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Did you know that there are more than 500,000 new businesses started every month in the US*? Crazy, right? I’m pretty sure you want to be one of them or you wouldn’t be here, so stop procrastinating and start building now.

Here is your 3-step action plan for today:

1) Sign up to get free tips for building your business + you’ll receive my guide to the Top 10 Mistakes New Entrepreneurs Make

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Have a great day and be proud of yourself for taking your first step towards becoming a business owner 🙂

I’m Rappelling Down a Skyscraper to Support Entrepreneurs!

By on March 21, 2017

Hey Everyone 🙂

Today’s post is totally different than my other posts because I’m super excited/absolutely terrified about something I’m doing in July and wanted to share with you all to see if I can get your support. So yes, technically, this isn’t a New Venture Mentor video, but stick with me.

I don’t know how many of you out there are adventure sports enthusiasts but, for the record, I am not. Ziplining and helmet diving are about the most adventurous activities I have taken part in and they were both super fun, but I’m about to really kick it up a notch by rappelling down the side of a 35-story building in downtown Chicago.

Yeah – that chick hanging from the side of the building in the photo above, that’s going to be me….assuming I don’t vomit or pee my pants or something else fear-induced and equally as embarrassing. I know I may not seem more than moderately excited but that’s half because I’m just not than emotive a person and half because I haven’t actually decided if what I am experiencing is excitement or terror.

So here’s the deal. I am raising money for a non-profit called Goodcity. Goodcity supports female and minority entrepreneurs by mobilizing the time, talents, and finances of supporters who want to see them succeed. This isn’t your typical non-profit – the average donor is under 40 and commits about $1,000 as opposed to being a retiree writing a 5- or 6- figure check – and we serve our entrepreneurs differently because we consider ourselves a human investment organization. So we seek out the best, most promising entrepreneurs who don’t have access to resources and networks and capital because they happen to be a woman or happen to be a person of color. We don’t try to serve anyone and everyone – you have to be willing to put in the work or we can’t help you – the idea is to go deep, not wide with these entrepreneurs.

Goodcity has recently launched its INVEST initiative, which includes funding and strategic development for entrepreneurs. At the ideation stage we’ll fund 100-200 aspiring entrepreneurs each year with $500-$1000 to see if they can get their great idea off the ground. If they can and they’re able to start generating revenue, they’ll become eligible for $25,000 to help scale. Eventually, we’d like to be able to offer $100,000 investments in the top performing investees to allow them to really take their organizations to the next level. Basically, we’re helping the most talented people who can’t raise a friends and family round secure the financing and personal investment needed to become prepared for mainstream investment.

So, now that you’re on board with the cause, I need you to also get on board with laughing at me as I have a panic attack/freak out/melt down on the top of a skyscraper before I jump over the edge of it and rappel back down to safety. This is such a perfect metaphor for entrepreneurship: yes, you pull together a great team, you get the systems in place, you have a backup plan – but eventually you need to just suck it up, conquer your fears, and go over the edge.

So – if you’re a daredevil and want to rappel yourself – let me know. Anyone who raises at least $1,000 for Goodcity can do so.

If you’d rather keep your feet solidly on stable ground, I would be incredibly appreciative for your support as I rappel and my conservative goal for this is to raise $1,000 but it would be great to get more than that so here’s what we’re doing:

  • A donation of $28.57 pays for me to rappel 1 of the 35 floors, based on my goal and since $28.57 would be a ridiculous donation, let’s round that out to an even $30.
  • A donation of $100 means I will personally buy you a drink at this event as a thank you. You have to get yourself to the Hyatt Regency on the day I am rappeling though.
  • A donation of $500 funds one entrepreneur at the ideation phase and allows him or her to take that first step towards building a new startup or non-profit organization.
  • And if you’re just a baller and want to tackle my entire $1000 goal yourself, well thank you very, very much big spender….are you sure you don’t want to rappel yourself? Because I can make that happen.

PLUS – In addition to the goodies discussed above, there are a few other “offers” I have for you:

  • If I get to at least $1500, I will rappel in a costume of the highest donor’s choosing…though that costume must meet the guidelines from Over the Edge’s team, which means capris or long pants and a shirt with sleeves.  Leave your costume ideas in the comments section on the donation page, please!
  • If I can get to at least $2000 raised, Ryan will rappel with me….if you’re a friend of Sparky listening to this, I’m sure we can guilt trip him into wearing the same costume I’ll be wearing if we can hit this goal.
The levels above are just suggestions and are somewhat arbitrary to add a little fun to this. Even if you can only give $5, the entrepreneurs that Goodcity serves and I will be incredibly grateful for your support and of course anyone that gives even the smallest donation will have my heartfelt gratitude and will get a shout out on the thank you note I will write for all of my supporters in this on my website.
I totally understand that sometimes you just can’t give financially, though, but if that’s the case for you, please share this with your networks on social media to help get the word out and raise funds to support the entrepreneurs Goodcity helps every day.

To donate please visit https://give.classy.org/catesote If you missed that, the link is in the description below the video.

Thank you, thank you, thank you in advance and I hope to see you all there in July rappeling with me and or at least cheering me on!

Guest Post: Instagram Is Crucial to Your Business; Learn Why!

By on March 15, 2017

It’s guest post week and today we’re hearing from Drake Nicholson about the importance of Instagram. Despite the fact that I know IG is a high-ROI marketing tool for a number of business types, I have literally never used it,

How to Prioritize Customer Segments Quickly

By on March 7, 2017

Today I want to talk to you about defining your customer segments so that you can improve your marketing. One of the things I talk about A TON with all of my clients is being very clear on who your

Guest Post: 10 Costs New Business Owners Don’t Think About

By on February 28, 2017

It’s guest post week again and today we’ll hear from Stephanie Lynch of HowMuchIsIt about some of the most commonly overlooked business expenses for new startups or small businesses that can really throw a wrench in your financial plan if

This Isn’t A Second Grade Classroom, There Is Such A Thing As A Stupid Question

By on February 21, 2017

Today I need to throw some tough love at you and discuss this nonsense idea that there is no such thing as a stupid question. We’ve all heard the saying that there’s no such thing as a stupid question and

Guest Post: Achieve Your Milestones If You Want to Raise Money

By on February 14, 2017

It’s guest post week again. Today we’ll hear from Ian Dawkins of Blue Anchor SEO: Starting your own business with little more than a great idea and a lot of determination is something that has always been a big dream

What to Do with the Dogs in Your BCG Matrix

By on February 6, 2017

Today I want to dig up and add a little bit more to an old video I did on the BCG Matrix. Before continuing, if you don’t know what the BCG Matrix is, please take a look at the old

Guest Post: 20 Tips to Skyrocket Your Small Business Branding

By on January 31, 2017

It’s guest post week again. Today we have some advice from Jessica Bowler of Printsome on how to boost your branding. Here’s Jessica:  What small business wouldn’t like a major branding boost? Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who

How to Understand Your Goals So You Can Build the Business You Want

By on January 24, 2017

Today I want to revisit a video I did awhile ago about using the 5 whys technique to help with your operations management but twist it a bit to talk about making sure your goals and business strategy are in

Guest Post: 5 Reasons Startups Fails and How Yours Can Succeed

By on January 17, 2017

It’s guest post week again. Today we’re hearing from Delan Cooper of Consolidated Insurance Brokers who will give some advice about avoiding failure and finding success as you build your business. Here’s Delan: The startup failure rate is as high