How a Bad Boss, Boredom, and a School Crush Led Me To Entrepreneurship

I'm always fascinated by stories about how people decided they wanted to become entrepreneurs.  We always hear about the inspiring story, or the life changing event.  But, in most cases, it was a series of events and circumstances that all connected together to put the right pieces in place. That's my story, and I thought it would be fun to share it with you.  This starts back in 2009 when I started my first site, The College Investor, and hopefully it will give you some encouragement to start your own journey based on your own circumstances.   The Bad Boss Looking back, I really think that it all started with a bad boss that I had but really didn't even know it until looking back in hindsight.  This boss was terrible, but I … [Read more...]

The Biggest Problem with the Ease of Internet Business

I'm building an Internet business, and I also know a lot of others who are doing the same.  I think the Internet is by far the greatest invention of all time, and it opens up so many opportunities that never existed before.  But there is a big problem with how easy the Internet makes things, and not a lot of people discuss it. Like Yin and Yang, with ease comes complacency.  Steve Jobs said it best: The problem with the Internet startup craze isn't that too many people are starting companies; it's that too many people aren't sticking with it.  That's somewhat understandable, because there are so many moments that are filled with dispair and agony, when you have to fire people and cancel things and deal with very difficult situations. … [Read more...]

Do’s and Don’ts of Applying for a Staff Writing Job

Over the last two weeks, I've been looking to hire some staff writers for my sites, as I talked about in my April Income Report.  Since I'm transitioning to having a fuller publishing schedule on two of my sites, I really wanted to have some talented writers help me and provide awesome content to compliment the site and continue to improve the brand. As such, I put out a call for staff writers.  When my close contacts were exhausted and I still needed some writers, I went to the ProBlogger Job Board.  Needless to say, that was a great source of talent, but also a great source of resume spam.  Posting on a major job board really has made me appreciate the talented individuals that are out there, and I'm so happy for the couple that I've … [Read more...]

Side Business Time Management 101

The hardest thing about building a side business is time management, especially as your business grows.  This has been something that I've perpetually struggled with, especially as my business has grown over time. Unless you're going to launch into your business full time (which I don't advise), you're going to start your business on the side. As such, I want to touch base on a few key time management tools and schedules for helping you balance a side business while working full time.  Plus, I hope you'll see that you can work full time and run a business.  It is possible - let me show you some tools of the trade.   The Schedule The first thing you need to figure out when it comes to side business time management is your … [Read more...]

How Malcolm Gladwell Inspires Entrepreneurship

If you haven’t heard of him, Malcolm Gladwell is the best selling author behind books likeOutliers and The Tipping Point.  In Outliers, he looks at what makes high achievers different, from a very analytical perspective.  In The Tipping Point, he looks at how ideas, trends, and other things spread like wildfire. Regardless of whether you agree with the arguments he makes, and the connections he lead you on, Malcolm Gladwell shares a ton of great advice that entrepreneurs, and potential entrepreneurs, should really take to heart. Here are some of the key ways that Malcolm Gladwell inspires entrepreneurship in his stories: Autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward – are, most people will agree, the three … [Read more...]

Trigger Points: What Makes You Want to Quit Your Job?

If you're here, chances are you're looking to quit your job to go out on your own.  That's the premise of the Quitters Checklist - how to quit your job and move to self-employment. But before making any move to self-employment, you need to ask yourself - what triggered these thought and ideas in my mind?  Why do I suddenly want to give up the known for the unknown?  Yes, it's cliche, but the old saying goes: the grass is always greener on the other site.  Remember, something you don't have is something you probably idealize.  So, it may not line up with reality. That's why self-reflection and understanding on your quitting trigger points is huge.   Trigger Points for Quitting Your Job People want to quit their jobs for a … [Read more...]

The Impact of Regret on 8 Successful Entrepreneurs

Regret is powerful.  It's life changing.  It makes you go back and think about something that you should have done different. Wikipedia defines regret as a negative emotional reaction to personal past acts or behaviors.  The thing about regret is that it changes people.  You can't change the past, but you can change the future.  Even more than that, by sharing your lessons learned, you can help others. That's why I'm excited that these eight successful entrepreneurs were brave enough to share their regrets here at Beat the Nine to Five. The question I asked all of these successful entrepreneurs was: What was your biggest regret and what did you learn from it? The interesting aspect was there were some successful entrepreneurs … [Read more...]

Can You Escape Your Job to Become a Freelancer?

A lot of people dream about leaving their day jobs - I know that I'm one of them.  And one of the most popular routes that people take when they leave their job is to become a freelancer or a consultant.  While building up a solid freelance business can help you leave your job, does it really provide the freedom of leaving the rat race?  Let's take a look...   The Perks of Freelancing There are so many perks when it comes to freelancing.  Just look at awesome stories from people like Tom at Leaving Work Behind or Matt at Life Without Pants.  Both of these guys have highlighted the many perks that come with starting a successful freelance business.  These include working on your own time and terms, not having to answer to a boss, … [Read more...]

Onboarding Your First Virtual Assistant

Hopefully you've found a great virtual assistant by this point and are ready to onboard your first virtual team member.  If you haven't done so already, check out my Virtual Assistant Guide where you can find a lot of great resources around finding and hiring your first virtual assistant. Now that you think you've picked out the right candidate, here are the next steps to take to hire and onboard your virtual assistant.   Welcome, Introductions, and Legal The first thing you typically need to do if you went through a service like Virtual Staff Finders in notify the HR Director that you originally met who you plan to hire.  Then, you should send a welcome email to your virtual assistant.  In this email, thank them for their … [Read more...]

My Guide to Finding and Hiring a Virtual Assistant

So far, my virtual assistant series has been one of my most "asked about" topic.  It seems like outsourcing and getting help is something that most online entrepreneurs (and offline business owners) have considered doing, but really didn't know where to start. So far, I've written about what tasks you can outsource to a virtual assistant and how a virtual assistant has helped me, so I thought it was a good time to share how I found my virtual assistant and a guide to help you find one as well. Since this has been one of my most popular topics, I've also created a total Virtual Assistant Guide to help anyone find the tools that they need to hire the right help and the right time. Here's my guide to finding a virtual assistant for … [Read more...]