In This Issue

As you read this issue, think about these insightful words from Benjamin Franklin:

An investment in learning pays the best dividends.

Barbara next to Inspiring Tree Some people start a business and bring with them spendthrift behavior acquired in corporate life. In most instances, that's a shortcut to disaster. Nevertheless, thriftiness hasn't been highly valued in our spend now, pay later culture. If we had friends and relatives who were not thrifty, but downright cheap, our reluctance to be frugal may be fueled by our desire not to be cheap ourselves.

Financial serenity is not, however, the greatest reason to adopt a thrifty position. As Paul Hawken points out in Growing a Business, "Bootstrapping gives you a tremendous advantage. After the business is established you will understand that it wasn't new sources of money that held the key, after all, but the pluck and initiative you had to develop along the way. With low overhead, frugal means, and fragile budgets, you can't buy your way out of problems. You have to learn your way out. The creativity and tenacity you have to develop will make it hard for you to be put out of business."

So thrifty entrepreneurs become creative problem-solvers. Innovation, seeing things from new perspectives, becomes a way of life. It's not about scrimping; it's about mobilizing resources they already possess, which opens doors to other opportunities.

Entrepreneurs who learn this when they're small tend to remain thrifty when they're large. I saw a terrific example of this last year when Innocent Drinks, the oh-so-creative UK smoothie company, came up with a brilliant idea to promote an event. They created a poster promoting the festival and invited their legion of fans to print it out and post it in their own neighborhoods. Suddenly bus stops, bulletin boards and lamp posts were spreading the word. Involving their customers also added to the excitement surrounding the festival.

Like many people, I've been paying a great deal of attention to folks who are talking about the impact of social media on businesses. Never before have we been able to connect with so many people in so many places without spending a dime. Thrifty entrepreneurs around the world are rejoicing over this new opportunity expander. At the same time, millions of others are ignoring this amazing tool. As Eric Hoffer observed, "In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists."

That's echoed by Daniel Pink in A Whole New Mind. He says, "The capabilities we once disdained or thought frivolous--the right-brain qualities of inventiveness, empathy, joyfulness, and meaning--increasingly will determine who flourishes and who flounders."

Happily, thrifty entrepreneurs have a head start on that. If you'd like to expand your portfolio of thrifty ideas, join me for my about-to-happen Thrifty Entrepreneur: Doing More While Spending Less teleclass. It's the last time it will be offered this year. It's packed with ideas and insights that will help you flourish in these changing times.

Thrifty Entrepreneur Teleclass

Mark H. McCormack pointed out that all it really takes to start a business is a desk and a phone. A great way to exercise your thrifty impulses and your creativity is to look for ways to mobilize the resources you already have. Pick something simple like the telephone and ask yourself what you can do with it. Here are a few ideas that came to mind when I asked myself that question.

Create a welcoming message. None of this, "You have reached 721-4444 stuff. Let people know you're glad that they called.

Receive invitations and opportunities. Always, always answer the phone with enthusiasm and expectation. At the very least, you'll startle your callers who probably are used to being greeted with indifference-or, alas, hostility.

Brainstorm. Many success teams function beautifully by phone. All you need is a group of idea-generators and access to a bridge line such as www.freeconference.com.

Take a class. Besides teaching teleclasses, I am also an enthusiastic student of them and love that I can spend an hour or so gathering tips from wise and experienced entrepreneurs.

Have you heard about Pitch TV? This is the brainchild of those innovative folks at Virgin Airlines. Budding entrepreneurs can send a video to Virgin pitching their business idea. The favorites are chosen and shown on Virgin flights around the world, exposing the messages to a wider audience.

You can learn more about this innovative project by visiting Sir Richard Branson's blog.

Pitch TV

You have only one more week to grab your place at Follow Through Camp and take advantage of the Early Bird enrollment. However, there are just a couple openings so if you want to join us for this game-changing event, don't wait.

What you'll learn about nurturing ideas will be valuable for the rest of your life.

Follow Through Camp

An old adage says, "There are two ways to get ahead: agree with the boss or be the boss." You know, of course, which one I prefer.

However, I'd have missed this coming event if I hadn't seen Rebecca Quinn's Twitter post today which said, "Boss's Day is Friday (10/16). What shall I buy myself?!"

Although I've never celebrated Boss's Day before, I think it should become a holiday for the joyfully jobless. I'm seeing parties, parades, celebrations all over the place. Might be a bit late to pull it off this year, but there's always 2010.

Buona fortuna,


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