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Advice for the Entrepreneur: Lee’s Tip #260

10 Apr 2018 Lee's Tips,Seller Resources

I just read a post by Katie Hammel in eBay for Business, “Why Every Entrepreneur needs a Mentor — and How to Find One”. It’s an excellent article. Chances are you’ve been a mentor in your own life, starting with your children or younger family members or friends.

I’ve learned a lot since I’ve been doing eBay Radio, both from Griff and from just about every eBay seller I’ve come to know. Successful people never stop learning, and even mentors have mentors.

I owe my success to many mentors in my career and in my life. I chose them for different goals I wanted to achieve. Some mentors follow special rules for mentoring; this can be a good way to go. I’ve also used the old-fashioned method: Keep your ears open, and your brain engaged.

Advice for the Entrepreneur: Lee’s Tip #259

03 Apr 2018 Lee's Tips,Seller Resources

When attending an all-day business event —- say in Las Vegas, in July —- you need to be comfortable from the ground up. Here are some shoe tips.
First, bring a spare pair with you to the convention space. Changing your footwear during the day can help relieve or prevent aches and pains.

You’ll also want to wear a walking-type shoe with good thick padded soles, accompanied by socks. Visitors often wear flip-flops or sandals, which are OK for outside, but not in casino or conference rooms. They’re open and don’t have the padding that a shoe with a sock has, so they don’t hold up well for walking long distances.

In addition, hotel and casino management wants us to feel comfortable, so they have the air conditioning set on High during the summer. That means you may end up with cold feet —- literally. Dress for the occasion, right down to your toes. Vegas babee!

Advice for the Entrepreneur: Lee’s Tip #258

27 Mar 2018 Lee's Tips,Seller Resources

Where do you eBay? If you say “from home”, then you’re among the majority of online entrepreneurs, who know that working from home is a blessing in so many ways.

However, you must make sure that your workplace allows for efficient and effective business dealings. While many at-home entrepreneurs start out at their dining room table, or on a bench out in the garage, they usually migrate into a true workspace. That means a part of your home that’s used exclusively for your business.

The IRS comes into play as well, because they allow you the home office deduction ONLY if you use that square footage solely for business. Make it look like a workspace, with a desk, shelves, and an inbox. You’ll work more effectively and enjoy the deduction.

Advice for the Entrepreneur: Lee’s Tip #257

20 Mar 2018 Lee's Tips,Seller Resources

Remember the elevator pitch? It’s a description of your business that should be no longer than a short elevator ride: 20-30 seconds, no more. So what do you say when you’re asked, “What do you do?” Your reply can make all the difference in people’s perceptions of your business life — and set the stage for credibility.

Depending upon your image needs, here are 8 responses I’ve heard that work quite well. Have some business cards to back up any of these statements:

  1. I own a company that markets products worldwide.
  2. I’m an ecommerce professional.
  3. I own an import/export business.
  4. I’m a product sourcer.
  5. I’m an internet professional.
  6. I own an ecommerce business.
  7. I’m an online entrepreneur.
  8. I sell on eBay.

What’s your elevator pitch?

Advice for the Entrepreneur: Lee’s Tip #256

13 Mar 2018 Lee's Tips,Seller Resources

When defining entrepreneurialism, risk-taking is often the first element mentioned. The result of some risk-taking is failure; that’s why it’s called “risk”-taking. Many entrepreneurs have filed for bankruptcy, lost everything, and had to start again from the ground up. Some give up, while others go on have successful businesses.

So what makes the difference? The first group gives up because to them, a failure means that they were a failure, not that the project failed. But even if you make mistakes that led to the failure, you haven’t failed; it’s the project that failed, and you took the opportunity to learn from your mistakes. Successful entrepreneurs try, try again. Risk-taking by its very nature means there is a possibility of failure. Don’t be afraid!

Advice for the Entrepreneur: Lee’s Tip #255

06 Mar 2018 Lee's Tips,Seller Resources

One of the biggest challenges work-from-home entrepreneurs face is when family and friends fail to take your workday seriously. You need to create a true work atmosphere in for your business.

Although one of the benefits of being your own boss is that you are able to take time off to do the things you want, it can be highly disruptive to your business to be constantly interrupted. In order to succeed, you must take charge of your average work day.

So 3 tips today:

  1. Post your hours of operation on your door, and make sure you stick to it. One of those handy “Do Not Disturb” signs showed up by mistake in my suitcase after a trip, and I hang it on my office door.
  2. Put your business hours on your voicemail and refer the caller to your home phone if it’s personal.
  3. Pretend you’re not home. Don’t answer your home phone or door during business hours. You’re not being anti-social; you’re being a business owner.

Advice for the Entrepreneur: Lee’s Tip #254

27 Feb 2018 Lee's Tips,Seller Resources

You’ve seen those movie or TV scenes where an executive has nothing on his or her desk other than their nameplate, a computer screen, one keepsake, and a pen. Follow suit.

Entrepreneurs get overwhelmed sometimes; it’s normal. However, you can make some changes, beginning with your desk. You should have only one project at a time on your desk. When you need to go on to the next project, put the present one away immediately.

Some companies are starting to purchase desks without drawers. That way your work is usually sitting on your desk, where it’s harder to ignore, so it’s usually handled the same day.

The first thing you can do is to remove everything from your desk. Start from scratch. On your desk should be nothing but your computer plus your task box, sometimes called your inbox; some pens and pencils in a holder; one memento; and a scratch pad, just in case. That’s it.

Try it. You’ll breathe more freely, and you’ll be more effective.

Advice for the Entrepreneur: Lee’s Tip #253

13 Feb 2018 Lee's Tips,Seller Resources

Dieters know very well the “moment of choice” when you’re looking at a menu and choose to make the right choice rather than get the Bloomin’ Onion for the table. After making the Bloomin’ Onion mistake one too many times, I ordered the shrimp cocktail appetizer instead. Less calories, better protein. It felt really good. The scale liked it, too.

So what is happening during that moment of choice, and how can we apply it to our business? Use the bad CEO/good CEO example: When the bad CEO is whispering in your ear, “It’s only one little scratch; no one will even notice it”, the good CEO is saying, “Should I list it and call out the scratch, or donate it?”

Always opt for being the good CEO. It shows your character. It only takes a moment to decide to do the right thing. Start recognizing those moments. Order the shrimp cocktail.

Advice for the Entrepreneur: Lee’s List #252

06 Feb 2018 Lee's Tips,Seller Resources

How many breaks a day do you take? What do you do on those breaks? In some businesses, you take your snack and meet your co-workers in the break room at designated times. In others, you are allowed two rolling breaks a day.

You are a business owner, so you get to choose. What should we be doing on our breaks? Pick two of the following:

  1. Eat a small snack and go for a walk.
  2. Brew a cup of tea and read a novel.
  3. Drink coffee and make notes relating to the rest of your workday.
  4. Catch up on the news and your personal email.

Numbers 1 and 2 are the right answers, because 3 and 4 involve work and possibly anxiety. Take at least 2 breaks a day, and totally get away from anything that even resembles work. It will serve you well.

Advice for the Entrepreneur: Lee’s Tip #251

30 Jan 2018 Lee's Tips,Seller Resources
One of my grandsons was mentored by his first boss, the restaurant manager in charge of hiring him. It changed his life. As he has grown, he moved to another city to work for others and brought those lessons with him.
As a small business owner, you already know the workday part of it, and you also know many of the benefits, like being your own boss and stuff. Now it’s time to start thinking about your responsibilities to others. If you hire the teenager next door, you have a responsibility to help shape that young person forever.
As a business owner, one of your most important jobs is to nurture your workforce. No matter the age, give your employee a timetable to complete tasks, make them accountable and teach them good customer service skills. You get a good employee, and you help to frame someone’s life far into the future.


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