Business Mastery, Performance & Productivity, Personal Development

Three Things Every Entrepreneur Should Ask Themselves Every Hour

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Entrepreneurs - Always be asking yourself the following questions:

Is my current activity one that is moving my business forward or growing my visibility ?

Am I being productive or am I screwing around ?

How much do I plan to market this week ?

There are many things to look at when it comes to running your business. But the three above help keep me focused and stop me from screwing around (too much) . Lack of focus has severely hurt my business in the past, so I can speak from a place of experience. If you don't smack yourself on the side of the head every now and then, you'll get into the downward spiral of busy but not productive. Fight that. Fight it hard. You are an entrepreneur. It is your job to create a kickass business. It is your job to put food on the table and provide for your family. You can't do that by screwing around.

A. Move forward. B. Be productive. C. Market a lot. That is how we succeed.

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Business Mastery

Guest Post: Six legal tips to consider when starting a business.

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Today is a lucky day for us. We get to hear from legal expert Shawn Roberts. Shawn is a practicing attorney with over 14 years of experience in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma where he lives with his wife and two boys. His specialities are Small Business and Oklahoma Estate Planning. You can learn more about Shawn and his website http://www.shawnjroberts.com or by following him on Twitter at @ShawnJRoberts . Today he gives us some great advice on how to set up your business the right way from day one. If you have not followed what he recommends below then you should get on it ASAP to set yourself up for success early.

Amidst the adrenaline rush of creating a new business, there are several legal items I regularly discuss with people who are starting a business. Below are six (6) critical items you need to consider prior to getting your business up and running:

  1. Be an entity. You may have been called worse things, but this is actually not a slam. An entity, in this context, is a structure that provides separation between you, your assets and your business. For example, a corporation and a limited liability company are both entities. In contrast, someone doing business under their name, with nothing more formal, is operating as a “sole proprietor”; there is no separation between personal and business.
  2. What type of entity should I be? Surprisingly, for legal purposes there is not a huge difference. Both a corporation and a limited liability company provide a wall of separation between their owners and the business. A corporation has shareholders, a limited liability company typically has members.
  3. Have your organizational documents in place. For a corporation, it is written minutes of the organizational meeting of the shareholders and board of directors, plus bylaws. For a limited liability company, it is an operating agreement.
  4. Know who your employees are or are not. One of the easiest ways for a business to create a mountain of liability is to treat individuals who are actually employees as independent contractors. That means failing to withhold taxes and do payroll properly and to secure worker’s compensation insurance. If you have any doubt about whether an individual is an employee or independent contract, talk to an attorney. You do not want to get caught in the Independent Contractor Trap.
  5. Protect your Intellectual Property. If you have words, pictures, symbols, code, software or an invention, take the proper steps to legally and officially claim ownership to it. It might be registering a trademark, securing a trade name, seeking copyright or even patent protection.
  6. Maintain the regular records that are required. For a corporation, it is at least the written records of shareholders and directors meetings and other major actions. Treat the entity like it is a separate and distinct entity (separate records, separate bank accounts, etc. . .).

    What other issues have you considered when starting a business?

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Business Mastery

Looking for the best Blog Hosting and Web Hosting Company?

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If you have thought about starting a website or a blog then you have inevitably ran into the question that all online marketers run into: How in the world do I know the worst or best blog hosting company to host my pages? How do I know their reputation? How good is their support? Do they support WordPress? What happens if I have a problem at 3 am? The list goes on and on.

So where can you find the best blog hosting?

My brothers and sisters I am here to tell you that I went through that same journey. When I started I didn’t even know what the concept of a domain or website hosting was. Then once I started the search for the best blog hosting company out there I had a rough journey. I have probably gone through at least 20 different hosting companies looking for my utopia. There was even a time where I got really frustrated and I started my own hosting company. Trust me – unless you are a super-geek don’t ever go that route. It is not pretty.

And then I found them – Hostgator

Hostgator had the best of all worlds for me – and I am a pretty picky guy. So after much pain and suffering I present to you my top five reasons why I believe that Hostgator is the best blog hosting company on the planet.

  1. Speed – One of the biggest secrets of the online marketing is how much website speed affects your website ranking. Google wants anybody using their search engine to get the best results first. One of the criteria that determines “best” is the site speed. The greatest site in the world will be on page 10 of Google if it is slow. You always want to ensure that your site is hosted on the fastest possible server that you can find. All of the Hostgator servers are great when it comes to speed.
  2. Support – Just OMG in this area. Forget the great phone support. Forget the very busy forums they have. Completely ignore the awesome email support. Just take a look at their home page. They have 24/7/365 live chat support. I have used it several times. And they always solve my issues. You are never alone when it comes to hosting support at Hostgator.
  3. Ease of Use – They use the hosting industry Cpanel for their hosting/email control panel. It is the most popular control panel out there, and very easy to use. Once you have signed up with hosting you can use the control panel to install WordPress. How long will it take? If you are eating a sandwich we’ll say about five minutes. If you are not eating a sandwich then it will be closer to 60 seconds. And there will be no crumbs on the keyboard.
  4. Upgrade Path – Let me give you a quick hosting education. The natural path for hosting as your site gets bigger is: Shared Hosting, Reseller Hosting, VPS Hosting, Dedicated Hosting. It is hard to find a company that does all of these well. But Hostgator nails all of them. Once you start with Hostgator you will probably never have to find another hosting company.
  5. Windows and Linux Hosting – You may never need it. But there are specific applications that requires a Windows hosting environment. Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to make the same hunt all over again for a Windows hosting company? Go with Hostgator and you will be comforted knowing that you are set no matter what applications or content management systems you decided to use. They have your back in all cases.
  6. Bonus – that place looks like a great place to work. Check out the Hostgator Blog sometime. They update it on a regular basis, and they do a lot more than the same old boring “this is why you should use us” blog posts. I see shenanigans going on there all of the time. That looks like a great work environment.

But don’t just take my word for it. Check out this recent info graphc from the smart people over at Blogging.org. Then go sign up today for the best blog hosting company out there, Hostgator. You won’t regret it.

Best Blog Hosting Companies
Check it out – the best Blog Hosting Companies all in one place.
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Business Mastery

How to Make a Dollar when you Holler – Paid Public Speaking

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If you’ve ever wondered “How in the world do public speakers make money” or “How do I get started in that business” then this is the video for you. This was my very first presentation in our new series (about the forthcoming book by the same name) “How to Make a Dollar when you Holler” about the paid public speaking business. Be sure the watch the video all of the way to the end (30 minutes – save it for when you have time). Please also share/like/tweet with 10 friends that you know that want to get into this part of revenue generation. And stay tuned to get the book.

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Business Mastery

Outbound Marketing Is Not Dead

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I laugh and laugh when people say outbound marketing is dead.

It is so far from dead. It is alive, well and you need it

How do you think people find out about your company brand? You can’t sit back, play on social media, SEO, YouTube and cross your fingers that your customers find you. TV Ads still work great. Billboards are not going anywhere soon, and direct mail still brings in customers.

Do not buy into any hype that says Outbound Marketing is dead. Outbound Marketing goes by another name: ADVERTISING. It is still very much needed if you want to expand your customer base.

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Business Mastery

if i die Facebook App Video Commentary – Ambitious business ideas for ambitious people

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Fox 25 in Oklahoma City calls upon me frequently to give my commentary on various social media topics. This latest one was about the if i die Facebook app. After I did my standard in studio five minutes segment (which gets cut to 5-15 seconds for the broadcast) I came out to the Fox 25 parking lot and recorded this extended unedited response.

Video Commentary on the if i die Facebook app

Don’t forget to subscribe to the YouTube channel and Email list.
[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8FpVkQUJTw

if i die is the first and only facebook app that allows anyone to create a video or a text message which will be published after you die. That sounds funny. No, it actually sounds stupid. When you are about to die, the last thing that would come out in your mind is to care about your facebook. Besides, you wouldn’t want to disclose confidential matter on facebook where everyone can see.

I think using the if i die Facebook app is way too creepy to be used online. There are certain things in the world that should be done person to person, face to face, technology is not the last substitute single thing in the world. If you have a last will and testament, or anything to say to a friend or a family member, why not take this opportunity of the human experience instead? Especially now that facebook is having some privacy issues… Do the right thing, don’t handle it to this  if i die Facebook app.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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Business Mastery

Video: 4 quick tips on how I stay motivated

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Motivation is a constant challenge but if you follow some of these tips it doesn’t have to be. Here are my four tips on how I stay motivated.

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDUXTtd5-Jc[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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Business Mastery

What Consumes You

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Before you ever dip your toe in the world of social media and online marketing you’d better know what consumes you. What will you obsess over. What do you want to be doing the day you die.

I did a great seminar a couple of nights ago for a group of brand-new business owners who were interested in getting involved in social media. We had about 120 minutes to spend together. What I spent most of my time on was not the technicalities of creating a Facebook page or how you should create your Twitter profile or your LinkedIn profile. As new business owners, it was very important for me to communicate to them that there are some other things you should be doing first in social media.

One of the first thing you should be doing before you ever think about getting involved in any of those social media sites is to make sure you have your own website and your own email list. Most of them didn’t, so I talked about how you can go to the resource page at JustAskPatrick.com and click on “Patrick Recommends”. There I give you some links as to how you can get a free email list and how you can get a website and a domain name for next to nothing.

Probably the most time was spent on emphasizing to them how important it was to first find what they really want to do for the rest of their lives. A lot of us have jobs that we may have just fallen into after just getting out of college or high school, or some people have a job and they think, “You know what? I’m eventually going to do what I find interesting. I don’t have time to do it now, but I’m going to eventually find it.” I told them that before you ever get involved with social media, you need to figure out what you want to do and then get your ship heading in that direction.

People use social media to communicate a lot about their company, about their business, about what makes them different. Occasionally you’ll find someone who is really passionate about what they do and how they do it. It’s something they want to talk about from when they wake up at 6:00 in the morning until 8:00 at night. If you can find that job, if you can find that career, if you can find that kind of day and that kind of occupation, then once you decide to get into social media, people will be able to see that you believe in what you’re talking about, and your passion, your belief and your conviction will come across in social media.

So before you ever decide to make videos like you see me doing, or hop on Twitter, or get on a Facebook page, make sure that you’ve really figured out what it is that you want to do. Once you get that figured out it will come across in everything you do and your passion will just ooze out for people to see.

That was important information for that group of new business owners to know. It’s important information that I want you to know.

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