Why People Play the Odds

It seems that everything is getting harder these days, including the lottery. The recent Powerball odds went from 1 in 175 to 1 in 292 million. More numbers have been added, which means the odds have gotten tougher. It’s also gotten twice as hard to win that second prize if you are lucky enough to get all of the correct numbers except the Powerball number.

play the odds

play the odds

Even though we have a better chance of being killed by an asteroid strike, millions of Americans still play the lottery every week. Millions still play the odds. And it’s not just the lottery.

Every year eager young actors, writers, and directors flock to New York City and Hollywood for a chance to make it big. Even though the odds of actually getting on the A list are slim, there is never a shortage of talent that wants to prove everyone wrong.

According to Harvard Business School only 18% of entrepreneurs succeed in their first business venture. Yet every day new entrepreneurs enter the market. [Read more…]

Where are the Entrepreneurs?

I wrote a post several months ago called “Is the Entrepreneurial Spirit Dead?” Well, according to new research at the Brookings Institute, it appears it very well may be. Their data shows that new business creation has been on the decline for the past several decades and for the first time in many years the failure of businesses is outpacing the creation of businesses. It seems that entrepreneurs across the country are getting discouraged.

entrepreneurs

entrepreneurs

This is a scary thought. According to the Small Business Administration roughly 64% of all net new jobs that were created between 1993 and 2011 were created by small business owners. If we aren’t cranking out any new entrepreneurs, we aren’t creating enough new jobs.

Before the economic collapse I had 3 great employees. As much as I tried to hold on to them, eventually I couldn’t keep them. Payroll is one of the biggest expenses a small business has. If there isn’t enough business coming in to justify having them, you have to let them go. And believe me, no one wants to lose a great employee. [Read more…]

How the On Demand Economy Will Create More Entrepreneurs

on demand economy

on demand economy

With more people working more hours, consumers are becoming more demanding. I don’t mean that in a bad way, but we’re just too busy to be tied down to a time frame. If you don’t believe me, when was the last time your entire family sat down to a scheduled dinnertime? Instead we’ve become an on demand society and an on demand economy.

So, what does that mean for the entrepreneur of the future? More money, more markets, more customers, more products and more services. But they have to be delivered on demand. [Read more…]

4 Steps to Making an Idea Happen

making an idea happen

making an idea happen

I hear it from entrepreneurs every day. “I have a great idea!” You probably hear it a lot if you watch “Shark Tank”. Everyone with a great idea really believes in it. They think it can change the world, and maybe it can. But there’s a huge difference between having a great idea and actually making an idea happen.

Thomas Edison said “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”. I couldn’t agree more. I’m not saying that great ideas aren’t great. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Turning them into a valid product, service, or business that people will want to spend money for can be a Herculean task, especially if you don’t have money or the knowledge you need to see it through and get it on the market.

But that should never, ever stop you from following it through. Just know that you will have to put a certain amount of sweat, blood and tears into your new venture and be prepared for it. Here are 4 ways to make the journey a little bit easier: [Read more…]

Learn From the Mistakes of Others

I often wonder who the first food tasters were and how they knew what was poisonous and what wasn’t. Maybe this is why there are so few real innovators because being the first to do something can be scary and sometimes dangerous. We like to know that someone else has been through the trial and error first before we decide to jump in.

learning from others

learning from others

I was in the grocery store today looking up at the eggs on the shelf and a woman leaned over and said “Be careful”. She pointed at the ground to a pile of egg yolks with a big footprint in it. “I learned the hard way”, she said, “I almost slipped and broke my neck”.

The first thing I thought was what a tragedy it would be to break your neck on a pile of egg yolks in the grocery store. Not skiing the Alps or drag racing at 150 miles an hour, but in the egg aisle at Ralph’s. [Read more…]