The economic meltdown of 2008 was a wake-up call for anyone who assumes that a career in corporate America is secure. The painful lesson learned by a significant portion of America’s workforce was this: If you work for someone else, you have little control over your employment status and are investing in that person’s dream, not your own.
In 2010, the unemployment rate of America’s workers rose about 10 ...
The economic meltdown of 2008 was a wake-up call for anyone who assumes that a career in corporate America is secure. The painful lesson learned by a significant portion of America’s workforce was this: If you work for someone else, you have little control over your employment status and are investing in
that person’s dream, not your own.
In 2010, the unemployment rate of America’s workers rose about 10 percent. We wrote this book in response to a deep need we saw for people to discover the benefits of self-reliance. In our humble opinion, there is no greater vehicle for security than owning your own business. When successful, a business can defy most financial models and calculations. While 2010 has come and gone, the need is
still real and will live on.
The reasons to go into business for yourself are infinite. Perhaps you want to spend more time with your family. Maybe you want to earn more income, call the shots, or travel more often. Is there something you enjoy doing more than anything else—and can you earn an income doing so? Regardless of your motivation, the answer to the question “Should I go into business for myself” is yes. Small business ownership can be a path to true independence, life balance, and personal happiness.
As successful entrepreneurs, we have identified significant opportunities and assumed many risks, and ultimately chose to pursue our dreams. Because there are over 30 years separating us in age, our book covers generational as well as universal perspectives and insights.
Our goal is to present in these pages a practical guide on how to build self-reliance and start your own business. We will speak to the fundamentals, the block and tackle, of entrepreneurship, and we will address the challenges that most new entrepreneurs face. In several of the chapters you will find vignettes—stories of real-life entrepreneurs whose experiences illustrate some of our main points. We
hope you will find their stories inspiring as well as informative.
This book is not about deal junkies and their seemingly magical ventures that start on a short runway and take off with sales that seem to defy gravity. We are not addressing “vaporware” or unprofitable companies that go public and return a gazillion dollars—before imploding. Like winning the lottery, these successes represent only a small slice of start-up ventures.
We firmly believe that the future security and prosperity of baby boomers and new college graduates— and all the generations in between—will be reached by encouraging entrepreneurship based upon sound business principles. Small businesses, and the entrepreneurs who start them, create more than
50 percent of American jobs. By encouraging displaced workers and others to become entrepreneurs and expand this important sector of the economic base, we hope to add new fuel to the American small-business growth engine—and perhaps power your dreams in the process.
David Nilssen is serial entrepreneur and recognized as the leading expert on small business and franchise finance. His company, Guidant Financial, enables aspiring entrepreneurs find the capital they need to purchase the small business or franchise of their dreams.
He pioneered the concept of “one-stop shopping” in small business financing. In addition to SBA lending, unsecured loans and equipment leasing, Guidant can help an individual to invest their retirement funds into a business without taking a taxable distribution or getting a loan. Founded in 2003 with less than $10,000 and a laptop, Guidant has become an Inc. 500 organization with thousands of clients in all 50 states. David’s company has helped nearly 4,000 individuals invest nearly $2 billion into small business or franchising creating more than 50,000 American jobs and generating hundreds of millions in economic output.
In 2007, the Small Business Administration (SBA) named Nilssen the National Young Entrepreneur of the Year and the Puget Sound Business Journal named him one of the top 40 businesspeople under 40. In 2008 & 2009, Ernst and Young named him a finalist for their coveted Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Jeff Levy an entrepreneur, coach and mentor and has helped hundreds of individuals open their own franchise or small business. Over the course of his career he’s been recognized for this contributions by winning award that include:
■2011 15 year Mentor Recognition award at Seattle University
■2010 Winner “Outstanding Contributions” to FSB International
■2009 Franchisee of the Year at the Entrepreneur’s Source
His entrepreneurial ventures are highlighted in the book, “Changing Careers after 40."
Since moving to the Pacific Northwest in 1984 Jeff has spent his time in entrepreneurial pursuits. He was founding member of Windswept Capital which was formed to purchase Spider Staging Corporation. Jeff was President and COO of Spider prior to the acquisition of the enterprise by Flow International in
1992. While at Flow, Jeff served as an officer of that public company for five years until he and a partner developed a management buyout of several Flow divisions. He then became the Executive VP and a principle of SafeWorks LLC. In 2002, Jeff established the Seattle Entrepreneur Source franchise.