10 Of My Most Popular Small Business Articles of 2012

As we welcome 2013, I want to take a moment to reflect on some of the most popular small business articles I published here in 2012. These articles have helped thousands of handmade entrepreneurs and creative small business owners gain a better understanding of specific steps they can take, and mindsets they can adopt, to successfully expand their businesses.

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These articles were selected as “popular” based on the shares, feedback and comments they received across multiple social networks. Have a look and let me know your favorite!

  1. 8 Life Lessons Entrepreneurship Is Teaching Me

    Excerpt: I have been an entrepreneur since 1995 when I left my job to start a business. I knew what I wanted my business to accomplish and how I wanted it to make the world a better place. What I didn’t know when I started was that my business would teach me a lot about life.

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  2. How To Request A LinkedIn Recommendation

    Excerpt: I enjoy opportunities to use LinkedIn to recommend the work and/or products of people who have enhanced my life. Since I frequently receive requests for recommendation from people whose work or products I have never tried, I thought I’d share these tips to help you request LinkedIn recommendations that maximize your chances of receiving a response that helps your business grow.

    First, I want to share the difference between a recommendation and an endorsement on LinkedIn. A recommendation is a written statement of recommendation. An endorsement is a one-click way for people to endorse a skill or area of expertise. You can request a recommendation. You cannot request a one-click endorsement. This post is about how to request a recommendation.

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  3. How To Get Through A Rough Patch In Your Business

    Excerpt: From time to time, my business hits a rough patch. This can be the result of anything from technology not properly working to a dip in sales. I’ve been in business for twelve years, so these circumstances don’t phase me much anymore. Because many of you are new in business, or haven’t figured out how to best handle your business rough patches, I thought I’d share some of the things I do to get through rough patches in my business. I hope it helps you some.

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  4. (Another) Wake Up Call For The Middle Class

    Excerpt: On September 30, 2008, I published Bail Your Own Self Out to encourage you to look more to yourself than to traditional employment to further your financial and lifestyle goals. Earlier this week, my IBN member Emily Caswell of GCDSpa shared an ABC News article about a middle class family that I think needs to read that article. And this one. The ABC article summarizes the story of Rich and Mary Conti, in their early 40′s, and their children. Rich has been laid off twice since 2007.

    When he was laid off the second time, in 2010, a layoff for his wife soon followed. At one point, Rich was out of work for 17 straight months. Mary, a college graduate, has not found a job since the 2010 layoff. Today, Rich works six days a week, from 6:30pm to 3:00am as a mail sorter. When I read the ABC article, my heart went out to the family. I know what it’s like to wonder how you will feed your children next week, or how you will pay the mortgage (which is already behind), or where you will go to fill up the gas tank so you can get to your next destination. Or if you even have enough gas to get to the gas station. But I also know that there is hope.

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  5. How Do I Add Revenue Streams To Complement My Core Business?

    Excerpt: Q: “I am looking for ways to add additional revenue streams, outside my core business. My idea is to create an online herbal and aromatherapy resource for east coast herb and aromatherapy enthusiasts. I am looking to have vendors that will purchase ads to support the site. I thought of including craft and herbal events and conferences and local business features. What do you think of this idea, and do you have any tips for getting started?”

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  6. 14 Information Products For Handmade Entrepreneurs

    Excerpt: One of the best things about owning a business of your own is that there is no limit to what you can do or how much money you can make. Once you reach a certain level of success in a core area, you can increase your income by offering different types of products that complement your core. Handmade entrepreneurs have a distinct advantage in this area. Selling the products you make organically paves the way for you to offer all kinds of information products.

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  7. Interested Or Committed?

    Excerpt: Last week, I became inspired to write a post about bodies in motion for the Fitness Category here. I asked a few of my members how being physically fit positively impacts their business. My intention was to share their tips with you … until I received the reply from Candance Sweeney who had then recently finished her first half marathon.

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  8. 10 Habits Of Highly Effective Business Owners

    Excerpt: Do you want to (continue to) be a successful business owner? I do. It’s what I invest most of my time doing, really — performing activities that help me serve my members more effectively. Ideas pop into my head all the time. Thank goodness my assistants, who receive a steady stream of “dM’s New Ideas” all week long, and who do a great job of separating the wheat from the chaff.

    They help me say, “No” (see item #4 on the list), and it’s a good thing, because I’m not good at it myself. My life is spent working with, encouraging, and socializing with small business owners from all walks of life. The emphasis, of course, is on handmade business owners — people who make the amazing products they sell with their own hands. Based on my observations, these are ten habits of highly effective business owners.

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  9. The Small Business Marketing Imperative

    Excerpt: Last week, I became inspired to write a post about bodies in motion for the Fitness Category here. I asked a few of my members how being physically fit positively impacts their business. My intention was to share their tips with you … until I received the reply from Candance Sweeney who had then recently finished her first half marathon.

    Continue reading …

  10. Video: Avoid Burnout By Paring Down Your Product Line

    Excerpt: Do you want to (continue to) be a successful business owner? I do. It’s what I invest most of my time doing, really — performing activities that help me serve my members more effectively. Ideas pop into my head all the time. Thank goodness my assistants, who receive a steady stream of “dM’s New Ideas” all week long, and who do a great job of separating the wheat from the chaff.

    They help me say, “No” (see item #4 on the list), and it’s a good thing, because I’m not good at it myself. My life is spent working with, encouraging, and socializing with small business owners from all walks of life. The emphasis, of course, is on handmade business owners — people who make the amazing products they sell with their own hands. Based on my observations, these are ten habits of highly effective business owners.

    Continue reading …

    Question: Which post is your favorite?

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About Donna Maria Coles Johnson

Donna Maria is an author, podcaster, attorney, and the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network, providing affordable product liability insurance and mentoring. Donna Maria teaches Makers and Creative Entrepreneurs how to use technology and community to build a profitable, sustainable business.