Archive for January, 2009


I learned a strange thing down in the islands years ago.  When I wrote about an experience in my “Island Notes,” people reacted poorly if my tone was negative, even in truth.  On the other hand, when I took a positive or light tone, even when describing a tragedy (finding that silver lining), my readers […]

Is That the Best You Can Do? »

By Bill Willard Contributing Author The issue:  Take a minute: How many ways can you think of to leverage the simple question: “Is That the Best You Can Do?” What I Think:  As a writer, I use it to edit my work—right after the spell-checker—before sending anything to clients or posting to Internet sites like […]

Busting Myths & Getting It Done With Life Equity »

The Issue: Formal education is a fine thing, but before setting out on their own, would-be small-business owners are advised to have completed a semester or two at The School Hard knocks: at least one pass through the proverbial meat grinder of life (ouch!). Those who’ve been there and done that value the practical experience […]


I once worked for a small company where the two owners were so focused on the perks of owning the business that they forgot how to run it.  They leased expensive cars and hired employees they couldn’t afford so that they could be The Managers.  They also shut down at noon on Friday, and then […]

A Remarkable Lesson »

Stress is a Fact of Life; Deal With It! By Bill Willard Contributing Author The Issue: Deep-dish stress can make you feel helpless, as if there is no way of overcoming problems except coping with them until the situation improves. For small-business owners and freestyle entrepreneurs, pressure and stress are routine parts of the scenery—like […]


I am unemployable.  People laugh when I say that, but it’s frighteningly true.  I escaped from corporate America in 1984 (exactly at midnight, December 31st), when I took the plunge into ruining my own life (rather than letting some quasi-competent manager do it for me).  I never looked back.    No, I’m not all that […]


       Burnout and boredom are the top reasons small business owners pack it in and either sell out or shut down.  These two factors account for 50 percent of all busi­ness sales.      It makes sense.  Successful busi­ness owners tend to be creative problem solvers.  They are also easily bored.  Plus, they don’t just commit […]

How Do They Do That? »

A Business Model for Surviving Armageddon By Bill Willard Contributing Author The Issue:  It’s official: The nation’s financial meltdown and economic nose dive made 2008 one lousy year, deep-sixing everything from banks and airlines to scores of retailers whose brands we all grew up with, and dragging untold numbers of once-secure jobs along with them […]

Shuttle to Success »

Approximately 80% of the time I make a two-block walk between the Park ‘N Ride and my downtown Des Moines office each morning and evening. Sometimes, however, either because it’s cold, icy or I’m just plain lazy; I hop on the shuttle bus known as The Link.   In doing so recently it gave me […]


  I’ve been called a control freak and an egoist.  I generally reply, “Thank you.”  I’ve also had people try to get me to make decisions by committee.  The result has always been warm and fuzzy failure.    Any entrepreneur must have a healthy dose of self-love, confidence, a my-way-or-the-highway sense of conviction, and an […]