I love to network…which means I’m always meeting new people. And lately I’m meeting more and more who are starting new businesses.

Despite the headline, I don’t see this as “you’re doing WHAT?” but rather “good for you!”

Why not? If you’ve been laid off, or your hours have been cut, what have you got to lose (OK, health insurance, but there are local groups working on that to help small businesses even as I type).

Actually, if you’ve been dreaming about being your own boss, this could be the perfect time.

There are a gazillion resources: support groups, meetups, tweetups, free webinars and seminars, and articles everywhere online filled with advice on starting your own business.

Not convinced? Google the word “entrepreneur” and see what comes up. I just did. 117 million results.

Think of it this way: our economy is cyclical. Always. This is just a longer “cycle” than we’ve seen in a while.

Building a business is challenging, no matter what the economy looks like. There will be lots of problems to deal with. But there will always be solutions. And you’ll be learning from all of them.

If you’re willing to stretch a little….and work your tail off (probably what you do working for someone else anyway), what’s holding you back?

I’ll close by sharing a new business that just launched last week. It’s called Chicago Canine Concierge. The entrepreneur is my daughter, Tracey. And I’m super proud of her….especially since it’s her second business.

Way to go, Tracey Gold!

I’ve been consulting with a client for several months on how to use social media. Last week, she told me that social media just wasn’t working for her business. Why? Her Facebook “like” number was stuck and hadn’t budged for weeks. 

I couldn’t argue with that. It was stuck. Even though there’d been some increase in the number of businesses that “liked” her, those were pages and aren’t included in the number of “likes” you see (a problem we wish Facebook would address).

However, I wasn’t surprised by any of this. Quite frankly, this client isn’t comfortable marketing on Facebook.

Asking others to “like” her page? No way. Commenting on other people’s posts doesn’t seem genuine to her. The whole “let’s connect and engage here” premise feels forced and phony.

End of story….good-by social media and good luck? Not quite.

We hadn’t discussed LinkedIn. Seems that the professional, one-on-one connecting that is LinkedIn is a different story. Here my client has seen success. In fact, one connection has led to three projects in the past two months. A connection that would never have occurred had she not been on LinkedIn. 

Takeaway: not all social media tools are right for all businesses. Find the ones (or one) that work for you, and stop worrying about using ALL of them. If you’re getting new business, whatever you’re doing is working. Keep it up!

Every once in a while,…usually if I’ve got a lot going on…I fall back into micro-manager, I-can-do-it-myself, don’t-need-any-help mode. Doesn’t work. Never really did.

So I’ll share a few tips to hopefully spare anyone else who suffers from the same malady.

Delegate. Outsource. Hire someone who’s an expert.

Stick with what you do really well. And don’t waste time trying to do something because you:

• think it’s so easy there’s no reason you can’t do it
• always wanted to do it anyway
• don’t want to spend the money.

Trust me. All you’ll accomplish is wasting time that could be spent working on billable projects. And that, in the end, is why you’re in business anyway. Isn’t it?

Time’s tight. You know you need to stay visible, but finding the time to market is a challenge. Especially in the summer when you’d rather be at the beach. Even moreso in late summer, when you notice the days getting shorter and your outdoor time slipping away.

So here’s a tip to make the most of your marketing efforts:

Next time you write an article, pull some of the copy to use in your next newsletter and a blog post. Expand a little here or there so it’s not exactly the same. Then see if you can pull out 140 characters (max!) for a tweet. Or a Facebook post.

Makes so much sense, doesn’t it?

Have fun at the beach. You’ll thank me for this in February!

It was a very good week.

Nope. No giant checks in the mailbox. No interviews in major publications. No fame. No fortune.

But I learned a lot.

From a stellar event where I met interesting people who talked about things I wanted to hear.

From a fascinating speaker who held an audience rapt with stunning images, colorful storytelling and a bit of theater — all spun together in a wondrous web of creative vision.

It was a week of taking in and reaching up. New ways to look at the world around me. New ideas to share. Unlimited possibilities.

Yep. It was a really good week.

What do you look for in the people you hire? Smarts. Creativity. Loyalty.
Sound about right? Me too. All important traits for the people on your team.

But I’ll throw in two more: fun to be with and kind.

Why? Simple. Life is short. Work can be grueling (ask anyone who’s worked in a corporate environment). But it doesn’t have to be.

One of the best things about being a solopreneur is being able to pick who you work with. And this past week, I’ve realized what good choices I’ve made. I’m pretty much surrounded by people I really like….nice, kind, responsible people who make my work fun.

Colleagues who’ve become project partners and friends. Vendors who are a pleasure to deal with….and who deliver great products, on time. People who’ve got my back.

Takeaway: Surround yourself with great….not just good….people.

You’d think that someone who loves to write would have been blogging by now. I have been. Ghost blogging. Guest blogging. A whole lot of client copywriting. Bylined articles here and there (a great way to market your services).

Now I’ll share tidbits (really….short stuff…my attention span is no longer than yours!) once a week or so. Smart social media resources. Networking tips. Tools to help you work faster, smarter, better. If you find something of value, I hope you’ll share it.