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Thank you for your interest. Copies of the book are available on Amazon in Kindle, paperback and hard cover formats. If you would like further information about bulk sales or the 11 Things workshop, please make contact. I sincerely hope you enjoy the book and find the content valuable and useful. The Exit Plan Show: Dini starts off by helping you answer one of the universal questions that many exit planning books ask: When should I sell my business?

His answer, however, is different than most. Funny — but accurately to the point. To best direct your time from most to least important, set up email addys like you would a coded post office box: Include the customized email address ON the web page it corresponds to; this will help you quickly identify the most urgent matters.

I too have a 3 year old business and can totally relate. My business is raw,vegan foods to go, so I do eat better and less out of a can. Keep on shining that bright light. I believe that will be my new goal for this month. Thanks for sharing this insightful article with us! I can relate to so many of the points mentioned by you — and especially the one about working with friends. It is SO crucial to have clear rules and agreements and also keep things professional when working with people that we know well.

Otherwise things get blurred and in the worst case friendships get affected. I also learned we have to choose so wisely with whom we work with in the first place! Still a lot to learn for me…. I love your candor! Entrepreneurship is tough and a lot of people are naive to the challenges associated with building a business. I love when people talk about the struggles and how they have overcome. Here are three Marketing Rules that I wish I knew a year ago!

I think 1 cannot be stressed enough. We are more than technicians. We must be business owners. Hi Stephanie — I shared your amazing post on our zenPeak blog — thinking that mid-career people who are considering going into business for themselves, can learn a lot from your experience! I cannot begin to tell you how bloody brilliant that post was. Plus, with this current path I had this whole 7-da work week mentality.

I needed to decompress and handle my OWN stuff the way I was doing for everyone else. You are on point lady!! Woke up to this blog post in my inbox. Have a great day!! Thanks for the post. One thing I would add is to make sure to do things other than your business. Take time for yourself doing something that isnt business related.

Take a yoga class, join a boardgame or new language group, hike do something that gets you out of the house, aka your office, around people who arent clients, and your mind off of selling and running your business. What often happens is that you will find solutions to problems as well as garner new clients when you arent thinking of either. A step away from the business is healthy for you and your business. Also if its a particularly necessary piece or hard to find parts it would be a good idea to have spares or be prepared to be out of business till they arrive.

Just wanted to reach out and say congrats! I had a moment to read your article and it absolutely connected with me in every way! Cheers to you following your dreams, and risking smartly. Cheers to you and your business. Every time I have made a major step with my business , I have had zero dollars in my account. I highly recommend talking walks, swimming….

I have also found taking weekends off is key. I work my ass of the rest of the time. Also, get a brilliant bookkeeper. They are worth every penny. This was like looking into a mirror. Yes, yes and yes. Soul sister, will be following you for sure! I teach entrepreneurship to college students and I am so going to include this in my curriculum…. Glad you liked it Steve! The one thing that I have experienced is that if you find a need and fill it, you will prosper.

You might be wonderful at what you do, or you might have the best product on the market, but if no one needs it you are up a creek. I have not yet read all of your content but I like your philosophy. I look forward to hearing what you have to say. Maybe I will learn something. Best wishes to all. As a fellow entrepreneur, I have literally been through all of this in my first year.

And now 6 months down the road, I am two months behind and therefore dangerously close to the empty bank account. And today as I sit in my office ready to throw up my hands, I run across this ass-kicking that was so dearly needed. And a reminder that I will only fail if I allow myself to fail. I agree with almost everything here. Except the idea of creating an alternative revenue stream. Hi Tim — I agree with you, except 4 might happen. Get on the effin phone and Get it done!!

Great read and all are perfect. I am going into my 4th year and I would add delusional thinking. I have used numbers from past experiences to project our successes and none have held true. I started my business 6 years ago and I have to agree with your 11 points.

I would like to elaborate on one point and make a point. Marketing — If you are not talking to a potential client about your business then no one is talking about your business.


  • John F. Dini.
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Many of my friends want to own real estate in other cities or part time or a car wash or any other hard asset they think they are going to sit back and collect money on. The simple reality is if it is not apart of your life everyday you will lose interest. Take it from a guy who started out in his garage apartment with a plastic Santa Clause as an office mate to a thriving small business owner with offices in Houston Chicago and LA. Make every important decision by running it through that mission and seeing if it furthers or aligns with it. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.

Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.

Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! Stumbled upon you through a Facebook share. So glad I did! Ok you are one funny ass Human. Thanks for the inspiration, I have to get off my ass now. Somebody much wiser than me and completely successful keeps telling me: She also gave me a book that I read when I feel like I am sliding into that territory. I think you would like it. You nailed it on the head all the way — thank you for a great read. If ever you are in need of a Martini in Seattle…also, what do you need to make your bidness grow?

After crashing and burning with not one, but two businesses, I finally shook off the dust and am now soaring. Resistance is the biggest problem, at least for me. Believe in yourself folks! I so needed that…right now. Addressed everything I have been feeling. Look for the negative space and go there. If you are hell bent on replicating someone else you better have really deep pockets and be way better than they are-or be bored. I really enjoyed everything you had to say!

I would add something about accounting. As a Music Therapist in private practice, it was necessary for me to create a simple system for tracking income, tax deductible and non-deductible expenses, my IRA, and general money management. I do it with pen and paper, even though I know fine software is available.

Many creative people shun accounting, but it is essential. Oh my stars… YES. YES to all eleven and all the commentary in between. I laughed, even when it rang sooooo very true. I just read your article. I always felt the need to have the security blanket of a paycheck especially when children came along. But the misery of working for firms became unbearable such that all fears evaporated and I discovered the other side of fear is freedom.

However, the reality of developing and nurturing my own business is a challenge and I appreciate your words of wisdom. The ONLY thing I would add is that, when in the depths of despair between 4 and 5, hire the most amazing business coach ever—one who knows how to market. Thank you for being who you are and sharing pure authentic truth with the world. I have been working online since as a Life, Business and Marketing Coach and I am saddened by how many people who have been hoodwinked into thinking entrepreneurship was a walk in the park on a Sunday afternoon on the Sunniest Day on most beautiful day in Spring.

You can also be a stand up comedian but the teller of the truth about being a business owner. Thanks a million for posting your personal experiences in a very entertaining way. Stephanie — great post, thank you for sharing your experience. The biggest challenge is my own resistance — what you said. Thank you for this kick ass blog post!!! I feel good doing it, but it goes against ever gain in m being. You are spot on with all of these points. I want to say thank you for writing this article. I am a jack of all trades wearing hats in several settings. I feel like a hobbyist and not a business owner, because I am not profitable just concept rich.

Thank you for the this most needed and timely newsletter! Thanks go to mutual connection, Michael Roderick! Like all your points. Finding good valued books and owners that experienced the failures is such a key to learning the realities of owning a business. I wish you luck in your endeavors!!! This is awesome, thank you. Many of my fears you have covered here — and have clearly gone through. This has given me a proverbial kick in the butt, in a really nice way actually. Have subscribed, and I look forward to future articles! This is a new hurdle and something that is HARD to do!

Those are the three things I recommend: That is all I kept saying as I read this. It was like you took a peek inside my mind right now. I think you should make this a poster somehow. I need it pasted in front of my eyeballs as I work. Just found you via Cakecentral. Thanks for putting them in words for me, just what I needed to read today.

Exellent writing — love your wits and humor! This article just gave me life! Totally resonated with me as I am realizing that every bit of what you shared is true!

11 Things You Absolutely Need to Know About Selling Your Business

Executing the gift is one thing but managing it is another. Thank you for writing this! So if I had seen this 15 years ago, it might not have sunk in ie. It has been a full court press, a roller coaster ride from hell and the biggest personal growth machine ever. I love the person it produced,: I just got referred to your writing and loved it. Gave you a shout-out on a piece I wrote here: The first thing I would tell someone starting a business is to read your blog! Brilliant and very entertaining, I like your style. The next thing is exposure, getting yourself in front of potential customers.

You eloquently made the point that you have to just do it, as now is the only time we have. One of the most lucid and helpful blog posts I have read in a long time. Much wisdom in this. Read it daily for one month. By far the best article I have read recently.

You are amazingly accurate! I have been in the financial planning business for 11years and I have been broke, scared, sort of broke, terrified and I survived!!!! Now I am successful and loving life and my career! I am afraid of nothing. Great article that I needed to read. I too am a coach and feel the stress of getting the business off the ground code for paying the bills.

I am 15 months into the journey. I have had to learn all I can about marketing. I feel it paying off, but it is hard. This might be a black beans and rice week for my family. I really enjoyed the 11 things you should know. I would like to add that knowing about some basic tax stuff helps. How to keep receipts and what are tax write offs etc. I pay big bucks for tax prep! Also the ability to constantly reinvent yourself within your field and making yourself indispensable. The business of music is my field but it is like old dinosaurs evolving and changing, especially on the classical end of the job scene.

Feeling confident when I pick up the phone and being positive when asking about gigs! The old stock tip of diversifying helps me in my field of music performance. The minute I get negative or feel like I am holding onto to the old vision of my dreams with fear I stop seeing myself as a musician of expanding genres and talents…. I also do a planning of my day with a visualization I really like and it helps my day so I can go from the networking end to actually feeling like I have energy for the product of music which is most important and must come out in my personal practice time.

Thank you for your article and best of luck to all who venture forth into the great and exciting unknown!

11 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Business - smashplex.com

After 9 years I still deal with some if those! Your words were just what I needed to hear. Great article, the 2 year rule is so important for planning. I loved the 4 Rockstars you threw in a blender, but at the end of everything, did you look more like That Girl http: A professional distances themselves from the work. So true in being self aware and objective about evaluating your product from other similar products in the marketplace.

Why is one coach better than another? The ability to stand back and evaluate the efficacy of their work, and clients can recognize that skill. The clients and customers are then are best advertisement the business can have. It seems to work well for Rolls Royce and Steinway — neither are the largest corporations of their respective fields, and both have miniscule advertising budgets — their clients do that for them. I used that philosophy of excellence in the success of my service based business. It becomes your touchstone, your 12 month, 24 month plan.

I think another lesson I learned is once you pull the trigger and commit to starting a business, put a lock on your credit cards, your checkbook, your ATM card when it comes to personal spending. You hope not to hemorage money, but it always costs more than you think. Because you are going to need every dollar, every quarter, every dime, every nickel, every penny for your business. I love being a business owner. I hope you have sorted out your own planning, but if not, or for anyone else that wants it a few years ago I designed a spreadsheet to help people plan their business finances and to test out the viability.

I helped over people start their business using it and since I no longer do that type of work have given it away FREE for several years. I do it as a pay it forward, you use it and then you do someone else a favour of your own choice! Someone just shared this and I felt like you just told my story- but in a MUCH funnier and better way than I ever could.

I have been in business for 3 years now, and still trying to beat back the urge to resist marketing does that EVER go away? What a brilliant blog post- I am going to share this with everyone I know and I help people with their Etsy businesses and with their websites and they need to read everything you write- so do I. Thank you for making my day! When I finally took on board these two pieces of advice I entered the law of attraction.

I feel like I went through the same exact process. Everyone sees me as a young 25 successful entrepreneur, doing something deeply meaningful, traveling the world, living the dream… but there are days where I feel like I am on the verge of a melt down! The amount of work and responsibility I have, plus the pressure that I put on myself by setting high expectations really takes its toll on my mental well-being… plus trying to live up to what others think of me and trying to please every client can be exhausting at times.

I am glad I am not the only one. I also started this business right after I got divorced. I left a marriage broken, so I poured my heart and soul into this business, I put all my time, money and love into it. Even through all the hardship I still love it. I am getting better at it everyday. Thanks for your post!!!

Doing web development, I started working remotely and quickly found how the same things that I loved about it nobody around to distract me, I can get up to do something else whenever I want, I can work whenever I want, I can eat whenever I want, I can sleep in, etc were also the very same things that I could allow to hold me back. This hit a cord with me so much. Thank you for all of this!!

Sharing with all my girl with ladyballs! I have the 12!!! Of course, with your first 11 steps! Marketing and advertising savvy is a Godsend!

30 - 11 Things You Absolutely Need To Know About Selling Your Business

Why pay for something you can do yourself? Blog to direct traffic to your business. This is a huge problem. One might argue I should have waited to start my biz, but as a clinical psychologist, this was the path I wanted. Thanks for this insightful article. Seriously, thanks for this. Fucking brilliant, no-nonsense, well-written article. Totally sharing this on social media. I never expected this but no matter how much o worked on my business, i never thought it was enough, there was always more to do.

I started my first business in I have learned these lessons the hard way! The learning curve is so steep in entrepreneurship but in many ways it has been the best personal development journey I could have gone on. Although I still wish I had learned the lessons sooner!! His insight and advice is priceless. She mentions taking time off. Lastly, Pareto is your friend: Stephanie, just wanted to say thank you for a bloody fabulous article about the truth of starting your own business.

Well written…I like your style! I have of course shared it with my own tribe. I too am a writer among many other things and have been in business for myself since I was 16 yrs old which was a while ago and as you so well stated: To this day; the biggest challenge we have to deal with is our own resistance. With gratitude and respect, Dov…. Thank you so much Steph, this is great advice. To help myself stay grounded I take on one project. I then start with the one that resonates with my beliefs.

Make sure I finish that project before starting another as it can become overwhelming with too much on the go. Who do I want to be today? This helps keep me in alignment with my beliefs, being true to myself. This is important as this shapes my day, my experiences. Hope this can be of some help. Just a part of what I do.

Than you once again Steph. Great tips and yes, these things happen to entrepreneurs — I know this because I am one — 2 years into my business! One item that I have encountered is that from time to time you have to work as a Collections Agent — reminding clients that the bill is due. I loved this article so much. I love your humour but mostly what you say is so valid. I so get all that. As a new business start up I am having self doubt and also realising that as much as I want to paint all day, I need to work hard to get people to attend my art workshops. Thank you for the inspired words.

I have a Facebook page for female entrepreneurs and I was wondering if you would want to post or allow me to post this message on my page? That would be awesome! I will look into the books and writers you are recommending!. Thank you for your fun writing and comforting words: Melissa — Hello there in Holland!

I want to come visit someday, okay? Feel free to post the link — that would be wonderful. Thank you for sharing my work with your tribe. And stay in touch — I would love to support you on your entrepreneurship journey.

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A thousand Amen to your article. It just articulated everything, that I have felt as an entrepreneur. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post and man could I relate! I was totally engaged and hung on to every word. I am living the life you wrote about. I know this, so what is wrong with me? And on and on…….. I am going to get the book you recommended and follow your inspirational blog post! This is brilliant and spot-on. Turns out I was right and could have saved a lot of time and energy if I listened!

Thanks for this — every new entrepreneur should read this. It is also that little voice, that gut that always tells me am on the track and that I will succeed in business. I am just torn between so many things right now: The only other recommendation I could add is: I found another budding entrepreneur who could also use some help and we collaborated with me paying her a bit when I can afford it, or trading time when we both need to get some things done now! I love your article and I am papering my studio with it as a daily reminder!!

Inversely, know your place at the moment and work that place until you have exhausted its value. Put simply, exhaust step one and JUMP onto step two! Thanks for writing this. Really good, liberating stuff. Thank you for sharing this wise light in such an entertaining manner. I just read you post on Medium and had to respond. Thanks for making my evening a joyful experience.

How do I define a good ass-kick? When ouch comes out as a laugh-of-delight. And the bruise looks kind of like a roadmap. And if you keep taking of you and you biz partner does too , and you just keep getting up doing the next best thing…it all does turn a corner. But this is like driving in the thickest fog ever.. My two biggest encouragements to entreps are: Just enjoy your work, market from the heart, and keep taking care of YOU.

This had me laughing from the beginning! Just what I needed to see. I totally know that one Lewis. It takes a lot of trust to be confident that if you take your foot off the gas pedal for one day a week that everything is not going to fall apart. As I mentioned, it was my biggest challenge too. I found a way to build relationships with my readers and clients that had nothing to do with selling to them. And it felt great to me. One way was just to send my latest free stuff posts and videos to their inboxes so happy you will be one of them!

Another way was to curate some cool stuff on Pinterest and share that. And another way was to give a free 30 minute phone call to anyone who buys my Vision Board or Soulful Entrepreneurship workshop. I LIKE talking to my clients.

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It feels organic and natural to do business this way. I am rooting for you all the way! Day on day having to re-learn, and re-dream and re-energise, again and again. Somewhat like meditation where we start again and again and again. Thank goodness I had my practice of connecting each day with my meditation, or else I surely would have been lost. Love your view of the world.. Sarah — thank you so much!

Meditation has saved my sanity and keeps me humming at high vibe — even when the vagaries of entrepreneurship threaten to swing me by the tail. If I had a message for new entrepreneurs, it would be: Become NUMB to it. Thank you so much for this piece! It makes a lot of sense. I am one year on the way now and have been away traveling 6 months of it. Especially your comment that it will be zig-zaggy..

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Yes, the human experience is a messy one, not like in the glossy magazines. So thank you very much. This article has been a very welcome pep-talk. I will follow your blog and read more often: Keep creating and keep giving to your tribe. Lead with love always! Let me know how I can support you! Thanks for this great post! I am a music therapist in private practice in Oregon and have just passed the one-and-a-half year mark with my business.

Thanks for the reminder. Also, have a support network of like minded individuals. I belong to a Facebook group of private practice music therapists. Such beautiful work you put into the world. Thank you for the good advice shared with everyone reading here. I have several friends who went through it. Whatever your preferred outcome, you need to start planning for it while you still have time and options.

The beautiful part is that if you start early enough, the process will lead you to build a better, stronger, more resilient company, as well as one with a higher market value. Unfortunately, most owners find that stepping out of the picture is extremely difficult because their business relies too heavily on their personal involvement. Without them, their company —no matter how big or profitable— is essentially worthless. Too many businesses sell for far less than they should! After pouring time, energy, and money into their company, owners deserve to squeeze every last dollar they can from that hard-earned investment.

This is the playbook needed to win big at the closing table. Readers will discover how to: This book is written so everyone — from frontline employees to senior executives — can get aligned in contributing to the growth of a firm. The goal of this book is to help you turn what feels like an anchor into wind at your back — creating a company where the team is engaged; the customers are doing your marketing; and everyone is making money.