Second Acts

September 26, 2005

Volume 1, Issue 3 - September

"...women owned start-ups out numbered male owned startups at a rate of 2-1 in 2003?"


Fire Your Boss and Hire Yourself!!!

This Issue ...





"Women should acknowledge and validate the skills we have, to become successful entrepreneurs."




Fire Your Boss and Hire Yourself
By Michele Alexander Owner of 4 The Perfect Fit Coaching and Consulting

Many of my clients' dream of starting their own business. Is this you dream you want to achieve? Sometimes its by choice and other times its due to circumstances; i.e., the loss of a job, birth of a child, need for extra income, etc. It doesn't matter why you want to start a business, what is important is why you haven't.

Did you know that Small Business Trends discovered that women owned startups out numbered male owned startups at a rate of 2-1 in 2003? This issue of Second Acts dedicated to starting your business if this is your dream. It could also be used as a resource in helping you begin this journey.

A PIE Recipe for Entrepreneurial Success

By Michele Alexander

Text Box:  Often, I've heard that women and men think differently in business or that women have a different skill sets. I've also heard that women need to be more like men to become successful in business. Well, I think women can believe this; but, should they? No, women should acknowledge and validate the skills we have, to become successful entrepreneurs. So in when my clients share their dream of starting a business or desire to become a self employed professional, I share my PIE recipe. PIE is:


I used this acronym because most women have one special dish they can create, put together or purchase that they can deliver at any event. This process can be the foundation of your success. When you decide to prepare any dish, you:

  • Acknowledge your Strengths and weaknesses
  • Plan
  • Creatively problem solve
  • Communicate
  • Act
  • Get the support where you need it.

To get the results you desire.

Now let's try my recipe for starting a successful business, PIE. Here it is.


Decide want product you want to sell or deliver. Write a business plan, it doesn't have to be a long formal one. It will help you spell out your mission and vision. You will define and identify what your business is, who is your customer and the goals of your business. The planning phase will give you the opportunity to clarify the financial needs of your business and where it will be housed. You will also develop your marketing plans and identify the necessary support you need both personally and professionally. Finally, you will clarify how your product or services will be delivered.


This is activating the plan you have put on paper. This process can be exciting as well as risky. However, your business plan will help you manage your expectations.


This is where you measure the results. Your desired results will be defined in your business plan. Even with the best planning there are always, lesson to be learn both positive and negative. Try to document the positive results and feedback into your business practices. Revisit your business plan or discuss with your support network, what is the best plan to address negative feedback, results and challenges, and amend them according.

You have probably noticed this is a circular process. Well, it is. Though, you can you can do this one time, I suggest you do this often. I always suggest that you make PIES instead of PIE because S=Support. Support will be key to the success of your business. As your business grows, you will need support in many areas, whether it is emotional or professional.

Now that you have my recipe for PIE(S), go for it. Let me know how your business is developing. Let me know your feedback about this article.  Email it to Michele Alexander at

…and remember

What is the recipe for successful achievement? To my mind there are just four essential ingredients: Choose a career you love, give it the best there is in you, seize your opportunities, and be a member of the team.

--Benjamin F. Fairless—

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Text Box:  How To Start Your Business With One Good Idea
By Brett Krkosska
Home Biz Tools

Do you have an idea for a business? Perhaps the only idea you have is that you NEED an idea so you CAN start a business.

Before turning any idea into a business, you must first have an idea how to succeed. For most people, the definition of a successful business is one which is profitable, and a profitable business is built upon ideas that have been properly researched.

Here are 10 steps you can take to flush out an idea and turn it into a profitable business:

  1. Make a list of the reasons why you want to go into business for yourself. Look at your list critically. Does starting your own business help you realize these things?

    An excellent book to help you get in touch with your underlying motivations and desires, and create true prosperity from your venture is "The Science of Getting Rich". Pick it up free here:

  2. Make a list of the things you like to do with your time. Success can be elusive if you're not truly excited about your business. What are your interests and hobbies? What are you good at? What do other people say you are good at?

    This list represents broad business models that will give you the greatest joy over time. Decide which item(s) on your list you would most like to develop into a business. If you need help coming up with an idea, here are a few to help you get the juices flowing:

  3. Focus on filling a niche. It is your expertise, uniquely practiced and applied within your business field, that creates your niche in the market. Throughout the research stage of your idea, pay close attention to how your business can fill a niche. For more on choosing a niche, here is some sound advice from Willie Crawford:

  4. When your business idea begins to take shape, talk to friends or family who own or work in a similar business. Get their input on your idea. What needs improved on? Why should it be improved and how? Talk to business owners in neighboring towns - so you won't be perceived as a competitor -and get their input on your idea. These people will likely have insights you never considered.

  5. Participate in discussion forums. This is a great way to take the pulse of your potential customers. You can also see trends, get feedback, and establish working relationships with like-minded people. Here is a list of good places to start:

  6. Evaluate the demand for your product or service. You need to understand the pace and direction of your industry. This understanding alerts you to shortcomings with your idea and helps you channel your energies correctly. It also helps you approach your business with innovation and vision.

    For a snapshot of demand by Internet users for your product of service, start with the Keyword Suggestion Tool from It shows how often people are searching for phrases related to your business idea.

    You should also analyze the available research data. There are several professional organizations which gather data on a wide variety of subjects. Here a few starting points:

  7. Research businesses in your surrounding area in order to size up the competition. Look for ways you can gain a business advantage over your competitors. Ask yourself how your business will be better and different.

  8. Visit your competitors online. To speed up online searches, utilize Dogpile's multiple search capabilities. Dogpile queries the top engines for your search term and returns the top listings for each:

  9. Define the operation of your business. Here are some key questions you should answer:

    • What skills and experience do you bring into the business?
    • What are your fixed costs and expenses?
    • How long will it take to make a profit?
    • What laws do you need to comply with?
    • If you need financing where will you get it?
    • Do you need insurance coverage specific to your business?
    • What will be the legal structure of your business?

    For help with these questions try these resources:

  10. With the information gathered from the steps above, you now have the means to begin writing a comprehensive business and marketing plan. For help in this area try the resources and software available at:

At the root level, the small business owner has a burning desire to succeed, a "never quit" attitude, and the ability to attract and implement needed resources. All you have to do is throw your research and planning into the mix and you're well on your way to a successful business.

About The Author

Brett Krkosska provides how-to advice on small and home-based work issues. Get startup guidance, business ideas and inspiration at Pick up Brett's syndicated column for a fresh and original perspective on today's business issues:

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4 The Perfect Fit Coaching & Consulting

New York, NY 10128

(212) 987-6177


We're on the Web!



A Business In One Sentence
by: Catherine Franz

Marketing expert and author, Geoffrey Moore, has a useful fill-in-the-blank method for creating a theme and positioning statement for your business. I prefer to use his same system for creating clarity for myself in what I'm selling, creating an elevator or introduction speech, and also material for my website, brochures and business card.

Using this same method for each niche I have also keeps me focused and on target for where I am going and what comes first. I know it will do the same for you. As a public speaker, I also like to use the same exercise to create a one-line message for each workshop or engagement. This way the participants and I start from the same page. I like to say it provides the tree trunk that all the branches stem from.

This exercise is designed to be simple and achievable in 15 minutes. However, if this seems somewhat daunting, see if your beliefs are still in the clouds of wanting to deliver too much to too many to soon. If this is the case, there is a great book I recommend that will support you in narrowing down: Niche and Grow Rich, by Jennifer and Peter Sander. This book will support you understanding the market place you want to enter and in narrowing your thoughts.


For _________________________________________________

(Hints: Who is your target customer, your niche? Is there a geographic relevance? If so, add it. Examples: Seniors, women business owners, teens between 13 and 18. If a specific geographic area: Writers in the Washington DC metro area.)

Who _________________________________________________

(Hints: This is where you qualify your target customer and time of need. Examples: Who are obese. Who are 62 and older. Who own a business. Who are in high school and take music.)

Our product/service is ___________________________________

(Hints: What is your product or the service? Our product is a line of workshops. Our service is training. Our service is executive coaching. Our service is training or engineering or accounting.)

That provides ___________________________________________

(Hints: What are your key features of this product/service? What are the major benefits of this product or service? What are the tradeoffs? That provides shortcuts (software training) at a discount/premium price. That contains no chemicals. That contains no hidden costs. That contains no markups. That contains life support.)

Unlike _________________________________________________

(Hints: Who are your competitors? What are the products not serving the needs of this particular niche? Unlike other retail sellers, which have.... Unlike store-bought goods, these.... Unlike other coaches.... Unlike other workshops....)

Our product/service ______________________________________

(Hints: Your product/service serves this niche by doing what? Our product/service helps this group increase their personal leadership skills. Our product/service helps this group overcome.... Our product/service helps this group reap the rewards of....

Taking This Forward

Once you have completed this exercise, whether it is for your overall business theme or better yet a narrower one, you can move this information forward into all your marketing information.

Create a paragraph with this information, then edit and refine the language so that it fits your customer¡¯s reading style. This is especially important if your style is different. Each word you use has an energy attached to it. This energy either detracts or attracts customers.

About The Author

Catherine Franz is a Master Life and Business Coach, well-known international speaker and author, living in Northern Virginia. She lives and breathes attraction, prosperity and abundance.

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Starting Your Own Home Based Business
by: Alvin Narsey

Starting a home based business is a common step for those looking to create more wealth or leave the daily grind of the rat race. Starting your own home-based business requires a great deal of planning to ensure that you are on the correct path to achieving your goals. Many businesses fail without adequate planning, and indeed a home-based business will do the same.

There are a few fundamental questions that you need to consider in starting your own home-based business.

  1. Your motivation: i.e.: Why do you want to start your own home based business? Understanding why you are starting a home-based business will give you better grounding for all future endeavors. This will be the anchor to your purpose in starting your own home-based business. Some questions to help you determine why you want to start your own home based business:

    a) Do you want to work better hours? ... not 9-5?
    b) Do you want to be your own boss? Why?
    c) Do you want to improve your financial position? By how much?
    When do you want to do it by? Why?

  2. Are you prepared: i.e.: Are you prepared for the demands of starting your own home based business? Starting your own home-based business means you will be doing multiple roles within the business. This can be stressful to your physical and emotional health. Some questions to help you determine why you want to start your own home based business:

    • Are you prepared to put in the hours required to succeed?
    • Do you have the support of your family in starting your own home-based business?
    • Are you prepared to lower your standard of living until your own home-based business is properly established?

  3. What skills and experience you have that you can bring into starting your own home based business?

    • Do you have experience in the field you are starting your own home-based business in?
    • Are you good at making quick decisions?
    • Are you prepared to learn new skills in starting your own home based business?

  4. What are your finances in starting your own home based business? Are you able to fund the initial investments and operating cash flows in the early stages of starting your own home based business?

    • Do you have enough money to start your own home-based business?
    • Do you know how much money you can borrow to start your own home based business?
    • Are you comfortable taking financial risks in starting your own home based business?

These are some of the key things that need to be considered when starting your own home-based business. The above points are often overlooked, and planning stages rushed through when people are starting their own home based business. By considering the above questions, your will have clear indications on why you are starting your own home based business and a reference guide should you run into any difficulties in starting your own home based business.

About The Author

Alvin Narsey ( LEVERAGE'S the Internet in starting his own home based business by employing cutting edge AUTOMATION SYSTEMS and Resources which allows him to put his business on AUTOPILOT. Take a F-R-E-E TOUR to learn how YOU can achieve your dreams the same way. CLICK HERE FOR FREE TOUR!

Who Is Alvin From Melbourne Anyway?

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Text Box:  Inspiration Corner

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.

--Anatole France--



Find out if Starting Your Own Business is a move you are ready to make. Check out these fun quizzes.

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What's Going On

·          Register for Upcoming Workshops

November 13, 2005  

Jump-Start Your Second Act and Change Your Life Workshop

·          Get more information on Upcoming Tele-Seminars

October 13   Jump-Start to a New You Tele-Seminar
October 17 My Dream, My Business
October 18   I Love My Job, But...

·          Register for Upcoming Teleclasses

October, 6, 2005 @ 12 Noon Create Action Plans for Success
October 12, 2005 @ 4 PM   How to Write a Personal Mission Statement
October 14, 2005 @ 4 PM Create Action Plans for Success
October 19 , 2005 @ 1PM Can I be a Momtrepreneur?

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Quick Links

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Contact information

Michele Alexander


Phone:    (212) 987-6177



I would love to hear you comments and stories.  Please email me at

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