BSR Wisdom

  • Encore Entrepreneurs: Douglas Lundrigan’s Story

    Lighthouse Business Solutions, owned by Douglas Lundrigan, aged 51.  His does business consulting, coaching, training, and development.

    What makes it successful:

    “Gaining a deeper understanding of the generational cultural differences; the drain of business wisdom going on as Boomers retire; and the new methods of doing business that work versus some of the old ways that don’t work.”  Meaning, Doug is developing an ever-deeper niche for himself.

    Re-Invention, Re-Creation, and Re-Imagination:

    Since age 15, Doug has been an entrepreneur.  He started a profitable delivering soda pop door-to-door.  He also had ice cream, lawn care and peephole installation businesses before graduating from college.  He spent over two decades in the pharmaceutical industry.  He has opened a few other businesses on the side with his wife.

    When Doug learned the company he was working for was shrinking, he started to do some research, investigating franchises and such.  He worked to find his unique value, as well as something has had a passion for, was good at, and was needed in the market.  He got input from family and friends, recognizing that “we don’t always see ourselves clearly.”

    It came down to a process of elimination.  His favorite position was in the training department, which he did for 26 years.  He then made the decision to open Lighthouse Business Solutions as a training and development consulting company.

    While Doug was not 100% on this decision, he learned decisiveness is the number one business skill that determines success.  “Even if this isn’t the best thing I can do, I’m going to commit to it.  Put your blinders on! Don’t get detracted!”  He adds, “Unless something comes up that makes it impossible, discipline you mind to not be distracted by anything else.”

    Failure and risk come with starting a business.  And, if there is no other income you have to find something that generates income quickly, Doug acknowledges.  Most businesses won’t get out of the red for two years.  Doug recommends getting started on the ground work right away, which can take a few months or possibly years.  Think about when you want to retire, do a comparative analysis, define your advantage, get some training from a small business development center.  Do as much of this as possible before investing one dime.

    “One of the things I advocate is that you’ve got to define your niche,” Doug says.  More and more, Doug is gearing his work towards and specific population: his own generation.  He notices that Baby Boomers are sometimes set in their ways.  It helps to be open and willing to learn new things, including the new leadership culture of the 21st century. “There’s a steep learning curve,” Doug says.  He advocates for finding the intersection between learning new skills and using what you have, although skills from the previous job won’t be applied in the same way.

    Doug’s take away is despite the years of groundwork he did prior to launching is business, it still didn’t seem to be enough.  Another point is understand the cultural change in the business world. Business today is not as it was before when we all started our careers. There is much more automation and much more need for emotional intelligence or great human interaction and that is what Doug teaches through Lighthouse. He is pleased with his success and sees that human interaction and emotional intelligence are much needed skills for any business, and entrepreneur and any 21st Century business.

     

     

     

     

     

  • Encore Entrepreneurs: Mary Hurst’s Story

    Mary Hurst, age 60, founder of Mary Hurst Couture Jewelry.

    Mary Hurst designs of crates unique contemporary Celtic jewelry for art galleries, boutiques, and special events.

    What makes her business successful?

    “My success now has to do with maintaining relationships with my customers and creating one-of-a-kind pieces with perceived artistic value,” is how Mary describes her business.  She is also working at increasing her online and in-person sales.

    “Work in progress”

    Mary emigrated from Ireland (County Tipperary) at the age of 19, and had had a huge variety of careers over the years.  She has managed small businesses, selling real estate, and teaching English.  But she always knew something about herself: “I have always enjoyed working with art and working with my hands.”  Mary and her husband relocated to Portland, and she started making jewelry because there was a bead store near her house!  There was no grand plan to sell her jewelry at first, but she was asked to consign her pieces.  Nine years later she still consigns her jewelry, and also has a huge holiday show, Champagne and Truffles.

    A few years ago, Mary hired someone to design a new website and create a Facebook page that has regular posts, as recommended by Jackie.  She now works with a sales rep, who helps get her jewelry into shops and galleries.  Her income increased.  Her next focus is on Pinterest and more direct sales.

    Re-Invention, Re-Vision, Re-Creation

    Mary and Jackie continue working together to increase her person-to-person sales, and also to move away from consignment sales. She would like to be more reliant on her own marketing.  “I would like to build my reputation as the go-to Celtic jewelry designer with a focus on Celtic weddings,” she says.  Mary is on track with honing her deep and narrow niche.

     

     

  • Encore Entrepreneur Inspiration: Ann Smith’s Story

    November 9, 2016, blog. Taken from Wiser, Smarter, Richer.

    Encore Entrepreneur Inspiration: Ann Smith’s Story

    Overview:

    Ann Smith, age 70, and based in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, started Life Stories Remembered to “capture for posterity the legacy of a lifetime,” to “create a legacy for future generations,” and to “preserve the recollections of elders in most personal and unique way.” Ann conducts and records a series of personal interviews and preserves them on CD or DVD along with a professionally edited bound narrative.

    What Works Now:

    What made Ann’s business successful is attention received in her local community. An article about her business came up under “Encore Entrepreneur” in Google alerts in the Better Smarter Richer inbox. There was an article on her in the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader. The article was about how Ann’s business fits into the broader trend of Encore Entrepreneurship. Ann was then interviewed for BSR postcast and then one more article in the Times Leader. The take away here is to get yourself out there as often as possible, and talk to local news sources.

    Re-Invention, Re-Creation, and Re-Imagination:

    With a solid background in a passion for education and social work, Ann was able to create a series of rich and rewarding careers for herself. Ann created, taught, and directed a special education program at a renowned private school in Maryland; practiced social work at a hospital in Fairfax, Virginia; then moved to Wilkes-Barre, PA, where she was Director of Professional Services at Jewish Family Service for 14 years. In 1995 she began her first solo venture when she established a private psychotherapy practice.

    Ann’s personal life was changing as well. Her first marriage of 13 years ended, and she married a man from Wilkes-Barre, which was a “major move, both personally and professionally. I left all social and professional support and left big city life.”

    She was not religiously affiliated growing up, when she moved to Wilkes-Barre, she began to immerse herself in the Jewish community. Through her involvement with the local synagogue, she became friends with Max Rosenn, Judge of the 3rd Circuit Federal Court. He was the most respected legal authority in Northeast Pennsylvania, and actively practiced law until he died at age 95. A wonderful inspiration for encores!

    No one had ever really interviewed Judge Rosenn about his personal life and if they did he was asked to speak into a recorder, which did not appeal to him. When Ann suggested she interviewed him in person, he was very interested – the power of personal connection! Ann thought the interview would last two hours but it lasted over 25 weeks. “He truly enjoyed the experience and years later, after his death his sons were thrilled to have that first hand material.”

    That was the beginning of Life Stories Remembered. Friends and family encouraged Ann to preserve these memories as a business, and she attended small business development courses. She did some online research to see if there were any comparable businesses in her geographical area, when she found there were not, she knew she had a marketable product.

    Additionally, she was able to create a business that allowed her to work from home and be flexible. The only time she leaves home is for an interview. It’s a perfect fit. Ann launched her business in 2008 and has been wonderful so far. Most of her clients are found word-of-mouth. She has been featured in the press several times over the years. She loves her work and finds that it makes excellent use of the skills, interests, and time requirements.

  • Your Business Startup

    It’s time to make the leap!

    Leap-353x179Traditional employment is fading fast.

    Now is the time to focus on your business startup

    For more than two decades, ‘Solopreneurship’ has quietly been on the rise. Also called, independent work, freelancing or sometimes contract work. Check out this recent article in Fast Company Magazine.

    Studies show that Solos make up more than 40%. That number is increasing steadily. It’s estimated that number with surge past 50% by 2020.

    In the next 25 years, the workforce will accelerate towards entrepreneurship, independent contracting and “peer to peer” collaborating (we call that “the Waterbug™  model”). Now is the time to focus on your business startup.

    Unfortunately, potential entrepreneurs are not sure what to do with this new found independence. Their first question is “What can I do?”.

    In my new Best Beginnings: Start Your Business Right webinar program, we devote a lot of time to that question.  The first webinar is Titled What Should I Do?  With 9 accompanying work sheets, it helps you answer that question.  (It is a bargain at $39.95.)

  • Overcome Startup Fear Barriers

    Starting a solo business requires action

    Overcome StartUp Fear BarriersOvercome startup fear barriers to remove procrastination and paralysis.

    When you first think of starting your own business, you’re bombarded with questions. “What do I have to offer?” “How will I get clients?” “How much will I charge?”

    Those questions can stop you in your tracks. Start by thinking about what you’ve already been doing, either in your last job or in your life. Most solos start out doing some kind of consulting or service. Then you develop from there.

    In this episode of Better, Smarter, Richer Jackie will share several stories of some of her clients. Learn how they took their job skills and used them to start up their solo business. Starting with what you already have experience in can make it easier to overcome startup fear barriers.

    Confidence and experience are excellent fear busters. When you move into the next stage in your career, it helps to use what you already know to grow your own business. Jackie will share the words other solos are using to overcome startup fear barriers.

    Jackie will also discuss how the 21st Century technology-driven world is different from old-school business. Learn how you can use that to help you overcome startup fear barriers.

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