Keep Growing. Making Time for Professional Development

Everyone’s recipe for success is different, but the best recipes share certain basic ingredients. Some are obvious, like quality control or effective marketing. Some are more abstract, and can be overlooked by new businesses that lack an effective long-term strategy. Professional development is one of those. A strong commitment to professional development is an investment that you, as the entrepreneur have to make in order to keep your business viable from year to year.

Too often, new business leaders invest the bulk of their time and resources into what’s happening at the beginning, while neglecting the “structural maintenance” that carries a company into the future. Like constant innovation, professional development is not extra credit; it’s a mandatory part of a sound business plan.

Just as businesses that aren’t seeking growth risk stagnation, employees that aren’t in permanent pursuit of their professional growth risk falling behind. While professional development does require an investment in time and capital, it’s an investment worth making. As years go by and competition rises and falls, the companies that last are the ones that stay ahead of the curve.

The PD Process

In planning and executing your company’s professional development strategy, you and your team will have to determine the immediate needs of the business while also thinking broadly about the longer term. Begin by defining the goals of your business, both specific and broad.

What professional development programs are most relevant to your goals? What developmental results would you consider worth your company’s time and money? The question of which programs to pursue is best answered by asking what newly added or improved skills would best invigorate your team’s ability to compete. Your marketers or web designers may benefit from outsourcing graphic design programs. Your content providers may need writing workshops. Your sales team may need to brush up on analytics analysis. Solo entrepreneurs may need all of the above!

Create a short list of skills that, when developed, would represent a wise investment. Then, identify the programs and resources that can offer your team the help they need. While the availability of earth-bound programs will vary depending on your location, there’s a wealth of online programs and PD services. Sites like Treehouse and offer a wealth of coding, web design, and other professional programs from the comfort of the home or office.

Once you’ve cross-referenced your needs with the availability of these programs, create your professional development schedule. Determine exactly how long it will take each program to deliver the results you require, and integrate that time into your overall business schedule.

It’s important to ensure that professional development is effective without detracting from your day-to-day operations. One good strategy is to schedule regular PD time into weekly, monthly, and quarterly calendars. Study the available programs and categorize them by length. Devote weekly or bi-weekly time to “mini PD” programs that only take an hour or two. Schedule full day courses monthly or bi-monthly. Every other quarter or so, invest in an intensive week-long program dedicated to the most vital areas of skill.

In choosing and scheduling PD programs, the essential concept to work by is relevance. Try to predict what skills and abilities are most likely to generate sales. Identify the weakest links in your team’s “chain” of collective skills, and reinforce those areas. Rank your professional development needs. Categorize them into immediate, important, and generalized needs, and prioritize accordingly. With both specific and broad strategic thinking, you can ensure that your team is ready for any challenge.

PD Motivation

A commitment to professional development is like a commitment to exercise; it requires consistent motivation. How can you keep your team (and yourself) inspired to seek that continual progression of skills? How can employees understand PD as a worthwhile career-long endeavor and not an endless Sysiphean task? Without the right motivation, employees can see PD programs as chores.

To keep motivation high, it’s vital to establish a culture of excellence in your business. Professional development should be discussed, presented, and most importantly scheduled as part of the job, not as an addition to it. Its role in contributing to the overall goals of your business should be recognized along with those of the other, more immediately relevant tasks with which your team is charged.

Keep track of professional development, and reward consistent improvement. In the field of education, PD is actually required for teachers, with a minimum number of hours per year. For the entrepreneur, requiring and tracking professional development is a great way to offer positive reinforcement to employees. Employees who feel challenged in a positive way almost universally feel more motivated.

Generally, professional development doesn’t have to be a chore; done right, it’s a privilege. Your team should know that when you choose to devote their time to professional development, you’re helping them add to their own skill sets. By taking time and resources away from daily productivity and investing them in your employees, you’re increasing their value in the marketplace along with the quality of your product. Professional development is also a nice way to break up the monotony of a rigid schedule and allow employees to interact with professionals outside of your business. That kind of variety keeps things interesting, and can be a welcome change of pace for hard-working team members.

With a firm sense of purpose, a keen eye for the skills on which your business depends, and smart scheduling practices, your commitment to professional development can be the difference that sets your team apart from the competition. Highly motivated, professional employees who consistently seek improvement work differently; they work with a personal pride that’s worth the time and money spent on building their skill.


How to Manage Your Calendar

Your calendar can be one of the most important tools in your entrepreneurial arsenal. It allows you to best utilize your most important resource -time- most effectively. Used consistently and followed rigorously, a well-managed calendar can mean the difference between finding yourself overwhelmed and finding yourself unbelievably productive.

Good calendar habits save time the way a change jar saves money: incrementally, but in ways that pay off big in the long term. They also allow you as a business person to establish yourself as reliable, as someone who consistently fulfills obligations, meets deadlines and keeps appointments. The ability to manage your calendar speaks directly to your ability to manage your business, and can solidify your overall reputation.

4 Principles of Calendar Management

So what are the best habits? Whether you use Google Calendar, Yahoo, Outlook, or a fine leather-bound datebook, there are a few key principles and practices that always work. Applied consistently, these habits can turn time into your greatest weapon.

Follow your calendar: A calendar is like any piece of equipment; owning it is pointless if it’s not being used. We’re all familiar with the old trope of the exercise bike that’s used once or twice before evolving into an elaborate laundry rack. Calendars are the same. They’re very easy to establish, but they’re meaningless without the follow-through.

A calendar is only as useful as you are willing to abide by what’s in it. It’s a surprisingly common syndrome for new business people to add things to their calendar…and stop there. Keeping a calendar means keeping a calendar, referring to it regularly, and doing whatever it says you should be at a given moment. To do otherwise is leaving time (and money) on the table.

Check your calendar at the end of the day, and again at the beginning: A full calendar needs to be checked in with often to maintain a productive schedule, but the most important times to check it are at the end of the day and the beginning of the day, in that order.

Checking the next day’s schedule, even though you have hours before it starts, allows you to schedule your mindset. It begins the process of mentally preparing for tomorrow, which is key to avoiding the feeling of “calendar overwhelm,” of being swept along by your calendar instead of helped by it. By looking at the end of the day, you allow yourself to face the next day calmly braced for what lies ahead.

By checking again in the morning, you refine that readiness and gear up for specific tasks, right down to deciding what to wear. This habit allows you to do what yoga practitioners call setting your intentions, so that you can move forward with purpose and not just momentum. The difference in stress levels will be noticeable. No matter how busy you are, or how full that calendar is, coming into every task mentally prepared will keep you calm, and therefore productive.

Never commit without consulting: The calendar, that is. When business picks up the pace, more and more introductions are made, the network grows and so do the opportunities. Unfortunately, too many opportunities can create the kind of “catastrophic success” that leaves a business person suddenly unable to meet conflicting obligations.

You are not an airline, so don’t overbook yourself. (Actually, come to think of it, neither should airlines, but that’s another post). Breaking promises, eschewing obligations and disappointing the people in your network are habits that can kill aspirations, so it’s important to avoid scheduling conflicts.

This can be done in one of two ways: either keep your calendar on hand (easy enough in the era of smartphones) and consult it in the moment, or only agree to something pending a calendar check. If you don’t have access to your calendar in the moment, simply say “yes” tentatively, and be sure to follow up.

You run the calendar: Not the other way around. The point of a well-managed calendar is to accelerate your productivity by taking the stress out of the scheduling process, not adding more. While a responsible business person meets the obligations on his calendar, you don’t want your calendar to become a prison.

It’s your calendar. That means allowing yourself to make tweaks, to reschedule, and to create the plans that best maximize your way of doing business. It’s there to organize, not to dictate. The minute your calendar becomes a source of dread, it’s time to exercise your prerogative over it.

Calendar Management Tips

With the four principles in place, a few more specific practices will help maximize the calendar’s effectiveness.

When filling your calendar, start by establishing “must-do” slots for the most vital tasks. This is the time for product production, sales, and other bedrock tasks. Estimate based on experience the amount of time these tasks take, and give them primacy in your calendar. Remember: you can always tweak the time allotment as you develop your scheduling skills.

Also, schedule specific time for the small and incidental-seeming things like checking and responding to emails. As we discussed in our exploration of distraction, emails and social media are important factors in your overall business equation, but they can be deceptively time-consuming. Because of that, it’s important to give them the appropriate consideration in your schedule, so they don’t creep into time set aside for other things.

Even “tasks” that aren’t directly business-related should be scheduled as if they are. Breaks, meals, walks, meditation- these are all things that should happen during the workday. Never letting off the gas is just as counterproductive as never letting off the brake, so use the calendar to incorporate the “me” time that will keep you refreshed enough to run at peak productivity.

Another component that should have its own time on the calendar is general meetings, including the ones with less specific purposes. Simple progress checks, brainstorming sessions, and overall strategy discussions are important, even if their goals are more broad. Even for the solo entrepreneur, time should be set aside to look away from specific tasks and think in the wider scope.

Appointments and Travel

While it may seem odd, it’s also important to include in your calendar certain situations with more than one possible outcome. Specifically, time for individual appointments and time for travel need their own places in the schedule, even though you may not be able to predict exactly how you’ll use them.

Include open slots- even before you schedule with anyone- for individual appointments. It may seem counterintuitive to “book” a few hours each week with no one in particular, but this ensures a reasonable level of availability, and makes it easier to schedule those appointments without creating conflicts. A few hours each week should be marked in your calendar for this purpose.

For even easier appointment booking, you can also use booking software like Calendly and ScheduleOnce. These programs allow you to email links to your online calendar, through which individuals can schedule their own meetings with you based on pre-established availability. All you have to do is see who’s signed up, and prepare accordingly.

It’s also important to factor business travels into your calendar. Time spent on the road and in the sky is still time, and needs to be acknowledged as such. While it’s tempting to assume that you’ll be able to accomplish certain tasks on the go, it’s more wise to consider traveling time as “booked.” If you happen to be able to write that blog or answer those emails in transit, consider it a bonus, but never schedule with the assumption that you will.

Good calendar management is all about habit. Habits have to be purposely created and consistently nurtured over the long term in order to become effective. Experiment with your calendar, sticking to the principles and practices outlined here. Managed carefully, your time will yield great results.

About Omar Entrepreneurship

Are We Going to Launch On Time? You Tell Me.


I actually considered not writing a post this week. Then I came to my senses and realized I haven’t missed a production deadline in…forever. And I hate regrets. So I’m buckling down and writing this now.

What’s going on that had me considering not writing a post? This is a crazy week for Nicole and I. ”We’re busy” doesn’t do it justice. And on top of it all we have a crazy deadline to meet. A deadline we need to meet at all costs. We worked way too hard and long to fumble this one on the 1 yard line.

On Tuesday, February 17th, Nicole and I are launching 2 major projects we’ve been working on- The new Webinar Ninja podcast and opening up pre-sales for the Webinar Ninja platform. The only thing is that we have a list of things to get done before the launch. Here they are there in no particular order:

  • Edit Episodes 1 and 2 of the Webinar Ninja podcast
  • Submit podcast to iTunes
  • Set up Powepress for the Webinar Ninja podcast
  • Finalize the new Webinar Ninja website
  • Set up payment processor
  • Set up referral program
  • Set up Webinar Ninja email autoresponder series
  • Create social media snippets for the launch
  • Script sales video
  • Story board sales video
  • Source custom music for sales video
  • Produce and edit sales video
  • Perform a test sale


  • We produce our daily podcast, The $100 MBA Show
  • Respond to our community’s questions
  • I have a couple of interviews on other podcasts
  • I have to finish writing this post and write another for next week
  • I have to prepare and rehearse an hour podcasting workshop I will be giving at Heroic Public Speaking on February 20th. I’m committed to nailing this performance.

Nicole and I consider consider ourselves to be a hardworking couple and we been through tight weeks like this one, so a part of me is not too worried. But another part of me feels like I might need to re-evaluate what I am really capable of. It reminds me of an old Jerry Seinfeld bit about the guy driving down the highway, going 60 MPH with a mattress on the roof with only his left arm holding it down; insisting “he’s got it.” But hey, maybe he does.

So with all that in mind. Do you think we will launch on time? Let me know in the comments bellow. I’ll be back on Monday, the day before launch day, to give you an update. By then, I should know where we stand.

Wish us luck. It’s going to be a fun week 🙂

To learn more about what all this launch hoopla is all about, visit


3 Brilliant Super Bowl Ads and How You Can Do The Same


I like a great game as much as the next guy but Super Bowl ads are what get me excited. With ad spots costing up to 4 million dollars for 60 seconds, you best bet these brands are going to use their most creative minds to come up with their most effective ads of the year.

Personally, I thought most of this year’s ads where less than stellar, but three of them really got my attention. These three ads where not only well produced but also very effective in conveying their message. And in this post I’ll show you how you can use the same formulas the big companies use so you can produce your own amazing marketing video.

Let’s jump right into it…

Nissan #WithDad 

Nissan ran a 90 second commercial in the middle of the biggest sporting event of the year and they nailed it. Let me tell you why.

Let’s step back a bit and ask, what is this ad for? It’s for the Nissan brand but they also teased their long awaited new model, the Nissan Maxima. Instead of focusing on features and options, they focused on values. So essentially instead of pitching to your head, they pitched to your heart.

Nissan knows the majority of the audience watching the game are fathers and the pride of fatherhood is a very strong emotion. Nissan essentially sent this message:

You’re a great father that your kids look up to. You’re a rock star in your own way. You don’t sacrifice your style when it comes to your car. We build cars for those kinds of Dads.

They sent this powerful message in an effective 90 second story that incorporates Nissan’s own racing culture and the culture of the modern man- balancing career and life at home. No words said, just expressions and emotions. They also made sure it was accompanied by a heartfelt track by Cat Stevens that most dads can connect with. The ad leaves the viewer with thoughts like “I connect with Nissan.” and “What was that car in the end?”

Mission accomplished.

So what about you? How can you use a similar style to your videos? Here are the key ingredients you’ll need to have if you want an effective, heartfelt ad like Nissan’s.

  • Tell a story
  • Make sure the story connects with your audience
  • The story is the main character, your product is the supporting cast
  • Be authentic
  • Leave them wanting more

Squarespace: Jeff Bridges’s Site

Full disclosure here, we knew about this ad before it went live on Super Bowl Sunday. Squarespace is a sponsor of The $100 MBA Show podcast and gave us a heads up about it. We were thrilled to be a part of promoting it. Let me tell you why.

This is for real. This isn’t a joke. This is a real site by Jeff The Dude Bridges that he built on Squarespace. You can actually check it out here. You can also check out this video of Jeff creating his site.

What I love about this ad is that it incorporates the influence of a well-liked celebrity along with a real life customer testimonial. How can you not want to check out this site about sleeping better by Jeff Bridges. By checking out the site you also find out what Squarespace is capable of when it comes to building a great site for your business.

It’s funny and unconventional. It has you saying to yourself:

What is Jeff Bridges doing? Is this for real? I’m gonna check this site out.

A little mystery and ambiguity can sometimes pay off, especially when you are trying to get your viewers to head on over to your site. Here are the key ingredients to creating a fun ad like this one.

  • Make the ad about the building of your product
  • Add humor and wit to your ad
  • Give them enough to want to learn more at your site
  • Show your product is really being used by “celebrities” in your market
  • Make a special landing page for the ad

If you are interested in checking out Squarespace, use our promo code MBA at checkout and you’ll get 10% off. This is NOT an affiliate link, it’s an honest discount and a way for the folks at Squarespace to know you we sent you.

Clash of Clans: AngryNeeson52

I’m not a gamer at all. I don’t play video games at home or on my phone but this ad was brilliant. Here is why…

Firstly, Liam Neeson has a great monolog voice and really makes this ad work, especially given the fact many of the movies he stars in are about revenge.

Secondly, they take the game to the real world. Liam is so engrossed in the game he is talking trash to it.

Thirdly, it’s light hearted and reminds you that games are fun, so why not?

You too can make these effective statements with your marketing video. You don’t need a celebrity to do it either. Keeping your ad light and focused on its essence ( in this case, games are fun), can do wonders for your messaging. At the end of the day you want your ad to have an effect on the viewer so they can remember it long enough to check you out.

What do you think? What were your favorite ads on Super Bowl Sunday and why?

Want a Free $100 MBA Course + fresh & hot goodies like this one? 




The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Service Based Business

WARNING: This post is very direct. But it all comes from the heart. Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you…

Let me start off by saying, YOU CAN DO THIS! It will be hard work but it’s NOT IMPOSSIBLE. Suspend disbelief for once in your life and let’s focus on how you can take the steps forward to starting your business already! Every successful service based business that I respect started with one person with the desire to make it happen.

I know this is going to be hard to believe, but I will ACTUALLY tell you what you need to do, right now. It doesn’t matter if you are a graphic designer, wedding planner, a coder or a yoga instructor, this guide will get you started properly and I’ll leave you with the next steps as well. I’m going to go straight into it and give you the goods you need, and then you can thank me later. Crazy right? Let’s jump right into it.

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Step 1: Get Your Head Right

Do you know how to do your thing, your service, better than most of the people around you? If you answered YES, you got something people want. That makes what you do, worth money. Granted, your skills may be beyond this level but the point is you don’t need to be on the cover of Time magazine to start charging for your skills. You just need to be better than who you are charging.

Many people don’t ever go pro with their craft because they never feel they’re good enough to charge money for their skills. At the very least, your time doing any kind of work, is worth money. There are all kinds of budgets out there. Just get started. We’ll talk about your rates later on but if you haven’t charged for your skills yet, DO IT NOW. I’m serious.

Step 2: Put Up A Website. Have one? Take Another Look.

Having an effective website is critical when starting any business. And yes, if you are freelancing you are still running a business. The keyword here is EFFECTIVE. You need to clearly communicate who you are and what value you offer quickly and concisely. The most important thing about any website is the content- what and how you communicate to your audience. The job of design is to augment that message.

Make sure your opening headline on your website captures your visitor’s attention. If you are someone that is great with kids as a photographer say something like “Getting a decent photo of your kid can be torture. Let me put you out of your misery.”

If you are confused about the tech or the design side things and you’re on a limited budget, just go with a Squarespace site. Pick a clean and simple theme and start building. They are actually a sponsor of The $100 MBA Show and offer our listeners a 10% discount if you use code MBA at checkout.

If you already have a website, the above advice goes for you too. Take another look at your site and see if you are communicating effectively.

Step 3: Add Value

On your website, you need to offer something your audience will enjoy and find valuable. That’s where your blog comes in.

Remember your visitors will be people who need your services and the best way to show you are good at what you do is to share your experiences. Share a story about how you were able to take on a demanding project with a short timeline. Or how you discuss new projects with new clients.

Share tips on how they can use your service. Explain the rational behind your advice.

By creating great content and sharing stories and tips, your visitors get to know you, like you and start to find reasons to hire you. If you’re worried about people finding you on the web, writing useful posts will also help you rank well on Google and other search engines, as others may be searching for topics you write about.

Step 4: Build A Portfolio And Get Some Testimonials

At first, if you have no work to display on your portfolio, you will need to approach 5-6 potential clients and offer your services for a heavily discounted price, to build your portfolio. This is also an opportunity to get feedback from clients on your process of working with them and how to improve it.

You can ask these clients for testimonials in exchange for this incredible deal. They can be written or even video testimonials which you can display on your website. Cool huh? This is just to get you started, you’ll get more testimonials as you take on more clients. Here is an example of a video testimonial we got back when used to do lots of service work at Business Republic.

If you already have work to display, you’re good to go, but make sure you have some testimonials. If that means contacting previous clients, go ahead and do that.

Step 5: Set Your Rates

There are 2 basic ways to set your rates.

1. Use a market rate.

Look at another business that has similar services and experience and use a similar rate. A rate can be an hourly rate or prices for service packages. List 3 businesses similar to yours and note down their rates.

2. Use your “need to make” rate.

First, how many hours can you dedicate to your service-business every week? Divide that by 2. Half of your time will be spent on actually running, marketing and building your business. The other half will be dedicated to your actual service work. This may come as a shock to some- “half the time?!” But yes, you need to factor this in so that you are not setting your rates too low.

Second, how much money do you need to make a week to cover your personal expenses? Everyone is different. Your weekly number may be $1000, $800 or $700.

Third and finally, take your weekly amount of money needed and divide it by the number of service work hours a week. That’s your hourly rate. For Example: $1000 / 25 hours = $40 per hour

Step 6: Knowing How To Deal with Clients

Client work is just like any relationship in life. After your first conversation, each party will have already formed an opinion about the other. The client already has imagined what working with you will be like and that’s just human nature.

The good news is that you are in control of how that all happens. The bad news is that YOU are in control of how it all happens- not a typo. Here are your 4 MUST DO’s when dealing with clients:

Must do #1: Discuss Why They Are Hiring You

Sometimes clients forget when they hire you, they are not your boss. And you are not their employee. You are a business owner offering a service they need.

Let me state that again. They need you. That’s why they are speaking with you. They are not a pro. You are. That’s why they took the time to find out about you and contact you. Whether they actually state it or not, they probably need you badly.

Setting the tone of the nature of your relationship doesn’t have to be mean or condescending but it does need to be done. Here is an example conversation:

Client: I really need my website to look professional and to show what we are all about.

You: I completely understand and you’re completely right. As a business owner myself, I know how important it is to convey my brand. Your reputation is at stake.

Client: Exactly! It’s essential.

You: That’s why I like to take the time to understand you and your business very well before I begin work. My clients don’t work with me only because I’m a great web developer. They hire me mainly because I know how to communicate their message to their audience creatively.

Client: That sounds exactly like what I need.

The point of this whole conversation is to do a few things:

– You establish the nature of your relationship. You have something they need. Not the other way around.

– In this example, you are not just a technician that can create a website. You possess skills and talents they don’t, some might not even comprehend.

– It communicates you know your stuff.

– It’s understood you’re not an employee. You’re a business owner just like them.

Must do #2: State Your Rates or Decide on a Budget

At some point in your first conversation you have to talk about money. You may prefer to save that until the end of the conversation but it needs to be done. Delaying this will not only potentially waste your time, it also conveys to your potential client, your not sought after and you have no real qualifiers.

If you’re a person that will work on any project, of any size, for any given amount of time, for any price, it basically means that you are cool with slavery. I’m not trying to be dramatic here but even 9 year-old Bobby down the street clearly states his rates for shoveling snow. Ever hired anyone and not know how much they cost?

It’s only fair to both parties. Some clients will try to milk you and try to get 2-3 meetings out of you. They will attempt to discuss their plans for dominating their market and the world in the near future (writing this out of experience) before even discussing money. You are in the services business. Your time is money. It’s your responsibility to have this conversation with them. State your rates or decide on a budget they are OK with before you move on to your meeting number two.

Must do #3: Only Start Work with a Deposit

Unless you have worked with a client in the past and you had a great experience with them, you have no evidence they are committed to you in anyway without a deposit. That’s just reality speaking, not me. A deposit can be whatever you agree on- 25, 50, 60 percent, whatever. Some money needs be put on the table before you roll up your sleeves. Beginning work without a deposit is just flat out asking for trouble. TRUST ME! I didn’t get all my gray hairs for nothing. A deposit is standard and it’s what professionals do.

Must do #4: Agree on a Timeline

You are running a service-based business so time is money for you. So agreeing on a timeline early on is essential. They are looking to you for guidance on this one, so propose a timeline. This timeline includes any payment schedules as well as any given revision cycles if applicable.

Make sure you frame this conversation in a way they know you are doing this to make sure everything is transparent and they know when and what to expect. This also makes things a whole lot easier for you. This is especially important when it comes to work that needs approvals during the process. Make sure clients know there is a deadline for that too.

Another benefit of setting a timeline is it lets your clients know, you got other clients and you’re not just working with them. You are happy to be working with each other but you are a sought after talent.

Step 7: Getting Your First Clients

In the beginning you just need to get the ball rolling. Here are some tips to get your first regular clients:

1. Make sure everyone and their cat knows you are now offering professional services. Contact everyone on your contact list and in your social media circles. You can even offer a referral fee for friends and family.

2. Go to some local shops you frequent and tell them what you can offer them. Let them know their business or brand will be displayed on your website and their business’s website or Yelp link will be hyperlinked. What business doesn’t like free marketing?

3. You can also use some freelance online services like these to get some clients:

4. Team up with someone that shares your audience and agree to have them refer clients to you. For example, back in the day when I ran a small web design business, I got my first clients from a content creation service business. They wrote articles for blogs and some of those blog owners asked if they knew anyone who could redesign their site. I was that “anyone.”

5. Go where the action is! Go on Eventbrite or sites like it and find out what local events are going on in your area and meet some people that can potentially be interested in what you offer.

Let’s Wrap This Up

I’m here to say your art, your craft, can be your business. Your actual livelihood. With that said, understanding and doing business properly is probably going to be the defining factor in your success in going pro. That’s just the truth. But just like you’ve learned how to do your craft, you can learn how to run your business properly as well. This guide doesn’t cover every single aspect of building your business, but these are ultimately, the essentials to get you started. You can learn the rest as you build. The point is to start TODAY.

Wow! You made it to end of this post. You are obviously serious about going pro and starting a service based business, so I don’t want your learning to end here. We have a full course inside The $100 MBA called Building a Service Based Business and you can dig into it for only $1. Yup, just a buck. It’s includes 14 video lessons, a workbook and even downloadable templates for invoices and receipts. Here’s the intro video for this course:

Get it for $100

And you’ll also have access to all of our other courses and workbooks inside The $100 MBA too- Over 180 video lessons and a whole lot more.

Thank you for reading this post and letting me share what I love, showing others that business is not rocket science and that you can do this!

About Omar Entrepreneurship

I’m nervous, exhausted and excited. This is why.


I’m struggling with how to start this post. A little too honest? I’ll just jump right into it because I have no real intro to what I have to say.

I’m Nervous

Nicole and I have been working on the largest project we’ve taken on ever. We’ve been working on it the past 14 months. I’m nervous. More than I ever have been (I thought it was supposed to get easier!). The nervousness gets more intense as each day goes by because we’re launching soon. We’ve invested A LOT of time, money and energy and I’m finding myself asking some scary questions:

What if it’s all for nothing? What if it doesn’t go as planned?

What if it flops?

What if? What if? What if? Too many to count. I then calm myself down by telling myself that all entrepreneurs experience this and I’ll never know for sure what will happen until it happens, so stop worrying and get to work! So I get to work and it goes away. It’s actually a great way to keep you from ever taking a break.

I’m Exhausted

We are seriously due for a huge break. I mean a “do nothing but relax for a few weeks” kind of break. I say that, but I love my work. But that doesn’t mean my work doesn’t make me tired.

It’s more a mental fatigue than anything else. This project has really demanded a lot out of me, both creatively and analytically. In the process I’ve discovered what I thought I was working on was not really what I was working on. Confused? Let me explain.

When you create a product for your audience, you often think this is exactly what they need. And then in the development of that product; through the research, the conversations you have with potential customers and conversations you have with yourself, you realize you need to create something completely different. You realize you need to create something almost entirely new. This adds to the exhaustion.

But I keep on trucking because I believe in what we are working on. I’m like Rocky in round 15. I’ve made it this far and all I got to do is hang on and I’ll be screaming “Adrian” victoriously. I might be exhausted but I feel great.

I’m Excited

If this project goes well, it could really change the market we are in. Seriously. I can hardly wait to share it with everyone given the fact we have been working on this for over year. We have so many surprises planned for the launch I’m busting with excitement, a little like Kristen Wiig in this SNL skit.

It’s that exciting.

I got into this game- this game of business, entrepreneurship, self-employment, whatever you want to call it- to create. To create things that people love and find valuable. Whether it’s a new product, a podcast or this very blog post, I get my significance through what I can offer others. If my audience is delighted with what I have to offer them, then I’m a happy man. So you can imagine how excited I am to share my greatest attempt to delight.

If you want to learn more about what we have been working on and when it’s launching, check out and


6 Movies Every Entrepreneur Should See…and Why.

Who doesn’t love a good story? I sure do. Give me a thought provoking film and a tub of popcorn and I’m a happy guy.

Movies are as powerful as they are entertaining. Movies shape our perception of many things in life and can be great teaching tools as well. This is why I compiled my personal top 6 films that I encourage any aspiring entrepreneur to watch.  Some of these you just need to give a chance with an open mind and you’ll find them both very entertaining and useful.

Here they are, along with why I think you should give them a watch:

Thank You For Smoking

Rotten Tomatoes Certified Fresh 86%

This film follows the efforts of Big Tobacco’s chief spokesman, Nick Naylor, who lobbies on behalf of cigarettes using heavy spin tactics while also trying to remain a role model for his 12-year-old son. The film’s script is exceptional and Aaron Eckhart’s delivery is on the money.

Why watch it? Nick is an incredible communicator and displays the power of being able to do so. If you put aside what he is actually “selling” and see how he is selling it, you can learn some valuable lessons as a business owner. The world is not black and white and neither is sales.

Glengarry Glen Ross

Rotten Tomatoes Certified Fresh 94%

This film is probably known as the most influential sales movie of all time. Glengarry Glen Ross depicts two days in the lives of four Chicago real estate salesmen and how they become desperate when the corporate office sends a trainer to “motivate” them by announcing that in one week, all except the top two salesmen will be fired. This film is an adaptation of a David Mamet’s Tony Award winning play with the same title.

Why watch it? A few reasons. Sales is not always easy, especially when you are selling a product that doesn’t sell itself. Pacino’s character, Roma, is the most successful salesman from the bunch because he approaches sales beyond the features and facts of his product. Now, he does end up forcing the sale (which is wrong in my books) but it doesn’t diminish what we learn along the way. Oh! And Alec Baldwin is simply brilliant in the scene above that sets the stage for the whole story.

The Social Network

Rotten Tomatoes Certified Fresh 96%

The film, The Social Network is actually adapted from Ben Mezrich’s 2009 book The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal. The film portrays the founding of social networking website, Facebook, and the resulting lawsuits. For the record, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg expressed his dissatisfaction with a film being made about him and noted that much of the film’s plot was not factual. Everyone is entitled to their opinion I guess. Regardless, the film won three Golden Globes.

Why watch it? Every startup has it’s challenges and this film is all about the alleged challenges that Facebook had when going from a small site on the Harvard campus to the 80 billion dollar company it is today. There are real topics of debate when it comes to business, loyalty and innovation in this film. A film worth discussing with business partners for serval reasons.

I also am finding that more and more new entrepreneurs are so quick to give up equity in their business when they really just need to hire someone to do a job. This film will show you how high tensions can get when you spread your business thin, when dishing out equity like it’s going to spoil.


Rotten Tomatoes Certified Fresh 94%

This film is based on Michael Lewis’s 2003 book of the same name, an account of the Oakland Athletics baseball team’s 2002 season and their general manager Billy Beane’s (Brad Pitt) attempts to assemble a competitive team with a very low budget. Whether you’re a baseball fan or not, this film has some really profound messages when it comes to managing an organization and facing problems in innovative ways.

Why watch it? I don’t particularly love baseball but this film really made me think differently about the challenges a business faces. The way things have always been done is not always the way you should get it done. This film is based on a true story, a story about having a vision and going after it no matter how it damages your ego. A lesson we all need to learn at one time or another when building a business.

Indie Game

Rotten Tomatoes Certified Fresh 93%

Indie Game is a 2012 documentary film by Canadian filmmakers James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot. The film documents the struggles of four independent game developers.  The film sheds a huge light on the world of independent creators and their challenges of getting their work out in the world in hopes others will enjoy their creations as well.

Why watch it? Theses independent game developers are entrepreneurs, whether they call themselves that or not. Their journey of producing a product that they hope their audience will love is one that is inspiring and heart wrenching at the same time. Years of work goes into creating their games and when it’s time to put their work out  there, you can’t help but root for them.

If I were to use one word to describe these developers it would be “dedication.” This film is a great reminder of what kind of dedication we need to have if we really want to see what we create come to life in this world. The ups and downs documented in this film really make one feel that their own struggles are not their own alone. So many lessons to be learned in this film, so give it a watch (You can find it on Netflx).

The Pursuit of Happyness

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 67%

Even though its Rotten Tomatoes score is not certified fresh, this movie is loved by audiences on many levels. This film is based on Chris Gardner’s (Will Smith) real life story of a salesman’s one-year struggle with homelessness. Chis is now a multimillionaire. This movie tells the story of how he changed his personal conditions to change his life forever.

Why watch it? Yes, this is a feel-good flick but there are some serious lessons about life and what it takes to achieve success, that should not be missed. This movie displays exactly what it means to work hard and persevere.

Entrepreneurship is hardly ever a walk in the park. It’s more like a hike in a wild forest with Kodiak bears and The Preditor. You will be faced with challenges- you can count on it. How you deal with those challenges will shape who you are as a person and your success as a business builder.

Bonus Viewing Pleasure

Stallone’s Personal Rocky Story

Sylvester Stallone is incredible. Period. After watching him tell his personal story, you’ll never see him the same way again. I sure don’t. This might just be better than the Oscar winning film itself. I’m going to leave it at that and leave the “why you should watch it” to you. I don’t want to ruin it for you. Here are all 4 parts:

Well, there you have it! I Let me know what other films you would add to this list and why, in the comments below. I would love to hear all about them.

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