4 Reasons for Females, Minorities to Consider Entrepreneurialism After a Career Setback

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From time to time, I post guest-written blogs that are pertinent to my consulting areas of diversity and career development. Within diversity, as a certified LGBT-Business Enterprise via the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, I am very interested in diversity within the small business realm, and want to promote larger companies doing business with diverse suppliers.

Last month, I published by first guest blog from Marissa Perez, co-founder and head marketing writer at Business Pop, “Competing in Business as an Underrepresented Entrepreneur.”  Marissa has spent the last 10 years honing her marketing skills, and now is sharing her small business / entrepreneurial expertise through this second guest blog she has provided.

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Career setbacks can feel devastating at first, but how you respond and attempt to move on can make all the difference. For women and minorities, who can both experience more hardship in corporate environments, this could be the perfect chance to spread those entrepreneurial wings and soar. Still not convinced? Here are some small business facts that may just change your mind, and your life for the better:

1) Your Time Really is Valuable

If you have been stuck in a corporate environment for some time now, you’ve likely gotten used to hustling and pushing the limits on your daily schedule. This sort of mentality is common within corporations, with a primary focus on profits. While profits are important in business, Inc. points out time is really your most precious commodity. If you’re spread too thin, you can’t give your all to your top priorities.

Now you may need to spend more of that time getting your new business started, but at some point it may be helpful to take a step back and delegate some of your work. Upwork is an amazing resource when it comes to finding and hiring freelance talent, from graphic design help for your website to a virtual assistant to assist with administrative duties. You can post your job description within minutes and start looking for freelance help to expand and evolve your business, and to make the most of your valuable time.

There are a multitude of financing options available to new entrepreneurs.

2) Your Funding Options are Plentiful

Time is certainly your most precious asset when it comes to your professional and personal life, but there’s no denying that having the right funding can help any new business succeed. Thankfully, there are quite a few options that you can use to help get your business up and running, from business loans to angel investors to crowdfunding.

While any of these funding sources can be a lucrative way for entrepreneurs to secure the financial resources needed to start a new business, women and minorities should also consider using special grants and loans to make their entrepreneurial dreams come true, and the former may not need to be paid back. Many companies and organizations provide funding to businesses owned by women or minorities, so you just need to do a little digging to find one that will benefit your new business.

3) Your Setback Can Provide Opportunities

Career setbacks can feel like any other loss, so it’s important for you to take time to grieve any losses and process any negative feelings, especially if you lost your job. Feeling angry, unfocused and even a bit depressed is completely normal after being laid off, let go, or quitting a job. When that work environment was toxic, which can often be the case for women and minorities who are working in the corporate world, you may need some additional time and self-care to recover and move on.

One of the most important things you can do to expedite this recovery process is to avoid internalizing any toxic behaviors from others and to recognize that those behaviors had more to do with your former boss, co-worker or environment than you. As Thrive Global explains, learning from setbacks is also an important step for ensuring your success as an entrepreneur.

4) Your Small Business Options are Endless

If you’re not sure what type of business would be best for your interests and goals, however, know that there are endless opportunities for both minorities and women in the small business world. If you have a creative talent, such as woodworking or writing, then you can always turn your pastime into a lucrative new small business. You can also secure licenses that can help propel you into a new career, whether that’s as a massage therapist, electrician, web developer, or veterinary technician. Offering freelance services through Upwork can also be a good option and you can maintain a freelance side gig if you ever decide to return to a full-time position.

Working for a corporation can leave many women and minorities feeling unappreciated and left behind. Consider turning what feels like a loss into an opportunity to start your very own small business. Then you will be in control of your time and your success.

The US Patent Process – a Huge Roadblock to American Entrepreneurship and Small Business

CapsulePen (in which I am a major investor) is a brilliant breakthrough product in the pill case industry, but got hampered by the huge cost of the patent process.

CapsulePen (in which I am a major investor) is a brilliant breakthrough product in the pill case industry, but got hampered by the huge cost of the patent process.

I decided to designate January, 2016 as my “rant about something in my blog month,” but I will also offer solutions. I have a series of three such blogs planned for January, this one being my second. Do feel free to link back to my first blog in this series, “My Issues with Corporate Procurement and Supplier Diversity Professionals.”

In this blog I will complain about how the US Patent Process can easily kill and bankrupt a small business. Yes, there are many small business (like my consulting practice or opening a restaurant or boutique store) for which the patent process is irrelevant, but for start-up businesses around a totally new product or invention or process, the patent process can completely ruin them.

I do have some experience as a major investor in an innovative product in the pill case industry. I wrote about it a little in a blog back in September, 2012. By far the largest expense was going through the patent process. I am saddened that as an investor in an entrepreneurial pursuit, that a huge portion of my investment had to go to extremely highly paid patent attorneys making $750 per hour.

CapsulePen (link) received several rave reviews from the trade and business press; too bad the costly patent process hindered it from coming to market.

CapsulePen (link) received several rave reviews from the trade and business press; too bad the costly patent process hindered it from coming to market.

Any process that requires large amounts of high paid attorneys is broken! Yes, major corporations with multi-million or even billion dollar research and development budgets can easily foot $100,000 to push a patent though the process, but this could quickly bankrupt a start-up company. The US Small Business Administration provides support and tools for budding entrepreneurs, but in this area they fall far short. And I have heard members of President Obama’s administration speak eloquently about how small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, yet the US Administration burdens us with this arduous costly process.

So as large companies get bigger and lawyers get rich, small businesses die.

What do I recommend? The Small Business Administration should establish a simpler fast-path cost-effective process that does not require attorneys to complete. And perhaps the SBA can even provide some legal support at no charge to assist start up companies and small entrepreneurs. If small business are indeed the backbone of the US economic recovery, then remove this tremendous road block that only large companies now afford.