Archives for November 2009

The 7 Harsh Realities of Starting a Business

hit in the face

I have coffee, lunch, and dinner with a few entrepreneurs on a weekly basis. When we get together, I hear about their so-called revolutionary business ideas, how great their teams are, and how much more money they need to take their businesses to the next level.

After doing this for a few years, I became tired of hearing the BS that comes from most entrepreneurs.

So, for all of you entrepreneurs reading this blog post, here are the 7 harsh realities you need to know if you want to succeed.

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How Being a “Patel” Made Me Somewhat Successful

patel

While watching The Real Housewives of Orange County yesterday, I was shocked to find out that 4 out of the 6 housewives were broke. I couldn’t find their salaries, but if The Real Housewives of NYC are getting paid $30,000 an episode, the ones in Orange County must be making more.

Even if you account for the recession, there is no reason why these housewives should have financial troubles. The only conclusion I could come to is that they are spending all of their incomes, similarly to 78% of athletes who go broke.

I don’t want to be judgmental because these are their lives, and they can live them however they want. What did occur to me, however, is that if they were a “Patel”, they would have never found themselves in this situation.

There are several reasons why many Patels do well, but the main one is we are cheap.

The primary reason I am somewhat successful, I believe, is because of what my parents taught me when I was growing up. They didn’t groom me into being a businessman, but they taught me what their parents taught them.

Here are some of the things I learned  that helped me as I got older:

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My Million Dollar Mistake

big mistake

As I have mentioned to you in the past, I’ve made a lot of mistakes. Luckily, most of these mistakes were small and didn’t cause much harm to my business or me personally. But on one occasion, my mistake not only brought my business down, but it also almost bankrupted me.

Here is the story of my million-dollar mistake.

The early days

Towards the end of my high school career, I started my first real Internet business. The business was called Advantage Consulting Services (ACS), which consulted small- to medium-sized businesses on their Internet marketing strategies.

At first, like most businesses, ACS struggled. But through blogging, speaking at industry events, and cold calling, my business partner and I were able to grow ACS into a cash cow.

During our peak, we were pulling in millions of dollars with high profit margins. Once ACS started to do well, my business partner and I decided to expand, but we didn’t expand in a good way.

Most entrepreneurs would expand their core business and try to accelerate its growth. But my business partner and I aren’t like most entrepreneurs. We decided we would be different and expand into new ventures that weren’t related to our core business.  [click to continue…]

Beginner’s Guide to Finding the Right Business Partner

bad business partner

Finding the right business partner isn’t easy. I have been an entrepreneur for about 8 years and I have been through my fair share of business partners. And although I have been blessed with having some great partners, I have also had a few that didn’t work out.

The business partners that didn’t work out weren’t necessarily bad guys and they didn’t do anything wrong, but for one reason or another things just didn’t work out.

Now before I go into finding the right business partner, I want to break down some reasons on why you should have a business partner:  [click to continue…]