Recent Posts

Life Balance: There is Always a Price to Pay for Success
1 Comment

Finding Balance Between Home and Family Life

Working MotherWe must always give up something to get something in life or in business. The greater the value, the greater the sacrifice required.

Is it worth it? When I look back at all the things, I had to give up when I was in business I can tell you now that it was worth it.

However, at the time my children were not happy that I was not there to celebrate their birthdays, make their basketball games and drive them places they wanted to go or be the parent that went on the field trips.

There will always be a price to pay for success and my children remember this. My time was limited to early mornings before they went to school, evenings and Sundays. I always made time during school vacations and they said at the time that was not enough. The challenge is always, does work and the future plan for a comfortable life come first or the family? When I ask my children now that they are grown they can say, that it was necessary to work hard and they saw that I was able to provide a better lifestyle for them because of my hard work.

In many cases we are unable to spend the time we need with our families when we are building a business as we put the business first so that we can create a comfortable lifestyle. We must realize that the rewards of true success are well worth the effort and time that it takes. We also know that along the way we are always learning and sometimes pay for mistakes that we have made.

My three daughters realize that my work ethic inspired them to see that rewards come with hard work and the time I was not with them was worth it.

Now they say that they barely remember…what they do remember is the privileged lifestyle I was able to provide for them.

From experience I can tell you that life balance is important but business will create a comfortable life if you are successful. Do what needs to be done to create your future.

Julie Brander - Business Mentor, SCORE New Haven
Julie has been a SCORE volunteer since 1997. She has 20 years of experience in business, starting a manufacturing, wholesale and retail jewelry company. After selling her business, she dedicated herself to helping other entrepreneurs start and expand their business. | @juliebrander | More from Julie


Marketing: How to Get Started With Social Media

Social Media is here to stay. Here’s how to hop on board.

Getting your business going with Facebook, Twitter and the rest may seem like a big chore, but it need not be. And it is important to do it, even if it does seem daunting. Why? Think of social media is as a conversation. People are already online, on these sites, having conversations about everything imaginable. Would it behoove you to start some of those conversations with your own customers and would-be customers? You bet!

Here’s how:

1. Watch: There are scores of social media sites out there, but the big three are Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Each does something a little different

  • Twitter allows for short bursts, or tweets, of only a few sentences (140 characters). As such, it is great for having back and forth conversations with people and posting short nuggets of information. People who follow what you do on Twitter are your “followers.”
  • Facebook allows for a more robust interaction by allowing businesses to create fan pages where they can post videos, articles, contests and the like.
  • LinkedIn allows you to link to all of the people you know on the site, create a network, and then make connections to your network’s network, creating an even more vast network.


You begin by spending some time on each site and getting a feel for how they work and how you might participate.

2. Set up accounts: Next, create accounts at all three of the big ones. Be thorough and add enough information to make you and / or your business relevant and interesting. On LinkedIn, be sure to add all of your contacts. On Facebook, create a Fan page.

There are many, many others to check out of course. Indeed, if you know of any niche ones that specifically relate to your industry or business, set up shop at those for sure.

3. Choose: While I am suggesting that you cast a wide net generally, especially in the beginning I think it is smart to start small and concentrate on one site in particular. It will take time and effort, especially in the beginning, so concentrating on one social networking site will enable you to master that site and make some connections. After that, take on another site.

4. Get involved: Whatever site you choose, the trick is to immerse yourself in it. If you like LinkedIn, join a group, create some new connections, or add some apps to your homepage. On Twitter, the key is to create useful content that people like. As opposed to the misconception that Twitter users tweet mundane things about their life, the fact is that most small business people tweet articles and posts that are quite interesting.

5. Stick with it: Mastering social media takes time, and getting business results from it takes even more time. Spending an hour a day on it is not uncommon in the beginning, and as you really get into it, that may increase multi-fold. Don’t get discouraged. The trick is to begin to meet and engage people, to become part of the conversation. The more you do that, the more your network will grow, and the more business opportunities you will get.

For example, I recently heard about a woman who started a business and immediately engaged on LinkedIn with people in her industry. Two months later, when she wanted to create a board of advisors, she put out the word to her LinkedIn network and was inundated with offers. Or, on Facebook, what about the diary that asked fans to post videos of their love of their ice cream? The dairy then posted the  videos for all to see and enjoy.

Forging connections like that is what social media is all about.

Steve Strauss - Founder, and
Steven is one of the world’s leading entrepreneurship and small business experts. He is a lawyer, public speaker and author, speaking around the world about entrepreneurship. He has been seen on CNN, CNBC, The O’Reilly Factor, and his column, Ask an Expert, appears weekly on | | @stevestrauss | More from Steve