4 Solopreneur Truths Gleaned From the 2014 Golf Season

July 27th, 2014 by Larry Keltto | Posted in Encouragement, Productivity

Golfers are among my favorite solopreneurs to study, because there’s no ambiguity about how well they’re doing. Golfers’ business results are as plain to see as numbers on a spreadsheet: earnings, top-ten finishes, greens in regulation, number of putts per round, and dozens of other statistics.

With the 2014 golf year entering its final chapters, here are four takeaways from the season that help explain the solopreneur life.

Martin Kaymer, 29, Germany. In 2010 Kaymer was atop the world rankings after winning the PGA Championship. In the ensuing months he overhauled his golf swing in an attempt to improve his game. The results were disastrous. He was missing cuts and his confidence appeared to be shot. He was considered a very weak link on Europe’s 2012 Ryder Cup team.



Random Thoughts After a 10-Day Family Vacation

July 21st, 2014 by Larry Keltto | Posted in Uncategorized

Late last night my wife, two daughters, and I arrived home in Minnesota after spending 10 days in Estes Park, Colorado. We’ve made the trip every year to EP since 2001, and we drive. Here are random thoughts from the vacation.

My wife (she's in the bottom-right corner) admires the majesty of Rocky Mountain National Park.

My wife (she’s in the bottom-right corner) admires the majesty of Rocky Mountain National Park.

• I didn’t see evidence of Colorado’s legalization of marijuana, except for a head shop on Pearl Street in Boulder. But I suspect the shop has been there for decades, and with the new law the owners can stop the charade that they’re selling pipes and rolling papers to connoisseurs of tobacco.

• The driving range at the Estes Park Golf Course has the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen on a range.



How to Take the First Step Toward Building New Business Relationships

June 27th, 2014 by Larry Keltto | Posted in Marketing

Below is an excerpt from the book Relationship Marketing for Solopreneurs: How to Build Rewarding Connections in Work and Life, written by Jim Sheard, Ph.D., and Larry Keltto.

Relationships are the foundation for marketing your solo business. And taking the initiative is the first step toward building relationships.

To take the initiative, you must be alert, open, and alive to possibilities for making connections.

The way in which you connect is the first impression you make on another person. A warm smile, a friendly greeting, and an upbeat conversation will open doors to relationships. The same is true when the first connection is online or on the phone.



Michael Port’s Mission: Kill the Elevator Speech

June 20th, 2014 by Larry Keltto | Posted in Marketing

Michael Port, author of “Book Yourself Solid,” helps professionals learn how to sell their services. Port is on a mission to kill the elevator speech.

(If you don’t know what an elevator speech is, here’s an article from 2007, the heyday of the elevator speech.)

Port says he’s been polling audiences for years on the issue of elevator speeches. He asks audiences: “How many of you love, love, love listening to someone else’s elevator speech?” No hands go up. Then he asks, “How many of you love, love, love giving your elevator speech?” Same thing. No hands.



If You Hit “Rock Bottom,” Make It Your Foundation

May 22nd, 2014 by Larry Keltto | Posted in Motivation

Below is an excerpt from my e-book, “Threadbare to Billionaire: J.K. Rowling’s Solopreneurial Magic and How You Can Use It To Spark Your Business.”

Rowling says living in poverty, being at the bottom, gave her permission to be herself. She had nothing to lose. There was no risk.

“That was so freeing. Why wouldn’t I want to write? What is the worst that could happen — it [my book] gets turned down by every publishing group? Big deal.



How the DISC Behavioral Model Can Help Solopreneurs

May 11th, 2014 by Larry Keltto | Posted in Client Relations, Coaching, Collaboration and Partnership

From the archives: this post originally was published on March 24, 2011.

DISC is a behavioral model based on the work of Dr. William Moulton Marston (1893–1947) to examine the behavior of individuals in their environment or within a specific situation.

I was introduced to this system recently. I haven’t studied it in great depth yet, but I plan to because I think it gives us as solopreneurs a framework for understanding ourselves, our clients, and our collaborators.

DISC also can help us:

• Identify our weaknesses

• Identify growth areas

• Identify our fears



WooThemes Announces the Release of WooCommerce Bookings, an Online Booking Plugin

May 6th, 2014 by Larry Keltto | Posted in Office, Productivity, Software, Web Site, WordPress

This morning WooThemes notified customers that it has launched a bookings plugin for WooCommerce. (WooCommerce is a free e-commerce product for WordPress websites.) The new plugin is called WooCommerce Bookings. Click here to watch a video that explains WooCommerce Bookings.

WooThemes makes good products. Its Canvas theme is one of my favorite WordPress themes. I have no doubt Bookings will be worthy of consideration, if you’re in the market for an online-booking tool.

Bookings costs $149 for a one-site, one-year license, which seems steep. But I currently pay $19 per month for my booking service, Bookingbug, so the WooCommerce Bookings pricing is competitive.



12 Tips For Commanding a Room

April 28th, 2014 by Larry Keltto | Posted in Marketing

As a solopreneur, you’re not always going to be holed up in your home office. Knowing how to captivate an audience is an essential skill — and it’s one that can be learned. Here are tips from More magazine on how you can be the person who’s worth listening to.

1. Shift to an owner’s mindset. “Trade up” your self-image. Swap the way you see yourself from worker bee to thought leader, pioneer, innovator.

2. Dress like a leader. Be current with you clothing and look, pay attention to small details, and put time into maintenance. Looking polished takes effort. Think of it as an investment in you.



The Fallacy of “Sometime”

April 21st, 2014 by Larry Keltto | Posted in Sales

In his book “How to Write a Good Advertisement: A Short Course in Copywriting,” Victor O. Schwab stresses the importance of pressing for immediate action.

Schwab asks: Has this ever happened to you? Your friends have had a nice evening at your home. Yet their goodbye goes like this: “We’ve had such a great time. We should have you over at our place sometime.”

“Sometime,” of course, never happens. There’s no “hook,” no definite date, such as, “We want you to visit us! How is next Friday night, at 7:30?”



A Macabre Niche from the 1800s: Photos of Dead Outlaws

April 11th, 2014 by Larry Keltto | Posted in Niche Businesses

In my ongoing quest to find examples of interesting niche markets, I give you Ira Sumner, a Northfield, Minnesota photographer who lived in the 1800s. Sumner possessed a peculiar talent: taking portraits of dead men.

The entrance to the First National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota is on the left side of this photo

The entrance to the First National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota is on the left side of this photo

And September 7, 1876, was Sumner’s lucky day. That’s when an eight-man gang of outlaws were foiled in their attempt to rob the First National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota.

The robbers included legendary criminals Jesse James, Frank James, and the three Younger brothers: Cole, Jim, and Bob. Two members of the gang — Clell Miller and Bill Chadwell — were killed during the raid. The others escaped.