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When my friend Robert Gerrish told me that he was going to work in the nude as a celebration of the freedom he has thanks to his life as a solopreneur, I thought … “Good Lord. Robert’s gone nuts.” Well, it turns out he won’t be the only one in the nuddy.Many other members of the Flying Solo community have also pledged to follow suit in their respective birthday suits. “Work in the Nude Day” inspired this week’s Enterprise post. [...]
You gotta love someone who is prepare to put themselves out there. That’s why I like this YouTube video so much. Mike Larsen is normally a pretty straight-laced, serious corporate guy who recently jumped ship to found his own startup, InsideTrak.com.au. In order to spread the word about his new business, he’s done his very own Ricky Gervais impression in this online video.
His antics – which included taking out an advertisement on his competitor’s website – inspired this week’s Enterprise post. [...]
I love stories about entrepreneurs. I’ve sure you’ve figured that out by now. It always amazes me how much some entrepreneurs will put it all on the line to turn their business dreams into reality. It’s not just the financial commitment, it’s the stress and sleepless nights that go with it. So when I heard John Allen and Mitch Fraser’s story, I wanted to share it.
John Allen and Mitch Fraser know what it’s like to fail. Three years ago, their entrepreneurial dreams were dashed and they almost walked away from what has now become successful home loan comparison site, Tomorrow Finance.
Allen, 28 and Fraser, 29, learnt a hard lesson after investing a combined $80,000 into a business that they thought would disrupt the home loan industry.
Tomorrow Finance works in a similar way to a mortgage broker. But while mortgage brokers often receive trailing commissions (which they receive for the life of the loan), Fraser and Allen negotiate one-off fees with the banks. Because the banks don’t have to pay ongoing fees for the life of the loan, Allen says this results in a cheaper home loan for consumers.
Taking the plunge
The pair had so much faith in their new idea, they plunged headfirst into the business at the end of 2009 and spent the next four months negotiating arrangements with banks. Allen quit a job at professional services firm PwC and moved back home with his mum. Fraser scaled back his own web development business in order to focus on the new venture. [...]
Two heads are better than one. Even better when there are three heads or more. I’m talking about tapping into a brains trust of people who can give you advice about your business. That’s where an advisory board can help, particularly if you are a small to medium sized business. That inspired this week’s Enterprise post.
Last week, an up-and-coming entrepreneur asked me to be on her board of advisers. As she’s just starting out in business, it’s a smart move. She wants to tap into the brains of people who have had more experience than she has, and soak up their advice.
When I first started my business, I didn’t seek advice, mentoring or coaching of any kind. But I wish I had. It took me a few years before I had my first mentor and it transformed the way I approached my business.
Members of an advisory board to a small business often participate on a voluntary basis. However, depending on their level of involvement, payment (or an equity stake) may be involved. There are few formalised rules over how a board of advisers should be run, so it’s up to you to determine what will work for your business and what you need to do to get the right people on board (pardon the pun). [...]