You've heard me talk about consumer-business owners, that is, people who are at once consumers and business owners. They are consumers because they consume in a traditional sense. They have a traditional job, they buy things, they provide for their families. They are business owners because, in addition to a job, they also sell a product or service that provides for their families and supports the local, national and/or international economy. There was a time when consumers could be neatly categorized. They were not direct producers of anything, except for what they produced on behalf of an employer. That was then. This now.
Felicia Joy knows what I'm talking about. She's the author of Hybrid Entrepreneurship: How the Middle Class Can Beat the Slow Economy, Earn Extra Income and Reclaim the American Dream, and in this podcast, she offers tips and insights to help you successfully pursue hybrid entrepreneurship.
For a high level overview of what Felicia shared, read this post. If you'd rather go beyond reading and start applying, scroll to the bottom of this post, click the gray arrow, turn up the volume and enjoy my interview, using the time stamps to find what interests you most. You can use the link below to download the podcast to your favorite mobile device, or you can listen, download and subscribe via iTunes.
- Hybrid entrepreneurship as a philosophy (9:24). It's no secret that banks and large companies are sitting on mountains of cash these days. Even though we bailed them out, they are not pumping anything to speak of into the economy, leaving it to us to fend for ourselves. Like me, Felicia believes that today's small business owners are bailing this country out moment by moment, day by day. Imagine what would happen, she says, if everyone earmarked 10% of what we spend to patronize local businesses.
- Hybrid entrepreneurship as a strategy (11:15). Once you embrace the philosophy, it's time to get busy figuring out what you will do to create your own business. To do this, Felicia suggests doing a “brain dump” of your talents and skills. Come up with a simple idea that can generate money by providing a needed product or service in your local community. Start there and begin working on a plan to start offering what you have for sale.
- Hybrid entrepreneurship mechanics (13:31). Felicia reminds us that it's a process. If you have a traditional job, you'll want to make sure you divide your work time based on whether you are working for yourself or your employer. This separation is important for your own peace of mind and to make sure that you are meeting your end of the agreement you have with your employer. (This important point was also addressed in my interview with Rhonda Cook on How to Leave Corporate America.
- Be flexible (14:50). Felicia shared the story of her first business, a social networking site that had the phrase Wall Street in it. It attracted people until the market tanked, after which point no one wanted to be a part of anything related to “Wall Street.” Ever the flexible business woman, Felicia re-grouped and formed Ms. CEO. The point is that you have to plant the seed, and then water, work and tweak it until you find the right target customer for you.
Don't miss the part starting at 17:05 where Felicia discusses how important it is to be prepared to run your business in what I call a “constant state of beta.” This is an important point that many new entrepreneurs overlook.
About Felicia Joy
Felicia Joy is the founder and CEO of Ms. CEO in Atlanta, Georgia. She enjoys sharing her insights with others as a marketing and small business instructor at Emory University. Felicia is also a speaker to diverse audiences nationwide on personal transformation and entrepreneurial success. She has been featured on CNN, FOX, ForbesWoman and Black Enterprise. Visit Felicia's website and follow him on Twitter here.
How to Listen to the Show
This post contains my paraphrases of the information Felicia shared. To hear it from the horse's mouth yourself, listen to the entire 30-minute show using one of these options:
- Download it on iTunes. (It usually takes a day or two for iTunes to feed the show there.)
- Click on the arrow at the bottom of this post to listen now!
- Click here to listen at Blog Talk Radio
- Because I have not had a chance to load all of my shows to this blog, you can listen to hundreds of interviews from 2005 to 2010, each one as relevant today as it was when I recorded it, at my Indie Business Radio site.
Question: Are you a hybrid entrepreneur? What do you think of Felicia's tips?