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3 Reasons to Say No to Freelance Work

As a freelancer, it’s hard to turn down work. We feel like we need to take on everything that comes our way because what if we don’t get another chance? When to Say No to Freelance Work Someday, though, you’ll reach a point where you do need to turn down work. Here are three signs that it’s time to turn down freelance work: 1. You’re Not Being Paid Enough When I first started freelancing, I accepted low pay. That’s just the way it has to be sometimes. However, as you gain experience and build your portfolio, your earnings increase. If someone is trying to lowball you, it’s time to say no. I turn down freelance work if it looks like it’s going to be a lot of effort for small pay. When I talk to potential clients, I can get an idea of what it’ll be like to work with them. In some cases, I’ve found that, even if they’re paying a high amount, it’s still not worth it to work with them. That’s right. Being paid enough isn’t just about the dollar amount and whether it’s reflective of the market rate or your skill. It’s also about what you have to put up with. One of the reasons I haven’t done any editing work, regardless of what I’m offered, is that I don’t like it. Almost any amount isn’t enough for me to do certain types of freelance work — or work with certain clients. 2. Work is Taking Over Your Life Sometimes you turn down freelance work because you’ve just got too much of it. At one time, because I hated to say no, I had so much work I was barely sleeping. And I certainly wasn’t doing anything enjoyable. My health and relationships suffered as a result. Be realistic. What’s enough? And are there ways to say no to work while still making more money? I started dropping the lower-paying clients from the roster as I quoted higher prices to new clients. This allowed me to make more money while working less. I also began putting some time into my own projects and…

Turning Your Hobby into a Business Doesn’t Have to Be Hard, Read These Tips

According to Gallup, half of employees are ready to leave their jobs. Some of these individuals might even go on to start their own businesses. While statistics indicate that half of those startup attempts will be unsuccessful, right now the small business optimism index is at its highest level since its inception 45 years ago. If you have what it takes, maybe it’s time to start your own business — maybe it’s time to haul that hobby out of the garage and put it on the market. Can Your Hobby Become a Business? So, what does it take? Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula that can guarantee you a profitable business, but there is certainly a rough recipe that the most successful startups tend to follow. Some of the ingredients in this recipe are easier to come by than others, but the more you can include, the better your odds of producing something that people want. The Right Stuff to Turn Your Hobby Into a Thriving Business If you’ve been thinking for a while about quitting your day job and striking out on your own, you’ve probably spent plenty of time polling family and friends about your idea. Really, though, you’re just looking for encouragement — otherwise, you’d be asking the professionals. The prospect of receiving truly honest feedback can be frightening, but it’s a necessary step. Early constructive criticism can help you avoid years of misguided struggling, and overcoming your fear of feedback is essential if you hope to one day make the bigger leap of relying on your current hobby for your livelihood. Because you’re planning to turn your hobby into a business, it’s a good idea to try to monetize it before your mortgage is riding on it. While you won’t yet be able to give it your full attention, testing your idea as a side hustle stage will help you determine whether there’s a market need for your product or service. It can also give you the time necessary to get the word out about your offering using guerrilla marketing tactics. Low-budget marketing is useful, but it takes time for the message to sink…

Season 3 of Small Business Revolution Looks at Saving Small Local Shops

Last February, Alton, Illinois won a half million dollar revitalization prize package from Deluxe Corp. Giving Alton’s Main Street a facelift was part of the project, but don’t be mistaken. The transformation was also about revitalizing business and community going beyond mere physical appearances. Now in its third season, “Small Business Revolution” (the TV series Deluxe created to document this transformation) gets into the struggles faced by local businesses and how the experts at Deluxe help turn things around for them, a process affecting the entire town. Small Business Trends sat down with Amanda Brinkman, Chief Brand and Communications Officer at Deluxe, and Ty Pennington, TV personality and this season’s co-host, at the Next Millennium media studios in New York City for an on-camera interview about season 3. The video and transcript are below. Season 3 is on Hulu and YouTube and you can watch all eight episodes in full — even back-to-back if you want to. For a limited time, the public is invited to nominate the town they believe should win Deluxe’s next $500,000 Small Business Revolution revitalization. ? Small Business Trends: Amanda, for the folks who haven’t watched Seasons 1 or 2, what would you tell them the Small Business Revolution is? Amanda Brinkman: Small Business Revolution is a show where each season we ask people to nominate their favorite small town and then Deluxe Corporation invests half a million dollars in revitalizing the winning town’s Main Street and small businesses. With previous seasons in Wabash, Indiana and Bristol Borough, Pennsylvania, and now with Season 3 in Alton, Illinois, the entire town is truly transformed through the Small Business Revolution because it’s more than just a show, it’s truly a movement. We’re trying to inspire people within these communities to support the small businesses that are making their town so unique. Small Business Trends: Is Alton, Illinois like a junior St. Louis or is that not accurate? How would you describe it? Ty Pennington: I think the cool thing about Alton is that it’s a unique town because of the history. It was certainly industrial at some…

25% of Americans Own a Side Business, Survey Says

A new survey from The Hartford has revealed around 57 million Americans or 25% of the population own a side business. Even though unemployment rates are low and the average wage is increasing, a lot of Americans need a side business to make ends meet. The primary reason for these side hustles is financial, with those pursuing their passion making up less than 10% of the respondent in the survey. For many of the entrepreneurs with these side businesses, their part-time venture will not lead to a full-time business. A third or 33% said it is highly unlikely it will lead to a full-time business. Another 27% were not quite sure, but they said it is somewhat/highly likely it could become a primary source of income or a full-time job. The Hartford’s 2018 Side Business Survey was carried out online in the US with the participation of 4,135 adults 18 years of age and over. Of these, 1,033 had a side business and they participated as it applies to them. Another 989 participated in a survey on future side-business intent. The survey was conducted May 7-15, 2018. Side Business Statistics More than half or 61% of the respondents had a full-time job elsewhere, with 49% stating they dedicated on average 10 hours or less to their side business. As to the reason for starting these ventures, 61% said for financial reasons followed by 16% to make a change/lifestyle, and 9% to pursue their passion. So how much do they make from the business? Most of them or 43% make less than $5,000 in a typical year. There was an equal number at 18% who made $5,000 to $10,000 and $10,000 to $30,000. Going Full-Time There is no doubt these individuals have the entrepreneurial spirit, but they pointed out different barriers which are stopping them from going full-time. Almost half or 48% said they don’t believe they can make a living at their side business. This was followed by 33% who pointed out they can’t afford to give up the income from their full-time job. Other reasons include not wanting to…

6 Non-Profit Organizations You Can Support to Help Women In Business

Women small business owners in the United States have come a long way, as I wrote in a recent post on Small Business Trends. However, in some underserved communities, there’s still a long way to go for women to achieve economic independence, financial stability or even employment. As a successful entrepreneur, how can you help? How to Support Women in Business Here are six nonprofit organizations you can support with your donations or your time. Together, they help girls and women learn job skills, start businesses, get jobs and gain financial know-how so they can take charge of their futures and those of their families. WiNGS This organization helps women in Dallas lift themselves and their families out of poverty by achieving financial well-being. WiNGS’ Women’s Enterprise Program provides free business training for women who want to start a new business or expanding an existing business. Participants develop a business plan, learn how to manage both personal and business finances, and are introduced to a network of peers and professionals who can help them succeed. The organization welcomes donations or volunteers. Learn more about WiNGS. Women’s Bean Project Colorado-based Women’s Bean Project helps chronically unemployed women exit the cycle of poverty. The organization gives unemployed women “transitional jobs” packaging dried beans and other food products (hence the unusual name). The on-the-job-training they receive prepares them to find employment outside the program. Some 93% of program participants are employed one year after leaving the program. You can donate just about anything, volunteer or mentor, or simply support the organization by purchasing their products, which are sold both online and in retail stores. Learn more about Women’s Bean Project. Digital Undivided Remember the digital divide? It still exists, but this Atlanta-based organization is slowly closing it. Digital Undivided’s 9-month BIG Incubator program guides high-potential black and Latinx women through the startup pipeline to launch their own businesses and shatter the myth that black and Latinx women can’t be successful entrepreneurs. Participants learn about customer development, product development and company development to prepare them for success. At the end of the program, participants…

The Epic Business Fails of the World’s Top Entrepreneurs (INFOGRAPHIC)

The journey of an entrepreneur is often filled with depressing lows, debt and doubt, but according to Bloomberg, entrepreneurs who fail find more success the second time around. In fact, a recently published infographic by POUND COFFEE clearly shows that some of the world’s most accomplished entrepreneurs failed at least once, if not multiple times, before blazing the trail to success. Successful Entrepreneurs Who Failed Below are a few successful entrepreneurs that failed before they ever succeeded. Peter Thiel Peter Thiel, billionaire investor and venture capitalist, was Facebook’s first institutional investor and was also one of the PayPal founders. But Thiel also failed as anyone else could ever fail. An early hedge fund he co-founded, Clarium Capital, lost ninety percent of its $7 billion dollars in assets. But failure didn’t stop him. Thiel has gone on to co-found several other startups, including Mithril Capital and Valar Ventures. Sir James Dyson Sir James Dyson wasn’t always known as the inventor of a wildly successful home product. Dyson worked on more than 5,000 prototypes that all flopped and failed before finding the right one for his Dyson vacuum cleaner. Arianna Huffington Arianna Huffington wasn’t always the darling of the online publishing world. Before her publication took off, Huffington was rejected by 36 different book publishers before finally getting her second book accepted for publication. She could have easily given up and moved on, but she didn’t. Christina Wallace Before ever becoming the vice president of the Startup Institute, Christina Wallace had to deal with the epic failure of her company – Quincy Apparel. The failure led her to stay in bed depressed for weeks, but she bounced back and used some of the lessons she learned from that failure to help the startup community. Colonel Sanders While Colonel Sanders requires no introduction today, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken faced his own bout of failures and rejections. His recipe was reportedly rejected over 1,000 times before a restaurant picked it up. Sanders founded KFC when he was 56 years old. Below is POUND COFFEE’s complete infographic that features eighteen failures from successful…

Want to Keep Learning in Your Small Business? Try These Helpful Resources and Tips

Successful business owners don’t have all the answers — they continue to learn and grow through the years. Sometimes that growth can come through personal mistakes, and sometimes it can come from helpful resources and expert guidance. If you’re interested in learning more to grow your business, check out some of these thoughts from members of the online small business community about learning new skills and gaining valuable insights. Consider the Difference Between Reach and Impressions When you’re looking at your analytics and the impact that your content is having on potential customers, there are plenty of different terms to know. Reach and impressions are two pretty common ones. And sometimes they’re even used interchangeably. But in this AMA Consulting Services blog post, Andrew Adderley offers an explanation of the two and explains why they are unique. Hone These Marketing Skills to Survive in the Age of AI Artificial intelligence is having a massive impact on the way people interact with companies online. So especially if you have a small brand that competes with companies that have far more resources, you need to have the proper skills. Neil Patel elaborates in this post on the Quick Sprout blog. Use Data to Transform the Customer Experience No matter what industry you’re in, it’s important that you never stop gaining valuable information to help your business. When you gather data about your customers, you need to be able to translate that data in a way that can actually help your business and your customers. Check out this Social Media HQ post by Steve Olenski for more thoughts on the subject. Don’t Fall for These Startup Myths Mistakes are a major part of learning as you run a business. But there are some mistakes that are common among the business community — so you can avoid them altogether by listening to expert advice. In this Noobpreneur post, Ivan Widjaya shares some of those common myths that you shouldn’t believe when running a business. Learn About Increasing Organic Traffic To grow your business, you need to be able to get more people to your…

Kickstarter Launches Designed by Artists

A new initiative called Design by Artists from Kickstarter looks to bring community-centered products with cross-category projects. Kickstarter Designed by Artists The company says it wants to elevate these projects by providing the resources artists need to build their first product. The goal is to highlight projects with social awareness as well as products which will enrich the lives of the people who use them. For small businesses who want to create products to support their community, Design by Artists is one way to showcase their project. In describing what Kickstarter wants to do with this initiative, Daniel Sharp, Outreach Specialist, Arts Team, wrote on the company blog, “We’re looking to highlight artist-designed products that take their bold ideas outside the patron, gallery, and institutional models—and put them in the hands of the community they serve.” Designed by Artists is going to be kicking off on October 15 running through November 15. The initiative will feature live projects in newsletters, social media, and other channels. Additionally, Kickstarter will have resources for artists with information on how they can scale their projects, identify manufacturers, and involve the community they want to serve. Funded Products For artists, technologist and local small businesses who want to positively impact their community, Kickstarter offers the following funded projects to inspire them. Little Sun a solar-powered phone charger to provide wider access to sustainable energy. Dulltech, is a device which makes it much easier for users to loop and synch video with their peers. Flint Water an exhibition to raise awareness and funds for the Flint Water Crisis. Kickstarter by the Numbers Since it was founded in 2009, people have pledged $3.892 billion on Kickstarter and successfully funded 150,527 projects. There were a total of 15,199,786 backers and 48,217,432 pledges overall. As of September 19, 2018, a total of 417,495 projects have been launched with a success rate of 36.7%. Technology projects have the lowest success rate at 20.05% and dance has the highest success rate at 61.83%. However, technology projects have the second highest number of funding with one or more million dollars at 101, with…

Catholic Business Owners Urged to Cut Tithes to Vatican

The main organization for Catholic owners of multi-million dollar businesses announced it placed its annual Vatican tithe in escrow following recent scandals. Legatus, a  lay organization of Catholic business owners founded by Domino’s Pizza founder Thomas Monaghan, revealed the decision Thursday, saying that while the organization remains devoted to the church, they require further clarification on the Vatican’s measures of financial accountability and how exactly their charitable contributions are used. The decision follows inquiries from Legatus members to the organization’s Board of Governors concerning Pennsylvania’s grand jury report on sexual abuse, allegations against former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, and Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano’s accusations against Pope Francis and 32 other high-ranking church officials. Recent Scandals Have Lead to a Call for Cut Tithes “The Board has decided to place the Holy See annual tithe in escrow, pending further determination (by the Board). We certainly pledge our continued devotion to Holy Mother Church, and recognize the tithe has been an important commitment of Legatus since our founding. However, in light of recent revelations and questions, we believe it appropriate to respectfully request clarification regarding the specific use of these funds,” the  letter reads. The amount Legatus is placing in escrow will total  about $820,000. Monaghan also noted in the letter Legatus’ support for Cardinal Daniel DiNardo’s  call for a thorough investigation into recent findings of widespread abuse and cover-ups within the church and further allegations against church officials. DiNardo is the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Pope Francis has thus far remained silent concerning the allegations that he played a part in covering up sexual abuse allegations against McCarrick and has actually  advocated a strategy of silence and prayer in the face of growing demands for transparency and answers. Legatus’ vision is for its members to be “Ambassadors for Christ in the Marketplace.” To that end, members must be Catholics in good standing and must president or CEO of a business that employs at least 49 people and makes at least $6.5 million in annual revenue,  according to National Catholic Register. Catholic owners of a financial service company that manages $275 million in assets…

Tips on Growing Small Businesses Like Big Ones From Ex-Googler Laszlo Bock

Sponsored Post Laszlo Bock is the co-founder and CEO of Humu. Previously, he was the Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google from 2006 to 2016. Laszlo is credited with creating the field of People Analytics, the application of academic-quality rigor and Google-paced innovation to people management. Prior to joining Google, Bock served in executive roles at General Electric and as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller, WORK RULES!, a practical guide to help people find meaning in work and improve the way they live and lead. Laszlo will be speaking at the Small Business Keynote on Thursday, September 27 at Dreamforce ‘18, which is free to attend for all-conference and Expo+ pass holders. Q: You led a huge organization at Google and built an award-winning culture there — what motivated you to take the leap into building your own startup? A: I believe that you can have a disproportionate impact on the world around you through HR. We spend more time working than we do anything else. In my old job, Google’s leadership supported open sourcing and the sharing of a lot of what we did on the people side. But I really wanted to keep making more and more of a difference — and not just at Google. I spent a lot of time thinking about how I could combine the lessons learned at Google with what I’d seen at other companies I was privileged enough to interact with, and combining them all in a way that could actually make all companies work better for everyone, everywhere. I realized the only way to do this was to build a team and develop it ourselves. Q: What were some learnings from your experience working at large organizations that were helpful in your entrepreneurial journey? Were there any surprises that didn’t translate to the startup environment? A: My past roles have been both fantastic and terrible preparation for startup life in a number of ways. Terrible in that there’s a skill-set a founder and CEO needs that’s hard to build inside of consulting or HR. In…

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