10 Blogs For Entrepreneurs

In a given day, I read around 10 articles about business, entrepreneurship and how to survive the startup life. It took a while to find the perfect blogs to follow because I started to notice that most writers were more focused on quantity of posts over quality, filling them with fluff, thus the content was stale and repetitive.

After following (and unfollowing) many blogs, I’ve come up with a strong collection of inspiration and advice. The blogs in this list share valuable information that seems to always resonate with me. And I feel a great deal of satisfaction when I can later apply that helpful piece of knowledge to my business journey.

Here are my top 10 favorite blogs written for entrepreneurs.

1) KISSmetrics – I’ve been following KISSmetrics for a long time and have been pleasantly surprised with their ability to keep creating fresh content around online marketing, sales and analytics.

2) Buffer Blog – I am a Buffer fanatic for several reasons: their company culture and transparency is admirable and authentic, the product is beautiful and makes my life easier and the co-founders are genuine and helpful. So of course their blog would be a big hit. Don’t forget to check out the co-founder blogs as well: Joel & Leo

3) Onboardly – This beautiful blog reads like a conversation with friends but provides valuable tips for startups content, PR and much more.

4) Technori – An online community for starters, Technori is a curated collection of quality content.

5) Dan Martell – Founder of Clarity, an application for entrepreneurs to receive advice over the phone, Dan shares stories and advice of his own on his personal blog.

6) Startups & Burritos – Founder of GiveForward, Ethan Austin writes for those that are living in the startup world now.

7) Vinicious Vacanti – This blog is written by a first-time entrepreneur who is sharing the lessons that he’s learning in the process of building his first startup.

8) Dustin Curits – I’ve been a subscriber of Svbtle.com for a while now and while I like reading posts from contributors, I still find the most interesting articles to be those written by Founder, Dustin Curtis.

9) Zenhabits – An all-time favorite, Zenhabits gives tips and hints on how to live a life of zen, which all entrepreneurs should embrace.

10) Both Sides of the Table – Mark Suster is a 2X entrepreneur turned VC that gives seasoned advice through this blog.

Bonus (non-blog) From Scratch – This podcast is a gold mine for first time entrepreneurs. Jessica Harris hosts interviews with thought leaders from many different industries where they discuss pitfalls, successes, surprises and other candid stories.

Teaching Myself How to Code

When you have passion and drive, nothing can stand in your way. Make it happen.

In my case, everything was moving fast and falling in line. I had meeting after meeting set up with customers ready to test a demo and only when it was time to move on to the next big step did I find out that I had to start all over. I felt completely alone and lost. After a couple days of trying to figure out a solution, I knew the only thing I could do was to keep pushing. I’m disciplined, dedicated and devoted to my startup. So that’s when I decided to teach myself how to code.

Granted, I have other options now and my intent is not to completely run it alone, I still knew that learning how to code would be an invaluable skill. It will help me communicate better with developers and help me analyze and understand my company inside and out. I never imagined I would learn programming but now that I’ve started, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long. Building something out of an idea and then watching it come to life is such a powerful feeling.

I began Treehouse on January 31st with a goal to build my new website and learn the basics of a Rails application in one month. I’m happy to say that I have finished the site and will be launching it next week. I plan to write an entire post on my love for Treehouse, but short and sweet: The satisfaction I get from earning a badge after completing a course is something I haven’t experienced in years.

Here are a few of the badges I earned in my Ruby courses.

In order to speed the learning process up, I decided to take courses in HTML/CSS, and Ruby. All at once. I wouldn’t recommend doing it that way. Treehouse offers Learning Adventures that take you through all of the courses to become a web designer or web developer. That’s the best route. If you’d like to start learning, click one of the photos in this post or the referral link in my sidebar.

I’ve always wanted to learn a new language. I just didn’t know it would be a programming language.

Teach Yourself How to Code:

1) Treehouse

‘Our mission is to bring affordable Technology education to people everywhere, in order to help them achieve their dreams and change the world.’

2) Codeacademy

‘Codecademy is a team of hackers working hard to build a better way for anyone to teach, and learn, how to code. We’re determined to succeed in realizing our mission to turn a world of tech consumers into one of empowered builders.’

3) Code School

‘Code School opens the door to a new way of learning by combining video, coding in the browser, and gamification to make learning a new technology fun!’

3) LearnStreet

‘LearnStreet is an early-stage startup focused on changing the way people of all backgrounds and skill levels learn how to code.’

4) CodeHS

‘The goal of CodeHS is to spread the knowledge of computer science by offering well crafted instructional materials supported continuously by the quality, personal attention of our enthusiastic tutors. We believe that everyone has the ability to learn computer science, and we want to help them do so.’

5) Khan Academy

‘We’re a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere.’

6) Udacity

‘Our mission is to bring accessible, affordable, engaging, and highly effective higher education to the world. We believe that higher education is a basic human right, and we seek to empower our students to advance their education and careers.’

7) Udemy

‘Udemy helps students make moves. Whether you want to get promoted, break into a new industry, start a company, further a passion, or just accelerate your life, Udemy helps you learn from the amazing instructors in the world, so that you can get there and get there faster.’

If you haven’t seen this awesome video yet by Code.org, take a few minutes now. Enjoy!

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Bootstrapping Your Startup

When I first began talking about my startup, I didn’t think that bootstrapping was the answer. I had always been used to making a salary, getting my health insurance covered, having an office, basically buying anything I wanted whenever I wanted because I worked hard for it and deserved it. Well, once I made the leap from full time employment into a full time startup, things dramatically changed. I couldn’t spend time supplementing income because I had to give my undivided attention to my new project. With that, came a lot of stress and financial budgeting.

In a world of sixteen-hour days on your laptop fixing bugs and setting meetings, it’s nice to earn a little extra cash without putting too much of your time into doing so. Here are some of the best ways to make money while you’re building your startup.


1. Become a Zirtual Assistant.

Zirtual is a company based out of San Francisco that provides personal and executive assistance to busy people. If you become a zirtual assistant, you can set your own hours and choose only which jobs fit your schedule.

2. Fulfill requests on Zaarly.

Zaarly allows people to post what they will pay for a task or an item. Sometimes it’s as simple as a ride to the airport for $50. Other times, people are asking for help moving for $500 or a full day wedding photographer for $1,500. Sift through the requests to see which tasks your are able to fulfill.

3. Board a dog. Become a Rover sitter.

Rover was created at Startup Weekend and is a community for dog lovers to connect owners with sitters for home dog stays. So if you love dogs and work from home, you can apply to be a dog sitter in your area.

4. Rent a room out of your house or condo on Airbnb.

If you have a spare room in your place or will be away on vacation for a period of time, consider listing your space on Airbnb.

5. Become a TaskRabbit.

TaskRabbit is similar to Zaarly and Zirtual. People post errands and chores that they want to have done, like buying groceries or moving/packing and the average cost they would pay to have that task accomplished and then certified TaskRabbits will come over and fulfill those requests.

6. Teach a class on Dabble.

Dabble lets you learn, teach and host a one-time affordable class. You can teach what you know and love to a group full of interested students.

7. Become a Ninja or get paid giving advice on Clarity.

LiveNinja is a way to talk with live highly skilled experts via video chat. Clarity is similar but allows business experts to give valuable advice over the phone.

8. Freelance your skills on FreelanceSwitch.

Take a look through the job board on FreelanceSwitch to see if there are any jobs that you could help with. Sometimes it’s a quick blog post that needs written while other times, companies are looking for a freelancer on a major project.

1. Be smart about accounting.

Keeping your financial records maintained from the very start will ensure that you are on track when you start making money. Also make sure that you have a good accountant/CPA to handle your taxes. One of the best ways to reduce costs and expenses in the beginning is by being on top of your taxes and maintaining control. Upsourced Accounting is a firm in Columbus geared specifically to the freelance/startup group.

2. Understaff and consider interns.

There are many students looking for a job in a startup and you might just be the best resource for them to learn and grow.

3. Keep overhead low and outsource.

In the beginning, it is very important to keep the overhead low. You don’t need office space; work from home or coffee shops. When you’re thinking about hiring, first consider outsourcing and then check sites like Elance or oDesk for qualified candidates to do the project virtually.  If you have any quick jobs or surveys to test, give Fivver a try.

4. Negotiate.

Don’t underestimate the power of negotiation. Try asking for discounts on products if you feel that you may not use all of the features. Or perhaps explain that you are just a startup and unable to make those larger payments but will work out an arrangement to refer more clients.

5. Use free web tools.

There are many free tools out there to help you start a company. Take advantage of them. I highlight a few of them in this post: Startup Tools and Must Haves. 

Happy bootstrapping!

Inspire: Podcasts for Entrepreneurs

Podcasts are a great source for knowledge, startup tips and inspiration. I typically listen to podcasts in the morning while drinking my coffee and sifting through emails or even during my mid-day break while running at the gym. Since I don’t always have the time to open a good business book, podcasts give me the ability to learn more about marketing, business, economics, and education. Sometimes, I like to speed the programs up on my iPhone to 1.5x to get through the programs quickly but still retain information. A list of my favorites include:

1) NPR: From Scratch – Host, Jessica Harris interviews some of the most reputable CEOs, Entrepreneurs and Founders of today’s business world.

2) Stanford University’s Entrepreneurship Corner – A treasure chest for startups, this site had over 2000 free videos and podcasts featuring innovative thought leaders and business profiles.

3) Startups for the Rest of Us – This podcast provides an amazing amount of valuable information about the startup life for developers, designers and entrepreneurs that are launching software products.

4) This American Life – Ira Glass hosts this weekly, hour long podcast that features journalistic nonfiction, essays and compelling short stories. I’ve been listening to this station for many years and find myself crying or laughing along with the author.

5) NPR: Planet Money – The Economy, Explained. Planet Money’s team does a incredible job of taking the complexities of global economy and interpreting it for the average American. After listening to a couple episodes of Planet Money, you’ll feel like you’ve known these guys for years.

6) HBR Ideacast – Harvard Business Review podcast features breakthrough ideas and commentary from leading minds in management. A great way to learn something new!

7) TED Radio Hour: Building a Better Classroom – Although this entire podcast has inspiring lectures, I found this episode with Sir Ken Robinson to be most interesting. He discusses education today and how to bring creativity back into the classroom. “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.”

8) The Lifestyle Business Podcast – This podcast provides tips for living a mobile business lifestyle. They also offer an private membership and host worldwide conferences. If you’ve ever thought about business location independence, this is the program for you.

9) Startup Slingshot – Listen to this podcast if you’re a hungry entrepreneur looking for tools, tips and tactics about launching and growing a technology startup.

10) Mixergy – This podcast is a collection of business tips and interviews with well-known proven entrepreneurs. The success stories and passion within them is enough to encourage the startup life for anyone.

and just a few more….

What are your favorite podcasts? Did I miss one that you swear by? Leave a comment!


Startup Resources: Toolboxes and Toys

I can safely say that one thing I am not lacking in entrepreneurism is organization. If you’re planning to pitch, whether it be to angels, VCs or potential co-founders, be sure to cover your bases and anticipate their questions.


1) Valuation/Equity Calculator  – This calculator can help determine how much of your revenues will be disbursed between the founders, investors and options within the company.

2) Startup Plays – A cool concept. Online workspaces for building a startup.  How-to’s and step-by-step guides for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs equipped with templates, task lists and expert tips.

3) Startup Tools and Must Haves – I wrote this post a while back and cannot express how helpful Business Model Toolbox and LivePlan have been in my startup journey.

4) Startup Stay – In beta right now, this is the ultimate startup site for the traveling entrepreneur. Find and stay with other like-minded entrepreneurs during your business travels.


1) Startup Foundry Toolbox – An amazing resource you need for everything startup related.

2) The Art of the Elevator Pitch – A slideshow tutorial to demonstrate how to craft a beautiful elevator pitch.

3) Startup Tools by Steve Blank – Boom! This site has the works. Everything you ever wanted to know about building an internet business including website setup, SEO tools, CRMs, wireframing tools and so much more!

4) Startup Weekend Resources – Database full of resources from the great Startup Weekend gurus.

5) TechCrunch article about convertible notes – This article explains convertible note seed funding and the advantages.

6) Fundraising 101 Checklist for Entrepreneurs – I love this post because with each number, there is an associated post full of useful information.

7) Tools and Services for a Lean Startup – A comprehensive list of tools and providers to accelerate your business.

8) Books for Startups – Giant list of books for building businesses broken down by strategy and style.