Archive for the ‘Small Business’ category

The Living Dead

July 12, 2008

I was ready to start working on my post for Friday’s blog when I let my dog Bella outside.  The neighbors behind us were outside and they hollered over that there was a strange dog they found wandering around the neighborhood.  As I looked over to answer them here comes this medium sized brown Shar Pei mix over to see me.  What a friendly dog she was except she didn’t seem to want to be friends with Bella.  So I put Bella inside and we sat on our back porch trying to find this dog’s owner.  My neighbor drove around looking for someone that was driving around looking for the dog but with no luck.  The next thing I know it is midnight.  Our neighbors took the dog back to their house for the night and I went to bed.

I was thinking about the dog being scared and nervous because she couldn’t find her way and it made me think about how most of us walk around like that poor dog in life, lost.  We never find one person let alone three or four that can help us find our way so we walk around like the living dead.  If you are thinking “what in the hell is he talking about”, take a moment and think about your life.  Are you living your dream?  Is your job or career something you dreamt about?  I bet in most cases you do dream about your job or career… but they are called nightmares and directed by Wes Craven.   If you are living your dream then stop reading I’m not talking about you. But if you aren’t then keep reading. 

Okay you say, I’m not living my dream but I’m not lost, I make it home everyday.  (If you are a guy like me then you are never lost and need directions.)  In high school and college we have counselors that are supposed to help us decide on a career path and guide us in the right direction.  Well I don’t know about you but mine didn’t help guide me very well.  There are a lot of people who will have different views of their school counselors and that’s great, you are the lucky ones.  If you didn’t have very good guidance about a career in school I bet you still don’t. 

Finding a person or a group of people to help mentor you in life is very important.  Maybe it is a senior manager in your firm that you respect and admire or a very successful friend but it is important to find someone that can help you find your way.  Another avenue that you can use is a personal coach.  A down side to having a personal coach is they cost money but I have talked to a lot of people who say it was money well spent.  That’s a personal decision you have to make yourself.  Just being involved with like minded people can help you find your true calling and passion.  If you have a mentor or coach then you can sit down and talk on a regular basis about what steps you need to take to reach your dreams and goals.

I hope that you are not lost in your career or job and that you have a mentor but if you are lost and realize there is something else you would rather do just remember that it is never to late for you to go after your dreams.  Find someone that can mentor you and start walking among the living.  If you have no clue where to start looking for a mentor just shoot me an email and I will be glad to help you anyway I can.

Wishing you the Best,

Rick

A Lesson from the Ice Road Truckers

July 3, 2008

Last night I watched Ice Road Truckers on the History Channel, if you have not seen the show before you can learn all about it here, www.history.com/minisites/iceroadtruckers.  It is a series about these truckers who brave the Arctic winter to drive their 18 wheelers on frozen rivers and ocean.  Talk about having guts, these guys was hauling up to 70 tons of equipment on 38 inches of ice in the episode I watched.

I just can’t imagine the nerves of steel you need to have to do something like that.  Just watching them last night made me appreciate the weather we have here in Pittsburgh.  I hate when the weather hits 50 degrees, I definitely can not imagine 40 below.  I would have so many layers of clothing on that I wouldn’t be able to move.

It was neat to see them drive on the ocean and rivers, the highway looks just like any other highway except it is on top of water and there is only 36 inches of ice between you and freezing cold water.  It takes a lot of courage and confidence to drive those big rigs on ice. 

When you start your own business you need to be like those Ice Road Truckers.  They move forward at a steady, consistent pace so they can reach their destination alive.  That’s what you need to do with your business, always move forward at a steady consistent pace.  Everyday you move forward you are one step closer to your goals and dreams. 

There will be days when it seems like your goals and dreams will never be accomplished but those are the days when you need to fight through that feeling and take a step forward.  If you are having trouble moving forward on those days remember what Helen Keller said “We can do anything we want to if we stick to it long enough.”  If that doesn’t help you just remember you could be in the Arctic driving trucks on the frozen ocean in 40 below weather.

All the Best,

Rick Hyde

Driving Traffic to Your Website

July 1, 2008

When you first launch an internet business the hardest thing to do is drive traffic to your site.  You can have the best product in the world but if no one comes to your site then your product really isn’t the best. The million dollar question is how you drive traffic to your site.

That’s the question my partners and I were asking each other today.  We launched a social networking site for entrepreneurs on June 3rd, www.Goldstacks.com , and we are still trying to drive a steady stream of traffic to the site daily.    Keeping things in perspective is important to remember because the chance of you creating a website and having 1,000’s of visitors after the first couple of weeks are a stretch.  What do you do if you have 100 visitors to your site instead of 1,000?  If your expectations are out of whack than you probably get really frustrated and quit.

That is where having a well thought out strategy comes into play.  If you have a limited budget then it is tougher and takes more time and patience to become successful in driving traffic but it is possible.  We have done the basics of web 2.0 marketing for our site.  We have all joined the social networking sites; MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIN, and Twitter.  We have a blog that we post to Monday through Saturday.  We answer questions on different blogs and forums.  We also used social bookmarking to promote our site.  There are other 2.0 marketing strategies that we are working on and will be implementing within the next month.

I guess my whole point of this little article is to have patience in your marketing efforts.  Most small business owners like us don’t have a lot of capital to pour into marketing.  If you are like us then you just have to use a consistent and persistent strategy of getting your site out there.  It is a tough process, and not as easy as flipping a switch.  You always have to be willing to test different ideas for your marketing to be successful.  If something doesn’t work then try something else.  It will be frustrating at times but remember to have fun because if you don’t have fun with your business then it just becomes another job.

Wishing you the best!

Rick Hyde