Friday, March 30, 2007

Business therapy and financial blueprints

Looking for a little guidance, I paid a visit to SCORE last week to see what they had to offer. Mel Howard is one of the 50 retired executives in the New York Metro area that give free advice to entrepreneurs wanting to start or launch their businesses. He listened attentively to my idea and suggested a few simple steps to get me started. It was like getting free therapy for my business! Unfortunately he says that 90% of the people that visit them never come back... They have counselors that specialize in real estate, personal consulting, finance, banking, international trade, retail, manufacturing, apparel, accounting, pharmaceuticals, marketing, advertising, public relations, computer business systems, taxes, engineering and construction, transportation, electronics - and you can request to speak with whoever the expert is in the field you're interested in. These guys have actually owned these types of businesses, and I'll probably be needing help in a lot of those areas, so I'll definitely be back. And they can also act as mentors (see Why you need a Mentor).

Me and a couple of the Mogulettes also attended T. Harv Eker's seminar last week. I was a little disappointed that Eker never showed up and sent one of his lead facilitators in his place. But still I got a lot of out it, like (and I'm paraphrasing) the difference between rich people and poor people is that rich people feel the same fear and self-doubt that poor people do but they take actions anyway... and we all have problems and we will continue to have problems - the key is to grow bigger than our problems, so they'll seem small. It's all about changing my financial blueprint, which right now is set to thinking small. Here's to aiming high!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Building my very own field of dreams

Great news! As a way to expand our business plan circle, I've created a Mogulette Meetup page so that more fabulous business "fempreneurs" can join us. After having had a couple of failed attempts in getting my business ideas off the ground, the one thing I have clear is that I can't do it alone. I need the energy and strength of like-minded souls so that I don't lose my mojo. And the more the merrier, as they say!

To stay on track with my vision and my business plan I've come to realize I need to create structures in my life. Our weekly meetings achieve that - I know that I have to get certain things done before I meet again with the Mogulettes. I'm not sure if it's laziness or fear but if I don't have that incentive, I won't do it (the No Limits Ladies blog has another good idea: join the "Rich Woman" book study). Which brings me to my Business Philosophy: more than anything else I would like my company to reflect a welcoming and supportive atmosphere. Just as I need help in reaching my goals, others need it too, and I'd like to provide that.

In the words of Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams: "If you build it they will come." I truly believe that if I build my "field of dreams" people will come, but the planning process is taking a bit longer than I expected. When I shared these thoughts with a friend recently he reminded me that what's important is to keep going. He claims that it takes 50 actions to make an extra $25,000. Well I don't know if those numbers are exactly right but it made me realize that "Rome wasn't built in a day", and I just need to keep taking actions and let go of the results...

I was very inspired by a NY Times article about how Ina Garten , the Barefoot Contessa, started out (check it out: The Barefoot Impresario). She had no idea she'd be this successful in the beginning but she kept on going, and look at her now!

Next week we'll be taking a field trip to listen to T. Harv Eker, author of "Secrets of the Millionaire Mind". He's giving afree seminar in New York.

Until then, live fearlessly!!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Preparing for take-off

We thank you for flying Mogulette Airlines. Please fasten your seat belts as it may be a bumpy ride. Our final destination will fill in the blank!

Our next stop after Mission Statements is Goals and Objectives. This is the stuff that's going to move us towards our vision. I love what Jill Koenig, the "Goal Guru" says on her blog: "Small Goals invite small effort. Big Goals inspire a much higher level of performance. Big Goals inspire miracles" (see full text here).

I followed Jan King's advice in her book, "Business Plans to Game Plans", and came up with 3 big picture goals for the first three years of operations. She says objectives should be big, bold and highly motivational. I really like the sound of that! Here's my list:

Year 1: Build the infrastructure for my business
Year 2: Expand locally and branch out into additional products & services
Year 3: Expand out of state and into the Hispanic market; provide free services to underprivileged clients

For each goal she suggests setting up 5 objectives, and making sure they're realistic. Some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do your objectives further the intent of your vision and mission?
  • If you completed all of the objectives, would you feel you have accomplished something that is key for the company's overall success?
  • Are the objectives realistic within the time frame allotted?
  • Are the objectives realistic given the circumstances of the current market?
  • Are the objectives realistic given your resources in terms of staff, time and money?
According to King, "the owner or CEO should decide corporate objectives based on what trends have led to this point, what resources are available to the organization this year and what opportunities are open in the market". So it helps to have done the soul searching we did in our past meetings (see "Existential Angst", below) in order to come up with ideas for goals.

When I shared my goals and objectives with Martha, my fellow Mogulette, it felt like part fantasy, part wishful thinking, but I was totally jazzed thinking of all the possibilities! The engines on Mogulette Airlines are definitely revving up...

I also found some useful tips on goal setting at

Next up:
Business Philosophy: What is important to you in business? What do you want your company to stand for? For example, for Federal Express it’s speed, for Apple it’s quality, design and innovation, for Wal-mart it’s wide product selection...