Category: Entrepreneuralism

BEAT THE RECESSION: DITCH THE HUNKER-IN-THE-BUNKER MENTALITY »

  I can pick winners and losers.  As the Great Recession continues to stumble along, more and more businesses are finding that there is just no more fat to be cut.  Many have pared back, cut down, reduced expenses to next to nothing, and are just holding on … hoping and wishing. Bad news:  These […]

STOP BLAMING THE RECESSION »

by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur Yes, we are awallow in The Great Recession.  So, take a few minutes to snivel, whine, complain … and then get over it.  If your biz is in the tank, stop blaming the recession.  And definitely stop sitting around hoping and waiting for it to end.  Do something about it! […]

INVEST IN YOURSELF! »

by John Ingrisano The Freestyle Entrepreneur Are we there yet?  That’s the kids’ mantra from the backseat.  It can also be our whine when we wonder about when it’s ever going to get easier in our business.  Well, when it comes to you and your business success,  the answer should be:  Not yet!  The fact is, […]

HOW SBO’S THINK »

“If you don’t drive your business, you’ll be driven out of it.”– Malcolm Forbes   I’m John R. Ingrisano, founder and president of Custom Communications and owner of The Freestyle Entrepreneur (www.TheFreestyleEntrepreneur.com).  I’m a marketing strategist who has helped businesses survive, grow and make money for 35 years. What you do (and let’s see if […]

MAKE YOUR CUSTOMERS GIGGLE WITH DELIGHT! »

I’m an old, crusty dog, writing about business and doing dog-and-pony presentations for better than 35 years.  So, I’m hard to surprise and even harder to delight!  Still, that’s what happened this week. As you may recall, in the name of shameless self-promotion, I sent out a notice a few days ago announcing that my […]

TRIBUTE TO SMALL TOWN SBO’S »

Growing up on suburban Long Island about 30 miles outside New York, I saw a lot of successful business people. Most of them (and most were men back then) were crispy clean executives, wearing severely white, starched shirts, impeccable suits and shoes that glowed, and they were groomed like something out of today’s Mad Men […]

COMPETING IN A TOUGH ECONOMY »

                                              By John R. Ingrisano How to survive and thrive in a tough economy:  It’s not the big things; it’s not the little things.  It’s both the big things AND the little things that will make it a slam dunk. Example:  Recently, a friend needed a new alternator for her car.  I shopped it around.  […]

MAKE YOUR OWN RULES »

                                             As a small business owner, you don’t follow the herd.  You lead it … and if anyone else follows, that fine.  If not, so be it.  (One of the best bumper stickers I ever saw read:  “Unless you’re the lead sled dog, the view never changes.”)  You’re holding your business together and making it […]

TEACHING MY CAT TO HUNT »

  “When somebody shoots your dog, teach your cat how to hunt.” – Old Southern Saying   The bad news:  Somebody shot my dog.  The good news:  I’m teaching my cat how to hunt.  Let me explain. The recession caught me between a rock and a hard place.  First, my small consulting business crashed, losing […]

THE RECESSION AIN’T OVER ‘TIL … »

We didn’t start the recession.  That, in my opinion, was the brain child of stupid government policy and trough-happy big businesses who couldn’t resist the lure of “easy” government money.  But that’s a topic for a different day.  We – as in the millions of small businesses across the land — didn’t start the recession.  […]

HOW TO SUCCEED: BIZ QUIZ »

Definition of a business owner:  Someone who works eighteen hours a day for himself or herself…to avoid working eight hours for somebody else!  Building a business can be tough; keeping it going and turning a profit doesn’t always get any easier.  It takes a lot of hard work and determination…with no guarantees.  Nearly a million […]

WITH APOLOGIES TO MY CHILDREN »

I’ll get to the title in a minute.  First, I must start by saying that I love to hit the floor running hard every day in the quest for business.  I also love to end the day exhausted, spent, without anything left to give.  Family and friends have told me there’s only one thing worse […]

WEDNESDAY QUOTE OF THE DAY »

  You don’t “stand” your business. You don’t “walk” your business. You “run” your business! Ready?  Set? Go!         –    John R. Ingrisano                The Freestyle Entrepreneur  

How to Re-ignite the Fire in Your Belly »

  The nature of being an SBO invites burnout.  That’s because, if we’re doing it right, we come home every night on empty – bedraggled, worn out, totally spent.  That can take its toll over time. I know I’m approaching burnout when I begin having weird fantasies.  In addition to the one about two showgirls […]

THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT »

  On a quick day trip to Milwaukee yesterday, we scheduled dinner out with my son, his wife and their three children.  Jonny (Jonathan to the rest of the world) is a successful, 35-year-old partner in a mid-sized law firm, who maintains a good balance between super-long work weeks and family time.    During dinner, he apologized […]

DARE TO DREAM! »

  It has been my experience that there are two kinds of people in this world:  those who dare to dream big and exciting and wondrous dreams … and those who live in little boxes waiting for someone to tell them what to do.   Where do you want to be in a year?  In […]

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Hard Work Trumps Brains   My dad was a plodder … but he plodded his way to become an MD and picked up the title of “Nassau County Family Physician of the Year” two years in a row.  I also know a couple of millionaires.  I can beat the pants off them in a game […]

High Standards Matter »

  When I launched an ill-fated business in the Caribbean years ago, I never quit working to find ways, each and every day, to cut my costs by a fraction here, raise my sales by a smidge there, etc.  It was a daily challenge upon which I thrived.  (The business did fail, but that had more […]

THE INSTINCT OF THE ENTREPRENEUR »

[ A verion of this article first appeared in the June 2009 issue of Corporate Report Wisconsin.]   (This could be titled, “How John Lost His ‘Blink Factor’ … and How He Got It Back Again.”)   Like the cat that always lands on its feet, some entrepreneurs consistently seem to stroll through the mine fields of […]

THE ENTREPRENEUR »

[A version of this article first appeared in the May 2009 edition of Corporate Report Wisconsin] Note to the university professor at last fall’s business conference:  The following is an attempt to explain why I slipped out early during your presentation on “The New Economics.”   As a business writer, I send out biz-tip email […]

Avoiding the Taxman? »

States Offer Voluntary Disclosure Programs to Help With Delinquent Tax Returns By Jonathan Medows, CPA Medows CPA, PLLC (www.medowscpa.com). Despite the obvious benefits of being your own boss: flexible hours…stimulating daily work…the opportunity to make more money than you can working for someone else, small-business owners and freelancers face challenges unique to self-employment. Along with […]

THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT »

 [A version of this article first appeared in the April issue of Corporate Report Wisconsin.]   Who has the entrepreneurial spirit?  Not everyone, that’s for sure.  While many people dream about the romance of being self-employed (I know, romance?), most folks aren’t cut out for the life.  So, here’s a tale of two guys and […]

WE’RE AN ODD, UNEMPLOYABLE BUNCH »

People who know me tell me I’m unemployable.  There’s some truth to that.  I’ve been self-employed since 1985.  I’ve been borderline wealthy and down to my last 17 cents.  I’ve had a handful of employees and had a staff of just me … unless you count Rocky the Boxer and Toni the Golden Retriever.   […]

Why I Love Marathoners »

I’m a draft horse.  I can plug along for hours upon hours when put to a task.  My brother, on the other hand, is off running the Boston Marathon this weekend.  I admire him and others who work and sweat and train their bodies so they can actually run 27+ miles.  I love them because they not only […]

JUST YOUR EVERYDAY, NOTHING-UNUSUAL BUSINESS OWNER »

Let’s not confuse small business owner with entrepreneur.  Yes, by definition, an entrepreneur is a business owner.  However, I think of entrepreneurs as wildcatters who roam the landscape looking for investment and business opportunities.  Most of us aren’t all that glamorous.  You could say we’re usually mostly downright usual.  For example…     We’re usually amateurs […]