Why I am going to start up a business. My own business.
I HAVE to start up a business. It’s the best time in my life and in world economic history to do it. In this economy, you just can’t count on “job creators” to create jobs if they don’t get some HUGE tax relief. I mean, HOW is one supposed to live these days on so “little” AND hire someone to do their work for them? If there is one thing that I’ve learned working my last two freelance positions (few and far between), it’s that incompetence abounds in this world. Yes, my experience might be “light” in some areas, but I am highly adaptable and learn quickly. And, I don’t work well with the clueless, uptight, and easily distracted. I know. Crazy, right? Who would think that I would be the most professional in any organization? Plus, I am pretty sure that I need a place to work that has chairs and a bathroom, let alone a source of water and maybe someplace to park. To start up a business would alleviate the problems that come with working for the unprepared.
To start up a business, I have to have an idea of what I want to do. The things I would like to do are probably out of my reach at this time in my life:
Male gigolo: there aren’t a lot of women under the age of 50 who are looking for a 42 year-old “toy.” I am sure that there are a few older than 50, but even as I’ve reached my early 40’s, I still think of 50 as that “cut-off” point. Unless, you know, she has LOTS of money.
President of the United States: the reasons WHY I can’t be president are way too many to list, but the reason I choose is WHERE; I just can’t see living in Washington, D.C. I could take frequent vacations to Hermosa Beach during my terms, but I’d rather than spend my time on the front page of newspapers listed side-by-side with George W. Bush on who took the most vacation time. Plus, I would talk plainly, not worry about dropping F-bombs and say what I mean. Not very presidential.
There are some others, including pro golfer and volleyball player, if beer and lack of practice ethic didn’t intrude.
So, with those options closed to me, I have a pretty good idea of what my company will be. It combines the two things that I love the most: writing and being sociable. It’s called social media marketing. If you have a small business, or have friends with small businesses that need their company’s/brands presence elevated organically with SEO marketing, weekly SEO blogs, Facebook, and Twitter updates, I hope to be your man. As a new business, I won’t charge much at first enough for me to keep the property manager at bay while paying for my Internet service so I can work from home. Then I’ll add Pinterest, Google+, FourSquare, Yelp! and eventually short YouTube marketing videos and product placement. Eventually, I’ll be as strong as a 16-year old Asian girl. Literally.
Start up a business – learn from your friends who’ve done the same.
In learning how to start up a business, I’m going to take some cues from a few of my friends. They have taken this leap and started their own businesses. Some are businesses here in LA. Some are elsewhere. One is in Australia but often is found worldwide. Some I can take advantage of. Some, unless I need to go on the lam, I won’t be taking advantage of anytime soon. These are just a few of them:
Thirsty Swagman – Kenneth Hart
Thirsty Swagman is the brainchild of Kenneth Hart, an Aussie from the West Coast of Australia and I’ve never met him. I “met” him through Kevin Wilkerson of PubClub.com. As Kenneth is 7 years younger than I am, his liver works much better than mine does these days, thus his continual odes to the “17th Beer.” He travels around the WORLD on “thirsty adventures,” drinking at world-wide drinking events – think Oktoberfest, Carnival – and other exotic locations and events. Thirsty Swagman offers up tours and trips that center around nightlife and learning about the local flavor and culture the “real” way – by having drinks with locals in a pub. Check out his website www.thirstyswagman.com, and if you ever meet him, tell that bloke he needs to swing back through the States and say “hello” so we can actually meet. Someday, he and I will tackle the bastard that eyes us every weekend from the ice chest. It’s the one that assaults our livers at night, and our heads the next morning. Its name is the “16th beer” and together we will put an end to its madness with our close friend the 17th beer! Cheers, mate!
Hollywood Branded – Stacy Jones
Stacy Jones is a good friend who was the result of a losing a girlfriend. (If I got a good friend every time I broke up with a girl, I’d date more often…) Hollywood Branded is the first business that I worked for after an extended stay outside the entertainment industry. Hollywood Branded is a “boutique” product placement agency. Not sure what “product placement” is? Ever seen your favorite character in your favorite TV show use a BlackBerry phone? (yes, I know). That’s product placement. Stacy is great at what she does. She had been doing product placement for years and years for others before starting her own successful business and has some of the best business acumen I know. She’s very hands on and driven. Too much for me, possibly. But, if you have a small (or big) brand or product and you want to try product placement, reach out to her. I’m not saying that she can help, or that it will be cheap to do. But hey, Silly Bands was just a rubber bracelet once…
Isla Mujeres Property Management, et al.
I believe that my friend Marla Bainbridge is actually just on the run from the government and moved to Mexico to start up a business or two. No, not really, she’s a great person who I am privileged to have met. It could just be the fact that she’s an Auburn alum and is prone to yelling “War Eagle” out loud, which frightens the uptight kids in the U.S. So, she moved to Isla Mujeres in the Mexican Caribbean, having visited the island many times. Getting out of the rat race, she leveraged her education, her drive and her opportunity to find herself in a position where she no longer drives a car (she uses a golf cart on the island), has an condo with an excellent view and she loves every minute of it! Listed below are the businesses that she has taken over or established herself:
Property Management – www.islamujerespropertymanagement.info
Property Rentals – www.islamujeresbudgetrentals.com
Online Marketing – www.islandonlinemarketing.info
La Banda Sin Nombre – www.labandasinnombreislamujeres.com
Co founder of Liberty School – www.libertyschoolmexico.org
Kathy’s Dog Walking – Kathy Nelson Clarke
Kathy is a Penn State alum, so we have to go easy on her these days. Her team, once thought of a contender against the Wisconsin Badgers in the Big Ten just avoided NOT playing football this year… She is another long-time South Bay friend who was tired of the rat race of ad sales and gave it all up to start up a business, walking dogs – a HUGE business here in Los Angeles. She loves dogs and animals of all sorts. Five years ago, she started Kathy’s Dog Walking and Pet Sitting with just a few clients. She has grown her business to 20+ independent contractors while starting a family as well. As she puts it, the best thing is that she feels that she has created something bigger than just dog walking. Her 20+ employees have employment in this tough economy and all are doing something positive and nurturing. And apparently, it’s not just dogs that can be walked. She mentioned to me something about a duck…