Immigrants and the American Dream of Business Ownership

“According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners, among the Fortune 500 companies, 40% were created by first- or second-generation immigrants.” – Sari Pekkala Kerr and William R. Kerr, “Immigrant Entrepreneurship in America: Evidence from the Survey of Business Owners,” National Bureau of Economic Research.

This week we’ve been focusing on Hispanic & Latino entrepreneurship. There’s so much to discuss about this booming sector of small business owners but the issues are apparent for all groups of immigrant entrepreneurs. With entrepreneurship considered as the cornerstone to our country’s economic recovery and with so many immigrants interested in the American Dream of business ownership, it makes perfect sense to address these issues sooner rather than later.

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In many ways, immigrant entrepreneurs are no different than other small business owners. They start with a dream. They nurture the seed. And, if all goes well, it grows – bigger than even they had imagined.

The difference for immigrant entrepreneurs: they often start with fewer resources than the native-born. They struggle with things that other small business owners take for granted. And when they need help, they often have no one to turn to – no one but family or an informal network of other newcomers facing the same barriers.

Last year, Opportunity America conducted a series of round-table-like discussions with immigrant entrepreneurs including blue-collar Mexican Americans in Chicago, white-collar Mexican Americans in Phoenix, and a mixed group of Asian Americans – Indian, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Middle Eastern immigrants – in St. Louis.

The two questions at the heart of this Kauffman Foundation-funded research, which also included a small online survey: what accounts for the extraordinary entrepreneurial energy many newcomers bring to the U.S., and what barriers do they face in starting and growing businesses?

The responses showed that immigrants are twice as likely as native-born Americans to launch new businesses. Their firms often look similar to other startups: a little smaller, but with similar seed capital and a similar volume of sales per employee. Some are wildly successful – we all know the iconic brands. But many grow more slowly than other small businesses, and they are more likely to fail.

More than half of those who responded to the survey said they had always wanted to own their own businesses. Another 40% said they were drawn by the flexibility and independence of entrepreneurship. Fewer than 5% said they could find no other suitable employment.

Many seemed to feel that entrepreneurship was something they learned from their parents or others in the immigrant enclaves where they came of age – part of their immigrant DNA.

According to an article in Harvard Business Review, if you’re lucky enough to have received a Covid-19 vaccination, you probably have an immigrant entrepreneur to thank. Not only are Pfizer, BioNTech, and Moderna pioneers in the field of mRNA-based vaccine research; they were all founded or cofounded by immigrants.

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Recent research explored a more hidden driver of immigrant entrepreneurship: personality-based self-selection. The decisions to emigrate voluntarily and to start a company are both associated with high levels of risk. Entrepreneurs of all types face the threat of business failure.

As a study of startups in several OECD countries showed, just above 60% survive past their third birthday, and only 40% make it past their seventh one. Immigrants, too encounter significant additional risks, from unemployment or underemployment to xenophobia and psychological trauma.

BusinessRecord.com reports, immigrants are still coming to the United States in search of the American Dream. And though there’s no shortage of ideas or drive to start new businesses, they do have to overcome a multitude of challenges that American-born entrepreneurs don’t face. A restrictive and limited visa process, cultural barriers, a complex, foreign legal system and too much self-reliance can often hinder their growth.

Despite the many hurdles they have to overcome, how have such a large number of immigrants been able to push forward and start something where others, who were born in the U.S. have not? What can we learn from them?

With so much at stake for the future of our country, what more can we do to help immigrant entrepreneurs achieve the American Dream of business ownership?

If entrepreneurship is truly the path to economic recovery as has been stated many times over the past few years, then doesn’t it make sense to do more to encourage entrepreneurship while also providing resources for ALL individuals and groups interested in pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors, and regardless of their backgrounds?

Well, one way is to develop programs like The Hispanic Entrepreneur Initiative. But there must be other initiatives. If you know of any, please let me know and I will do my part to promote them. In future editions of Acceler8Success Cafe, I will focus more on Immigrant Entrepreneurship – addressing both continuing challenges and solutions.

With my goal of helping as many people and groups as I can to achieve success as entrepreneurs, I firmly believe immigrants must not be left behind.

Have a great day. Make it happen. Make it count!

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month With a Focus on Entrepreneurship

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively.

Promoting Entrepreneurship to the Hispanic Community

Yesterday, I shared a recent experience about Acceler8Success Group President, Erik Premont’s participation in an all “Spanish” panel at Franchise Expo South in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

To clarify an often misunderstood point, Erik reminded me Hispanic and Latino are often used interchangeably though they actually mean two different things. Hispanic refers to people who speak Spanish or are descended from Spanish-speaking populations, while Latino refers to people who are from or descended from people from Latin America. Nevertheless, it’s typical to see either of the terms used to describe business ownership by these groups.

Further, he reminded me that Portuguese and French are also spoken in some Latin American communities – two languages that he is fluent in speaking and understanding to go along with Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, and of course, English.

Erik is also quite knowledgeable about the various cultures associated with these languages. He often tells me, it’s not only what is being said, but how it’s being said, and in the context of the person’s country of origin.

Read the article, Hispanic Entrepreneurship Front & Center at Franchise Expo South here.

Several times, I have also shared our participation in The Hispanic Entrepreneur Initiative with Michael Dermer and The Lonely Entrepreneur.

The basis of this initiative, is for organizations to sponsor a certain number of Hispanic entrepreneurs who will receive free access to The Lonely Entrepreneur Learning Community – a one stop shop for the knowledge, tools and support a current or aspiring Hispanic entrepreneur needs to start or grow a business.

Learn more about The Hispanic Entrepreneur Initiative here.

Spearheaded by Erik Premont, Acceler8Success Group has committed to expand its efforts to drive Hispanic entrepreneurship and what better time than to accelerate these efforts during Hispanic Heritage Month.

Our goal is to continue to assist Hispanics (and Latinos) in achieving the American Dream of business ownership whether via franchising or business acquisition. In addition, we are also focused on assisting current Hispanic entrepreneurs bring their concepts to the United States.

According to the Joint Economic Committee Hispanic Entrepreneurship and Business Brief:

  • Nearly one in four new businesses is Hispanic-owned.
  • The nearly 5 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States contribute more than $800 billion to the American economy annually.
  • There are more than 300,000 Hispanic-owned, employer businesses located across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. These enterprises employ at least one employee other than the owner.
  • Hispanic employer businesses employ about 1 million workers, with more than $100 billion in annual payroll. The number of Hispanic-owned businesses that employ at least one employee other than the owner increased by 14% between 2012 and 2017 — more than twice as fast as the national average.
  • In the decade preceding the pandemic, the number of Hispanic business owners increased 34% compared to an increase of just 1% among non-Hispanic business owners.

The Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative (SLEI) at Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB), in collaboration with the Latino Business Action Network (LBAN), released a report covering the latest trends in Latino entrepreneurship in the U.S.

The report highlights key areas of Latino entrepreneurship, including firmographics, financial data and employee statistics from Latino businesses and the overall ongoing effect of COVID-19 on the Latino entrepreneur community.

Key themes and findings include:

  • Firm & Employee Growth: The number of Latino-owned employer firms has grown 35% in the last 10 years compared to 4.5% growth among White-owned firms. In addition, Latino-owned businesses are increasing their number of employees at a dramatically faster rate than White-owned employer businesses (55% vs. 8% since 2007).
  • Tech Focus: Latino-owned businesses are as likely as White-owned businesses to be in the technology industry.
  • Career Advancement: Latino business owners are more likely to provide opportunities for the growth and advancement of their employees than White business owners.
  • COVID Bright Spots: Latino-owned businesses are more likely to make proactive, strategic business changes to mitigate the negative challenges of the pandemic.

September 14th is Support Latino Business Day, recognizing & celebrating the economic contributions of Latino-owned businesses.

Our Commitment

We want to do our part to both encourage and assist all the hardworking Hispanic and Latino business owners as well as the many individuals who want to own their own business. You’re all essential to our society and economic growth. So, keep thriving because we believe in everything you offer and we want to help you reach your business goals.

For more information about our resources, plans and programs, as well as the Hispanic Entrepreneur Initiative, please reach out to me or Erik Premont on LinkedIn. Or, if you prefer, please send either of us an email to Paul@Acceler8Success.com or Erik@Acceler8Success.com. We look forward to helping to make a difference for Hispanic & Latino Entrepreneurs everywhere.

Hablamos español. On parle français. A gente fala português.

As our focus is always on connecting the right people, brands and opportunities, we can help you… and we want to help you.

Have a great day. make it happen. make it count!

Hispanic Entrepreneurship Front & Center at Franchise Expo South

Moving to another country is certainly risky, as well as courageous. So, it comes as no surprise that immigrants tend to be more entrepreneurial than the rest of the population. In 2019, immigrant entrepreneurs made up 21.7 percent of all business owners in the United States, despite making up just over 13.6 percent of the population and 17.1 percent of the U.S. labor force.

Nothing was more evident to the Acceler8Success Group Senior Leadership team this past weekend than the high level of interest in Immigrant Entrepreneurship.

Yesterday, I shared my experience over the weekend speaking to 130+ Nigerian immigrants at the annual Nigerian Muslim Conference. My focus was on entrepreneurship and franchising.

In Florida at Franchise Expo South, Acceler8Success Group President, Erik Premont was doing something similar. Erik was asked to participate in a discussion panel, FRANQUICIAS = OPORTUNIDAD para los Emprendedores Hispanos en USA.

This was the first time a discussion panel at an MFV Expositions event that was presented completely in Spanish. The discussion was centered around the theme “Franchise = Opportunity for Hispanic Entrepreneurs in the United States.”

The main objective was to increase awareness of the opportunities and benefits that franchises represent for entrepreneurs, and give greater prominence to diversity in general, including traditionally underrepresented groups. Hopefully, this was the first of many panels that will be delivered in such a beautiful language, with a message delivered without necessity of translation or interpretation by attendees.

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As Hispanic Immigrants make up the largest underrepresented group, it made perfect sense for the inaugural panel to take place at Franchise Expo South in South Florida. After all, for immigrant Hispanics, the key findings are: 

Roughly 1.2 million of the 12.2 million business owners in the United States are immigrant Hispanics. Business ownership is higher among immigrant Hispanics than U.S.-born Hispanics, and in fact, is comparable to business ownership rates among non-Hispanic whites.

“This panel is our first initiative to attract entrepreneurs who represent the composition of the communities that are served. The IFA and HLFLC are stepping forward to foster an environment where equal opportunity is part of the lived experience in all of our communities.” said Elena Dolinski – Moderator of this panel.

After doing some of my own research about the event, I was impressed to see the extent of coverage and specifically about this panel as Elena Dolinski was interviewed on ActualidadRadio.com. Listen to the interview HERE.

Other panel guests included:

  • Ericka Garza, President Bon Au Pain – President of the Council of Hispanic-Latino Franchise Leaders – Bon Au Pain
  • Eduardo Torres, South Florida Director, US Department of Commerce
  • Elizabeth Porth, Leader of the Golden Arches Women’s Network – McDonald’s Latam
  • Armando Conde, Founder of Franquiciate.com
  • Carolina Veira, Leader of Hispanic Star Miami

When discussing the event with me, Erik said, “To quote my co-panelist and good friend Ericka Garza, President of Au Bon Pain and Council Chair for the Hispanic Latino Franchise Leadership Council at the IFA, “The collective feedback, emotion, and passion confirmed how Franchising unites people and transforms lives,” and in his passionate way he continued, “I am thankful beyond words for having been invited to participate in an all “Spanish” panel at Franchise Expo South in Fort Lauderdale last week.”

The more we work with Hispanic Entrepreneurs, more commonly known as Latino Entrepreneurs, the more I personally appreciate the possibilities for our great country. To that point, I’d like to share the following facts:

Latino-Owned Business in the U.S.

Latino entrepreneurs make up 29 percent of the U.S. population by 2050, up from 17 percent today.

If Latino owned businesses grow as fast as the U.S. average, they could add $1.4 trillion to the U.S. economy. Which would add almost eight percent to the $18 trillion U.S. economy.

When Latino entrepreneurs start a business, 70 percent of their funding comes from personal savings, according to a Stanford study, while just six percent comes from commercial loans.

And from NewAmericanEconomy.org:

Entrepreneurship and business creation is fundamental to a healthy economy. Companies less than five years old create an average of 1.5 million new jobs for Americans each year. Immigrants in particular play an important role in creating jobs as they are more likely to start a new business than the rest of the population.

Despite this, the United States lacks a startup visa to welcome immigrant entrepreneurs with a proven idea and solid investment. This results in many business owners struggling to stay—at a cost to our economy and its workers.

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The Hispanic Entrepreneur Initiative

As previously mentioned at Acceler8Success Cafe, we’re very excited to partner again with Michael Dermer and his organization, The Lonely Entrepreneur. Maybe even more so on The Hispanic Entrepreneur Initiative as it perfectly aligns with our goal to continue to build upon a growing list of clients from Mexico and Latin America whose interests focus on entrepreneurship in the U.S.

With a goal of empowering 100,000 Hispanic entrepreneurs, Hispanic entrepreneurs will be provided with free access to The Lonely Entrepreneur Learning Community – a one stop shop for the knowledge, tools and support an individual needs to start or grow a business. This access is provided free due to the financial contributions of corporations, philanthropies, individuals, and economic development organizations. 

For more information about this exciting initiative, please reach out to me or Erik Premont on LinkedIn. Or, if you prefer, please send either of us an email to Paul@Acceler8Success.com or Erik@Acceler8Success.com. We look forward to helping to make a difference for Hispanic Entrepreneurs, as well as for all Immigrant Entrepreneurs!

Have a great day. Make it happen. Make it count!

The Path to the American Dream of Business Ownership for Immigrant Entrepreneurs

This past weekend I was honored to speak at the annual summit of the Nigerian Muslim Association of Greater Houston. The 3-day summit was held in Lake Livingston, TX.

The event was attended by approximately 130 males aged 15 and above, with the majority between the ages of 30 and 50. Attendees included students, professionals and business owners. They were fathers, sons and brothers. The theme of the summit was Striking the balance – Family, Career, Health and Spirituality

In preparation for this year’s summit, event committee members were requested to include a special session on achieving the American Dream of business ownership. Association members firmly believed the time was right.

In addition to learning about various options for owning a business, members were very interested in learning about franchising and how it could be the right path to business ownership for members of the Nigerian Muslim community.

85 percent of small business owners believe that being your own boss and owning a business is achieving the American Dream.” – Kabbage

As I presented for 40 minutes or so, followed by more than an hour of Q & A, I was quite impressed by the attendees’ high level of attention. Their questions were articulate and well thought out. They were definitely prepared. Many took copious notes. Afterwards, a line of people waited to speak with me. Several set up appointments to get together this week!

All in all, I found the attendees to be extremely passionate about the American Dream and especially the American Dream of business ownership. None appeared to have short-term expectations. Instead, all spoke about long-term goals and about building businesses for their families and for others within their community.

They were certainly looking toward the future. They expressed their thoughts about fully understanding the necessity of starting as soon as possible and then doing whatever it would take to succeed. Saying they were extremely confident would be an understatement

During the drive back home, I reflected upon the event and smiled as I thought about our ongoing commitment to help both current and aspiring entrepreneurs from various immigrant groups. I thought about the common denominator from the group I had just presented to other groups we’re currently working with. Seemingly all have similar dreams, as well as similar mindsets as to what it would take to ensure a better future.

I smiled even more as I thought that despite differences in cultures, languages, and skin colors, the passion for the American Dream of business ownership is consistent from one immigrant group to another.

In short order, my mind shifted to Michael Dermer and The Lonely Entrepreneur, and their project, The Hispanic Entrepreneur Initiative. I exclaimed outloud – albeit only to myself – that we really needed to do more to help make that initiative a great success. I also thought that, in time a similar initiative could be developed for other immigrant groups.

As previously mentioned at Acceler8Success Cafe, we’re very excited to partner again with Michael and his organization. May even more so on this project as it perfectly aligns with our goal to continue to build upon a growing list of clients from Mexico and Latin America whose interests focus on entrepreneurship in the U.S.

Yes, The Hispanic Entrepreneur Initiative is certainly of major interest to Acceler8Success Group. We are committed to help this initiative succeed. That all said, and for the benefit of anyone who may not be familiar with this initiative, let’s revisit:

The Hispanic Entrepreneur Initiative

With a goal of empowering 100,00 Hispanic entrepreneurs, Hispanic entrepreneurs will be provided with free access to The Lonely Entrepreneur Learning Community – a one stop shop for the knowledge, tools and support an individual needs to start or grow a business. This access is provided free due to the financial contributions of corporations, philanthropies, individuals, and economic development organizations. 

Supporters include UPS, Microsoft, US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, HISPA and Molson Coors and the initiative has been endorsed by over 50 Hispanic leaders including: 

  • Dr. Juan Andrade, Jr. (President, US Hispanic Leadership Institute, Recipient – Presidential Citizen’s Medal) 
  • Luis Ubinas (Investor, Entrepreneur, Past President – Ford Foundation, Past President – Pan American Development Foundation)  
  • Dr. Loui Olivas (Professor Emeriti, W.P. Carey School of Business At Arizona State University)  

The challenges for entrepreneurs in general are great. The challenges for Hispanic entrepreneurs are even greater. And there isn’t just one “Hispanic” entrepreneur – there are entrepreneurs from various countries that face some of the same – but some different – challenges and opportunities.

In addition to lack of access to capital, many Hispanic entrepreneurs possess passion and great ideas but lack access to the knowledge and support they need to succeed.

With the help from corporations, philanthropies, individuals, and economic development organizations, the Hispanic Entrepreneur Initiative will change that by putting the tools in the hands of 100,000 Hispanic entrepreneurs.

How it Works

In this initiative, organizations sponsor a certain number of Hispanic entrepreneurs who receive free access to The Lonely Entrepreneur Learning Community – a one stop shop for the knowledge, tools and support a current or aspiring Hispanic entrepreneur needs to start or grow a business. The platform addresses both the business and personal issues Hispanic entrepreneurs face and provides multiple ways for Hispanic entrepreneurs to get the answers they need:

• Knowledge: 500 learning modules that cover both the business and personal issues entrepreneurs face including issues Hispanic entrepreneurs face

• Tools: 100s of templates (e.g., business plans, legal agreements) and reviews of the top vendors and solution providers they need (e.g., accounting software) including Ongoing Support via Two Channels: multiple ways to solve their pressing challenges, Guidance from the TLE Team in Our Community: where entrepreneurs can ask questions and get answers from members of the TLE Team, Group Coaching: entrepreneurs can sign up for an unlimited number of group coaching sessions on the various business and personal issues they face. If they miss sessions, recordings are available for future reference at any time.

• Funding Sources: 150+ funding sources available for entrepreneurs

• Vendors: 50+ vendor reviews, discounts and a list of “vetted vendors” (including some free resources)

• Procurement Opportunities: 150+ opportunities made available by large organizations

• Business and Personal Issues: our program not only covers business issues, but all the personal issues entrepreneurs face (dealing with stress, ego and humility, leading)

• Daily Perspective: an entrepreneurial “tip” sent to every individual each day

• Access: 24/7 access from any desktop or mobile device

Having the Learning Community at every step of the journey significantly increases their chance of success.

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The Needs of Different Hispanic Entrepreneurs

There isn’t just one “Hispanic” entrepreneur. There are native born and immigrant entrepreneurs from various countries that face some of the same – but some different – challenges and opportunities. In addition to providing answers for the issues facing all Hispanic entrepreneurs, the initiative addresses the issues and opportunities faced by the different Hispanic entrepreneurs, including entrepreneurs from: Mexico, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela, Guatemala, Cuba, Chile, Spain, El Salvador, and Peru.

Program Supporters

The initiative has gotten off to a fast start with programs launched by major corporations including:

• Microsoft empowering Hispanic entrepreneurs in El Paso Texas as reported in El Diario Mx and on television

• UPS launching its program at the L’Attitude 2021 conference to empower Hispanic entrepreneurs

• US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Benefits of the Program

There are multiple benefits to the program:

• Help Entrepreneurs: provide individuals with the knowledge, tools and support they need

• Proven Success: the program has been implemented successfully by a vast array of corporations, governments and charitable organizations

• Scalability: the ability to put the tools in the hands of a large number of individuals quickly

• Branding: various elements of the program would be branded including landing pages, access to the leaning assets and a group in the online community.

• Minimal Effort on Your Part: the program is turn-key and is executed with minimal lift on your part

• Turn-Key Execution: you are investing in a program that delivers turn-key execution

• Marketing Opportunities: making a program like this available and the success stories that come from it are powerful marketing opportunities

• Flexibility: to apply to the specific type, geography or group of entrepreneurs

• Measurement: the ability to measure activity and impact of the program

The program provides the opportunity to quickly get tools in the hands of a large number of current and aspiring small business owners.

Integrated Marketing to Highlight Impact

The TLE Team works with supporter marketing teams to maximize the impact on their public image:

• Public Relations: coordinated communications with media outlets to highlight supporter efforts

• Social Media: ongoing social media activities to show the impact supporter is having

• Success Stories: to be used in marketing and to inspire supporter audiences

Endorsements from Leaders

A coalition of stewards of the Hispanic community have endorsed the Hispanic Entrepreneur Initiative:

• Yvette Donado (former Chief Diversity Officer of ETS; Hispanic Magazine, 50 Most Influential Hispanics)

• Marcel Portmann (Latin America Advisor for +70 global brands; liaison to Inter-American Development Bank (IADB); former Vice President of Emerging Markets, International Franchise)

• Dr. Pilar Nava-Parada, (Philanthropist and Leader For Women Entrepreneurs with Mexican Origin)

• Dr. Joy Nicole Martínez (Raised $240m for nonprofits; inaugural member of Peace50 Community; Director, World Woman Foundation)

• Andrés Guardado, (Mexican Football star and his wife Sandra De La Vega)

• Sheila Ivelisse Borges, (Managing Director, Research, at Rutgers University; former Assistant Director – NYU Adjunct Professor/STEM Educator/Diversity & Equity – Columbia University in New York City)

• Gabriel Brodbar, (Social Impact Leader; former Executive Director, NYU Social Entrepreneurship Program)

• Nepherter Estrada (Charlotte Business Journal 40 Under 40 Honoree)

• Catherine Milone, (President, Junior Achievement of New Jersey)

• Ivonne Díaz-Claisse (Founder/CEO, Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement (HISPA)

…and other notable Hispanic leaders.

Measuring the Impact

Three different areas are measured to ensure that current and aspiring entrepreneurs are getting the value of the Learning Community and moving toward the achievement of business results:

• Engagement – engage with the Learning Community and fellow entrepreneurs

• Achieve Key Business Activities – achieve business activities and improvements that are necessary steppingstones to achieving business results (e.g., form a company, prepare financials)

• Achieve Business Results – achieve key business results (e.g., increase revenue)

Each day, entrepreneurs in the program improve their chance of success.

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For more information about this exciting initiative, please reach out to me or Acceler8Success Group president, Erik Premont on LinkedIn. Or, if you prefer, please send either of us an email to Paul@Acceler8Success.com or Erik@Acceler8Success.com. We look forward to helping to make a difference for Hispanic Entrepreneurs, as well as for all Immigrant Entrepreneurs!

Have a great day. make it happen. make it count!

Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th.

21 years ago tonight, we went to bed thinking tomorrow was going to be just another day… The memories of that fateful day never seem to stop.

In fact, I believe they’re becoming more and more vivid as we passed the ten and fifteen-year marks, and now, twenty-one, a milestone number that we’ve come to know as an entry to adulthood, a defining number between generations. Could 9/11 really be that long ago?

Certainly, the questions continue. Many say, never forget! I say, How could we possibly forget? 21 years and the tears still flow, hearts still ache and still, it’s hard to understand why and how this could have possibly occurred… and on our soil, in our backyards, to our friends, classmates and loved ones??

“Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children.” George W. Bush

I’m still mesmerized by the events of 9/11… It’s so hard not to get caught up in all the reminders on TV, replaying the events, new documentaries, review of thousand-page reports, theories of blame and on and on. And of course, social media.

That being said, I guess it’s good that it’s all front and center as we do need to remember as we must never forget, never surrender. More importantly, it brings to mind the unselfish acts of first-responders, whose acts of courage and heroism are beyond words, beyond even what many could ever possibly imagine.

Being from New York and knowing families of firemen and policemen I have seen some of what is referred to as a true brotherhood. But it’s more than that. Sure it’s definitely a close-knit group, often of generation after generation of friends and family working together, living together, laughing together, crying together…

But the thing they do more together than anything is to serve and protect others, together.

To all the brave, and to all the victims, and to all the families affected by 9/11, my prayers continue for you every day. To friends that perished, I’ll never forget you. It’s all still so hard to believe…

Of course, there are so many images that are posted to remember the tragic events of 9/11. Many have been developed very tastefully and respectfully to honor those that lost their lives that dreadful day.

Others have also been developed quite well to honor America and to exemplify our resolve as citizens to protect our great nation at all costs, and especially the freedoms many have sacrificed their lives protecting.

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However great those images of honoring and remembering, I respectfully choose to share the ones above that show the true human emotions of that day. It’s these images that have been etched in my mind that will never allow me to forget the human loss and the lasting effect this horrible event has had on so many individuals and families to this day.

I’ll never forget the images of the many policemen, firemen, emergency medical technicians and other first-responders that were there at Ground Zero… Yes, I will never forget! We must never forget!

It’s certainly going to be a tough few days as image after image similar to the ones above will appear on social media about 9/11. My mind will wander as so many questions remain unanswered, a tragedy of unthinkable magnitude, so many families affected and for years to come.

Tears will fill my eyes as I see graduation photos of of high school classmates, friends that perished. It feels as if time is slowing to a crawl as 9/11 approaches, and especially now with the backdrop of crime in our cities including NYC. Still, the memories vividly stand out like it were yesterday.

Could it really be 21 years since that fateful day? Could it be that most of our youngest generation was born after that day? I was born in 1957 with the end of WW II only twelve years prior and just sixteen years after the attack on Pearl Harbor! Yet, WWII seemed so distant when I was a kid.

Anyway, it’s still tough for me to believe as I try to set aside emotions and make tomorrow about those who deserve to be honored for their courage, selflessness and sacrifice. I wish the world could pause so we may shine the spotlight on the heroes of that day. They and their families deserve it.

I can’t help thinking about John Lennon’s song, Imagine. It just seems right for the moment.

”Imagine all the people. Living life in peace. You may say that I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will be as one”

With so much uncertainty and divisiveness in our great country, how the past two and a half years have affected all of us, and now with the anniversary of that fateful day, this morning finds me deep in thought about friends and family, and especially those I haven’t seen or spoken to in quite some time. I love you all!

Much has changed and continues to change. Certainly, that has been the case over the past 21 years. I hope and pray we can, and will come together again as we did after 9/11. The challenges we’re facing, at times seem insurmountable one person at a time but as families, friends and communities pull together, stay together, and be strong for each other, we can overcome current and future challenges.

So today, let’s reach out to friends and family and strengthen or even reestablish those relationships – the bonds of friendship, the bonds of family, the bonds of communities… all are bonds of Americans that benefit us all. Let us realize that, “United we stand, divided we fall” are words to live by

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I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Have a great day. Make it happen. Make it count!

Things You Should Know & Info You Should Have BEFORE Investing in a Franchise

If you’re thinking about business ownership and considering whether franchising is right for you, the following articles and resources, previously shared at Acceler8Success Cafe will help you make an informed decision and provide clarity on your entrepreneurial journey. Be sure to click on the various links to access the information.

5 Tips for Finding the Perfect Franchise

With the Great Resignation still in full swing, a lot of people are choosing to take control of their personal and professional future by exploring entrepreneurship. 

Of those who realize their entrepreneurial potential many choose owning a franchise as the vehicle to take them from employment to entrepreneurship due to the already proven business model and built-in, ongoing support system, among other benefits.

If becoming a franchisee seems like the right path for you, follow the tips in this article to find the perfect opportunity.

Exploring a Franchise Opportunity: Do your due diligence… and then some!

Potential franchise buyers know before making a final decision, they need to obtain information from other franchisees and also, their possible franchisors. But what information do they need to get?

Generally, I recommend using the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) as a guide. Read through it and ask a potential franchisor very specific questions about each item listed. It’s a can’t miss road map. This article outlines the various FDD items that every candidate should ask questions about in order they have complete understanding of the brand and its business model.

Do Your Homework BEFORE Buying a Franchise!

The dream of owning your own business is alive and well for most Americans. The only problem is that many people don’t know where to start on the journey to becoming self-sufficient. There are a million different options, but first and foremost each potential entrepreneur must decide if he or she wants to become a franchisee or start a business independently.

Each route has its benefits; therefore, it’s critical to take the time to consider both options before making a decision. What it initially comes down to is asking yourself the questions listed within this article.

Franchise Success: It Takes More Than an Investment & Hard Work!

Too often than not, franchisees are of the mindset that they’ve bought into a franchise system and just need to sit back and wait for the business to flow through their doors. Sometimes, it’s ignorance and perception that clouds their thoughts. Thinking that the brand name they invested in should be enough for instant business success at their location. But most of the time, it’s just plain old arrogance that gets in the way.

It’s the arrogance of having committed hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy a franchise as being the sole reason for success. It’s also the basis of feeling that with this level of financial commitment, the franchisor should be solely responsible for making sure franchisees succeed. Almost demanding a guarantee of success!

Well, it is not the franchisor’s sole responsibility, under any circumstances, for making sure that franchisees succeed. Read this article to gain a better understanding of personal responsibility and accountability when owning a franchise business.

Buying a Franchise: Legacy or Emerging Brand?

With a new wave of brands, candidates are faced with questions beyond the norm. Instead of just focusing on investment level, industry segment and competition they will ask about the difference between legacy and emerging brands and advantage of one over the other. They’ll also ask specifically about an emerging brand head-to-head with a competing legacy brand that may clearly be the leader in that industry segment. They’ll wonder, isn’t it safer to invest in a recognized brand with a proven system as opposed to investing in something new and relatively unknown? This article identifies some of the obvious differences.

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The Great American Franchise Expo

The Great American Franchise Expo connects hundreds of franchise businesses with potential owners. They provide education through seminars from industry experts on topics including franchise law, financing, and other critical business concepts. Attending these expos will provide potential franchisees with the opportunity to network with leading industry executives and franchise developers. 

Recommended Books on Franchising

Listed below are several books on franchising that I highly recommend. I firmly believe these books must be read BEFORE signing a franchise agreement and remitting a franchise fee. They should be considered essential components of your due diligence. Know before you invest!

Become a Franchise Owner!: The Start-Up Guide to Lowering Risk, Making Money, and Owning What You Do by Joel Libava

The definitive A-to-Z guide to researching, selecting, and starting a viable franchise business

With more and more professionals looking for alternatives to traditional corporate employment, Become a Franchise Owner! informs would-be franchise owners of the joys and perils of purchasing a franchise. Authored by a trusted, feisty, tell-it-how-it-is independent franchise industry insider, this book offers straightforward, step-by-step tips and advice on how to properly (and carefully) research and select a franchise business.

Get tips on how to locate information about franchises, current industry trends, interviews with franchisors, and hot franchise opportunities.

  • Offers a self-evaluation to discover if you are “franchise material”
  • Describes how to choose the right franchise for your specific situation
  • Lists the 40 crucial questions to ask current franchise owners

Owning a franchise isn’t for everyone; in fact, as Joel Libava says, “it’s really not for most people.” But if it is for you, this book can guide you in starting your own successful franchise business.

The Franchise MBA: Mastering the 4 Essential Steps to Owning a Franchise by Nick Neonakis

This comprehensively researched and deftly written franchise guide brings together experience and fact to give you the tools you need to understand which franchise is right for you. With insights from respected franchise leaders and a thorough understand of franchising, this book will help you understand and master the 4 Critical Steps to finding the Ideal Franchise: 1. The Introspective Self 2. The Franchisor 3. The Franchisees 4. The Legal and Financial

The Educated Franchisee: Find the Right Franchise for You, 3rd Edition by Rick Bisio

There is nothing more expensive than ignorance — let The Educated Franchisee serve as your guide for selecting a franchise that meets your needs!

The Educated Franchisee will teach you:

– How to find a franchise that is right for you.

– How owning a franchise can create wealth.

– Where to find quality franchisors.

– What qualities franchisors look for in a franchisee.

– How to gather information from franchisees.

– How to make sure the franchise makes money.

– How to confidently select the best franchise advisors.

– The five keys to long-term success as a franchise.

Franchise Bible: How to Buy a Franchise or Franchise Your Own Business by Rick Grossmann 

The Insider’s Guide to Buying a Franchise or Franchising Your Business

In this easy-to-read guide, franchise expert Rick Grossmann and franchise attorney Michael J. Katz impart decades-worth of insight and advice on what it takes to make your franchise operation successful. Grossmann and Katz share expert tutorials, tricks of the trade, and access to sample franchise documents, checklists, and questionnaires designed to get you organized, support you through the process and get your new franchise off the ground.

If you’re thinking of buying a franchise, you’ll learn how to:

  • Determine if running a franchise is right for you
  • Navigate franchise disclosure documents and agreements
  • Identify the signs of a good franchise opportunity
  • If you’re thinking of franchising your existing business, you’ll learn how to:
  • Pick the best method for expanding your business
  • Understand the keys to establishing a successful franchise system
  • Evaluate potential franchisees and grow your franchise Whether you want to buy a franchise or franchise your own business you’ll learn what to expect, how to move forward, and how to avoid costly mistakes–making Franchise Bible required reading.
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Funding Your Business Dreams

Get fast, economical, custom funding and realize your small business or startup dreams with help from Benetrends Financial. The experts at Benetrends provide an innovative approach to help you achieve the ideal funding you need to get your ideas off the ground for long-term entrepreneurial success!

One More Question…

Are you ready to own a business? 

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Have a great day. Make it happen. Make it count!

Franchise Success: There Are No Guarantees!

Hard work certainly does not guarantee success. That is a powerful statement to consider when starting a business. Even when buying a franchise, this statement rings true despite the adage in franchising of being in business for yourself, but not by yourself.

Of course, when buying into a franchise you should be buying into a proven brand, a proven system and one that has a certain level of success across various locations and markets. I do emphasize the word, “should” which is why I’m so adamant about candidates doing their due diligence, and then some.

Assuming that franchisees have done an ample amount of due diligence ahead of signing a franchise agreement, their success will be predicated on their commitment to succeed. They must fully understand that running a business, any business is hard work. Yet, working hard is not a guarantee for success.

Please let that set in – working hard is not a guarantee for success!

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Franchise Success: It Takes More Than an Investment & Hard Work!

Too often than not, franchisees are of the mindset that they’ve bought into a franchise system and just need to sit back and wait for the business to flow through their doors. 

Sometimes, it’s ignorance and perception that clouds their thoughts, thinking that the brand name they invested in should be enough for instant business success at their location. But most of the time, it’s just plain old arrogance that gets in the way.

It’s the arrogance of having committed hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy a franchise as being the sole reason for success. It’s the feeling that with this level of financial commitment, the franchisor should be solely responsible for making sure franchisees succeed, almost demanding a guarantee of success!

Well, it is not the franchisor’s sole responsibility, under any circumstances for making sure that franchisees succeed. Sure, the franchisor must provide franchisees with a proven system and field-tested tools, that when utilized diligently and effectively should provide them with the foundation to succeed.

But, it’s just that, a foundation. And the franchisor should have systems in place to monitor franchisees’ progress, provide additional training and guidance, and further the overall development of the brand. 

All are meant to contribute to solidifying that foundation. However, as detailed and comprehensive as all that sounds, it still is not enough for most franchisees to succeed without their own drive and determination. And, not just words, but actual action.

Failure or Success?

Years ago, I was working with a franchise group on a complex marketing project. The project was ultimately a success and achieved most of the goals and objectives that were established prior to launch. 

Most of the franchisees embraced the strategy and were extremely instrumental in executing the plan. However, there were five franchisees that just could not get out of their own way to realize the benefits of the plan, and as such, did not realize positive results as had been achieved by their fellow franchisees.

As with many of my franchise clients, the franchisor requested that I work with these franchisees to ascertain the root of their problems and to develop an aggressive plan of action to move their businesses forward. You see, the franchisor truly wanted to see their franchisees succeed! 

By the way, these franchisees represented the bottom of the franchise group in average unit sales. Definitely, that was not a coincidence.

Well, to make a long story short, the obvious problem in each case pointed back to the franchisees working “in” the business, as opposed to “on” the business. Mix in some procrastination, entitlement attitudes, and of course, total denial, and the recipe for total business failure was complete.

I was able to determine that these franchisees were compensating for their path to failure by being at the business location longer hours, spending more and more time taking care of customers while spending less and less time on anything else. 

All claimed to be working harder than they had ever worked before. Was it because they had to cut payroll and do the job themselves? Ironically, that was not the case as I found employees standing around while the franchisee did their jobs.

Often, I witnessed franchisees literally stepping in front of employees to take care of a customer. When I addressed the same with the franchisees, it was quite apparent all were actually preparing for failure but didn’t want to be considered the actual cause of failure. 

All thought that by being seen at the business long hours every day and working non-stop behind the counter, no one would be able to say they didn’t work hard at making the business a success. Certainly, they wouldn’t be blamed for failure.

Of the five struggling franchisees, all but one was anxious to listen and make firm commitments to improve their situations. The remaining franchisee was thoroughly convinced he would fail and there was nothing he, or anyone else could do to change the situation.

He placed total blame on the franchisor, claiming they didn’t provide support and strongly professed that he, himself did everything humanly possible to succeed.

When I asked what he was referring to, he pointed to the long hours every day. When I asked about marketing efforts, he claimed he shouldn’t have to do anything in that regard and pointed back to the franchisor.

He ranted about how the franchisor should have spent money on his behalf in promoting the business and how he spent over $300K on build-out and equipment and that should have been more than enough to ensure his success. Further, he felt he should be able to open the doors everyday and if the brand name was strong enough, success would occur in a relative matter of time.

As I indicated, four of the franchisees decided to move forward. Agreeing that failure was not an option, we developed and executed an extremely aggressive, yet cost-effective plan of action. The plan was centered around getting outside the business location every day to promote their business wherever and however they could.

They all agreed they should have been doing this all along but always seemed to procrastinate in actually getting the job done. They attributed a big part of their procrastination to a strong sense of entitlement that the franchisor should be doing more because they, the franchisees were the ones that already made an investment to grow the brand. 

As such, they had convinced themselves that any possibility of failure would fall firmly on the franchisor’s shoulders. In turn, they buried themselves “in” the business and were awaiting the inevitable.

After many hours of discussion and debate about vision, passion, drive and determination, all four franchisees decided to take responsibility for their actions and would hold themselves to a high level of accountability, to their business, employees, family, and to themselves.

Each was relentless in their quest to turn their businesses around. They spoke to whoever would listen about their products and services. They were tireless in their efforts to discover new groups and organizations that might listen and learn about what their business had to offer.

They were almost to the point of being ruthless in their desire to ask for referrals and recommendations. They were all thinking outside the box, always asking themselves, “What more can be done?” and never accepting “nothing” as an answer, as an excuse.

Needless to say, their new attitudes became contagious and before they knew it, everyone seemed to be spreading the word. Nowadays, we would refer to that as a “viral” effect.

The Final Tally

One franchisee sold his business to an individual he met when spreading the word about his business. The new franchisee became a multi-unit operator and eventually sold the business for a significant profit.

Two franchisees took on partners they met in their efforts within the community. All are now multi-unit operators within several franchise systems.

One franchisee continues to operate her business and although happy to have survived, never had the desire to open additional locations.

And, the franchisee, who said he would fail… was absolutely right!

Have a great day. Make it happen. Make it count!

Exploring Franchise Opportunities: You Can Never Ask Too Many Questions!

As we’re back in full swing after a long holiday weekend, I’ll pick up where we left off last week on revisiting some previously shared information about what should be done when exploring franchise opportunities.

Actually, I’m going to take it a step further and share an article that includes information from two franchise professionals that I respect very much, Joel Libava and Rick Grossmann. In the following article, you’ll find links to some of their great advice. I highly suggest if you’re exploring franchise opportunities, or even have an inkling of interest in franchising, I suggest following both and heeding their very sound advice.

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Do Your Homework BEFORE Buying a Franchise!

The dream of owning your own business is alive and well for most Americans. The only problem is that many people don’t know where to start on the journey to becoming self-sufficient. There are a million different options, but first and foremost each potential entrepreneur must decide if he or she wants to become a franchisee or start a business independently.

Each route has its benefits; therefore, it’s critical to take the time to consider both options before making a decision. What it initially comes down to is asking yourself the following questions:

1. Do you understand every aspect of the business, or do you thrive in one area?

When starting a business from scratch, entrepreneurs should be well versed in every single element of the enterprise. They need to create systems and procedures and test whether these work for that particular business. This process of ironing out the details deters some from choosing to own an independent business but excites and challenges others.

Conversely someone who buys a franchise knows that someone else has already done the “dirty work” and found the most effective systems for that particular business. A franchisee must simply thrive at correctly running the system while adding their own personal management touch. 

2. Are you an expert at making a name for yourself or would you like to be associated with an already strong brand?

When purchasing a franchise, you are also inheriting the reputation of that brand. For example, if you open your own Dunkin’ Donuts shop, you will encounter customers who already recognize the pink and orange logo. Many people will know whether they like the brand and will expect speedy service providing them doughnuts and steaming hot coffee.

On the other hand, those starting a business from scratch have a chance to create a unique brand identity. But consumer trust and awareness don’t come easily; they need to be earned through time, consistency and excellence.

3. Are you the kind of person who likes to go it alone or do you appreciate a sense of community?

Owning a business — whether it’s a franchise or not — can be risky. Some people prefer to be self-reliant and want to manage potential problems using past experiences and premonitions as guides. An entrepreneur must solve the issues that arise.

Others prefer enlisting the support and help of others to ensure that their business runs smoothly. A franchisee has many built-in allies, including the franchisor and other franchisees within the system.

The most important factor for success is making sure that problems are identified, and steps are taken in the right direction.

Is Owning a Franchise in Your Future?

For many individuals that explore franchising as the next step in their career, as a way to control their own destiny or as a way to create a family business understanding the process can be quite overwhelming. Below are several articles by franchise experts I shared on my blog in 2018.

Still relevant today, I believe it will help interested parties diligently navigate the process to help create a playing field that is best for them as opposed to seeing themselves aimlessly tiptoe through a minefield consisting of franchising’s good, bad and ugly.

If you’re thinking of becoming a franchisee, how should you prepare yourself?

Buying a franchise can be a great move for a would-be entrepreneur who doesn’t want to create a new business from scratch. In theory, franchisees acquire a model that already works on every level, from branding to pricing to marketing. A ready clientele eagerly spends on Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s and 7-11. The market has tested the best recipes for glazed crullers, Egg McMuffins and the right combo of energy drinks to stock next to the register.

But making a go as a successful franchisee can be a lot more complicated than simply finding an appealing brand and plunking down some cash. For a taste of what can go wrong, see Forbes’ piece about the past problems at sandwich franchise Quiznos, which paid $206 million to settle a suit brought by franchisees who claimed the chain had oversold its markets and excessively marked up supplies. Read more

How to Buy a Franchise

Contrary to popular belief, the process of buying a franchise isn’t really difficult-but it is a process. I’ve found, (through working one-on-one with thousands of potential franchise owners) that it’s really important to tackle a major life decision like the purchase of a franchise business-or any type of business, in a very methodical way. (Even if you’re not a methodical person!)

But you need to realize that buying a franchise is a big deal. It could potentially be life changing. That’s what you want, isn’t it?

After all, you probably wouldn’t be reading this if you wanted to just go out and find a new job -or keep the one you have.

With that in mind, kick off your shoes and grab your favorite beverage. In this article, Joel Libava, The Franchise King shows exactly how to buy a franchise. Read more

Owning a Franchise Business is Good for Your Family

Many entrepreneurs choose to become small-business owners with an exit strategy of turning over the business to their children one day — a strategy that takes on more importance in an era where young people are struggling to find gainful employment.

Children who begin working in the family business at a young age will typically start an ascension into management after college, with an eye on purchasing some or all of the family business as their parents head into retirement. Often, the parents will retain a percentage of the business as a revenue stream in retirement, adding an extra level of responsibility for the child as a steward of their parents’ nest egg.

Even if they don’t stay in the family business, studies show that parental entrepreneurship increases the probability of children’s entrepreneurship by about 60%. Children of entrepreneurial parents have already experienced many of the ebbs and flows of small-business ownership, which helps to mitigate their fears and raise their risk tolerance. Read more

Learning About Franchising

During research for Franchise Bible, 8th Edition, author, Rick Grossman found that the franchise industry had changed in many ways over the years. Technology has had the biggest impact by modifying buying behaviors. Not too many years ago, franchise buyers would find an opportunity in Entrepreneur magazine or by attending a franchise expo in-person. 

They would then go through the franchisor’s respective step-by-step process to qualify, purchase and launch their franchises. But today, buyers can find a plethora of information online about nearly any franchise they want to learn about. This has leveled the playing field for new innovative companies to compete favorably with the “big boys” in the marketplace. Read more

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Have a great day. Make it happen. Make it count!

Is acceptance necessary for an entrepreneur?

I always think about the thoughts that others may have had in their minds as they’ve paired a particular image and quote and shared it on social media. I know that I most likely take a longer look than most as I attempt to formulate in my own mind the reasons that I would personally share an image with a quote. Or would it be a quote to an image?

In any event, it’s the thought process that I love. Especially how it may relate to my current mindset. Even more so after a recent coaching session with a client, or as I may be thinking about challenges of the times and how our clients may be affected.

Coming across one this morning, it took me down a proverbial rabbit hole — one that really had me associating it with work we’re currently doing with both current and aspiring entrepreneurs. Although, it was not my intent to focus on work this morning. It just seemed to happen. I’ll just chalk it up to my passion for entrepreneurial success at all levels.

So many thoughts come to mind as I view this graphic. Especially as I reflect upon the person who I see as an entrepreneur standing at the edge of a cliff. I see the solace, maybe even loneliness of an entrepreneur with his or her dreams seemingly within reach… yet, just out of reach.

Is the entrepreneur standing on earth in the shadows of his or her dreams, or is the entrepreneur in some distant place looking back at earth, and at reality?

An entrepreneur’s dreams, some brighter than others, are almost like spotlights that enable the entrepreneur to visualize things from different perspectives, spurring ideas and creativity in an entrepreneur’s mind. Or possibly, the various areas, both bright and dark may also represent wishes as well as hopes — rounding out the wishes, hopes & dreams trifecta.

Honestly, I didn’t see the quote until well after I had interpreted the image alongside the quote. When I did, it immediately took me to what I believe was a different path than what the person who had originally shared the graphic had intended. I’m certain of that, but my mind was already focused on entrepreneurship and the challenges being faced by entrepreneurs today.

So, I interpreted the quote along the same lines as I had the image. As such, I saw it as a reference to the acceptance of the entrepreneur’s ideas by others including investors, stakeholders, and even fellow entrepreneurs.

But as I continued to give it thought, I also interpreted it as a message addressing the introverted attitude of many entrepreneurs whose laser-focused approach to their work is seemingly without care of what others say or think about them. It raised the question in my mind about whether acceptance is necessary for an entrepreneur.

Although, especially with all we know about entrepreneurs and their unique personalities and character traits, acceptance may not appear to be considered as necessary. However, it may be a consideration, or better said, a goal when and as relationships develop, mostly as a result of visionary similarities, that common bonds start to form.

Often, such relationships can become quite strong as the passion of two typically equals the same of four or five individually. After all, passion is contagious!

I believe it’s this form of acceptance that actually helps the entrepreneur’s vision to become clearer. It’s almost as if the entrepreneur’s dreams have been validated. Of course, confidence builds.

I further believe it’s this subliminal fact-checking process that leads to self-acceptance. THAT is what keeps the entrepreneur driving forward, not only in the face of challenges, but despite them.

Have a great day. Make it happen. Make it count!

Freedom. Choice. Balance. Entrepreneurs & Holiday Weekends!

As the Labor Day Weekend is upon us, I’m going to shift my focus from exploring franchise opportunities for the next few days as most of us look to enjoy what has become to be known as the last weekend of summer.

But before taking the next few days to recharge my batteries and prepare for what is setting up to be a very busy few months before year’s end, I’d like to share an article I had written several months ago about entrepreneurs and holiday weekends.

Entrepreneurs and Holiday Weekends

We often hear about entrepreneurs being incessant about working long hours, never taking a day off, missing family functions, and essentially not having lives outside their own minds, and their work. Many have asked me if all of that is true?

Well, for the most part it’s not true. Yet, there is some truth. Sure, some of it is myth as people just love superheroes and the stories about their seemingly superpowers including being able to function on little to no sleep.

Well, let’s dispel right now that entrepreneurs are anything more than human. Let’s dispel the myths that they can function without sleep, without rest, without knowing when to shut down for a day or two. But what we can do is learn from what makes them successful by ensuring sure they have the freedom and flexibility to do what they want to do, when they want to do it. It’s all about being positioned to have choices.

Award-wining author and entrepreneur, Richie Norton says it best, “Entrepreneurs don’t have weekends or birthdays or holidays. Every day is my weekend, my birthday, my holiday. OR every day is my workday. Mostly it’s a choice.”

Strategic Coach is one of the world’s leading organizations focused on entrepreneurial success. Within their resource section of its website is a blog post, Putting the Focus on Freedom. Of all the information about entrepreneurship that I have researched and read over the years, the opening question and statement in this post has become, in my mind the foundation of entrepreneurship to me:

“Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur? For most entrepreneurs, the answer is freedom. They wanted more freedom of time, money, relationship, and purpose when they took the leap to starting their own business.”

Another great organization focused on entrepreneurial success is The Lonely Entrepreneur. What I love about this organization and the writings of its founder, Michael Dermer is the reality of entrepreneurship and the inner workings of an entrepreneur’s mind.

There’s an article on The Lonely Entrepreneur website that always comes to my mind as a holiday weekend is in sight, What is an Entrepreneur? Dealing with the Holidays. This particular statement is embedded in my mind:

“As entrepreneurs, we have enough stress throughout the year trying to win customers, bring on employees, raise money and sign deals with vendors. We may have enjoyed, or even taken advantage of these breaks in our “past lives,” but once you become an entrepreneur, we can’t understand how this ever made sense. Most of us also don’t understand how the world could be so insensitive to our efforts by taking time off when we need to get shit done.” 

I highly value both organizations and certainly, I respect both Michael Dermer and Strategic Coach founder, Dan Sullivan. I know that both strive to help entrepreneurs succeed. Both have approaches that make sense. Both speak and teach from personal experience and long distinguished careers of helping others succeed – thousands upon thousands! Yet, each comes from a different angle, so to speak. But I do appreciate that!

It truly has been a blessing and a privilege to have been exposed to both organizations. I have learned so much, and yet, have so much more to learn so I’m extremely grateful to see both founders’ continued efforts and commitment to entrepreneurial success. For me, it helps me balance perspective in my own work, and balance in my personal life.

Freedom. Choice. Balance.

Freedom is defined as the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.

Choice is defined as an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities.

Balance is defined as a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.

Do you see where I’m headed with this? Are you wondering, what does freedom, choice and balance have to do with entrepreneurs and holidays, the basis and title of this article? To some it may mean nothing. To others, as it does to me, it speaks volumes. But what it means to you is the correct answer.

Have a great holiday weekend. Make it happen. Make it count!

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