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So You Want to Start a Business? Here's How

So You Want to Start a Business? Here's How

I am honored to be speaking at the Maria Shriver Women's Conference in Los Angeles this week. For those who won't be attending, I wanted to share these top tips on how to start a business and create change:
1. You must do something you love.
It must be your passion and what you most want to do, no matter what. It cannot be about ego, significance, money or something else.
2. Find a way to serve, contribute or help other people.
Find a way to take away pain from people's lives. You will never feel weak or overwhelmed if you know that you're making a difference.

3. Know how your business makes money.
Be clear on the path to revenue, including who your customers are and how you'll rise above the noise. Be open to finding other ways to make money as you get going.
4. Negotiate everything.
Barter, trade, exchange services, ask for discounts, do whatever it takes to get started.
5. Know what to expect.
Your business adventure will take longer than you think, you're going to make mistakes, you'll need to ask for help and your friends/family may not approve of what you're doing. Expect it!
Read my entire blog post on starting your own business.

Posted: 10/26/09
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Dear Ariane - First, I'd like to say how much I have grown by reading your posts. Thank you.

Please correct your post regarding the Shriver Woman's conference. It is in LONG BEACH California, NOT Los Angeles. Although in LA county, Long Beach is a separate municipality and actually the 6th largest city in the state of California. And, although LA is 10 times larger in population, Long Beach just beats out the state capital.

Obviously I live in Long Beach and am proud of the fact that we have one of the most diverse populations in the U.S. (per the 2000 census results), and have many things going for us - including hosting way cool conferences such as the women's conference this week, TED, and many others. I can go on and on, public schools being among the best, parks and recreation. Truly a dynamic place that deserves proper recognition.

I'm sure you had not intended this slight, and perhaps even thought that most of your readers might not know precisely where Long Beach is, but would recognize Los Angeles. Well, that's sort of the point of Long Beach having a convention center on the water and promoting itself with way cool conferences like this one. Please give credit where credit is due, and hopefully you will love you stay here. (and may I suggest the restaurants up the hill along Pine Avenue as a great place to enjoy the evening!).

Best Regards,
David Baillie