Archive for the ‘Jobreprenuer’ Category
Saturday, June 7th, 2008 |
I’ve been away for a while because of some increased demands at my day job. I’ve missed the blogging and my online friends, but the break was actually a positive experience for me. I found some excitement at work and was able to refocus my thoughts about my Internet media projects. So, I hope you don’t mind if I share a bit about where I’m headed in my own career journey.
As any of my regular readers already know, I started kicking around the idea of a career change last year after some personal changes in my life. I started blogging about my journey as a way of gathering my thoughts and exploring possibilities. I quickly decided to take the safe route and use jobrepreneuing as my means of exploring a change in careers. For the uninitiated, jobrepreneuing is my word for exploring being an entrepreneur while keeping your day job. I wasn’t ready to take the full plunge and leave my regular employment, but I wanted to start doing something different…something that could lead to a new career.
In November I decided on a plan to focus my energies on Internet media. I was a frequent user of the Internet and loved the open ended possibilities. I have also been interested in design and technology for most of my life, so the fit just seemed right. This blog was the very first step into my new Internet media career.
The ideas came quickly, and I envisioned all sorts of ways to make money online. And, of course, I was reading blogs and websites that told me how easy it was to make thousands a month with just a few niche websites. But being a realist, I knew it would not be that easy…and it hasn’t been.
I now have four established blogs and am developing three non-blog websites. I recently completed a course at the local community college on Dreamweaver web design. I also invested in a one-year subscription at Lynda.com where I learn even more about web design and programming.
I not yet moved into the money making aspect of my new side career. Revenue is small from the few blogs that I have. I now view my blogging, not as a money making venture, but as a tool for learning and an outlet for creativity. The blogging has also been a venue for planning as I continue to work out my personal career change.
Finally, I must share that my day job experience has changed during the past several months. There is a renewed motivation and, dare I say, excitement at work resulting from a clearer mission for our organization. It was this new energy (and several major work projects) that kept me away from UTurn during the past month. The work has become valuable again.
So, I am continuing my path of jobprepreneuing and growing my Internet enterprises. I have no plans for leaving my current employment, nor do I want to drop my moonlighting work. Both career paths are exciting to me now. When the two conflict, I will put the day job at the top of the list. I owe that to my employer. But the Internet media work will dominate my evenings and weekends.
Be sure to drop in regularly as I will be adding posts much more frequently.
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Saturday, March 1st, 2008 |
I know, it’s been too long between posts. For that I apologize. I have a personal goal of never more than two days without a post, but it was broken this week. I was at a conference of nonprofit organizations giving a presentation on using technology to improve communication and services. It was well received and a lot of fun to do.
So, it’s time to update you on what is happening in my own pursuit of a midlife career change. Several weeks ago I wrote about my decision to stay in my current job while pursuing business options on the side. I call this being a jobrepreneur, and I wrote about the advantages of this work arrangement in January. It is challenging to do both, but it’s actually given me a new motivation for my day job.
As part of the preparation for my conference workshop, I created a website on using technology in a nonprofit business. NPTechnology.org was originally going to just be a simple site for answering participant questions that could not be addressed during the conference. But in speaking with other nonprofit leaders, I saw there is a need for more information in this area. So, I’ve decided to make the site a regular part of my Internet publishing group, Coryan Media.
I’m continuing to operate and write for four websites/blogs, and have recently been adding advertising to each site, one at a time. I’m also working on a couple more sites, but I know that I will need help to manage all of this…so the new sites are getting little of my time.
My hope is that all of this work will lead me to some new midlife adventures. I want to keep my position as the nonprofit director, but I love the technology/Internet work as well. I will be finding ways to promote myself as a speaker/trainer to nonprofits on the use of technology. In the meantime, I’m having fun and making some extra change…in my life and in my pocket.
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Friday, February 8th, 2008 |
Dawn Rivers Baker, publisher and editor of The MicroEnterprise Journal, wrote a guest article for Small Business Trends where she lists the Top Ten Opportunities in 2008 for Personal Businesses. Baker defines personal businesses as those run by an owner with no employees. In her article, Baker points out that nearly 4 in every 5 business in the U.S. is operated without employees. Let’s take a look at those business opportunities that Baker reports as having the most potential in 2008.
Virtual staffing agencies. In the last installment of this series you may recall the prediction that 1/3 of employers will be contracting or hiring freelancers in 2008. Baker expects that there is real opportunity for someone to bring together employers and contract workers.
Content aggregators. Baker predicts that we will see increased growth in businesses that compile, organize and distribute information. The Internet provides potential for information aggregators that, according to Baker, “includes content verticals (topic niches such as parenting, gardening, business and entrepreneurship) as well as format-based horizontals (newsletters, blogs, social networking sites).”
Digital content producers. The paper and ink market for information sharing is giving away ground to the growing industry of digital content. In 2008, expect to see even more digital content offered on the Internet in a variety of formats and prices.
Business and personal coaching. Baker expects continued growth in the increasingly popular arena of business and personal coaching. The lack of substantive education on real life challenges creates business opportunities for those who can support and teach others.
Business services. Business to business services will see no sign of slowing in 2008 as midsize and large companies continue to focus on their core competencies while contracting out other routine business tasks.
Environmentally-friendly construction. As other industries become more eco-friendly, we can expect construction to do the same. Contractors specializing in energy efficiency, use of unexploited natural building resources, and construction that integrates with the local environment will find plenty of work in 2008.
Oil and energy extraction consultants. With the right training and preparation, a business in this field can be quite profitable. Baker explains that, “with the focus on domestically produced, environmentally friendly energy sources, companies in the business of producing oil products and generating energy will be looking for these consultants and the guidance they offer.”
Energy-related environmental consultants. In growing numbers, homeowners and businesses are looking for ways to be more energy conscious. There is huge potential in helping others save more money and support the environment through energy conservation.
Health care service providers. Expect to see enterprising businesses established to meet the growing need for long term care, in-home health care, and hospice services. Baker also predicts more opportunities in services that assist with patients with navigating the health care system.
Personal services. As we hustle to cram more and more into our lives, some of us will begin looking for tasks we can farm out to personal assistants. Doing the jobs that others don’t have the time or desire to do themselves will be a great niche business for many entrepreneurs.
As you can see, the industries that Baker believes offer the most potential are the result of advancing technology, the environment, and the aging baby boomer population. Trends in each of these areas are creating opportunities for the self-employed entrepreneur.
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Sunday, February 3rd, 2008 |
I have always found the New Year predictions to be quite interesting. I once bought up several of the tabloid newspapers with New Year predictions and stuck them in my closet. Those predictions were great conversation at the New Year’s eve party a year later.
Well, I missed the predictions this year, so I’m trying to catch up. This post begins a three part series on 2008 job and business predictions. This first post is a list of trends we can expect to see in small businesses. In “Ask an Expert: Big Trends in Small Business, Part 1” | “Part 2” at USAToday.com, Steve Strauss predicted:
- “Networking 2.0 is 180 degrees, 100% different.” – Networking is not about connecting electronically through social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, or LinkedIn.
- “Work smarter, not harder.” – With technological advances, we are able to do more work from where ever we wish. Expect more job-sharing, outsourcing, working from home, and virtual offices
- “Green is the new black.” – Businesses will find ways to work more ecologically safe and money will be available for more green business ventures.
- “It’s the economy, stupid!” - Growth is slowing as small businesses spend less and credit tightens.
- “China’s capitalist revolution touches everything.” - China’s continued economic impact will be felt in some way in nearly every business transaction.
- “Search is still king.” - Businesses need to understand the value of the technology search function to put their business in front of the consumer.
- “Say hello to your new assistant – your cellphone.” - We will see continued technological advances in the use of cellphones that take us far beyond just typical voice communication.
- “Entrepreneurs of the world unite.” – There will be a continued increase in small and microbusiness development.
- “The year of marketing creatively.” – Expect to see more nontraditional marketing competing for an already over-stimulated consumer.
- “Your PC is going virtual. Is your business?” – Businesses will use more online applications, virtual communication, and helpful gadgets.
What small business trends do you expect to see in 2008?
Next in the series, employment trends from CareerBuilder.com.
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Saturday, January 26th, 2008 |
Here’s the deal, WAH(web)Mommy (who, by the way, has one of the coolest blog designs on the Net) was tagged to post seven weird facts about herself on her blog. I was enjoying reading them until I got to the bottom of the post. There I saw it…I was being tagged to write seven weird facts about myself.
Well, keeping with the career change theme of this blog, I’ve decided to post seven strange job related facts about myself.
1) I was a waiter for Olivia Newton-John and her date. To make it even stranger, the dinner was under a circus tent in the middle of the field on a horse farm. So let me explain…it was Anita Madden’s famous Kentucky Derby Party being held on her horse farm in Lexington, Kentucky. I was a waiter for the Marriot Hotel that was catering the dinner. Olivia and her date were the only guests at my table. That was 24 years ago and we both looked a lot hotter.
2) I was paid $20 to paint a 12 foot mural in a church Sunday school room. It was my senior year of high school, and I was really into art (paintings, drawing, ect.). The scene was a creek running through the countryside with trees, butterflies and a couple other animals. Was it good? Nope. I was really disappointed, but the church folk seemed to like it.
3) Two weeks after I got married, my wife and I moved into a group home to care for six troubled teenagers. And we are still together today! My wife and I…not the six boys. We worked in the home for a year. That work lead to me getting my Master’s in Social Work and a career in nonprofit administration.
4) When I was a teen, I worked as a bouncer at our county fair. Okay, this one needs some explaining. The main attraction at the county fair in Harrodsburg, Kentucky is the horse show. I got a job working in the reserved seating. I had to check a list of names to be sure no one without paid reserved seating was in the section. At the end of the week, I would make another $20-40 helping the carnies break down the rides. It was my one week summer job.
5) I once made a nearly $200 tip tending bar for a reception with the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Jeane Kirkpatrick. She was speaking to the Fort Worth, Texas Chamber of Commerce during her last year as ambassador, and I was assigned as the bartender for the reception before her speech. The tip was 15% of the bar tab for only about 40 guests. They liked to drink.
6) I created the term jobrepreneur to describe those of us who start a business while remaining employed. Jobrepreneuing is not so weird, but the word sure is. I first used it on this blog a couple months ago. I needed a word to describe what I was doing, but couldn’t find the right one. So, like any good wordsmith, I slammed two words together! BTW, did you know that Coryan is also a word smash? It combines the names of my sons, Cory and Ryan. My real name is Jim Lockwood.
And I’ve saved the best for last…
7) I once sold Avon products door-to-door. I was the second leading salesperson in our region despite being a 20 year old man selling in the housing projects. I had just graduated college and needed money for a car. This was the only work I could find in our small town. I sold five days a week for six months, even recruiting other moms to sell for me for a small commission.
I hope you enjoyed this little break from the regular U-Turn posts. Now, I’d like to see some weird facts from Ben at TheBlogscape.com, Tish at BloggingGal.com, KoTa at Ko-Ta.com, and Shari at ExpressMarketingMemo.com. You’ve all now been tagged! BTW, these are all great blogs, so check them out.
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Thursday, January 24th, 2008 |
Jobrepreneuing (yes, it can be a verb) is the art of starting a business without leaving your job. Most jobrepreneurs consider this arrangement simply because they can’t afford to quit work and wait for the business to generate sufficient income. But some careful consideration will reveal other advantages to keeping that day job besides money to make the house payment.
Here are seven ways to take advantages of keeping your job while starting a business:
- Use your job to identify business opportunities. Many successful businesses were started as solutions to reoccurring problem. And what better place to identify problems then at the workplace. Years ago I knew a fundraising event coordinator who started her business in just this fashion. Karen worked for a small nonprofit organization that had put on their own fundraising events for years. But with the increased resources needed to put on these events, the agency was considering dumping one of their major events. Karen, who had always worked at these affairs, saw an opportunity. She and a friend started an event planning business specializing in nonprofit fundraisers. After a few months the business was doing so well that Karen left her job to run the company full time.
- Consider your employer as a potential first customer. This works great if your new business can fill a need of your current employer. Just be sure the work is not already a part of your job description. Schedule a meeting to present your business idea and how you would deliver the product or service. It’s important to keep everyone informed of what you are doing (especially your immediate supervisor) and avoid anything that would create conflict or competition for your employer. If your new business would be competition, it’s best to leave your job first. By the way, Karen’s employer was her first customer.
- Fund your business with your paycheck. Not only can your current job make the house payment, but you can also pay for business expenses. Use your salary to invest in your business. Set up a separate bank account for the business and be sure keep your personal and business finances separate. Planning is the key. Only invest money that you can afford to risk.
- View your current employer as a potential investor or partner. This is really a great idea if your business idea is complimentary to the work of your employer. For example, if you work for a moving company and you are wanting to start a file storage business, your employer may make a great partner. Prepare a presentation just as you would for an outside investor or partner and schedule the meeting. You want to show your employer how their involvement will strengthen their business and provide a good return on their investment.
- Take advantage of training opportunities. If your employer provides or pays for trainings that would help you in your new business, sign up immediately. When starting a new company, it may be difficult to pay for such trainings. So, go to the all day workshop on becoming a better salesperson, it will make you a better employee and business owner. Consider attending trainings on accounting, sales, marketing, planning, and technology.
- Consider coworkers as potential partners or employees. There’s nothing wrong with identifying key individuals that would benefit your company and offering them employment, or even a partnership. Be selective and have these conversations away from the office. It’s important to respect the boundaries at work. I also suggest you limit these offers as the good will of your employer is a benefit you don’t want to easily lose.
- Use the business reputation of your current employer to your advantage. If your employer is considered a leader in their industry, that can really work to your advantage. It may reflect well on you for your potential customers who know where you are employed. Again, be considerate of how you promote yourself. You don’t want to say your employer is endorsing your work if, in fact, that is not the case.
For more reading on being a jobrepreneur, check out Cassandra Black’s article at AssociatedContent.com.
[Original Photo Credit:Maveric2003]
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Friday, January 18th, 2008 |
I’m starting a new feature on U-Turn Ahead called “Coryan Recommends.” Every week or so I will point you to one of the many great resources on the Net for those considering a midlife career change. This week’s recommendation is the New York Times Shifting Careers Blog at http://shiftingcareers.blogs.nytimes.com.
Located in the small business section of the New York Times online, the Shifting Careers blog showcases the knowledge and writing talents of Marci Alboher. If it is true that great content is critical to creating a great blog, then Marci’s posts pass the test. Her style is engaging while the information she shares in insightful and resourceful. And, like any good blogger, she is alert to the wealth of information around the blogosphere as can be seen in today’s post, “Friday’s Links: Dads Go Back to Work, Freelancers Name Their Rates.”
The Shifting Careers blog is a regular read on my stingy RSS list. I suggest you give it a visit.
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Friday, January 11th, 2008 |
If you’re considering starting your own business and need some advice, just ask the next person you see. Everyone has advice on how to start a business. “You can start a business by just using your credit cards.” “You need at least $500,000 to start a successful business.” The advice is as varied and the individuals giving it.
So, what does it really take to start a business? And how do we tell what is myth and what really works? In his guest post on How To Change The World, author and professor Scott Shane offers the Top Ten Myths of Entrepreneurship. In he article, he corrects myths such as:
- It takes a lot of money to finance a new business.
- Venture capitalists are a good place to go for start-up money.
- Banks don’t lend money to start-ups.
I believe one of the most important myths that Shane addresses is the myth that “most entrepreneurs start businesses in attractive industries.” In his post he points out that many new business startups are in industries with a high percentage of failure. Selecting the right industry is critical to success. And Shane also makes the point that starting a business is difficult and often not very profitable. He claims that “the typical profit of an owner-managed business is $39,000 per year.” To read the entire article, click here>>>
To get trustworthy information about starting a business, without the myths and speculation, talk to real business owners or organizations that work with new businesses. Two great FREE sources of information are SBA and SCORE. The SBA, or U.S. Small Business Administration, is a branch of the U.S. federal government established to help small businesses succeed. The SBA website is a great source of information. SCORE, actually started by the SBA, is an organization of volunteer business owners and retired executives who provide counseling and advice for those starting a business. Similar resources exist in Australia at business.gov.au and in the U.K. at BusinessLink.
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Tuesday, January 8th, 2008 |
It’s been a while since I updated you on my personal career change efforts. As regular readers know, I’ve chosen the jobrepreneur path; I will keep my current employment while starting a business. A large part of my strategy is to create opportunities for career change through the active development of several different websites. U-Turn Ahead was the first of those websites that I started last November.
In past updates I spoke about the website Listonga.com. I’ve actually stopped development of that site for a couple reasons. First, I am considering changing the platform from a self-designed website created in Dreamweaver to using WordPress. The effort to design a quality website with the minimal skills I have was proving to be too much.
The second reason for delaying work on Listonga is that I wanted to launch another blog that I had been developing. On January 1st I made my first post at SevenActions.com. Seven Actions is a blog about setting goals and taking action to change your life. It, like this blog, is the direct result of things that are occuring in my own life.
So, I now have two blogs in place, another in development, and two websites on the drawing board. I am considering this time a learning experience for me. It is also a test of my commitment and interest in web-based businesses. So far, my interest is not waining.
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Sunday, December 30th, 2007 |
job•re•pre•neur [job-bruh-pruh-nur, -noor] Am. Eng. 2007, noun 1. a person who own and operates a business while employed by another. 2. a dual-career specialist who is both employed and self-employed.
The word may be new to you, but jobrepreneurs have been around for a long time. Now we have a word to describe the practiced art of working for others while working for yourself.
I coined this term to describe something I will be speaking of regularly. And being a practicing jobrepreneur, I wanted a word to describe those of us who are not ready to give up our job or our business. I’ve even added it to U-Turn’s newly revised categories list.
So, whether you freelance while still employed or wait tables and run a dog sitting business, you are a jobrepreneur. You might even be someone who is operating a business, but decided you also need a regular job. Being a jobrepreneur is a proud tradition. So go ahead. Say it out loud. I know, it doesn’t roll off the tongue. The word is a bit challenging…but then, so is being a jobrepreneur.
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