The Value of Knowing Your “Highest And Best Use”

SIBP-Blog-NEW-B-3In the real estate world, there’s a concept called “highest and best use.” It’s a principle appraisers use to determine the optimal value of a piece of property. The basic idea is that a property’s use and its value are strongly connected. When a property is being used in the best way possible — taking advantage of its location, utilizing available parking, being in good shape with modern upgrades, and complementing other nearby properties — then it should also have its optimal value. When a property is being used poorly, on the other hand, its value suffers.

You might be thinking “That’s great, Tom, But what does this have to do with entrepreneurship?” Everything. Continue reading

Entrepreneur: A Job Description

IMG_2329What are the personality traits, core values and motivations that make for a great entrepreneur? It’s a tricky question to answer, because the best entrepreneurs come from wildly different backgrounds, started businesses for a wide variety of reasons, and often have deeply personal missions driving their work. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates couldn’t have been more different in terms of personality and their approaches to fostering the personal computer revolution, for instance, but both were clearly exceptional entrepreneurs.

To gain a better understanding of what makes a great entrepreneur, it might help to think about the topic from another perspective. Let’s put the role of the entrepreneur into a format most of us are familiar with. What would the job description for an exceptional entrepreneur say? Continue reading

4 Tips For Knowing If You’re Really Ready To Start A Business

SIBP-Blog-NEW-B-2For every would-be entrepreneur, there comes a time where you’ve done all the planning and prep work you possibly can. You’ve taken your time, you’ve asked all the right questions, and there’s seemingly nothing left to do but get started. Yet, there’s still that nagging doubt. Maybe you’re missing something. How can you know that you’re really ready to start your business?

Starting a business is a scary prospect, particularly if it’s your first time. Can you really trust your gut instincts when that same gut is also filled with butterflies? It helps to have some outside confirmation that you’re truly ready to roll.

In this post, I’ll talk about four simple tips for knowing if you’re ready to turn your well-planned business idea into a real business. Continue reading

6 Things To Remember About Startup Failure

Image source:

Image source:

Most startups fail. That may seem like a strange sentiment coming from a business coach and self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur, but it’s the truth. A big part of being a successful entrepreneur is becoming comfortable with the reality that you might pour your heart and soul into a business, only to see it crumble right in front of you.

At the same time, failure isn’t a bad thing. As I explain below, failure can actually be one of the most valuable entrepreneurial experiences you could ask for. It can be a powerful teacher. But to get the most out of failure, you need to understand what it is, and to prepare for it before it happens. In this post, I’m be talking about the six most important things to remember about failure as you prepare to launch your business. Continue reading

The “Owning Your Own Business” Fallacy

IMG_2329As a business coach, I’ve talked with countless people about their dreams of owning a business. Along the way, I’ve encountered some deeply rooted misconceptions about what entrepreneurship is really like. It’s easy to see these fallacies when you ask people a simple question: “Why do you want to own your own business?”

Almost universally, people who are considering taking that entrepreneurial leap give the same answers: I can set my own schedule, and I’ll have all sorts of flexibility; I’ll make money for myself instead of other people; and I will be my own boss.

It’s not that those things aren’t true, or that they don’t happen. They do, and they are definitely perks of the job. But they don’t tell the whole story. As someone who has owned several businesses, I can tell you that this view isn’t quite what it’s cracked up to be. Continue reading

Four Questions To Test Your Entrepreneurial Fit

SIBP-3There is nothing more rewarding than starting your business. At the same time, becoming an entrepreneur takes a big leap of faith. It’s a tough job, and it’s not for everyone. Some people just aren’t cut out to be entrepreneurs, and that’s perfectly OK.

How do you know if you have the kind of personality, drive and perspective that makes for a great entrepreneur? There’s no one answer to that question. Entrepreneurs come from all walks of life, and from every background imaginable. The only reliable way to know if you have what it takes to successfully start and sustain your own business is to ask yourself some tough questions, and to be honest and real with yourself about the answers. Entrepreneurship is an experience you need to go into with your eyes open. Continue reading

Ep. 080 – Jason’s Horror T-Shirt Sales Fiasco

horror-movie-podcastWhen he’s not playing producer and co-host to this show, Jason Pyles has another life as the host of the popular Horror Movie Podcast. The HMP has an active community of listeners and fans, and Jason thought it might be a good time to try his hand at creating some merchandise to help financially support the show. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out as well as he hoped.

What went wrong? What can be salvaged, and what can be improved next time? In this episode, the co-host becomes the student as Jason talks with host and business coach Tom Ryan about his troubled plan to sell a few T-shirts. Continue reading

Ep. 079 – Five Easy Ways to Stop Vibrating, Part 2

SIB-Blog-5In this episode, host Tom Ryan continues his list of five great ways to reclaim your time and energy when you’ve gotten stuck in a time-sucking rut. Vibrating in place takes a lot more effort than you may realize, and it really doesn’t help you generate the forward momentum you need as an entrepreneur.

These tips will help you reclaim your time, create better work/life balance, and set some important boundaries. Stick around for a fun bonus list of Tom’s personal “balance muses” at the end. As always, Tom is joined by co-host Jason Pyles. Continue reading

Ep. 077 – The Work-Life Balance and Seven Signs of Vibrating, Part 2

SIB-Blog-2Are you really constantly overworked as you build your new business? Are you truly too overwhelmed to make time for your personal life? Or are you simply obsessing over the tiny details, “vibrating” in place rather than generating forward momentum?

In today’s episode, host and business coach Tom Ryan wraps up his “Seven Signs of Vibrating” list. If you answer “I’m busy … but it beats the alternative” when someone asks how you’re doing, you need to listen to this podcast. Continue reading

Ep. 076 – The Work-Life Balance and Seven Signs of Vibrating, Part 1

SIB-Blog-1Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is one of the biggest problems for entrepreneurs. The more dedicated you are to the business, the harder it can be to have a rich life outside of the office. When you’re that busy, can be hard to find time for the personal stuff.

Or maybe not. Are you really that busy with meaningful, business-related tasks? Or are you just “vibrating” in place, seeming busy and active, but actually accomplishing very little? Host Tom Ryan and co-host Jason Pyles explore this idea and more on today’s show. Continue reading