Business School

bluetooth-nerd

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a successful entrepreneur. When I was a teenager I did shirtless yard work for some of the hotter moms in my neighborhood. Picture one of the sultry hunks you’ve seen on your Aunt’s romance novels, take his hands and his hair (if he had a flat-top) and put them on a bronzed Jerry Lewis, but with a better voice. I was hurling rocks, hauling dirt, maybe pouring water over my head here and there just to keep things interesting. I couldn’t get insurance, because according to the insurance companies, my business was “too hot” to handle. At least that’s what I knew they would say. Didn’t matter. Insurance is for people who believe something bad will happen to them. And that is what I call a “failure mindset.”

romance cover 2

Then I started a window cleaning business a couple years ago. It had revenue well into the four figures within the first year. No Google, but still a pretty big deal.

So given my experience with starting businesses, I thought it might be helpful to do a few lessons on the topic of how to start and run a business for any aspiring entrepreneurs out there.

Step 1:

Decide what kind of business you want to have. Starting a business is about one thing:

PASSION!!!

If you have Passion for something, you can “PASS” “It” “ON” to other people. Then you will have a successful business. Brainstorm about what you are Passionate about. For example, me personally, I love sharks and chocolate. Ok, let’s go with those. Now we’ll use something we in business call “The Process of Elimination” to decide which idea is the best. Sharks are notoriously hard to work with and it’s hard to find buyers with the necessary martial arts background to handle them, at least the big ones, so let’s do chocolate. Chocolate, chocolate, hmm, what’s a business with chocolate I could do? Make chocolate? No, Hershey’s and Switzerland are already doing that. They have a “niche” on that market already, if you will. That’s fine. How about building things with chocolate? That might work in colder climates, like North Dakota and Russia, but it would melt in most places. Also, even in cold climates, chocolate is generally weaker than steel and wood and might not pass the building codes. Ok, don’t get DISCOURAGED because that would be a “DIS” to your “COURAGE”. How about making bumper stickers with chocolate jokes on them? Hmm, don’t jump right into it. Analyze it for a second…

Ok, I love it. I’ve always been a big fan of chocolate humor.

The next step is to name your business:

Ok, so I’m going to do chocolate humor bumper stickers. What should we name the company? It’s best to come up with a play on words here, or to spell it uniquely. For example, if you were an animal psychologist specializing in cats, you could name your practice Serious Susan’s Lame Cat Counseling Business, LLC, but that’s boring, and even if you’re the best cat shrink in the world no one will bring their kitty to you. You can step it up a notch by naming it Crazy Cats, which is better, but people won’t notice your billboard at 70 mph because it is the 12th time that day that they have seen those two words spelled exactly that same old way. But if you do Krazee Katzz!!! people are going to notice. You can also use any special qualifications you have in the name. So it might be Krazee Katzz, Ph.D!!! or Lance’s Blue Tooth Fitting, G.E.D.

Pet psychic

So, what do we name our chocolate humor company. How about Coca Confessional or DBC (Death By Chocolate)? Uh oh. Hold on… Yep, I have it. Sinful Snickers. Snickers is a type of chocolate and also a type of laugh, which is a word play, which lets customers know the company is run by college grads. Let’s raise the ante a bit; Sinfl Snickerz. That’s the one.

Stay tuned for Lesson 2…

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11 Responses to Business School

  1. living in zion says:

    Thanks! I knew getting an MBA would be a huge waste of time and money. With your inspired words, I am going to start working on my new business right away. Mary Kay, anyone?

  2. Eliza says:

    okay that first picture killed me, that is SUCH the business type to wear an awesome blue tooth head piece, so hot. funny post, love the passionate and the chocolate jokes, good stuff.

  3. Andrea W. says:

    Your Jerry Lewis comment cracked me up! Unique spellings are so the way to go to be a hip and happening business :). Can you start email campaigns to boycott companies based on their cutesiness? Funny, funny stuff.

  4. Ryan says:

    “Love’s Secret Sniper” has stayed with me all day. Thank you for sharing that.

    By the way, I think it’s important in business to question your assumptions. Specifically, the assumption that cold chocolate is weaker than wood. I’m not sure that’s ever been conclusively established.

  5. Rebecca says:

    ryan- my dad ate a week-old rice-krispie christmas tree decoration that 6 toddlers had handled all week. people would eat a chocolate building.
    hilarious stuff. love the krazy katz lady and pic. one of the best posts yet.

  6. Ben Pratt says:

    This post is a life-saver. I am PASSIONATE about reading blog posts.

  7. Layne says:

    Dude. Killer Post. I imagine Suzy Riley or Mrs. May or (insert other stay-at-home mom) looking out her window as you are flexing your glutes and abs while wrestling a tree stump. Of course, I now you were rocking the orange vest or some cut-off scrubs also just to top it off.

  8. Davis says:

    You could name your new business “Death by Chocolate,” but that’s already copyrighted. BY MY LIFE!!!!!

  9. Troy says:

    Dee Dee Drake? Hmm. Interesting choice, but to each his own. I would have leaned towards Robyn Carr or Diana Palmer. I guess it depends on which Harlequin genre you’re into. Err, wait, were you just using the cover art as a joke?

  10. Christian says:

    Layne, I actually had to wear the orange vest to cover what the cops made me register as “lethal weapons” underneath.

    Troy, Dee Dee Drake is a saint and an an artist, so be careful.

  11. Dallin says:

    Layne, don’t forget the pink contraceptive ring that Christian used to wear around his wrist. Now we know where the inspiration came from for Lance Armstrong’s “Live Strong” bands. C Bell is a true tried-and-tested mentor to the entreprenuer’s in all of us. Including those who are already rich and inspiring.

    Thanks for the inspiring comments C Bell. If it were not for you, I might have continued with my aspirations of becoming a CIA agent. Until they were fatally quashed in a Trivial Persuit game. But now, I’m going to aim higher than before! I am going to make my millions as a tree hugger!

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