Lesson Learned Re-entering the Business World
By Neil Gordon
Yours truly is back in business!
After an 18-month transition of selling Buzz on Biz to Morris Communications and working for the Morris family, I have joined a different family business – mine!
My wife already had Studio Gordon LLC, and now I’m part of her company. She is in the photo business as a professional photographer, and I’m in the video business.
I’ll continue to do daily business minutes on News 12/NBC 26 and host the weekly call-in LawCall show on Sunday nights on CBS, and now I’ve added a new brand, “Augusta Business Profiles,” or ABP. These conversational Q-and-A videos are shot a few days a month at the Moving Canvas Media studio of my longtime friend and business associate, Rob Forbes.
That leads me to a series of lessons learned starting in or re-entering the business world:
Lesson #1: Relationships Matter
I first met Rob in 2001 as I was leaving the world of TV news. He has been a trusted vendor of mine, and I’ve paid him by the project or the hour or the day. When my Morris transition was complete, he agreed to partner with me on the ABP project. We have divided up the workload, hard costs and revenue. It’s a “win-win.”
You’ll notice on this masthead three very talented professionals who I hired before selling the Buzz brand to Morris. Gary Kauffman, Jessica Jones and Witt Wells remain and continue to do great work gathering content, writing and forging business relationships.
Even though I am not on the Morris payroll, we are still able to help each other be successful because of the loyalty and trust we’ve built through the years.
Try not to burn bridges. Give more than you get. Create win-win relationships. Zig Ziglar once said, “If you help people get what they want, you’ll get what you want.”
Lesson #2: Create a Positive Workspace
I realized our family home would not provide me necessary space or privacy for an office. So, we moved to a different family home! Besides the “fun” part and the expense side of moving, the new workspace is much less expensive on a monthly basis and more functional than leasing outside space. My wife has an outside office and we have a 4-year-old, so this setup works for our lives and our business.
I love doing meetings over coffee or lunch, so “mobile offices” also work well for me.
If you’re considering taking the leap into business, another option may be an incubator such as the Clubhou.se on Telfair Street. The rates are so reasonable and the support from and bonding with fellow entrepreneurs is an added bonus.
Lesson #3: Simplify Your Finances
My gifts are not of an organizational nature! I consider myself a people person and have always tried to surround myself with people or trusted vendors who could help me with my shortcomings. Once I get truly settled in, I will cheerfully pay a CPA/bookkeeper to track the important timing of cash flow to include accounts payable and receivables.
In the interim, I’ve decided to pay vendors with a credit card rather than filling out credit applications and monitoring invoices to pay. On the receivables side, I am handling billing of clients by invoicing them in one sitting and processing credit cards like that as well.
I’ve learned a valuable lesson, and now I am planning to create a file folder for each month to drop in receipts and invoices.
If I can do this, so can you.