The Greatest Motivator and How to Harness It

Can you believe we're halfway through 2018 already? Here's a sobering question for my readers: How many of your New Year's resolutions for 2018 have you accomplished?

Betcha dollars to a doughnut your answer is none.

The key to success with any resolution -- personal, business or otherwise -- is will power. We all start out with the best of ...Read more

The Greatest Freedom of All

Every Fourth of July weekend, it's common to talk about the freedoms and liberties we enjoy (and frequently take for granted) as Americans -- freedoms that few other countries on Earth can match. We are proud of them, and we should be.

The first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution (known as the Bill of Rights) list a number of these basic ...Read more

Making Sure Company Founders Are Diluted Fairly

"A couple of months ago I started a Web-based company with two college friends. We agreed that I would have 20 percent of the stock in this company, and that my two friends would split the remaining 80 percent equally (40 percent each). That is okay with me, because this is really going to be their company -- I'm just designing and putting ...Read more

Criticism Is a Good Thing, Except on the Web

"I want to put a hyperlink on my website to an article on another website, so that readers could see the article, read it, and then respond whether negative or positive on my website what they thought of the article. Is this legal?"

The short and easy answer is that it's probably legal. The tougher question is: Should you do it?

For those ...Read more

5 Ways to Identify Problem Clients

"I've been running a small service business for a while now, and it seems like I have problems with every client these days.

"Most don't pay on time -- I have to remind them every month to pay their invoices, and a couple have stopped returning my phone calls altogether.

"Other clients make unreasonable demands on me, asking me to do things ...Read more

The Graduation Speech Your Kids Really, Really Need to Hear

This column, which originally appeared in May 2009, is one of the most requested and reprinted "Succeeding in Your Business" columns, especially during graduation season.

Members of the class of 2018: I was sorry to hear that the reality TV star who was to be your commencement speaker today had to bow out at the last minute (and, by ...Read more

Dealing With the Trademark Bully

"I started an online business last year. We've had an amazing run so far, with over 10,000 unique hits every day on our website, and a 30 percent gross profit margin on sales of over $250,000 in our first year. Our site has been written up in some major magazines, and we are getting attention from industry bloggers who have rated our site very...Read more

How Should Small Businesses Respond to the GDPR?

"My partner and I run a small software business that caters to a niche market.

"Our customers (all businesses -- we don't sell to individuals) are located primarily in the United States and Canada, but we do have two corporate customers in the United Kingdom that account for less than 1 percent of our total global revenue. We don't advertise ...Read more

Is Blockchain the Solution to the World's Problems?

Have you ever picked up two books that seemed to be about two entirely different subjects only to realize they were pretty much the same?

Book No. 1: Last week, I was very excited to receive a review copy of Jim Blasingame's latest book, "The 3rd Ingredient: The Journey of Analog Ethics Into the World of Digital Fear and Greed."

For those ...Read more

Does Your Business Qualify as Women- or Minority-Owned?

"My husband and I started a consulting business a while back, and we are finding ourselves getting more and more business from government agencies and nonprofit organizations. There's only one problem: many of these people want to know if we are a 'minority-owned enterprise' or a 'female-owned enterprise' so they can comply with federal and ...Read more

Do Personal Guarantees Go on Forever?

"My partner and I bought a small business five years ago from the person who originally started it. We assumed his existing lease for a terrific retail space, and personally guaranteed the lease. As we are both getting ready to retire, we decided to sell the business. We found a great buyer, who is willing to pay us an above-market price ...Read more

Getting the 'Three Stooges' out of Your LLC Operating Agreement

"I just started a limited liability company (LLC) with three partners. Our attorney drafted an Operating Agreement for us, but I'm a little confused by the buyout provisions he drafted.

"The agreement says that if one of us dies, becomes disabled, or otherwise withdraws from the company, we have to buy his shares in the company so the ...Read more


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