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Last Update: Monday September 20, 2021

Key Idea: Develop Yourself

Joel Greene is a fine artist who paints at home.  His work is offered for sale at a gallery on Santa Fe's famous Canyon Road.  Joel tells us that  honing a specialty is the best way to win customers. 

Key Question:


You have to keep working to improve yourself. Running your own business means there is no corporate training and development department helping you to work on your career ladder and encouraging you to push yourself up it. Working for yourself means you are in charge of everything, including your personal growth and development.

Why is Brett LaSorella able to bring in big bucks from home?

  Think about movie stars. They don't live at the studio. They live all over the world. They have agents working the Hollywood script world to find them parts and pitch them to producers. But the stars themselves do not have to live down the street from where the deals are made. This is the model Brett was thinking about when he set out to be able to do what he wants to do when he wants to do it from where he wants to do it. Years ago he dreamed of working from anywhere in the world and he could see in these dreams that he would have to be sought after for his unique talent in order to pull this off. He knew he had to develop his skills so that he would stand out in the crowd of software developers.

As a home-based business owner you need to be involved in your industry trade associations, you need to be reading, stretching and growing. Our mantra here at Small Business School is: Learn Today, Earn Tomorrow and Return Forever.

Think about it

What can you do to develop yourself intellectually?  What marketable skills can you develop?

Clip from: Home Alone - 17+ Million Sole Proprietors (USA)

In search of an endless summer

Bend, Dallas, San Diego and Santa Fe: In this episode of the show, we take a look at nine people who work and live within the same physical space. It has its own special challenges. 

We seem to be making the circle, back to a pre-industrial lifestyle, but with knowledge tools -- the integration of broadcasting, information (technology), communications, education and publishing -- that challenge us to look deep within ourselves to craft and sculpt our unique gifts to give back to the world.

There are about 17 million sole proprietors in just the USA; they are all unique and most have returned home to work.

We all must prepare today for the invevitable tomorrows.

Small Business Owners Everywhere in the world, We all will exit our business someday.

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Develop Yourself

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Not far from Greg, in a cluster of homes we found Brett LaSorrella.

BRETT LASORRELLA: (Voiceover) I really like being able to use my time effectively and everything I need is right at my fingertips. I do custom software development, systems integrations, using computers to solve business problems. My goal is to be able to live and work anyplace in the world. It's possible in this day and age if you've done your homework, you have the background, like to work alone, use a support network to do practically anything if you've got the goods. If you've got the skills, the intelligence and the drive. Those things aren't easy, but they're, they're possible. So if you develop yourself that way, you can do what you want.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Then in a cozy Dallas neighborhood, we found Sue Coffman, a PhD in English. She left academia in 1992 and has not looked back. She is the grammar lady.

SUE COFFMAN: The name of my business is WordsWorth, named after my favorite poet, William Wordsworth. And it is also a description of my business because I can write for you, I can edit for you or I can teach you how to write better. All I need to do my work is a computer, a fax machine, and a telephone. Now that's money in the bank. And in fact through networking and through referrals I have, I have gotten a lot of clients that I have never met.

HATTIE: He loves you (referring to her dog) being at home all the time.

SUE: Oh yeah, it's great. They don't have to wait for me to come home at night.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) We drove 20 miles from the art district of Santa Fe to meet Joel Greene who makes a living by painting at home.

JOEL GREENE: I don't have a lot of money by a lot of people's standards, but I manage to spend my time doing pretty much what I want to do. I like nothing better if I can not even start the car for three or four days, and just stay out here and do my work and nap and read.

HATTIE: Can you imagine yourself doing anything else?

JOEL: No, I don't and I've thought about this sometimes. I can't imagine myself doing it and the cynic in me says, "That's because you're too dumb and lazy to do anything else."

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