Entrepreneur Archive

Johnny the Hotdog Vendor

Posted April 25, 2016 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

If you spend much time in Memphis, you’ll find him standing by his little hot dog cart. You’ll recognize him by the infectious smile and gregarious demeanor. He plays with the kids and strikes up intelligent conversations with the adults. And he provides the most excellent customer service I’ve ever seen. Johnny the hotdog vendor looks as though he doesn’t have a care in the world.

“I just LOVE what I do!” He is emphatic about how much he enjoys selling hotdogs on the street. Five bucks will get you a dog, chips and ice cold canned soda. Not a bad deal. He doesn’t skimp on the products. Only the best, Nathan’s all-natural hotdogs will do for his customers. People wait in long lines for his combo and he sells out at every event. Last Saturday at an event at the downtown public library, I bought the last one for a homeless deaf man.

A closer look at Johnny’s life revealed he is happy by choice. A very bright man, he worked twenty years for the same company servicing and repairing x-ray equipment. One day his boss in this family owned business told him he would have to let him go to make room for a family member. Family came first, even in business. Johnny was left high and dry with a family to care for.

As was with many Americans during that time, he could not find a job that would keep him home with his family. So Johnny decided to create one. He took money out of their savings, bought a hotdog stand, licenses and supplies and set up on the street corners of Memphis. He’s been there ever since.

“I have the best job in the world! I get to meet all kinds of people every day. I deliver what people want. It makes them happy and that makes me happy. I work and take time off whenever I want. And, at a big event, I make two weeks salary at my old job in a single day.”

Johnny’s zest for life is infectious. He prepares each hotdog to order and, unlike the workers at the national chain fast food places who slop the ingredients on haphazardly, he places the condiments on the dogs with precision. No mess. No worry about dripping when you try to eat one. He really cares for his customers, the tie they’re wearing and makes sure they don’t spill mustard anywhere.

Five years ago, thousands of Americans were faced with suddenly being out of jobs. Many of them lost their homes, cars, families, health and wound up in desperate circumstances. Some did not survive. But Johnny is a shining example of the American spirit, that tenacity that finds a way where there seems to be none. When times were hard, he picked himself up by the bootstraps and instead of trying to follow the same road that got him in dire straits hoping it would change, he blazed his own trail.

Saturday as I stood in the distance devouring the best hotdog I’ve ever eaten—and normally I don’t eat them at all—my heart was filled with pride, and joy as I watched Johnny the hotdog vendor joyfully dispense fun and food. My heart was filled with peace knowing that as long as there are citizens like him, the heartbeat of America will continue to be alive and well.

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My Biggest Blunder: Doing it Myself

Posted June 12, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.


Facing Fear Cover FINAL 6-9-13My latest book, Facing Fear and Finding Freedom, just went up for sale on Amazon this week. I’m really excited about bringing it to the masses.

But right now, while I’m celebrating its launch, I can’t help but chuckle at my biggest blunder when it came to the cover. I tried to design it myself.

That would be fine except for three very important factors:

  1. I’m not even remotely talented at graphic design.
  2. I don’t have any of the software needed to create a magnificent cover.
  3. I’m color blind!

I spent hours loading photos, adding text, emailing it to friends for their input. Each time, I’d go back to the starting board. Finally, myFacing Fear Cover 4 good—and honest—friend, Beth Vogt, decided to save me from myself.

She created my cover for me in a matter of minutes. If I didn’t love her so much, I’d probably hate her for showing me up the way she did. She was so gracious that she never said, “Reebs, step away from the computer.” She just began sending me photos to determine what I liked.

She then created a sleek, clean cover that is now on Amazon for millions of folks to be drawn in by.

Here’s what I learned from my cover design escapade:

  • Facing Fear Design 2Stay in your area of expertise. Working your area of weakness or lack of skill will NOT net you the results you’re looking for. Leave that to others.
  • You won’t stumble upon greatness. I could have worked on that cover design ‘til the cows come home and I’d never create a suitable graphic. You can work at something relentlessly and, if it’s an area of weakness for you, you’ll only become marginally better.
  • Working in your area of weakness is a waste of time. I got nothing out of the hours I spent concocting a horrible design… well, except the pity from a friend who jumped in to save the day. Don’t waste the valuable time you have each day doing something you’re not good at. Dole it out to someone who can do it better!Facing Fear Design 3 (2)

I have to laugh at myself when I think of my courageous attempt at independence. I hope you learn from my biggest blunder and don’t
let hours tick off the clock pursuing something that will inevitably end in disappointment. Get help. Delegate. Hire someone to do the work for you! Trust me, you’ll be glad you did!

What is your biggest blunder? Spit it out! Share it here!

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This is the week that I start a second podcast. This podcast should have aired yesterday but, due to technical difficulties, it didn’t go out. So, you’ll get a podcast today, and another one tomorrow.

Women of Passion will publish every Tuesday and will provide information, tools, technology and tips for women entrepreneurs.

Finding True North will publish every Thursday and will be chocked full of encouragement, motivation and stories that will give you hope.

Be sure to look for both!

 

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[Podcast] Women of Passion, Episode 009: The Big Split

Posted May 29, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Grunge American flag

 

In today’s episode, I make an announcement regarding my podcast that I think you will be excited about. Also, since it is the week of Memorial Day, I give a patriotic tribute to America.

 

 

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5 Steps to Exploring Your Perfect Career

Posted May 13, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Little Girl on RoadYou may be in a job you don’t like. Okay, I was being diplomatic. Let’s face it. You hate it. It’s a drudgery to drag yourself out of bed each morning. You live for paychecks and paid time off. I know many women like that. That’s why I became a women’s entrepreneurial coach.

Perhaps you know your days are numbered at your current employer but you don’t know what you’d like to do with the rest of your life. You fear that going to work for another employer is jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. But you have to do something. Life is flying by.

Below are suggestions I have for you that will help you in your search for your new career. These really apply to anyone, but particularly entrepreneurial women.

1) Determine what you do that makes you truly happy. Sounds overly simple, yet so many worker bees are so focused on their job for their employer, they don’t take the time to explore it. This is action oriented. Sitting in the recliner with a bowl of popcorn watching reruns of Amos and Andy does not suffice. 

2) Think of ways to make money at what truly makes you happy. Love to play tennis and help people? Well, youDream Road could teach or coach tennis. Love to wood carve but don’t think anyone would buy your trinkets? There’s always a market somewhere. Hey, if rednecks can build a Duck Dynasty  from duck calls, you could sell your carvings.

3) Figure out what a day or week would be like working in your dream career. It might be helpful to talk to those already in the field. Before I became a coach, I spoke to entrepreneurial coach, Rhonda Hess. I really understood what I was getting myself into. So will you.  If your dream career involves a store or office, make arrangements to shadow someone doing what you want to do.

4) Make a list of pros and cons. Being your own boss might be appealing to you. Not having group health insurance may not. Be careful not to allow these to scare you off from thinking about doing your own thing. Clearly, you want a change. This is just a count the cost and know what you’re up against exercise. You’ll go in with eyes wide open.

COMPASS-AND-NOTEBOOK1.jpg5) Settle on Something. Unless your entrepreneurial dream is to own your own dry cleaning business, most likely your business will evolve. No doubt you’ve got at least a billion great ideas for what you want to accomplish. You have to start somewhere or you’ll start nowhere. So, you must settle on a place to start. You won’t be locked into doing that one thing for the rest of your career. It’s just a place to line up and begin your new career.

Really take the time to go through these. Give them some thought. Keep a notebook or journal. Taking steps in the direction of your dreams will boost your morale and help the day job be more tolerable. It will also gear up your heart, mind and soul to transition into your dream career. Go ahead. What are you waiting for?

What is your dream career? Are you having trouble figuring out what it is? Share it here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Facing Fear and Finding Freedom

Posted April 30, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Scared to deathI hear it every single day. Someone has a wonderful dream of owning their own business. They clearly possess the brains and savvy to pull it off and be hugely successful. Yet, they haven’t done it. They begrudgingly head off every morning to a job they hate for pennies.

This always intrigues me, so when I hear it I ask them why. In almost every case, the answer is the same. They are afraid. They are uncertain about stepping out into the depths of uncharted waters. They are afraid of failure, or of success. They are afraid they’ll embarrass themselves and bring shame to the family.

Well, here’s the truth about that. They will. Everyone who has succeeded has also failed. Everyone who has gone anywhere has felt uncertainly about the journey. Every entrepreneur has jumped headlong into foul ups and blunders. 

Here’s another truth about it. Everyone who has not dared to dream has failed. Everyone who hasn’t moved a muscle in any direction in life has felt uncertain. Every person who has worked their fingers to the bone for “the man” has committed the most embarrassing work performance they can imagine.

So, I ask you, if you’re going to experience all those things anyway, why not live your dream? Life has risk. I traveled home today fromscared child a coastal town in southern America. An electronic sign on the freeway alerted me to an accident seven miles up the road. A half mile in front of me, a car suddenly smashed into the back of a truck. As we inched forward, and I was a hundred feet from the car, it burst into flames. At the same time that was playing out on the road, a house was stuck by lightening and caught fire. No matter where you are, life has risks. 

Fear is something you should embrace. It can show up for you like an expected friend. It will show up at some point, no matter what you’re doing. If you accept its presence as just part of the package, it does not have power over you. It can actually energize you and propel you forward. 

Yeah, I was a big chicken

Yeah, I was a big chicken

Ok, if you were on the Titanic and the last life boat was gone, I’ll give that to you. But you’re not there. Your dream is good, scary, positive and risky, rewarding and terrifying. It’s two sides to the same coin. Don’t worry about the fear side of the coin. Just spend the currency investing in your future and the dream you have in your heart.

Face the fear and find freedom in your life, your work and your dream. 

Do you have a dream but feel fear creep in when you want to move forward? Share it here!

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When the Crap Hits Your Sleeve: How an Entrepreneur Handles Trouble

Posted April 29, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

PigeonLast night I was sitting at an outdoor crab shack with a group of brilliant writers. If there were a writer’s heaven here on earth, I was there! I was in the company of award winning authors Susan May Warren, Rachel Hauck, Lisa Jordan, Edie Melson and others. It was amazing.

Then it happened. From the beautiful stately Wesley oak above our table, a bird decided it was time to take care of business. And, the rest was spatter… all over my shirt sleeve.

At that instant, I figured, I had three options:

1) I could throw my drink at the bird. But, he was too high and I was thirsty.

2) I could get upset and retreat to the parking lot. But I was enjoying the conversation and was really hungry.

3) I could rinse off my sleeve and continue with the conversation, happy that I didn’t allow a little inconvenience spoil an Sibling Rivalryotherwise perfect evening.

I opted for number three. We had a grand time of laughing, sharing, and gorging ourselves on the best food in the lower eastern seaboard. It was amazing.

Entrepreneurs think differently about adversity. We see trouble for what it is, wipe up the mess and just keep moving forward. I got help from those who saw my plight. Someone handed me paper towels while someone filled a straw with water and hosed down my sleeve. We all thought of immediate remedies to my challenge. Entrepreneurial ingenuity at work.

When crap hits your sleeve, that is the precise moment that divides entrepreneurs from those who haven’t developed that spirit. Those poor souls complain, become the victim, or accept the lie that they are meant  to be the porta-potty for all things fowl. Without a doubt, that’s nothing but stinkin’ thinkin’.

Spraying One Another with Hose While Washing DogGet with the program. Take it in stride. Determine that you’re going to wipe up the mess and keep right on enjoying your life, your company and the amazing moment in time God has created to bless you. See the setbacks for what they are. Nothing more, nothing less.

Birds may crap on your sleeve. Wipe it off. It may rain on your parade. So what? Learn to dance in the rain. Understand that some days you’ll be the statue, and other days you’ll be the pigeon. Don’t become a victim of things that just happen. Simply do what needs to be done. If you do, I can promise you that you’ll be happier, and the passion for life and entrepreneurship will be unstoppable. 

What crap has hit your sleeve? How did you handle it? Share it here!

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Today I am trilled to release my new E-Book:

The Power of ONE: How  Being Authentically YOU Will Change the World

I’m providing it for you absolutely as my treat. Click here to get your complimentary copy:

 

Look for the request box on the right side of the page. It looks like this:

 

Get My Latest E-Book Free!

“The Power of ONE:

How Being Authentically YOU

Will Change the World

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 Please let me know how it impacts your life.

 Enjoy today’s podcast!

 

 

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Some Days You Win, Some Days the Mountain Wins

Posted April 18, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Mountain womanYesterday I decided to do a longer than normal run, quite a lofty goal since 1) It was very hot and sunny in mid afternoon when I love to run and 2) I’m just two weeks on the other side of re-injuring my foot that had just healed from a dislocation and fracture on December 21st. (yeah, I was in a space boot for Christmas).

So off I went. It was Heaven. My feet pounded the pavement and I sweated like an ice cube in the microwave. I’m in the Blue Ridge foothills right now so there are mountains! Okay, so they’re not really mountains but any incline seems that way to a flat lander. 

After running for over an hour an a half, I faced what I call, Mount Almond. It’s not quite as high as Mt. Mountain runnerEverest. Well, it’s really only a steep hill that ascends for about 200 yards. My legs were melted jello and my heart rate soared. I knew I’d never make the run up. I conceded that some days you win, and some days the mountain wins. I walked up. 

When I arrived back home, a friend asked how my run went. I said, “it kicked my butt. Mount Almond won today, but wait ’til tomorrow!” 

As I lay on the floor stretching out my aching muscles, I realized that’s exactly how being an entrepreneur is. Here’s what I learned:

Mountains Reflecting in Calm Lake1) There will be days when you won’t win. The mountain will. Get over it. 

2) Even when you lose, you still win for lacing on your shoes and running the race.

3) There’s always tomorrow and it’s an equal playing field. Just because you lost today, doesn’t mean you will tomorrow. 

The day before I whooped Mount Almond. It didn’t give up, pick up its pavement and run home. It stayed in the game and was right there waiting for me to challenge it the next day. And tomorrow I’ll attack that hill with all I have.


That’s the spirit of the entrepreneur. We lace on our shoes and run the race. Sometimes we make it to the top. Other times we don’t. man overlooking enormous riverSome days you win,  some days the mountain wins. That’s just the way it is.

When I hobbled upstairs to the shower, a peaceful satisfaction permeated my soul knowing I gave it my all and I left everything out on the road in my longer-than-normal daily run. 

That’s as it should be. That’s how you should live your life, and run your entrepreneurial race. Some days you’ll feel invincible. Other days you’ll get your butt kicked but it’s all good. It’s the wonderful life of an entrepreneur!

What mountains do you have in your life and career? Do you stare it down and give your all to scale it? Or do you decide to not lace on your shoes and run the race? Share it here!

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What I Learned About Business Success From Running

Posted April 15, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Butterfly and PollenWhere I am right now, we have yellow snow. Umm, not that kind. The pollen kind. I could swear we’ve had an inch fall since Friday’s rain. This is the third spring I’ve experienced in my travels this year.

Saturday I went for a five mile run. It was amazing. The fragrances were unforgettable. Families were out in the park enjoying a beautiful, sunny weekend. Yellow butterflies fluttered around my high viz yellow running shirt and bumble bees chased me away from their nectar. 

The hills were quite a workout for this flat lander. But I made it up each one, albeit huffing and puffing. I looked like a 55 year old lady trying to hobble up hills. Oh wait. I AM a 55 year old lady trying to hobble up hills.

All too soon my run ended and back to work I went. Within moments after my shower my eyes began to water and I started sneezing. Runner in HillsAnd sneezing. And sneezing. And… well, you get the picture.

Pollen.

Fortunately, sneezing finally stopped just in time to tuck myself into bed. 

Yesterday I could not help myself. I just had to be a part of the incredible afternoon so I laced on my running shoes and out the door I went. This time I ran farther… over six miles. As I sprinted up the last hill before home, two things became very evident:

1) The hills were easier to climb than yesterday, even with the added distance.

2) The pollen didn’t bother me.

Know why? In 24 short hours, my body adapted to both. It came to the next run ready for whatever I dished out to it. It naturally overcame the challenges from the day before and performed as if hills for a flat lander and inches of pollen were normal occurrences. 

Me at Iron Girl Finishing the Race!

Me at Iron Girl Finishing the Race!

Your spirit is exactly the same way when it comes to your entrepreneurial dream. It might be difficult at first. It’s new and you’re not yet conditioned for it. But before long you’ll adapt and you’re heart, body and soul will take on whatever challenge you give it. 

If you are hesitant to start working toward your dream in life because you’re afraid you don’t have the energy or guts to see it through, you need to lace on your running shoes and get to it. Seriously. Today. Right now if you can.

You will adapt. You are capable of incredible things if you will:

1) Believe in yourself and the gifts God has given you.

2) Run your race today. Just worry about today. Tomorrow will be another run. Just do it today.

Have you learned to adapt? Are you more fit for entrepreneurship than you were? Are you sitting on the couch? Share it here!

 

 

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