Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Entrepreneurial Focus

For some reason or another, this time of the year, I'm on this whole start your own business, go for dreams type of thing. So, the next couple of blogs will revolve around this concept of focus and how it applies to the world of entrepreneurship.

Indeed, from interviewing different small business owners and studying entrepreneurship as a whole over the years, I have found that being focused is such a fundamental part of being a successful entrepreneur that separating these two ideas would be as unwise as bringing a knife to a gunfight.

As an entrepreneur, if you are not focused, there is a big chance you may miss out different opportunities that could be capitalized on. 

As a case in point, before I started this blog years ago, I noticed that the Trentonian's blog center had business blogs, but they had no blogs specifically for small business in the city of Trenton. So, after observing this, and reflecting on my skill set and research interests, I found it to be a no-brainer to start a blog that would fill this void I noticed. And then Anwar's Reflections was born.

The bottom line here as an entrepreneur, it is critically important that you keep your eyes and ears open for gaps or opportunities in the marketplace you may be able to fill with your knowledge, skills, and abilities. So below are some things you can do to develop an entrepreneur's laser like focus:

Use Google, Use Google, Use Google

Here the idea is to constantly search the Internet to find gaps or opportunities in the marketplace that you may be able to capitalize on. I'm not saying you have to stop 'Googling' who said what on the latest episode of Empire or American Idol.

All I'm saying is that if you're entrepreneurially inclined, its vitally important to set aside a little bit of time during your day to day Googling to see if there any opportunities in the marketplace you can take advantage of. If you need help perusing or surfing the Internet, visit these sites for more information, click here or here

Watch, read, or listen to the news paying particular attention to gaps or opportunities in the marketplace

When taking in your daily dose of what's going on in your world on television, radio, newspaper, or the Internet, don't just pay attention to the latest murder or robbery (unless that's your thing), instead keep your eyes open for different gaps or opportunities in the marketplace.

This could be something as simple as noticing that a group or organization is in need of a service or product that you can bring to the market with your knowledge, skills, and abilities. I can't say it enough, keep your eyes and open. Stay focused.

Talk to your friends,family members, and co-workers about your entrepreneurial interests

While catching up with your friends and family members on the phone, in-person, through social networks, and what have you, set aside a little time to mention your small business idea and where you are at with it.

Your friend or family member may have an idea or suggestion that you never thought of that can point you in the right direction as it relates to kick-starting your small business venture.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Small Business Resources

TRENTON-- Since this blog started out with a focus on small business, but somewhere along the way, got focused on community issues, I thought it would be good to go back to my roots and share with everyone some important resources I found that may help aspiring small business owners as they take their business idea and seek to turn it into a reality. 

So, I did some research online, and below you will find some of the resources I came up with, I hope this helps, happy holidays:

SBA or the Small Business Administration

This organization provides a wealth of information on how to start your business and get funding for your start-up. This site also provides information on business opportunities and different laws and regulations related to small businesses. To access the Small Business Administration's official website, click here

BizFilings

This organization has a small business guide that walks you through many of the practical things an entrepreneur or small business owner has to go through when launching a business. It also gives you critical tax information about starting and maintaining a business venture. To access BizFilings website, click here.

Google Docs

This site can provide you with spreadsheet software similar to Microsoft Excel or Word. These programs can help you better manage your business without the extra cost of other software. Both of these spreadsheets can prove to be integral to your small business needs when you are starting out. To access Google Docs, click here

IRS (Internal Revenue Service)

This site or organization can give you a wealth of information on how to define your business entity. It can also give you information on how to stay current on tax laws that affect business owners or entrepreneurs. Along with the IRS, its also important to refer to your state's taxation department or division to ensure you are registered with them properly as well. To access the Internal Revenue Service's website, click here.

U.S. Department of Labor: Office of Small Business Programs

This organization promotes opportunities for small business, especially disadvantaged businesses. To access the agency's website, click here

Bottom Line:

So, whether you are thinking about starting a barber shop, pizza place, or antique boutique, you as an up and coming entrepreneur are going to need various tools to cover all of your bases. Indeed, starting a business can be both rewarding and challenging.

Indeed, with your own business, you get to be your own boss, work your own hours, and pursue something that you may have always been passionate about. Can't get any better than that right, well...wrong. The other side of running a business involves its drawbacks or challenges. For example, having your own business will probably mean long hours, lots of homework or research, and a long term perspective. But nevertheless, by having your own business, the pros outweigh the cons. So, if you are feeling that entrepreneurial itch, go for it, what are you waiting for??? Now is the time, the sky is the limit....

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hell Hath No Fury Like A Nation Scorned

By Neisha Kelly

Black America is scorned.

We are sick and tired of turning the other cheek. It is like backing a cat in a corner and telling it not to attack. If black lives matter, "when will the senseless genocide of the black man cease?"

The black man is becoming extinct at the hands of those that are there to serve and protect. Is anyone policing the police?

The days since the no indictment verdict of Darren Wilson have been infused with anger, backlash, and outrage. We as a people are disappointed in our judicial system. It has adopted a shoot-first and ask questions later defense.

How many more of our men will succumb to someone’s innate fear?

The fear-mongers are hiding behind the justice system. When President Obama gave his speech Black America went numb and deaf. We are so tired of the backpedaling we want justice and peace is that too much to ask for.

I want you to know that I am not some angry person writing from a place of vengeance. But I want my nephews and god-son to know that their lives do matter. I am holding them a little closer at night.

I wrote a poem to honor Michael Brown.

Holding you a little Tighter Tonight

I am holding you a little tighter tonight
We are both hurting inside
We hurt because our people hurt
We hurt because when there is no justice, there is often no peace
I am holding you a little tighter tonight
Please hold me a little longer too
These tears that are falling so fast I cannot catch them
They are overflowing like a damn that cannot be stopped
Pouring out me of me like rain that brings floods
We are hurting
We are angry
We are disappointed
We want to be avenged

Yet violence is not the answer
So let me hold you a little tighter
A little longer
For tomorrow is not promised
Freedom of speech is such a farce
We cannot speak what we feel
We cannot shout how badly we hurt

Who will listen?

I am holding you a little tighter tonight
I pray I can hold onto you and have faith that these wrongs will be made right
Until then stay safe and secure in my arms
As I hold you a little tighter tonight!

When will black lives matter? Why is society so terrified of the black man? Why is he seen as such an ominous presence? I guess it goes back to the concept that we hate what we don’t understand. Fear runs deep on both sides of the law. Tensions run deep and distrust of the judicial system is at an all-time high.

How many more lives will be lost due to fear? The black man is an endangered species in our world today. He is being cut down at marginal proportions. Yet we are asked to trust our judicial system to work for all equally.

Tears roll down my face as I am disappointed that our judicial system stands back and allows black lives to be systematically annihilated. There is genocide in Black America and if this epidemic continues it will wipe us out completely. Who will save us?

How did the no indictment verdict leave you feeling? Do black lives matter? Share your thoughts below.

Neisha Kelly is the intrepid author of the blog, "Cultivation of You".