Monday, March 28, 2011

8 fault lines on the road to entrepreneurship

All the while I wrote about small businesses for the Denver Post and ColoradoBiz, people asked me: Why don't you go into business for yourself?

My answer? I'd have to work too hard! The many entrepreneurs I wrote about were working too hard all the time. I also did not know then, but felt fairly certain, that starting a business around my own writing would be as difficult a task as I had ever set out for myself.

I'm now learning the truth about both those preconceptions as I try to make a business of, where this small-business blog and my other writing become my products, products I want to sell to advertisers.

Note well: The visible lack of advertisers on this blogsite is testimony to how difficult I'm finding converting "the dream" into profit.

But I'm not alone in this digital camp. Even big organizations like the New York Times have struggled to "monetize" their digital offerings, and today marks the newspaper's erection of a "pay wall" intended to eventually do just that.

So now might be the time to click here to see one example of a good source of information for small-business owners, the NYT's small-business blog called "You're the Boss." I've linked you to Jay Goltz's post last Wednesday, "Eight Fallacies of Entrepreneurship."

Goltz, who is identified by the Times as an owner of five businesses in Chicago, says: "I have compiled a list of frequently used phrases and comments that I often hear when people are discussing this decision [to start their own business] and that I think reflect serious misunderstandings. At best, these misunderstandings can lead to a waste of time. At worst, they can lead to very bad decisions and very big losses."

In the interests of saving both time and money for Colorado entrepreneurs, I thought I'd direct you to Goltz's well-conceived list. I'd also recommend "You're the Boss," which has a half-dozen other writers working for it each week, although I don't know how the "pay wall" will affect your access to the blog.

While you are in it, however, one way to multiply the value of reading each piece is to check out the comments of other active entrepreneurs who read them, even days after posting. The comments can be as instructive as the original prose.

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