Small business management is not for the faint of heart. When the inevitable struggles, scuffles and setbacks of starting a business get you down, remember that the greatest entrepreneurs of the last century have been where you stand, learned some hard lessons and succeeded. Refer back to this article as needed for advice to put you back on the road toward your business goals.

Mary Kay Ash, Founder of Mary Kay CosmeticsEntrepreneur Business Advice
Tired of working in a male-dominated culture, Mary Kay grabbed $5,000 out of her savings account, hired a handful of independent beauty consultants and opened a tiny store in Dallas in 1963. Today, the late Mary Kay’s business is flourishing world-wide, with hundreds of thousands of beauty consultants and revenue in the billions. There are two tactics that Mary Kay started early on that were instrumental to her success, both involving how she managed people.

First, she started with a strong business plan based on her Christian faith and guided her employees and consultants to prioritize God, family and work, in that order. This business plan was the crux of her leadership philosophy throughout her career and was a consistency her consultants could count on. Second, she created a lucrative incentive program for her consultants that included her famous pink Cadillacs for top sellers. Mary Kay is frequently listed in surveys as a top business to work for. Continue reading

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What 80s Movies Taught me About Entrepreneurship

Small Business AdviceLast night, unable to sleep, I turned on my television, and found myself watching the 1983 movie Risky Business. I hadn’t seen it in years, and am not really the biggest Tom Cruise fan, but I was surprised that, as a small business owner, I could relate to this movie, about a young guy who inadvertently starts a successful brothel, in a way I never had before. To clarify, I could relate to the “starting a business” part of the movie, not the brothel part.

 In one defining conversation, Tom’s teenage character receives some very shrewd advice on life and business from his close friend, played by the man who would go on to become “Booger” on Revenge of the Nerds.  Future Booger tells him that, “sometimes you gotta say WTF, and make your move.”

Future Booger then goes on to say that “every now and then, saying WTF gives you freedom. Freedom brings opportunity. Opportunity makes your future.” Continue reading

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