Sundays are generally a day for relaxing, for most people. As the sun begins to fade, late in the day, there is a common mindset shift away from our enjoyed activities. We begin to think to ourselves "Tomorrow is Monday." Very few people look forward to Monday. If you happen to be one of the few that do enjoy the day, congratulations. Perhaps you will remember a time when you didn't enjoy the beginning of the work week. We've all been there, before. Remember, we may also return to that point of dislike or unexcited mindfulness, due to any unforeseen circumstance. Your happiness may only be temporary, and could be altered by someone else's decision.

How many of you feel stuck in a routine? A stagnant, stale, repeating schedule. The thought of the stack of to-do's that you must tackle, the pile of paperwork or tasks that you must unravel. All of this stuff is just on pause, awaiting your return to your desk. It can seem overwhelming, at times. That phone, curse that annoying digital ring tone. It can't wait to annoy you again, evidenced by the ringing it is already making as you first walk up to your desk. You aren't late, the callers are just relentless. That email inbox. Sometimes you wish you could just click "select all" and follow it with "delete". You smile when you think of doing this. But, you know reality cannot be avoided. The emails will keep coming. The important messages get buried beneath the reply-all conversations from people who just love to read their own messages.

Sometimes you'll find yourself staring at a wall in your cubicle or office. You begin to think "Is this really my life? Is this it? Do I really have to do this for 40 years? There has to be more. This can't be my life." Then your logic steps in to justify things. "Well, they are paying me to do this. I guess I'll keep doing it. I need a job. I have bills to pay."

How many of you are feeling throttled back at your job? Knowing you could do much more, but are held back from your potential? You succumb to doing busy-work that really isn't challenging to you. You continue to provide value, but feel unrecognized for it. You are continually told to wait your turn for those promotions, while watching the current role-sitters fumble with incompetence. You can keep watching that show, because you know that the company rarely removes people. You might be waiting a very long time, decades perhaps. "Pay your dues" they say. Welcome to the no-passing zone. Stay in line behind that slower moving vehicle. Now, this isn't to disregard wisdom and experience, but some corporations fail to realize that some people never gain those attributes - regardless of age. You can laugh, because we've all seen cases of this.

So what do you do about it? Complaining at the coffee machine in the break room, or while eating lunch with your co-workers won't solve anything. Everyone does that, it is like a favorite pastime for colleagues. Complaining never solves anything. Only action that results in change, can alter your trajectory. If you don't know what your career trajectory is, take a look at your supervisor. Maybe their supervisor, too. That is the path you are on. When you evaluate their positions, pay-scales, and lifestyles; is it going to be enough for you? Are their current standings equal to your final goals in life?

These are the questions that few employees take time to consider. The sad reality is that most people eventually land on a plateau of being content. We get to a point where what we earn, can make us sustain just enough pain. It isn't until we feel true pain, and discomfort that we are willing to incorporate changes. We might be running on that treadmill with a tasty snack hanging just before our nose, just out of reach. Then we look at our clock and 40 years have passed by.

These thoughts are what always made me strive for more. While I've truly loved many aspects of my engineering / project management career in oil, I always felt I could do more. If I wasn't going to receive the potential during that 8 hours a day at work, then I'd find an alternate path on my own time. I started building my own companies, in my spare time. It has proven successful. I've essentially led a dual career for the last 20 years, in two completely distinct industries. Oil and Automotive Performance. I have created huge networks within both industries, without merging the two.

I've always striven to do my best, on both sides of this career division. No doubt I've put more manhours into the oil side, as it is more demanding of time. Financially, both sides have been about equal in the long-term. I just want to provide you with the knowledge, and courage to understand what is possible. You can make excuses, or you can make things happen. This was the basis for writing my book, Sidehustle Millionaire. I know there are thousands of working professionals out there, who have hit that glass ceiling within their corporate careers. Highly talented, driven people, who will never get the opportunity to shine brightly. I also know of  younger generations of professionals that are hungry, and willing to take alternate paths.

When you aren't receiving the opportunities at your day job, sometimes you have to create your own. I hope to help thousands with this.





Reasons Why We Do Not Start a Business

There is no shortage of excuses available, when it comes to the consideration of starting a new business. Many people have simply created mental roadblocks, and set self-imposed limits of their own potential. Most of us already know the answers to our hardest questions, yet we still seek validation to take that first step. The internal struggle is the real battle here, nothing else.

These are the results that I compiled, while gathering research data for my upcoming book about starting a business. I sent out inquiries, and received over 100 responses back. These people consist of current business owners, and aspiring entrepreneurs. There was no specific industry requirement, no age or gender bias, nor revenue target. We received feedback from at least 5 different countries, as well. This effort was purely to collect the main reasons that people do not start their first business, and to identify the main drivers to starting a business. While I had their valuable attention, I sought to ask for lessons learned. What their challenges were, and what changes they would make if they were to start all over again.

The data below is expressed in a percentage, based on the number of responses received. I removed any single-digit responses, to provide more focus on the predominant replies.

1. What were the top 3 reasons that kept you from, or delayed you from starting a business?

  • 58%         Fear, self-doubt, lack of confidence
  • 56%         Lack of money or funding
  • 36%         Lack of knowledge, experience, or education
  • 33%         Already had comfortable salary / benefits career
  • 25%         Lack of time
  • 25%         Too many ideas, lack of focus
  • 18%         Negative influence from friends or family

No surprises here. The most popular answer that holds people back is simply fear. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of becoming successful. If anything, this shows you how important your mental mindset is. These people had to overcome these fears, and take that crucial first step. Fear isn't something tangible, you can't put your hands on it. It is purely a mental roadblock, which you will need to put in serious effort to improve upon. It is unfortunate that so many people are held back from their potential, simply by a lack of self-confidence. Confidence is purely a decision, it isn't a genetic characteristic. You simply have to decide to be confident, even if it feels uncomfortable at first. This is how you build real confidence, by trying it more often.

Lack of money was near the top, as expected. However, many of these business owners mentioned that the money thing was mostly a figment of their imagination, prior to getting started. Once they actually started the company, they realized how inexpensive it can be to actually start a business. Not every business requires huge funding, many could be started for a few hundred bucks. So, before you put money as a reason not to start, be sure to evaluate if the business you want actually requires a large investment. You may find it doesn't.

Feeling as if you do not have enough experience or knowledge was also similar to money. It was a perceived roadblock, but many entrepreneurs discovered that they were able to start and also learn along the way. The truth is, we never quit learning. Don't be afraid to jump, and learn as you go.

Rounding out the bottom of that list, is one topic that I address quite often with clients. The power of influence by their inner circle of friends and family. People love to keep relationships and attachments, even if those are deemed caustic. It is difficult for some people to let go, and they try to please everyone. If you are not being supported within your circle, it may be time to find a better circle. Spend less time with those who hold you back, and replace them with people that encourage you to improve.

2. What were your top 3 reasons to start a business?

  • 82%         Independence or flexibility
  • 73%         Increase of income
  • 35%         Gain a sense of personal accomplishment
  • 24%         Following passion, fun, or enjoyment
  • 20%         To help other people, or build legacy

Freedom! There was certainly a breakaway response within this pack of responses. While the potential increase in income was important to most, the idea of being in control of their own destiny was the most important reason to start a business. How many of these resonate with you?

3. If this is a side-hustle business, what reasons keep you from quitting your normal career?

  • 49%         Need for steady income or benefits
  • 20%         Enjoy their current career

The funny thing about this question, is that I did not specify any amount of responses. But, we ended up with basically two reasons that people would start a business on the side of their normal career. Several could not walk away from the stability their 9-5 offers, and a few even loved their current job. They just wanted to increase income, on the side.

4. Once your business was started, what were your 3 most difficult challenges about running the business?

  • 40%         Managing cash flow, financial and taxes
  • 31%         Lack of knowledge or time related to salesmanship or marketing
  • 29%         Managing partners, employees, or contractors
  • 20%         Time management
  • 16%         Managing growth or expansion
  • 11%         Work / Life balance

Did you know that a recent study from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 20% of all new businesses fail within their first year? And, 50% of those businesses fail within 5 years. The number one reason businesses fail is cash flow. Some data suggests as much as 80% of failed businesses are directly related to cash flow problems. Not pricing their goods or services properly, not generating enough revenue, not collecting on overdue invoices, screwing up payroll, improperly filing taxes. Money is the lifeblood of your company, and it is essential to manage it properly. You should make financials the #1 responsibility in your business, because you cannot operate without money. As a business consultant, I can't count how many times I've seen small businesses fail because they got behind on bills, and were just trying to drum up new business to pay for the old debts. It always leaves the last round of customers screwed, when they shutter the doors. Get ahead of that, be sure to keep enough cash on hand to operate your business, and flow that money through the process properly.

Marketing and Sales seems to be a really weak spot for new business owners. Pay extra attention to this! Just because you are a technical wizard, or have some awesome talent or knowledge in an area, it doesn't make you good at creating sales. That is Business 101, to create a transaction. Too many people jump into starting a business, but have no clue on how to market or advertise, and close the deal. There are numerous books, courses, and coaches out there that can help you with this. Do not take this lack of skill lightly!

5. Has your business has achieved your original goals? Choose one.

  • 47%         Have not met goals
  • 22%         Exceeded goals
  • 13%         Met goals

This result from the feedback shows us the hard truth. Not every company is successful, in the eyes of the owner. I know that it seems trendy for people to want to become entrepreneurs, but the reality is that there is still a lot of work required. Many times, we are buried under trivial tasks that we should be delegating or outsourcing, and cannot accomplish the priority tasks. There are many important aspects to running a business, and many times you feel like you are trying to coordinate chaos. We spend too much time trying to fix our personal weaknesses, rather than hire others who can compliment our strengths.

6. If you could do things all over again, what would you do differently?

  • 31%         Started sooner
  • 15%         Find coach, accountability partner, or mentor
  • 11%         Be more focused on one business, or the core business

I received numerous responses to this open-ended question, but these are the only three that got into double-digits of responses. Starting sooner was certainly the most common response, and this should help encourage others to take that first step. There is a Chinese proverb that I enjoy reading that goes like this: "The best time to plant a tree, was 20 years ago. The second best time is today." Those who responded wishing they had started sooner, no doubt feel this tree proverb in their mind. The second highest response was unexpected, simply asking others for help. Even though we hear successful people always suggesting to find a mentor or coach, it seems too many of us put this task aside. We allow our pride, ego, or anxiety, to hold us back from asking the advice of others who have done what you want to achieve. I've been guilty of this myself, and I've committed to asking more people for advice from now on. You see, even a business consultant and mentor still needs a mentor! Learning is not something that you have done, it is something you DO. Always. Never be afraid to ask for help, but just be respectful of other people's time. And, never hesitate to help others, when called upon.

I hope this data is useful for your mental processing, in determining where to start. I hope it shows you that the fears and thoughts you currently have are common, and that you aren't alone. Maybe this will help reduce the fear. I'll be capturing the main questions and responding to them in more detail within my book. This exercise was important, as I wanted to be sure that I can provide everyone with the best book possible. The book that confronts, and answers the hardest questions. I greatly appreciate all the participants taking the time to respond, and I hope you will find this data useful for your own business endeavors.


How To Name Your Business

One of the more popular questions I receive from aspiring entrepreneurs, is how to come up with a business name. I'll share my suggestions to help you, and give you some general rules to ensure that you pick an excellent business name.

Be Creative

Do some brainstorming. Write down several 1-syllable words that you feel represent your product or service. Write down as many as possible, whatever comes to mind. Then, try combining two words to create something. Shorter, easy to spell words are the best. Also, think of all the businesses out there that are now made up words. Google, Uber, Waze, YouTube, Facebook are all made up words, which didn't exist in the past. But, with powerful branding, everyone knows them. It is important to realize that your business name should also become your website address. You'll want a website address that is as short in character length as possible, easy for people to remember, and something that could easily be spelled if you said the website name to someone verbally. When people can't remember the business name or website, they won't try searching for it, either.

Avoid Your Home

I typically suggest that you avoid using regional specific business names. While that worked well in the past, it doesn't serve the digital age well. In fact, having a regional name could limit your customer reach outside of the region in your name. "Houston Tires", "Nashville Apparel", "Ohio Electronics" could give the perception that you only cater to a local market, and are potentially too small. If you want customers outside of your city, and state, then avoid using those in the name. If you have dreams of franchising your idea across the country, then certainly avoid regional naming.

Website Research

Now that you've come up with a few ideas for business names, you must test them on a domain register. That is a fancy name for a company that will sell you the rights to the website address, also known as the "domain name". I prefer to purchase and host my website domain names. Go to their front page and type in your business name idea into the "Search Domain" box, to see if someone already has that website address, or if you can purchase it. Try to avoid using any hyphens or underscores in any website address. An example, is better than, because you can't verbalize a hyphen when speaking the name to someone. It also sounds dumb, when you try to. "My website is iconic hyphen services dot com". Also, you will only want domain names that end with .com or .net, none of the other silly ones. These are perceived to be more professional, legitimate websites. Buy both .com and .net variations of your name, if available, to keep someone else from cloning your site. You can make both addresses redirect to your business page, later. If the website isn't available, I'd say to move on and try some other names. This is very important! Those made up words that were mentioned earlier, are a direct result of website branding purposes. They wanted to have a short, memorable website address. You'll find that many of the names you thought you were creative at making, are already taken. This is why they resort to making up words.

In summary, the most important factors for a creating business name, in this digital world:

  1. Is the website address (known as a "domain name") available to purchase? Only .com or .net should be used, as the perception is that these are more professional.
  2. The name can be a unique or made up word. Nobody used to know what a Google, Uber, or Facebook was.
  3. Is the name easy to remember, and easy to spell without someone having to ask how to spell it? This is important for verbal communication to customers.
  4. Is the name specific enough for your product or service, yet also broad enough to cover future products, services or expansion?
  5. If possible, avoid regional-specific names. Especially when you want to serve the world. "Nashville Apparel" could possibly limit your growth, outside of Nashville.

Best of luck! Have some fun with this.