3 Steps for Crushing Your New Year’s Goals

3 Steps for Crushing Your New Year’s Goals

As a small business owner, you’re likely always looking for ways to improve your work so that you can reach the goals you have set for yourself. To take them from dreams to reality requires planning, thinking, and action. Here’s a three-step plan to make them happen.

  1. Know what you want. Be specific. When you order at a restaurant, you’re not going to give the waitress a vague idea of the food you want. It’s the same thing in business. Tell yourself what you want, and get specific. Get right down to the brass tax of what you think will make your business successful.
  2. Set deadlines. Deadlines will help you focus and work on what is essential. If you don’t have a particular deadline, setting one for yourself will help you stay focused and feel more organized.
  3. Make a plan. Achieve a long-term goal by setting and reaching short-term goals along the way. Create small tasks that you can complete to move you toward your ultimate goal. Having a plan increases your chance of success by more than 30 percent. That’s why you have a game plan before you start the game. It will change, guaranteed, but it’s easier to make adjustments to a plan than to make things up as you go along, and just hope for the best.


3 Steps for Crushing Your New Year’s Goals


How to Balance Running a Business and the Creative Process

How to Balance Running a Business and the Creative Process

How to Balance Running a Business and the Creative Process

The conflict between these two worlds drives many would-be-successful businesses into the ground.

The rush and craziness of business often conflicts with the creativeprocess.

To get deep into a project, you need to slow things down. You need space to think, feel, dabble, and experiment.

The conflict between these two worlds (i.e., business and creativity) drives many would-be-successful businesses into the ground.

As a young entrepreneur, husband, and father of three sons, JordanOverman has had to learn to manage this conflict. He is the owner ofOverride Films, a commercial film company based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Here’s his process:

1. Spend Time With The Right People

Overman purposefully surrounds himself with people who are “better at both worlds.”

He spends time with people who are more creative than him, and with people who are better at running a business than him.

By doing this, he also gets better at both.

2. Schedule Time for “Passion Projects”

A primary way Overman manages the busyness of work, family life, and creativity is scheduling time for non-business “Passion Projects.”

For Overman, this “slows time down.” It allows him to connect deeply with his art. It keeps him connected to his purpose and keeps things fun. He said:

The creative process is all about slowing time down, about creating “fascination moments,” where, for a brief moment in time, nothing else matters for those experiencing the art.

His own passion projects are he Overman experiences “fascination moments” for himself.

3. Scheduling Time to Reflect

Overman also regularly takes time simply to “reflect.”

Research has found that mental reflection can be a form of self-regulation, which can improved planning, performance, creative problem-solving abilities, facilitate internal locus of control orientations, and lessen anxiety.

4. Capturing Moments as They Are

While explaining his creative process to me, Overman told me a story of recently being in Alabama. He chanced upon a peanut factory while driving around and stopped to check it out.

While there, he met a man named Andre, a worker in the factor who was covered in peanut dust. Overman spent some time talking to Andre andloved how excited Andre was about his work in the peanut factory.

Andre showed Overman a huge mountain of peanuts in the factory, which Overman shot footage and took pictures of (see this link for a picture of Andre standing on the peanut mound).

During these on-the-spot creative moments, which for Overman is more often than not, he forms in his mind what he wants to create “as he sees it happen.” As a formerly professional snow skier, Overman is all about “Freestyle” creativity.

Just as he does when doing a slope-style skiing line, he maps out what he’s creating in real time. While filming, he does this by asking himself the following questions:

  • What’s my end goal?
  • Who is this for?
  • If it’s just for me, how can I have fun with this?

These questions mentally structure how he creates “fascination moments” on the spot and as he goes.

5. Framing the Experience

Overman has a framework to facilitate his creativity. Before any endeavor he asks himself:

  • Who is this for?
  • What I am we trying to convey?
  • How do I make this interesting?
  • What is the feeling that people should being experiencing?
  • How can we visually make this happen?

When he can answer these questions, “The rest falls into place,” he says.

Once he has that structure, he can determine the tools, locations, music, and other features to create the “fascination moments” for those experiencing his art.

6. Involve Client’s Throughout Process

Lastly, Overman loves including his clients in the creative process.

Most of his clients are business-oriented, and thus are “wired differently” than the creatives at Override Films. By asking his clients questions and for feedback throughout the creation process, Overman says he sees their “eyes light up” as they see something they helped create come to life.

For Overman, this is a huge reason he does the work he does. Sharingcreative moments with as many people as possible.


Managing the tension between business and creativity is not easy.

But for many people, it must be done.

How do you do to manage this tension?

How to Balance Running a Business and the Creative Process

30 Clever Ways to Make Money Online

30 Clever Ways to Make Money Online

30 Clever Ways to Make Money Online

Consider selling your original Instagrams, becoming a virtual assistant or providing online tutoring.

Who doesn’t want to earn more money? Whether it’s through part-time jobs or freelance work, adding more dollars to your cash flow every month is always nice. But unfortunately, not everyone has the time to pick up another job or do additional work on the side. If that’s the case for you, don’t give up. Instead, turn to the one thing you probably spend a majority of your time on: the internet.

There are dozens of ways to make money online, from selling unwanted items to promoting products on Instagram or Facebook. Click through to discover 30 unique and easy ways you can earn money on online.

1. Get Paid to Take Surveys

Do you enjoy taking surveys? Some companies will pay people to take surveys so that they can gather valuable consumer and user data. It might not be the most interesting way to make a buck, but you can find websites like CashbackResearch.com that offer cash for your opinions.

2. Create a Winning Blog

Writing entertaining, interesting blog posts can generate cash for you through ads, affiliate links and other revenue options. Your blogging success will depend on your writing talent, whether your blog covers a popular subject and the popularity of the links you include (whether backlinks or pay-per-click links, like Google AdWords).

3. Sell Your Stuff on eBay or a Similar Outlet

The dramatic growth and success of eBay has spawned many competitors featuring auctions or online marketplaces for diverse items. Whether you want to clean out your closet and sell your designer clothing online, or develop a high-volume online store, you can make extra money or big dollars on sites such as Amazon.com, Etsy.com and more.

4. Sign Up for Amazon Mechanical Turk

You probably won’t get rich completing typical tasks for the “Turk,” but you can make extra income if you are willing to perform simple tasks for clients.

5. Sell Older Electronics

Do you have a compute, laptop or cellphone you no longer use? These and other tech items, although built with former generation features, often have value to others.

6. List Household Items on Craigslist

Free to join and devoid of listing or selling fees, Craigslist sales can be local or national. From kitchenware to baby furniture to jobs, you can list almost anything for sale on this site.

7. Self-Publish Kindle Digital Books

If you love to write and believe you can write an entertaining fiction or non-fiction book, consider authoring and publishing a digital book through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform.

8. Create Niche Websites Featuring Google AdSense Ads

Creating popular niche sites can grab visitors looking for specialized information, and adding Google AdSense advertising links can be a great way to monetize the site.

9. Upload YouTube Videos and Get Paid for Ad Views

You don’t need to invest in expensive video equipment. Just learn how to use your smartphone’s video capability to upload entertaining or informative videos, and opt to have ads play before your videos to get a bit of cash for each video view. YouTube star PewDiePie earned a total of $7.4 million in revenue, according to multiple media reports.

10. Design Useful Apps for Mobile Devices

If you design a wildly popular app (which is harder than it sounds), you might be pleasantly surprised with the income they generate. Offering one or more apps at the iTunes or Android app store gives your creations wide exposure to prospects. And income can be generated by charging for the app, displaying in-app ads, or charging for in-app features and upgrades.

Read More: 9 Highest-Grossing Instagram Accounts

11. Sell Your Time and Talents

The website Fiverr promotes members’ talent in multiple disciplines and connects them to people looking to pay for those skills. For example, if you’re a digital photo editing guru, you might find freelance projects you can complete for compensation.

12. Sell the Use of Your Photos, Videos and Other Media

Some sites allow you to sell your prized photos, video b-roll, original music or illustrations while giving you the option of licensing resale rights for free. This will give you royalties for each use of your photos, videos or music, resulting in longer-term residual income.

13. Sell Your Original Instagram Photos

While you can share your social media photos on Instagram, you can also sell prints of your photos for a profit on Instaprints.com and similar sites.

14. Share Your Knowledge

Do you have in-depth expertise about a specific hobby or any other subject? You could create a website that offers your expertise to others for a price, like offering a music lesson over Skype for a fee or charging for video lessons on gardening. You can make extra income or become wildly successful with this method of making money online.

15. Become an Amazon Associate

This program allows you to earn money by including affiliate links to different products offered by Amazon. When a visitor views your blogs or social media pages and clicks through the Amazon links on your site, you will earn commissions from Amazon on qualifying products bought during that session.

Read More: 25 Ways to Prevent a Tax Audit

16. Become an Internet Life Coach

Because of the strong interest in quality of life and work-life balance issues, life coaches have become popular in recent years. Unlike the intellectual demands of becoming a technical or executive coach, life coaching can be successful if you possess common sense, a respect for family and a commitment to enjoy life to the max every day and helping others do the same.

17. Promote Organizations on Social Media

Many major retailers will pay you for promoting their businesses on your websites and social media pages. They might pay you in cash or gift cards. For example, some restaurants might give you a gift card if you check in on Facebook or Yelp.

18. Promote Businesses, Products and Services via Affiliate Programs

If you have a website or blog, you can make money through affiliations with other businesses and sites, which will pay a percentage of sales you generate for the affiliate company.

19. Sell Handmade Items and Crafts

For those who like to make handcrafted items, websites such as Etsy are ideal to make some money off of such hobbies. Dedicated handcrafters should check Etsy and similar sites to find the best fit for their products.

20. Become a Virtual Assistant

There are freelance sites, such as the popular oDesk, that often have jobs for virtual assistants. Just as with physical assistant positions, you will get paid for helping executives with a wide variety of tasks.

Read More: 20 Apps That Make You Money

21. Become a Freelance Writer

Do you have a passion for writing? If earning money by writing gets your blood moving, there are numerous websites offering assignments for aspiring and experienced writers alike.

22. Sell Customized T-shirts Online

Selling graphic T-shirts is big business. Customized T-shirts with clever sayings or graphics are ideal for online sales. Sites like Teespring allow you to sell customer shirts. Teespring’s unique model allows you to design the shirt and get buyers lined up to purchase it. This saves you from the initial investment in stock and the time on processing and shipping orders, though you’ll likely make a smaller profit on each shirt sold.

23. Become a Third-Party Seller on Amazon

If you’ve visited Amazon, you have seen products sold by third-parties with the comment “ships from Amazon.” These are sellers who send their products to Amazon fulfillment facilities, then Amazon lists the item and ships it when a buyer is found.

24. Buy Local and Resell Online

Another great way to make money is to find things in your area that are free or cheap, and then sell them online. Many people hunt through local thrift stores for rare collectibles, vintage styles or cheap-as-dirt books or media to mark up and resell online.

25. Design Websites for a Fee

If you have an interest or skill in web development, there is a big demand for designers to build winning sites for businesses or organizations. Sites like eLance.com are a good place to start to find clients and build your portfolio.

26. Promote Products on Your Website

Sites like SocialSpark offer bloggers cash for authoring and posting original copy about products or services to their sites. Just make sure to pay attention to FCC disclosure requirements when you’re getting paid to promote.

27. Buy Domain Names for Resale

Some people have made big dollars by owning desired domains and selling them to hungry buyers. For a minimum investment of buying domain names you feel will be popular (typically $10 to $20), you might make a big profit selling it down the line.

28. Rent Out Your Driveway or Reserved Parking Spot

Parking is at a premium in most thriving cities. Renting an unused space in your driveway or vacant deeded parking space can generate additional income. Advertising availability on Craigslist exposes this opportunity to local people, and up-and-coming apps like JustPark also allow you to easily rent out your parking space when it’s not in use.

29. Provide Online Tutoring

Sites like Tutor.com and TutorVista.com will connect you with people looking for help learning a subject, and you might be in particularly high demand if you’re good with math, science or a foreign language. You have to go through an application process, and once you’re approved you can start getting paid.

30. Teach an Online Course

Sites like Udemy connect experts with people willing to pay to learn from them. According to its website, about 10 million students use this service, and the average instructor earnings is $8,000.

30 Clever Ways to Make Money Online

How to Start a Business With Absolutely No Money

How to Start a Business With Absolutely No Money

A large number of would-be entrepreneurs possess the desire, the motivation and the leadership to start a business, but are held back by their lack of money (and their perception of its importance). For them, the path to greatness stops there. But it doesn’t have to.

An entire online course has been built around the counter-intuitive statement that “you don’t need the money, you need a better strategy.” Udemy.com’s course, “How To Start a Business With No Money, Borrowing or Credit,” makes this statement repeatedly and actually analyzes real business case studies that prove it.

The course authors, Peter Sage and Jimmy Naraine, have started several businesses with no money, and share their learning experiences with their students. Sage is a celebrity entrepreneur who personally started over 20 companies — of which some failed (and he took away lessons!), and others have become large global success stories. Naraine’s path to greatness includes working for companies such as Goldman Sachs, running his own businesses and sharing his inspiration with more than 41,000 students.

For anyone wanting to learn success strategies for how to shortcut the need for money when starting a business, Sage and Naraine cover: dealing with haters and naysayers on your entrepreneurial journey, essential keys for designing a strategy for your business, an exercise to boost your confidence in your business abilities and navigating the tricky path to selecting partners.

You should expect to walk out of the course with an understanding of these key tools:

  • Five ways to make money
  • The difference between an emotional vs. a financial bank account
  • The mechanics of making money
  • Ways to create money
  • Several case studies to back up these strategies

Udemy is now offering a special discount to jump-start your venture. From now through the end of July, take advantage of the Promo Code: ENTREPRENEUR30 for an additional 30 percent off this course.

There’s plenty more to learn about money, motivation and entrepreneurship. Browse Udemy.com’s thousands of courses to build a better life, starting now.

How to Start a Business With Absolutely No Money

Predict the Future of Your Business

Predict the Future of Your Business – from the Harvard Business Review

When people refer to Warren Buffett as the Oracle of Omaha, it’s not because he knows that when he drops a potato he knows it’s going to hit the ground. Warren Buffett has earned his nickname because he’s proven time and again that he has an eye for predicting how markets will change and which companies will succeed in the aftermath.

Predictions like this are based on an understanding of dynamics in something business school professors call “value networks” — the system of businesses and service providers that work together to create value for customers. When markets or technologies change, it often requires entire segments of the value network to be reimagined. Take, for instance, the advent of the graphic user interface at Xerox PARC. The GUI challenged the assumption that only computer programmers could harness computers, and gave rise to a slew of new products and businesses.

It’s those types of changes, sometimes seemingly very small in the beginning, that require entire systems to be reimagined. And I’d suggest that anyone can get better at predicting how markets will evolve if we ask ourselves three questions.

What’s changed?
What business assumptions become irrelevant?
How could new models take advantage of the change?

Machine Learning

Every day, machines are getting better at doing our thinking for us. When Microsoft first incorporated Autocorrect into MS Office, people everywhere realized how capable computers could be at anticipating very routine needs. But today, we’ve reached a whole new level. Technical teams all over the globe are building powerful, context-aware software to predict our needs. And new tools are becoming readily available for entrepreneurs to use in the course of building new businesses.

Today, resources like Watson Anlaytics, Google Predict, and DataRobot are helping companies leverage data to provide insight to their customers. Simultaneously, the widespread adoption of APIs across the internet are enabling seamless data transfer across the digital application landscape. Meanwhile, sensor technology is both proliferating and dropping in cost, allowing the types of data captured by businesses to become ever more contextually relevant. And finally, the cost of data storage continues to plummet, allowing businesses to store everything they might need to make a wide variety of predictions.

The development of these technologies is setting the stage for machines to think. Perhaps we’ll never see strong Artificial Intelligence. But we’ll certainly see machines that are capable of handling many of the traditionally white collar tasks that millions of individuals, sitting in front of computer screens every day, are paid to complete.

We’re just at the beginning of this revolution. In some cases, insightful software will empower the white collar workers that stare at screens all day, the way Palantir makes fraud analysts better at their jobs. In others, the software will be able to think well enough to remove the need for people entirely.

As this trend progresses, we can be certain that businesses will change. The types of tools that developers need will change. The way user interfaces are designed and optimized will need to evolve. What does software look like when you don’t need to click “submit” on a supply request? What type of tools do marketers need when a machine can pick the perfect audience to target?

New Urban Infrastructure

All over the world, city density is skyrocketing. People are emigrating to urban locales for access to education, employment, and amenities. And the resources in cities are compounding in quality. As more people move into cities, there is an ever larger market to support new types of services.

This will dramatically change in the way we do business. The vast majority of modern businesses have been built upon an assumption that customers will be geographically dispersed. The supermarket is a great example. Supermarkets became popular in the 30’s because the mass market had only recently gotten access to cars. Cars allowed customers to travel to a central hub to collect a wide variety of groceries (a far larger selection, in far greater quantities, than they could find at a local general store). And wherever you found a supermarket, you’d find a large parking lot — the repository for the many cars that would close the distance gap.

But today, the resurgence of cities raises the question: will the convenience of a parking lot continue to be the best way to woo purchasers? My guess is that the answer is no. And it seems like companies including Amazon, Postmates, and Instacart agree — each is building a vibrant logistics network that removes the need for a dispersed set of individuals to converge on central locations to buy the food they need.

Obviously, grocery is just one example. My bet is that these shifts in urban density will underpin many changes in the way businesses work. Today, we’re already seeing them play a role in shifting ownership models, conceptions of space, and the architecture of logistics systems. Uber’s a perfect example. Uber and similar on-demand transportation services are becoming indispensable aspects of modern urban infrastructure.

When people are constantly connected and centrally concentrated, it’s an opportunity to rethink businesses of all varieties. Companies like Uber, Amazon Prime, Makespace, and WeWork are all positioned to succeed based on these changes. And as each service changes the landscape for what it is to live in urban environments, we’ll see more change. Despite the fact that the suburbs aren’t going away anytime soon, the entrepreneurs targeting these next generation markets inside urban centers are poised to ride quite a wave.

It’s not about the “on-demand” economy. It’s about reimagining infrastructure in dense, connected, urban locations. Some of the opportunity will be in the development of on-demand services. But some will require different types of solutions to evolve areas of infrastructure like local government, law enforcement, energy consumption and creation, broadband access, and healthcare.

Scalable Niches

The final trend that I’ll mention is the growth of scalable niches in software and internet businesses. Even as recently as five years ago, many aspects of a cloud-based software platform needed to be built from scratch. While you could access very basic tools through platform offerings like Force.com, companies needed to build their own capabilities to offer file sharing, authentication, communications, commerce, and transactional notifications.

Today, the basic software infrastructure for the internet has been developed. But more importantly, it’s been shared. Companies like Twilio, Box, Zipments, Sendgrid, Stripe, BigML, and hundreds more have invested thousands of years’ worth of developer time in standardizing the basic services that cloud software vendors require. And what’s more, unlike a world of developing for client based systems, these vendors continued to invest an insane amount in simplifying integration, deployment, and the adoption of new innovation for their customers. The end result is now, when you build a new piece of software, you can concentrate on what’s truly critical to your differentiation.

There are a few notable outcomes from this: First, building new applications now requires far fewer people with a great deal less specialization. Second, it’s a lot faster to build applications than it was before. And finally, most costs are now variable — people rent infrastructure instead of buying it — allowing businesses to scale up IT costs only as they drive more adoption around their core product.

The convergence of these factors with the growth of internet users is leading us to a world where products are popping up that are far narrower in nature than the previous generation of businesses. There’s now the option of attacking specific niches in markets that previously seemed unsustainable.

The easiest place to see this is in apps built and designed for specific industries. Emergence Capital famously invested in a company called Veeva (well ahead of when this trend became clear to me or most anyone). Veeva provided a CRM customized specifically for the pharmaceutical industry, leveraging a lot of the innate capabilities built into the Salesforce Force.com platform. In just a short time, it built a behemoth of an organization — ultimately IPO’ing at a capitalization of 3.91 billion.

While Veeva may have been the first company to prove this market, it’s certainly not going to be the last. And it’s not all basic cloud software. Zipments, a company that provides last minute delivery services via bike messengers, has opened up its API for integration into web and mobile app environments. While companies like Veeva, Blackboard, Cvent, Yardi, and Plex are tackling software niches, a slew of niche focused businesses will emerge — taking advantage of newly standardized and modularized infrastructure — to deliver all types of niche services to newly accessible markets. The Internet went mainstream in the early 90’s. That’s really not too long ago. As more and more aspects of our economy are plugged in, we’re going to see a lot of companies focused on what today might be considered smaller niches.

Clearly, the future is going to involve change much broader than the three areas that I’ve covered. But whenever you’re trying to predict the future with any sort of certainty, the key is to identify and articulate the change, identify what services are no longer necessary or optimal for the new environment, and imagine how the world would need to be rebuilt to accommodate the new infrastructure.

Harvard Business Review

Predict the Future of Your Business

10 Steps to Starting a Business While Keeping Your Full-Time Job

A practical guide to minimizing risk and maximizing success while living the entrepreneurial dream.

Here are my 10 steps to starting your own business while you keep your full-time job.

  1. Ask yourself how badly you want it
  2. Inventory your skills, abilities, and weaknesses
  3. Validate your business idea
  4. Write down your competitive advantage
  5. Set detailed, measurable, and realistic goals
  6. Map your gameplan to launch date and beyond
  7. Outsource everything you can
  8. Actively seek feedback
  9. Don’t blur the lines between personal projects and work
  10. Reach critical mass before quitting your day job

10 Steps to Starting a Business While Keeping Your Full-Time Job

Start Your Own Business

Tap into more than 30 years of small-business expertise as the staff of Entrepreneur Media, Inc. guides you through the critical steps to starting your own business, and then, supports you in surviving the first three years as a business owner. Coached by business experts, practicing business owners, and thriving entrepreneurs, uncover what you need to know before taking the plunge, securing your finances, launching your venture, and achieving the many other business milestones ahead. With this priceless support, you will:

  • Pinpoint your target market
  • Uncover the changing sources of funding for startup and growth
  • Use the latest technology to boost and streamline your business plan
  • Learn the secrets of successful marketing and profitable partnerships
  • Discover digital and social media tools and how to benefit from them
  • Understand the latest tax and healthcare reform information and legalities
  • Take advantage of the hundreds of resources included
  • Receive vital forms, worksheets, and checklists

Start Your Own Business

15 incredible ‘Aha!’ moments

The brilliance behind the big ideas.

How do you come up with new business ideas?

See how other great inventors, famous founders and super successful people got inspired and came up with the ideas they’ll go down for in history in the infographic below:

15 Incredible ‘Aha!’ Moments.