips. If you’ve never heard of Forex before, it stands for the foreign exchange (currency) market. Forex trading is the buying or selling of a currency “pair” and the one that I am learning about is the Euro paired with the US Dollar and is called the EUR/USD.  In the Forex world, there is a thing known as a pip. I had heard the term pip before, but I really didn’t understand what it meant. A pip is the increment by which a currency pair is measured for trading purposes. In the case of the EUR/USD, a pip is 1/100th of a cent and would be displayed as $0.0001. Baby Pips explains a pip as “if the EUR/USD moves from 1.2250 to 1.2251, that is ONE PIP. A pip is the last decimal place of a quotation. The Pip is how you measure your profit or loss.” The Pip VALUE however is a little different and is determined by the size of the trade you make. In Forex trading you cannot trade one EUR/USD at a time. Forex is traded in 100,000 units at a time in a standard account, and 10,000 at a time in a mini account.  I am using a mini account so the pip value when I trade one mini lot is $1.00 ($0.0001 X 10,000). So, when I am in a trade, I will earn or lose $1.00 for each pip the market moves. If I were to trade multiple mini lots at a time, the pip value would be determined by multiplying $1.00 times the number of mini lots I made the trade for. Basically, the more pips the market moves in the direction of my trade the better! If the market moves against my trade, that can be a bad thing. But, as Mindy says, the market can only do two things – go up or go down, so if you are willing to wait it out, your trade will probably be profitable sooner or later (if you have enough money in your account to cover the loss before the market goes your way).

So what makes Forex trading so attractive? One major advantage Forex trading has over traditional stocks is leverage. Leverage means that when you make a Forex trade, you essentially only put down a small deposit for the trade.  In most cases the Leverage Ratio is 200:1. So, when I do a one mini lot trade, instead of fronting $10,000 to make that trade, I only put up a $50 deposit to control the 10,000 units in the mini lot. Another new term to me is that of a “Margin Call”. In Forex trading, the Brokerage House will not let you lose more money that is in your account, so if your trade go so far negative, that you no longer have any more money to cover any additional loss on you trade, they will close your trade at the accrued loss.  This means that you will have lost a lot of money and is a bad thing, but, unlike some other venues, at least they will not call you up and ask for even MORE money! Leverage is always a double edged sword, and can work for you or against you. One thing that Mindy has stressed to me is the importance of properly funding your account. The best way to protect yourself in Forex is to “over fund” your account and put way more money in it that what you expect to trade with and then make small trades. Also, remember these things: 1) do not open an account with money you can’t afford to lose, 1) do not open an account with “a little” money as a test-the-waters type of trial, and 3) don’t trade Forex unless you have nerves of steel. You can properly fund your account yet trade in small quantities to minimize risk while you are getting your feet wet. However, if you do not properly fund your account, you run into the possibility of having the broker perform a margin call and lose your money. Another attractive feature of Forex is that it’s a large market that can’t be altered or controlled by a few people. To give you an idea of the enormity of Forex, about $4 trillion is exchanged daily compared to $25 billion exchanged on the New York Stock Exchange. There are also no commissions charged by the brokers and you can trade basically 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you are interested in Forex trading, it is advisable that you read through School of Pipsology on Baby Pips and if you want to contact Mindy for mentoring, let me know (happinessisbetter@gmail.com) and I will give you her email address.

It’ll be at least a month or two before I start trading with real money, but in the mean time I’ll be showing you the results of my demo account.

Here is our first report on how we are doing with our demo account.

ACCOUNT SUMMARY
Beginning Balance 15,000.00
Comm Trading Commission 0
Rollover Rollover Fee 19.6
PnL Profit/Loss of Trade 466.2
Depos Deposit 0
Withd Withdrawal 0
Option Options Payout 0
Comm Options Commission 0
AdminFee Administrative fee 0
MngFee Management Fee 0
PerfFee Performance Fee 0
Void Deposit Rollback 0
ASPComm ASP Commission 0
MargInterest Interest on Usable Margin 0
Ending Balance 15,485.80
Floating P/L -1,955.80
Equity 13,530.00
Necessary Margin 300
Usable Margin 13,230.00

We’ve profited $466.20 because we are trading in a mini account and we are only trading one unit (we are cautious and HIGHLY suggested by Mindy) at a time. If you look at the Floating P/L, you will notice we are -$1955.80 in the hole. As previously stated, we have not lost that money because we have not re-exchanged the currency pair. Mindy has told us that the market always goes up and goes down, and as long as you are willing and able to hold onto the trade, we will more than likely not lose money.

Stay Tuned!

Do you trade in Forex? How do you like it?

Photo by: Zack Attack

Other Posts:

Interview: 2 Million Dollars Made in Network Marketing – It’s All About Leadership!
6 Reasons Why I Joined Toastmasters
Goals for 2009
Goals from 2008 – How Did I Do?
Interview: Do You Have What It Takes to Own a Franchise?

Categories : Alternative Income,Entrepreneur,Personal Finance Tags : , ,

Interview: 2 Million Dollars Made in Network Marketing – It’s All About Leadership!

Posted by 12 January, 2009 (0) Comment

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We were pleased to have Bradley Bowden do an interview on Happiness Is Better. You can find Bradley on his humor blog, Outside My Brain or through Twitter.

1. Could you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a natural born leader whose strongest quality is motivation. I created S.A.V.E (Students Against Vandalizing Earth) at Azusa Pacific University, where I attended. This organization created unique ways for the University to utilize recycle programs, educated the student body on eco-friendly living and participated in a “Get out the vote” campaign for a California State Proposition.

I then began building one of the largest organizations in Pre-Paid Legal Services in 1992, which profited me well over 2 million. I then sold my extremely successful business in 2008.

I was also a very successful trainer with world renown Anthony Robbins. I was put on the fast track with Mr. Robbin’s organization and blew away the competition at every stage. My experience from Mastery University has equipped me to lead thousands through both personal and business successes.

I am also an accomplished key note speaker and excel at training individuals as well as groups in multiple areas of focus. I am also very well known in social media circles as “OutsideMyBrain”, which shows my lively personality. I continue to hone my skills and stretch my abilities beyond my imagination every chance I get. My sole focus is to help others succeed as far as they are willing to go.

2. You’ve said that you were in Prepaid Legal in the past. How were you introduced to Prepaid Legal?

I was introduced to Pre-Paid Legal by a friend. She took me to see a gentleman by the name of Woody Alexander. Woody simply recited the “If you were my attorney” story and showed me the compensation plan and I was hooked.

3. What attracted you to Prepaid Legal versus the other network marketing companies out there?

It was such a simple concept. The key to any Network Marketing venture is that it has to be simple to explain and not require a huge amount of storage space. Since PPL was a service, there was simply no product to store and the presentation was incredibly simple. I’m also a huge fan of the Stair-Step Break-away commission structure. It’s one of the only plans out there that let’s you work deep into your organization (if necessary) and not get pinched financially for it.

4. I was actually in Prepaid Legal myself for a while. I still have the service because I like having quick and inexpensive access to a team of lawyers. I don’t consider my Prepaid Legal endeavor a success. What do you think you did that allowed you to be as successful as you were and become financially independent?

That’s a great question and if answered correctly would take four pages, but I’ll try to boil it down to just the main points. The first thing that forced me to be successful, which sort of answers question #4 is that I went full-time right out of the gate. Now, I don’t recommend any doing this, because it can be very stressful, however, I had no other choice but to sit down, crank out the phone calls, go on appointments and get people to join me in the business.

I believe that constantly listening to motivational tapes and working on improving myself and making myself a better person also led to my success. If you want to attract better people into your business, you have to become a better person. The great thing is that you don’t have to completely change overnight. If you just concentrate on making a 1/3 of 1% improvement every day, your life will be 100% better within one year.

One of the other critical factors was always watching what I ate and working out 3-5 times a week. Your energy level has a lot to do with your success. If you are completely wiped out and tired all of the time, you won’t have the energy it takes to go the extra mile.

Again, I could write a book, just on this subject, but I will leave you with one more. “If it is to be, it’s up to me”. No one is going to build your business for you. And, most of the time, the people that you bring in to your business aren’t going to build it either.

I implemented a concept in my team called “Links and Leaders”. Everyone you come in contact with is either a “Link” or a “Leader”. A “Link” will connect you to either another “Link” or another “Leader”. Leaders are few and far between, so you will end up with far more “Links” than you will “Leaders”. However, you must have the “Links” to be able to find the “Leaders”. So, it is your job to work through each “Link” until, until, until, UNTIL you have found a “Leader”. Otherwise, that line will die off and you’ll have to go out and recruit another person to replace the one you lost. Working through means just that, find out who the person you brought into the business knows. Get in front of those people either in person, or over the phone. Once you get someone they know to join you, you do the same thing with that person’s warm market.

Once you have found a “Leader” (which I discovered is usually somewhere between 4-6 levels away from you – I had one strong leader that was on my 14th generation) then you invest your time into training that person, live with them if you have to. Make sure that they are successful and most ofthe time, you will end up getting the people above that “Leader” excited as a result of all of the activity in their organization. OK, that one was a bonus!

5. How long were you in Prepaid Legal before you were able to walk away from your job?

As I mentioned, I went full-time from the get go. As a result, I made $55,000 my first year, $96,000 my second year, $160,000 my third and it just continued to grow from there.

6. You have since sold your Prepaid Legal business. Why did you do that? It seems like lifetime residual income would be a great thing.

I sold the business for personal reasons. A life time of residual income is a good thing which is why I am launching my own company with my wife.

7. You are now starting a new chapter in your life. Can you tell us more about your new company?

The new company is called Green Shield International. We are building the world’s largest “Green” referral network giving individuals the opportunity to profit from helping people reduce their carbon footprints.

The fact remains that the majority of people in the world, 95%, do not enjoy sales. And, a good portion of them hate it. So, it is insane to assume that everyone that gets into your business is going become a super star (or do anything for that matter). However, everyone always tells their friends, neighbors and relatives whenever they have found a good deal, or purchased a great product that they really like.

So we are creating a system that allows people to “refer” people into the business, or just to purchase the products, without having to do the work/presentation. We are going to overlap a “referral “ structure with a Direct Sales structure. They will complement each other in the fact that the “referral” marketing will provide a never ending supply of leads for the Direct Sales team and the “referrers” don’t have the do the sales, but will get paid a “referral fee” whenever someone they referred purchases one of our products.

We are starting with products that will reduce people’s energy bills by more than the cost of financing the products. Therefore, there is really no out-of-pocket costs for our products, we are simply transferring money sent to the utility companies to our company in exchange for “green” products that when installed, will reduce the consumer’s energy bills by at least 25%.

Although we will be adding more products as the company evolves, we are starting with two main products. The first product is Radiant Barrier Reflective Insulation, which when placed on top of the existing insulation, or stapled to the rafters, reflects 97% of the sun’s radiant heat away from the home and it also keeps the heat in the home during the winter. Our second product is a Kilowatt power reducer which is installed on your electricity wires right before your meter. It reduces the amount of power that is sent through the meter without affecting the appliances in the home. In reality the surplus energy that is pumped into a home or business is wasted. This unit reduces the amount of power thereby saving the homeowner on their electricity bills.

8. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

Did you know that to produce one Kilowatt hour of electricity it takes one pound of coal? The average family consumes 1300 Kilowatt hours per month. That’s 7.5 tons of coal per family per year. The residue from burning coal, termed Coal Ash, is worse for the environment than nuclear waste.

Although we will be initially launching the business in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex, we are out to change the world. To make it a better place to live and to give families the ability to earn extra income. Many individuals who see the vision could become millionaires with our company. So therefore, our motto (coined by my wife, Alison) is “Get Green – Going Green™”.

©2009 Bradley Bowden

Bradley Bowden

Bradley’s Contact Information:

Humor Blog: Outside My Brain
Self-Improvement Blog: Outside My Brain Again
Business Website Green Shield International
Social Media:
Facebook:
Bradley Bowden
Twitter: OutsideMyBrain
StumbleUpon: OutsideMyBrain

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

Goals for 2009
Goals from 2008 – How Did I Do?
6 Reasons Why I Joined Toastmasters
Interview: Do You Have What It Takes to Own a Franchise?

Categories : Entrepreneur,Environment Tags : , , ,