BREWING EMPORIUM – This is a story about beer. What were you expecting? Oh, you thought from the title this was going to about something else didn’t you. We were going to come up with a fancy name for this post but… we felt like the name of the homebrew alone would cause enough 🤨 to make you want to read more.
So how does beer fit in with “Promoting Total Wellness”? Done in moderation and barring any pre-existing disposition or battle with alcoholism, drinking a cold brew at the end of a long day can be one of THE BEST THINGS IN THE WORLD.
So how did this home brew get started? First, there was a love of beer. One that has driven the brewer to travel great distances to attend various festivals.
Second, there was the suggestion that he try brewing his own. He began with one of the ready-made beer brew kits (which shall not be named because they’re not sponsoring this post) to get a feel for how it’s done.
Finally after coming to understand the process, a desire to create new and different flavors arose which led to a need for more than the beginner’s home brew kit. Materials and tools became more sophisticated (like acquiring a refractometer and building the setup pictured above) which led to unique brews like Zamba Juice 2xIPA, Wascally Waspberry wheat beer, “Hey You Kids, Get Off My Lawn!” English IPA, and Ms. ME’s personal favorite, the Black is Beautiful stout. And no it’s not her favorite because of the name but because of the hints of coconut rum that you taste and a tendency to favor stouts.
Why the name Angry Black Man? According to the founder, it is to stimulate conversation. So if you want to join the conversation you can find out more about Angry Black Man Brewing Emporium at the following locations online:
So you know how we’ve been posting more sporadically than maybe ever before? When we do post lately, we’ve given you ‘what we’ve been up to posts.’ Here’s the grand reveal of it all!
Some of our longtime readers may remember our Divorce Your Job, Keep The House #DYJKTH series. (If you’re a newer Talker, click here to check out the 1st installment from 2014.) So you’ve probably followed our journey from employees to Entrepreneurs while keeping the house. Well that last part ( the 🏠) needed an upgrade and that’s where the pictures and our hit-and-miss postings come in.
Amidst all of the chaos of 2020, we sold our primary residence and bought another larger one that actually came with a smaller home cost. Weird how that worked out! But what’s even better is that with the increase in size and the updates we’ve been posting, we finally have a guest suite to let out for short term rentals.
🎆 We divorced our jobs, upgraded the house, and added another side-hustle! 🎆 We won’t bore you with the step-by-step details unless you TALK BACK 2 US in the comments and say you’d like to read more.
Just know that we’re already expecting our first few guests within a few days of going public 😁 And expect more regular Small Biz/Side-Hustle Saturday posts going forward now that we’ve gotten this hurdle out of the way.
Does anything sound better than being your own boss?
Well, maybe a brand new sports car or free ice cream for life. But even a state-of-the-art fully-decked-out sports car will eventually need routine maintenance, and the taste of mint chocolate chip can get old after a while.
The same kinds of things can happen when you start your own business. There are many details to consider and seemingly endless tasks to keep organized after the initial excitement of being your own boss and keeping your own hours has faded. Circumstances are bound to arise that no one ever prepared you for!
Although this list is not exhaustive, here are 5 things to get you started when creating a business of your own:
1. Startup cost
The startup cost of your business depends heavily on the type of business you want to have. To estimate the startup cost, make a list of anything and everything you’ll need to finance in the first 6 months. Then take each expense and ask:
Is this cost fixed or variable?
Essential or optional?
One-time or recurring?
Once you’ve determined the frequency and necessity of each cost for the first 6 months, add it all together. Then you’ll have a ballpark idea of what your startup costs might be.
(Hint: Don’t forget to add a line item for those unplanned, miscellaneous expenses!)
“Find a need, and fill it” is general advice for starting a successful business. But if the need is apparent, how many other businesses will be going after the same space to fill? And how do you create a business that can compete? After all, keeping your doors open and your business frequented is priority #1.
The simplest and most effective solution? Be great at what you do. Take the time to learn your business and the need you’re trying to fill – inside and out. Take a step back and think like a customer. Try to imagine how your competitors are failing at meeting customers’ needs. What can you do to solve those issues? Overcoming these hurdles can’t guarantee that your doors will stay open, but your knowledge, talent, and work ethic can set you apart from competitors from the start. This is what builds life-long relationships with customers – the kind of customers that will follow you wherever your business goes.
(Hint: The cost of your product or service should not be the main differentiator from your competition.)
3. Customer acquisition
The key to acquiring customers goes back to the need you’re trying to fill by running your business. If the demand for your product is high, customer acquisition may be easier. And there are always methods to bring in more. First and foremost, be aware of your brand and what your business offers. This will make identifying your target audience more accurate. Then market to them with a varied strategy on multiple fronts: content, email, and social media; search engine optimization; effective copywriting; and the use of analytics.
(Hint: The amount of money you spend on marketing – e.g., Google & Facebook ads – is not as important as who you are targeting.)
4. Building product inventory
This step points directly back to your startup cost. At the beginning, do as much research as you can, then stock your literal (or virtual) shelves with a bit of everything feasible you think your target audience may want or need. Track which products (or services) customers are gravitating towards – what items in your inventory disappear the most quickly? What services in your repertoire are the most requested? After a few weeks or months you’ll have real data to analyse. Then always keep the bestsellers on hand, followed closely by seasonal offerings. And don’t forget to consider making a couple of out-of-the-ordinary offerings available, just in case. Don’t underestimate the power of trying new things from time to time; you never know what could turn into a success!
(Hint: Try to let go of what your favorite items or services might be, if customers are not biting.)
5. Compliance with legal standards
Depending on what type of business you’re in, there may be standards and regulations that you must adhere to. For example, hiring employees falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Labor and Federal Employment Laws. There are also State Labor Laws to consider.
(Hint: Be absolutely sure to do your research on the legal matters that can arise when beginning your own business. Not many judges are very accepting of “But, Your Honor, I didn’t know that was illegal!”)
Starting your own business is not an impossible task, especially when you’re prepared. Get a jumpstart on your preparation at our free class tomorrow, Sunday, August 22nd at 4 PM EST (UTC -5). Save your seat!
*Registration is required. Your information will not be sold or shared. You will only receive invitations to future iterations of this and our other Entrepreneurship classes.
Although mentoring is one way to gain leadership experience, it requires commitment and compassion to stay the course. Simply put, mentoring should not be taken lightly. Whether the mentee is an adult or youth, the individual will be relying on you to be available and to provide guidance. Hence, this article suggests eight tips to ponder before taking the leap.
Consider your motive.
What is your motive? This question supersedes everything. If you lack clarity and do not have a big enough why, maybe you need to rethink mentoring as a strategy to acquire leadership experience. Aside from possessing a combination of skills and qualities, you must care about people and their success. So, reflect carefully on your response to the initial question. At length, making a difference should be the major objective.
Write down your goals.
Deciding to become a mentor is one thing, but creating a plan to make it happen is another. For that purpose, develop SMART goals. As you may know, SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
What do you need to accomplish in the next week or next 30 days? What do you want to accomplish in a year? Use a journal or spiral notebook to record the information. Plan to succeed.
Begin where it makes sense.
Several groups need mentors: young adults transitioning out of foster care, students (high school and college), women re-entering the workplace, women returning to the community after incarceration, troubled youth, first time supervisors, entrepreneurs, etc. Where do you think you can make the greatest impact?
Keep an open mind.
Your mindset will make the difference. That’s why it is imperative to refrain from being judgmental or biased. Both can stunt the growth of the mentor-mentee relationship.
Perform thorough research.
Read literature to discover the mission of the agency, the programs, and services. Who are the clients? What are their needs? Uncover the challenges and/or opportunities. Even though mentors receive training, never neglect your homework.
Think about potential challenges.
Be encouraged to face any perceived limitations or fears. However, brainstorm ways to overcome them.
Seek to maintain balance.
Effective mentors excel in buildings relationships and relationship building requires time. Still, you cannot lose sight of your other obligations. With that said, get a firm handle of your current schedule. Sharpen your time management skills so that you don’t stress out.
Take the next step.
If you’ve done all of the above, then make your move. There’s no time like the present to get started.
We’ve all probably heard someone talk on social media about their “hustle” or “side gig.”
It’s in style; and it makes sense—and cents? Gigs are now just a click or tap away on most of our devices, and a little extra money never hurts! Here are a few things to consider when starting up a side hustle.
What are your side hustle goals? We typically think of a side hustle as being an easy way to score a little extra cash. But they can sometimes be gateways into bigger things. Do you have skills that you’d like to develop into a full time career? A passion that you can turn into a business? Or do you just need some serious additional income to pay down debt? These considerations can help you determine how much time and money you invest into your gig and what gigs to pursue.
What are your marketable skills? Some gigs don’t require many skills beyond a serviceable car and a driver’s license. But others can be great outlets for your hobbies and skills. Love writing? Start freelancing on your weekends. Got massive gains from hours at the gym and love the outdoors? Start doing moving jobs in your spare time. You might be surprised by the demand for your passions!
Keep it reasonable Burnout is no joke. Some people thrive on 80 hour work weeks between jobs and side hustles, but don’t feel pressured to bite off more than you can chew. Consider how much you’re willing to commit to your gigs and don’t exceed that limit.
One great thing about side hustles is their flexibility. You choose your level of commitment, you find the work, and your success can depend on how much you put in. Consider your goals and inventory your skills to get there—and start hustling!