Green and Grinning Web Veteran
February 11, 2001

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Reaching Great Minds Online
February 11, 2001 Issue #76
Mike Valentine, Editor,

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Green and Grinning After Four Years
by Mike Banks Valentine

Four years of experience in most endeavors doesn't add up to
much authority and wisdom for the vast majority of students.
It usually means a green and grinning graduate in a cap and
gown nervously looking past a dangling tassle to a future of
job interviews and resume polishing career maneuvers.

What it means online is very close to the same thing for
those of us who were early adopters with AOL or Prodigy
internet connections excitedly posting to bulletin boards.
My old 1200 baud modem is now relegated to the garage gathering
dust and mouse droppings, while the cable modem and iMac have
become the latest and best tools in my home office. I'm sure
that those tools will be gathering dust before long when new
innovations make their way into my business life. But even
though I dropped one career to start this new one on the web,
I'm still green and grinning like a new graduate.

The web is evolving so fast that I'm starting to believe I'll
always be green and grinning. Just when I think I have it
all down and mastered, a new development knocks me off of my
overconfident feet and lands me on my bruised behind with more
to learn and more to master as I attempt to wrap up the learning
curve and call myself an "expert". That'll never happen.

I've been writing on small business ecommerce for two years now
and keep looking back to chuckle at what seemed incredible last
month or even last week on the web. What was new is now either
commonplace or useless as internet innovation blows by like a
laughing kid screaming on a roaring jet-ski past a fishing
pier and soaking the elderly net veterans in the wake of the
next innovation.

The most elderly of those net veterans have been working the
web for ten years now so it hardly seems as though there could
be many of them retired from this career as yet. I can't wait
to see how the web is compared to whatever will take it's place
in the not-too-distant future. I recently read a book called
"The Victorian Internet" by Tom Standage, about the dramatic
innovation of the telegraph and how it made the world much
smaller and sped up the pace of life in the 1800's. What will
replace the web and how will long will that take to happen?

I subscribe to a wonderful ezine called "The Rapidly Changing
Face of Computing" put out by Jeffrey R. Harrow of Compaq
Computer Corporation. Each issue is loaded with the latest
developments in technology and is overflowing with enthusiasm
for technological change. Harrow reminds me of an excitable
kid with a new toy who can't wait to run out and show it to
his playmates. He's clearly in a position to be at the bleeding
edge of change and innovation. An enviable position (to me at
least) putting him at the precipice, peering over the ledge
toward the canyon of technological volcanoes erupting down
below. (subscribe or listen at )

I love this stuff and can't get enough of it! As a kid I was
always reading my dad's subscription to "Popular Science" and
"Popular Mechanics" before he got home from his job as a
"programmer/analyst" and took them away from me. It was sort
of inevitable that I'd end up working in technology in some
fashion, even though web content development and web journal-
ism are definitely just peeking in and reporting to the world.

I'm still green and grinning and I hope I always am. This
stuff is just way too much fun!

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Money Matters: Starting a Business on a Budget
By Alvin Apple

Is money holding you back from starting your own business? Are
the failures of others scaring you off from investing in
your future? Starting a business from scratch may seem like a
financial nightmare, but it doesn't have to be. There are many
things you can do to make sure you get the most out of your

First. Budget: I can't stress how important this is, and I'm not
just talking about a business budget. Every penny you save from
your daily expenses can go into your business. If that means
staying in, eating cheaply, and not buying that new CD or DVD,
then so be it. If you want to succeed, you have to make
sacrifices. Keep strict accounts of everything you spend, and
eliminate any waste or frivolity. You can go back to champagne
when your business booms.

Second. Don't borrow: Starting a new business is a risky
venture. If you don't make it, the last thing you want is to owe
someone thousands of dollars. Sinking absolutely everything you
have into your business may sound scary, but it is far better
than borrowing. If you're careful, you can save enough to get
started. And just think, when the profits start to pour in,
they're all yours.

Third. Spend wisely: Be realistic about what you need when
you're getting started. You probably don't need an office suite
in a high rise, or a roomful of expensive office equipment your
first year. A spare room in your house can work just as well as
an office, and you'd be surprised what a good deal you can get
on a decent refurbished computer. You can add the fax and
scanner as you can afford them.

Fourth, and most important. Don't give up too soon! So many
businesses fail because the would be entrepreneur gives up too
soon. New businesses take a few months to become profitable,
sometimes even longer, so tighten your belt and dig in your
heels. Wouldn't it be a shame to walk away from your investment
broke, when you could have turned a profit only a few weeks down
the line?

So remember, when starting a new business: Budget everything,
including your seemingly trivial daily expenses. Stay out of
debt by only spending what you can afford to lose. Buy only what
you absolutely need. And finally, don't give up. There's money
to be made out there if you know how to do it.

Alvin Apple helps everyday people start businesses they will
enjoy. Then he teaches them how to succeed. Read all his
helpful strategies at Reach Alvin at
801-253-4535 or


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Copyright 2000 Mike Valentine

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  June 10, 2001