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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

There are no shortcuts!

While on vacation this week - I ended up catching one of those infomercials that start at 1 am. I was surprised because this one was so outrageous but it was aired on CNBC which I feel is a fairly reputable source for business news and information.

I have been out of touch on the "make millions from home" infomercials but they have really stepped up their game. Let's all be honest with each other - if you could work from home for yourself on line and make $7,000-$10,000 per month - you'd feel quite successful. And... I know that that is entirely possible - but as we have always said here at the Corporatepreneur - that doesn't come easy. It takes years of hard work with little to no return until you figure out your business model and niche.

So don't fall for an infomercial that says things like "take a shortcut to making millions on line - and you don't even have to know how to use a computer!" Maybe people are finally catching on to these schemes promising to make you rich - so they had to step up their game. Again like I said if you make $7,000-$10,000 per month you are doing quite well and it would be life changing - but apparently these infomercials don't stop there...

What about making $7,000 per week!

Still not interested in their $40 product - what about $15,000 per week!?!

Or maybe $40,000 per week (more than most people make in 1 year)...

And before you can catch your breath they hit you with $6,000 PER DAY ($180,000 per month!)

Still not falling for their pitch - they step it up to $100,000 PER WEEK!

In case you thought your eyes were playing tricks on you or there was a typo - they hit you with $110,000 per week!

What about some unspecified time frame in which you can make millions!?!?

How could you not order their $40 gimmick now? Well let's talk about this for a second. What do you think you could do that would be worth $100,000 per week? I'm just bringing us back to basics here that in order to make that much money - someone (or some group of people) would have to pay you that much money in a week because they felt what you were offering was worth it. And I'm not even saying that in business this is impossible (think Dell, Microsoft, Google, etc) BUT - you won't get there with a $40 program where you can work from home and not know how to use a computer and have huge checks deposited into your account.

How huge a check? How a bout $110,400 in one day!

So my point from this whole rant is - don't fall for the quick fix. Becoming an entrepreneur is a long hard road - but the payoff in the end could be huge IF you focus on building a business of great value to others - not some get rich quick scheme.

It is my belief that if the folks behind this infomercial had a system that really worked - they wouldn't sell it for $40 - they would start a company and hire employees to do this work and pay them 1/2 of the profits and keep 1/2 for themselves (still a good deal for all involved). So why sell it for $40 - because it probably doesn't really work like they say and they want to get $40 from everyone who wished it did. Just one man's opinion.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

An Entrepreneur's Poem

I’m not coming in to work today
An Entrepreneur's Poem

I’m not coming in to work today
And this really shouldn’t surprise you
If you took the time you’d know –
There’s so much more that I can do

I can’t cost save any more
Another meeting I can’t sit through
I have no passion for this crap anymore
It’s been captured in my review

I just won’t run the rat race again
Too much politics and things untrue
And too many years I feel I’ve sold
For wages below my value

I’ve decided to leave the corporate world
To let my spirit free
For in the real world you know
You’re not the boss of me

The business decisions haven’t been that hard
There was no need to complicate it
You managed out of fear of your own boss
And made all your employees hate it

I know money, I know sales,
It’s just not that hard you know
But you confined me in this terrible job
With not much room to grow

So you work smarter instead of harder
Increase your productivity
I’m going down a better road
To become what I’m meant to be

A leader, a blogger, a singer – who knows?
It almost doesn’t matter to me
I’d much rather do one-hundred things
Than the few you gave to me

You see I’m not at all sick of working
I need an outlet for my creativity
It’s just the work you wanted seemed -
To drained the life from me

But don’t feel bad about me leaving
No company could work you see
Don’t blame yourself for my attrition
No. It’s not you - it’s me

I know that I am better than this
More capable than you could see
And I’ll get credit for all my work
When I am working for me

I’ll no longer count my hours
Or ask for a vacation day
I will just work my butt off -
And relax whenever I say

So I’ll forget my title, forget my rank
They didn’t mean a thing anyway
Just take this job and shove it –
I’m not coming in to work today

A poem by Tom @ The Corporatepreneur (c) 2008


Thursday, December 25, 2008

5 Steps to Entrepreneurship

This site is really about “Where do I start?” Most of us probably have had moments in our job where we wanted to start our own business. We might have a great idea. We might be frustrated at work. We might feel like we can do better if we only had a chance. But the steady paycheck and security are hard to leave. So how do you have the best of both worlds? That’s what corporatepreneurship is all about!

We’ve identified five steps to “having your cake and eating it too” entrepreneurship:

1. The burning desire
2. Baby steps
3. Corporatepreneur
4. Entrepreneur
5. Financial freedom

Most people consider entrepreneurship to be risky. The classical way of thinking about entrepreneurship was this:

1. The burning desire
2. Baby steps
3. Corporatepreneur
2. Entrepreneur
3. Financial freedom

So you get an idea, quit our job, and sink a ton of money into it and chase your dreams. Holy cow that is risky! By adding the “baby steps” and “corporatepreneur” steps, you reduce your risk a ton. And you can increase your motivation to actually get things started!

Keep checking back on this site… better yet, subscribe to our RSS feed! Our hopes are to show people in the corporate world how you can do your own thing. And if you’re not in the corporate world, you can learn a thing or two also… mainly in the “baby steps” category. We’ll face head on things like “I don’t have time” “I don’t know where to begin” “It’ll require way too many resources” “I don’t have enough money” and other stuff like fear, procrastination, motivation, and inspiration. Of course they’ll be “useful” stuff like how to outsource stuff you don’t feel like doing for $4/hr, how stupidly easy it is to get paid by Amazon or Ebay, and why you should take the idea of a business plan and shove it.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

5 Secrets to Success, Wealth, and Happiness

One man's road to Success, wealth and happiness was created by studying the Book of Proverbs, the proverbs of King Solomon (who knew). Anyways instead of a book review (I'll skip the part about how this guy makes his millions) I thought I'd save you some time and give you the gist of the book.

So here are the 5 Secrets to Success, Wealth, and Happiness. I have expanded upon the 1st two in detail because they really stuck out to me.

"Secret" #1 - Be Diligent
This Author states that it is pretty much human nature to take the path of least resistance, to do the minimum, and to just get by. He argues that in order for people to aspire to be more, all the success, wealth and happiness in the world is reserved as a reward for being diligent versus lazy.

He states that being diligent is to be:
a) Persistent towards your goal or in refining your craft (not in a stubborn way but with an openness to continuing to alter your course when needed to overcome obstacles).
b) Hard working
c) Well planned
d) Perform with speed, efficiency, and excellence so you will be sought out for your work.

The rewards of this diligence are:
i) True fulfillment without the want or need of material possessions
ii) Respect and admiration from society for your work
iii) Satisfaction and success
iv) Great wealth (everyone is happy to pay someone who does great work)

The author states that pretty much by being lazy you can assure yourself of having the opposite of each of the things above.

Most interesting was his beliefs around the root causes of laziness:
1) Self-centeredness - those who are open see the world around them will find an abundance of opportunity to make a difference with their own unique skills
2) Conceit or arrogance - those who are humble will be open to learn much from the world around them. Those who are arrogant know it all already and continue to takes the actions they want to take without improvement in approach or aspiration.
3) Ignorance and Irresponsibility (Foolishness) - The ignorant act without regard to the consequence of their actions. It is easier to be ignorant than to be educated because it takes time and effort to become something.

I won't be able to comment in as much detail as I would like on each of these without losing some readers, but this is one of two that I will comment on. At times I think you can go through the motions and do just enough to get by in this world because you haven't spent the time or the soul-searching effort to decide what you want to do. If you are going to do or study something, do it as best you can. If you are half-assing it - then you probably don't know what you want to do (or you may know it's not to become that which you are studying to become) so do something else.

"Secret" #2 - Eliminate Your Sense of Entitlement
A sense of Entitlement in any area of your life is an enemy that will keep you bound to unhappiness. This author argues that you will continuously be looking to others with unrealistic expectations and no control over what they actually are willing to give you. The only way to break loose of this unhappy and bitter cycle of entitlement is to release all unrealistic expectations you may have of others, including the government, your spouse, your employer, friends and your relatives.

This is the other topic I feel compelled to comment on. After spending 2 years studying Gen-Y (also known as generation debt) I have talked with many teenagers and people in their early twenties and I have seen this first hand. I am not sure what compels people to constantly keep score of what others owe them without thinking about what they have contributed in order to justify their "ransom". And too often you will find that the people who feel they are entitled to something are those who are desperate for that hand-out because they do not give enough of themselves to earn it. Once these people figure out how to earn what it is they desire (money, respect, etc) they will quickly break free of the chains of relying on others as they figure out how to rely on themselves.

In a business context the story goes as follows. Most people don't know how to make money. They don't know what they should do to have someone offer them compensation, so they look to an employer to tell them what to to to generate money for the company, and the company gladly gives them a wage which will be less than their output for the company. One famous business quote is that all of the enormous profits of the Fortune 500 companies are from excess output of the employees that they are not being paid fairly for. Once you learn how to earn money (or create money) without needing a company to tell you what to do, you will have "job security" for the rest of your life because you will always be able to rely an yourself versus needing a job from someone else.

But quickly back to the Gen-Yers. The sense of entitlement is alive and well as many people just starting out and working full time believe their standard of living should be as high as is was when living at home with mom and dad. They forget that it took their parents 20+ years to get to that level in their lives. This is a rude awakening for many Gen-Yers and a big reason why they prefer to live at home with their parents until they can save up for a higher starting standard of living. I still support Gen-Yers who chose to live at home with their parents because I think it is more responsible than starting out buying a home or a new car too soon while living lavishly. Far too many Gen-Yers start out with enormous college debt to let alone then add to their debt by spending beyond their means with no thoughts of saving for the future or retirement.

This section really struck me as I feel our nation becoming more of an entitlement nation than a boot-strapping nation of hard-working achievers which I believe is what built this nation.

"Secret" #3 - Be Grateful
If you are not grateful, DEVELOP a grateful heart. We all start with different levels of difficult situations in our lives, so this Author recommends if you currently don't feel that grateful, "treasure hunt" for things in your life that you could be grateful for already. In addition to warming you heart and those around you, you will begin to see joy in your life that is consistent, persistent, and lasting.

"Secret" #4 - Root out the weeds of Envy
Envy is a bottomless pit with no end. It is in opposition to feeling fulfilled. Envy is a misbelief that the things others have makes them happy or would make you happy. I think research has shown that by achieving a new level of possessions, we quickly recalibrate and would then desire what's next. When you know what you want in life, you can then know when enough is enough for you. Until you do that soul-searching, you will envy out of fear because you don't know enough about yourself to measure when you will have enough and be fulfilled.

"Secret" #5 - Live Wisely
The author states that Wisdom is not just about knowing what is right but acting on it. Living wisely involves DOING the right things, for yourself and for other around you. It is not enough to say "I know I should appreciate the people in my life" if you are actually being cold or bitter. It is an emptiness inside that fosters an external chill. Probably everyone knows someone who is curt or rude, and I also believe most people know that those people aren't happy with themselves more than they are unhappy with the masses they aim to irritate. Wisdom is about continual learning and self-improvement, and then putting those learnings into action. My takeaway from this point is not to just talk the talk but walk the walk. Another point that comes to mind with the live wisely point is that inner peace is not enough. I think everyone must then work to spread that peace.

So that's my long-winded summary. If you made it to the end congratulations. By no means do I pretend to be an expert on any of this, but I can now say that this book has brought it more top of mind as something I strive to be conscious of. And now - hopefully you will too because then in some small and indirect way maybe I can pass along some success, wealth and happiness to your life. That is your reward for being diligent enough to finish this blog!


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Tips for a better life in 2009

A friend sent these to me an I wanted to share them with you!

1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the
ultimate anti-depressant.

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Buy a lock if you have

3. Buy a DVR and tape your late night shows and get more sleep.

4. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'My
purpose is to __________ today.'

5. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.

6. Play more games and read more books than you did in 2008.

7. Make time to practice meditation, yoga, tai chi, and prayer. They
provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.

8. Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.

9. Dream more while you are awake.

10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is
manufactured in plants.

11. Drink green tea and plenty of water.. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan
salmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts.

12. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

13. Clear clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and
flowing energy into your life.

14. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of
the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest
your energy in the positive present moment.

15. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are
simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class
but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

16. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a
college kid with a maxed out charge card.

17. Smile and laugh more. It will keep the energy vampires away.

18. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

20. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

21. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

22. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.

23. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey
is all about.

24. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will
this matter?'

26. Forgive everyone for everything.

27. What other people think of you is none of your business.

28. GOD heals almost everything.
29. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

30. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will.
Stay in touch.

31. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

32. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

33. The best is yet to come.

34. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

35. Do the right thing!

36. Call your family often. (Or email them to death!!!) Hey I'm thinking
of ya!

37. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I am
thankful for __________. Today I accomplished _________.

38. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

39. Enjoy the ride. Remember this is not Disney World and you certainly
don't want a fast pass. You only have one ride through life so make the
most of it and enjoy the ride.

40. Please Forward this to everyone you care about.

May your troubles be less, May your blessings be more, May nothing but
happiness come through your door!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Great Quotes

I read this quote in "The 4-Hour Workweek" that I have to share. Especially since I often hear from friends, co-workers (and myself!) about the drudgery of the corporate world. This quote puts "the worst case career scenario" in perspective:

"Getting fired... is often a godsend. Someone else makes the [difficult] decision for you, and it's impossible to to sit in the wrong job for the rest of your life. Most people aren't lucky enough to get fired and die a slow spiritual death over 20-30 years of tolerating the mediocre." - "The 4-Hour Workweek"

Another related quote comes to mind

"All courses of action are risky, so prudence is not in avoiding danger (it's impossible), but calculating risk and acting decisively. Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer." - Niccolo Machiavelli

I have heard a lot of positive feedback from the Steve Jobs speech posted in my blog, however the Steve Tomlinson speech is even better! Since many people prefered to watch Steve Job's speech than to click the little play button of Steve Tomlinson's, I found a link to the text of his speech that is pretty close to the one I liked so much. I hope you have the strength to get through a fairly long text (10-15 min read).


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Less is more & Doing what you love

You may have heard it, but I am on a less is more kick. Less working, more living. Anyways here's a collection of motivational materials related to improving your life and doing more of what you love!

Quick Story:
Thanks to: "Living the 80/20 Way"

     Thinking about lunch, the vacationing businessman stared at the calm, blue sea. A small boat, laden with large yellow-fin tuna, docked near the pretty Mexican village. A lone fisherman jumped ashore.
     "That's a great catch," said the tourist. "How long did it take you?"
     "Not so long," replied the Mexican.
     "Why didn't you stay out there longer and catch more fish? It's only noon!"
     "That's enough fish to keep the family provided for," replied the fisherman.
     "What do you do with the rest of your time?"
     "Sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, have lunch, take a siesta with my wife, Maria. Stroll into the village each evening, sip wine, play guitar and cards with my amigos - a full and rich life, señor."
     "I think I could help you," the visitor said, wrinkling his nose. "I'm a Harvard MBA and this is the advice you'd get in business school. Spend more time fishing each day, buy a bigger boat, make more money, then buy several boats until you have a fleet. Don't sell your catch to the middleman, sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You'd control the product, production and distribution. You could then leave this small town behind, move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles, perhaps eventually New York City to run your expanding firm."
     "But señor, how long would this take?"
     "Fifteen, twenty years."
     "But what then, señor?"
     "That's the best part," the businessman laughed. "When the time is right, you could float on the stock market and make millions of dollars."
     "Hmmm, millions you say. What then, señor?"
     "Then you could retire. Move to a pretty village by the sea, sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, Maria, stroll to the village in the evenings, sip wine, and play guitar and cards with your friends!"

Two of my Favorite Speeches:

1) Steve Tomlinson:
Here's that great speech by Steve Tomlinson about not discarding any of your passions in life. If you have 3 very separate career interests, keep them all going because you might not yet see how they will all come together.

I tried to link to this before, but here it is! Enjoy the video (although it's just audio!).

Listen up until he takes questions from the audience.

2) Steve Jobs:

I've listened to both a bunch of times now!


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Stop and hear the music

Have you heard the cliche "stop and smell the roses?" I was never one to smell many flowers, having allergies and all. But I have stumbled upon a great story that will coin the phrase "stop and hear the music!"

Are we all too busy and self-involved? What are we running around for, aren't we busily passing the wonders of the world around us? I think these were the questions the Washington Post was trying to answer.

What happens when you take:
1) A world famous violinist who makes $1,000 per minute when performing
2) Put him in a busy subway dressed as a street performer
3) Have him play 43 minutes of the word's most amazing classical music on his $3.5 million dollar violin.

When 1,070 people will pass this performance what do you think will happen? Will crowds gather? Will they delay their commutes for a once in a life time treat? How much money will the musician make?

The sad answers are $32.17 and very few people seemed to care (only 7 people stopped for more than 1 minute).

The whole experiment was video taped and there is an excerpt in the article. While the article is long I recommend it, it's a great read especially to hear how the world famous musician Joshua Bell felt when a song would end and no one applauded. I guess people had something more important to do that hour with their lives (sarcasm). You could of course make an arguemnt about people not recognizing the "opportunity" presented to them but really isn't that the point, we are moving too fast to recognize all the potential around us. I know one fellow blogger who might have been on her blackberry the whole time :)

Stop and hear the music!

It's painful to watch.

Here is the full article
Pearls Before Breakfast: Can one of the nation's great musicians cut through the fog of a D.C. rush hour?

Also here is a link to the entire performance in the subway (audio only)
At the 14th minute there is a great version of Ave Maria


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Get Rich Quick / Work From Home

Are you ready to start working from home and getting rich quick? Who isn't?!!?

Well we have poured through ALL of the opportunities you may have seen online or on TV (usually late at night) and we here at the Corporatepreneur Blog have created a list below of all of the opportunities that will ACTUALLY help you get rich quick while working from home!

  • None
And maybe by now our point has been made. There is no shortcut to getting rich. We have been working hard at our own business for 8 years before starting this blog, and trust us - there are no shortcuts. In fact - in some ways that's a great thing! If becoming an entrepreneur were so easy, there wouldn't be any money in it at all. In the past 8 years we have struggled more than we could have imagined but also succeeded more than we thought possible. The work is harder and the payout is greater than we thought going in.

So get rich quick schemes just doesn't make sense. The US GDP can only be split so many ways - so there are no opportunities out there where you can just sign up and start making $5,000 per month from home right away - otherwise EVERYONE would already be in that line of work!! The same rules apply in entrepreneurship as any traditional business. In order to make money - you must provide something of value such that someone else wants to pay you for your product, your service, or your labor. And the more skilled you are - the more people will be willing to pay you. And this comes from education, training, and creativity.

So the fastest way to start down the path of true success as an entrepreneur is to ignore all of the hype and schemes out there and start educating yourself about what it really takes to make it. That's why we started this blog. As a place to share information with other entrepreneurs and help each other get out of "working for the man" and start working for yourselves!

So you need the Corporatepreneur - and we need you to post comments and share your insights, your links and your experience!


Tell us about your business!

Have you already started the journey from corporate employee to entrepreneur? If so, post a comment here and BRIEFLY tell us about your business. You can also post a link to your business and in the future we will create a list of Entrepreneur Business Links and help drive some traffic and get you some exposure!

Also if you are interested in writing a Guest Post about your business or entrepreneurship in general - email the post to us at: and we will review it for consideration for this blog.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

An invitation has been sent to your email!


An invitation has been sent to your email address - please confirm your request by clicking on the invitation link in your email inbox.

Then you can sit back and relax why we do all the work keeping you in the loop with the Corporatepreneur Blog!

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Thanks for signing up to our email list!


If you are reading this then you have joined the many others who feel that the Corporatepreneur Blog has some useful information about becoming your own boss and starting a business. That's what the Corporatepreneur Blog is here for! To help motivate you and inform you to succeed as an entrepreneur.

We will give you regular blog updates as well as the MEMBERS ONLY insider business Tips & Tricks.

Also the highest compliment you can pay us is to send a link to your friends if you know someone else who might be interested in starting their own business!

So now sit back and relax why we do all the work keeping you in the loop with the Corporatepreneur Blog!


About Us

What is the Corporatepreneur?
This is a blog about the dream of starting your own business and becoming your own boss. It really started years ago when a group of us would regularly meet (monthly or so) and share tips and tricks about becoming entrepreneurs. We called it the "meeting of the minds" and we would give updates on the progress of our businesses and lament about having to continue to work in the corporate world while starting to see the light of freedom that entrepreneurship offers.

Someone once told me that all of the corporate profits reported to Wall Street by these Fortune 500 companies are just "excess productivity that the employees are not compensated for." After I thought about that for a little bit - it really began to bother me. Basically all of my hard work was making someone else at the top of the ladder rich.

I can't completely bash the corporate world because it provides some stability and predictability, though much less than it used to. In my short 8 years "working for the man" I have seen enough evidence that the security offered by these companies is merely a mirage in the sand. I have seen talented people who gave their entire lives to a company let go because they could be replaced by much less expensive new-hires. I've seen employees and friends fired close to retirement, or given packages in order to retire years before planned. And now - as this blog begins in earnest, the economic situations are leading to an increased tightening or elimination of employee benefits including 401k matches.

But I don't have to go on and on telling you all of the reasons why it makes sense to start your own business. If you are reading this then you, like the rest of us, know where you want to go with your life but are looking for help along the way. That's what the Corporatepreneur is here for. There is a long and awkward period between when you realize you are worth more than what your employer thinks - but you have yet to make it on your own as a business owner.

So please become part of our community, post your thoughts and insights, and help us help each other. We really don't know where this blog is headed - it is more of a labor of love as all of us who started it have our own side businesses to attend to as well. Some are in their infancy, others are long defunct, but it's those few and precious ideas that start to take off that keep us working every day to try and make it on our own.

And now you are in luck! You can watch the process from our experience as well as share yours. In the past 8 years of doing this we have made more money than we ever thought and we have stayed in corporate jobs longer than we imagined even when we make as much or more on the side! (When is it a good time to cut your income in half!?!)... But more to come on that.

For now please take a look around this blog and if you see something of value - please send it to your friends or others you know who might be dreaming about becoming their own boss!


Tell Other Entrepreneurs About Us

If you find this blog helpful and know someone esle who might be interested in starting their own busiess - send them a link! It's the highest compliment you can pay us!


Thank You!


Are you reaching your potential?

If this doesn't make you want to run out of your cubicle and start your own business (finally), nothing will!


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