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We begin our workday by dragging ourselves into work day after day only to perform the same tedious and daunting tasks over and over again with little or no recognition. The sad reality is that we do this knowing all the time that our efforts are to help someone else's business make money. Nothing more and nothing less. Even though we understand that we are just cogs in our company's money machine, we continue to march along, carrying our flags of dedication for no other reason than our weekly paycheck. 

We have been programmed since grade school to believe that if we go to school and study hard every day, we will land a successful job earning lots of money and become happy and prosperous. Well to be fair to all, maybe I was absent on the day they were teaching us how to build our own skills and start our own businesses as so many people successfully do. But either way, my thinking was that when I needed to find work, my only choice was turning to my newspapers help wanted ads rather than depending on me.

Now this doesn't mean that you may not be content with your current employment, but more times than not, in order to prosper you need to be at the top of your company's food chain. Chances are you are somewhere in the middle. Your company views you as a dispensable commodity and most people understand this. But once we grow to accept this notion, it triggers what we perceive to be the plane reality of the business world and slowly leads to our real motivation of working just hard enough not to get hassled or fired and who can blame us?

So why do we do it? We believe things are going to change themselves. Things are going to get better. They will be handing out promotions and raises soon and that will fix everything. Well the sad fact of the matter is that it won't. At the end of the day you will still only be a device to save or earn the same company money. Just like a great white shark will swim in the same waters until its food source is depleted, then move on...your company will continue to use you up until there is nothing left or until they simply don't need your services anymore. Welcome to business world 101.

So what should people do? Well we believe people should invest in themselves. Everyone should own and operate his or her own business...yes EVERYONE. Now we are not suggesting that you go out and quit your job, drain your savings account, max out your credit-cards, and invest massive amounts of capital into the next big idea, but you should have a hobby, service, or trade that you are good at and in return, can earn a few bucks at.

By doing this we begin the slow but steady process of retraining ourselves to think differently. We begin to build our self esteem, gain back our pride, learn to budget and manage money, learn to manage our time, and experience the ins and outs of the business world from a front row seat rather than your boiler room cubical.

So how does a person go out and start a business? Well the first thing to ask yourself is what you really enjoy doing. Remember you are not applying for another job so you want to pick something that inspires you. Some examples might include becoming a real-estate investor opening a catering business, house cleaning, building arts and crafts, designing web sites, teaching music, and the list goes on. All of these could be started as a small home business requiring just a few hours on the weekend or during your free time and with very little money.

How do I begin? Again school teaches us how to write a resume and polish our interviewing skills so we can go to work for someone else. When investing in yourself, you need to teach yourself how to be successful. Big companies teach themselves how to be successful all the time. Now companies like Walmart and big banks have dedicated teams of people that do this for them, but the bottom line is that it is being done. It is really no different than you buying a business book on how to market your Arts and Crafts business. When you do this you are reinvesting in yourself. As soon as you begin to invest in yourself, you will begin to grow and success will just follow.

Basic Business Tips:

Don't tell anyone...then tell everyone! Misery loves company. It is just like going on a diet. Don't tell people that you are trying to lose weight, just let them notice little by little. When you are thinking about starting your business, don't tell people about it. Just begin doing it. People will often knock you down before you even get started. They will point out all the negatives of starting a business and deflate your dreams. They don't do this to be mean but rather they just want you to stay at the same level as them. It is called "Let's Fail Together." Once you have the foundation for your business built, then it is time to spread the word like wildfire. Only at this point do you go from just a dreamer to a real business owner in people's eyes.

Invest in yourself! It is funny how many people will go to a 9 to 5 job and invest 8 hours of their day, grinding away to make someone else money. Yet they hesitate to spend $4.99 on a "Business Planning Book???" It is not that people can't afford the $4.99, but rather we go back to programming. Remember we got programmed to believe the $4.99 business book is not going to make us money, but giving our sweat, blood. tears and dedication to our employers will. Now we all don't have the marketing tactics research budget that Walmart has, but if you can find items that can help your business grow, then make the investment. At the end of the day you don't want to go to sleep thinking that you are not even worth five bucks.

Starting the business is the easy part. Most people have been in business since they were young kids. I remember shoveling snow, raking leaves, and cutting my neighbors lawns for money. When I think about it, I was a real businessperson. As a grownup, I have had yard sales and sold a used car or two. Again making money for myself. Starting a business is easy. If you could get to the point of raking only one yard every weekend for $30.00 then guess what, you now have a successful business which earns $120.00 per month. Now $120.00 may not seem like much, but offer to give someone $120.00 and see how many people refuse it. Decide on something then just do it.

Do several things. Take a quick look at some of the most successful business people like Bill Gates and Donald Trump. They dabble in many different business areas. This alone increases your chances for success. Using the example above, I shoveled snow in the Winter, raked leaves in the Fall, and cut lawns in the Spring and Summer. This kept me working all year long. Maybe you have a general catering business but also specialize in wedding cakes. Two businesses mean double the chance for success and income.

All businesses are like roller coasters. Sometimes your business is strong but sometimes it is slow. This will happen. I know this first hand after being laid off several times. My boss would call me into his office and say thanks for all your efforts, but business is slow and we no longer need you. Expect things to go up and down but don't give up during slow periods. In other words, don't beat yourself up and lay yourself off. Take advantage of these slow times to better your business and skills for when things pick back up.

The last piece of advice...Don't Wait. Do it now. Your business may take a little while to get going and it won't start itself. I can't speak for others, but it seems like every time I blink my eyes, another year passes by. You don't want to wait until you get to the point where you are thinking back and saying I wish I would have...or imagine if I had started my own business. Don't be afraid to fail. Remember what Thomas Edison said about inventing the light bulb, "I didn't fail ten thousand times. I successfully eliminated ten thousand materials and combinations which wouldn't work."