Keith Lassiter has spent the last 30 years working in sales―from Sales Manager of a fairly large sales force to a small retail business and also in the Real Estate/Mortgage business. He is currently involved in several business ventures, one of which involves websites that promote local businesses and their services. However, the business that Keith is most excited about and concentrating on at the moment is Lightyear Wireless. “Wireless is an inexpensive business that anyone can get involved in and it’s the wave of the future,” he says. “Let’s face it, WIRELESS/CELLULAR IS HERE TO STAY!” According to Keith, if you stay motivated and prospect for new leads daily, sales will always follow. Just make sure to shut the door, decide not to accept incoming calls for just one hour a day, make your prospecting calls and your salary will continually increase. It’s that simple! “People go to work every day,” Keith says, “but most of them forget to work while they are there.” Why? Most of the time, it’s because they feel like they have a job, when what they really want is a career! “It’s up to you to find your career,” Keith says. So get crackin’ and learn from those who have gone before you… How does someone know if they have what it takes to own their own business? Tell us a bit about how you made the decision and why. I made my decision years ago to find a career that DOES NOT pay me by the hour, but makes me “go to work” every day and write my own paycheck. You will never be satisfied working by the hour. Working by the hour is a job. Writing your own paycheck is a career! What do you think is the greatest challenge facing business owners today and why? Any suggestions for how to address those challenges? Business owners never get a 40-hour week from employees these days. There are too many distractions with the internet, texting or just “old-fashioned goofing off” at work. If they can find the employee that does give them 40-plus hours every week, then they face the pressure of overhead costs, managing them through the inevitable highs and lows of business and the pressure of having to be a “hands-on owner.” They rarely if ever have any time off for themselves or their families. You have to make sure that you think through all the negatives of being a business owner and accept the responsibilities of being “the boss” before you jump in. What is the single strongest piece of advice you would have for someone just starting out in business for themselves? Be prepared for all the “negatives” that come with being a business owner. Planning ahead for how to overcome “worst case scenarios” will save you a lot of gray hairs! What would you say is the one thing that new business owners forget about or overlook when they’re just planning/starting out? Advertising is expensive, BUT it doesn’t have to cost a dime. Come up with a game plan on how you are going to market your business. Start with all of the “free” resources that are at your fingertips. If you’re selling widgets, then look at your Facebook page and start calling everyone there. Tell them, “I’ve got Widget’s. How many do you need?” Then never forget to tell and ask everyone else that you know that same information and question, as well as everyone you sell a widget to. Ask them, “Do you know anyone that could also use a Widget?” It’s unbelievable how referrals can fuel your business. These days everyone has 200-plus people on their Facebook page, 200-plus people in their contact database on their email and another 200-plus people in their cellphone contact list. If just 1/10th of these people bought your product and then referred you to their family and friends, YOU’RE RICH. And, guess what, you haven’t spent a dollar on advertising…yet. The bottom line is that selling your family and friends is difficult and easy at the same time. It is also the best practice you will ever get. Selling to those you know ensures that you know your product―that you become a consultant and not a salesperson. Once you have mastered becoming a consultant and you find your comfort zone dealing with prospects you know, then it’s time to spend your extra money on advertising to find those that you don’t. What is it about the business/industry you are in that made it so attractive to you? I got involved with Lightyear Wireless for three key reasons: 1) There’s a daily need for the product, so demand is high; 2) The start-up cost of $299 is very affordable; and 3) I have the ability to earn as much as I want, and so can you! The business requires no stocked inventory, no brick and mortar building to rent, no power, no telephone, etc. In other words, overhead is very low. You can run your business strictly from home or your cellphone. All you have to do is find family members, friends and referrals who are also looking to either save money or make money. In fact, everyone can benefit from this innovative business. Also, and I’ll say it again, WIRELESS/CELLULAR IS HERE TO STAY FOREVER!!! This company provides all the support you could possibly need to do well. I simply point five people a night to a company-sponsored webinar, and the company sells itself and its product for you. It’s really that simple, and let’s face it, everyone likes simple. What on-line, software or other resources have helped you the most in managing all aspects of your company? Why and how have they been helpful? I do not like expense. Making tons of money doesn’t mean anything if you spend tons of money at the same time. If you’re in sales, then there’s no shortage of websites that will sell you advertising, database management software and even leads. Be smart with your money though. There is no need to buy advertisements or leads until you have tried selling to all your family and friends and asked for referrals from everyone. Also, never waste money on database management software when you have an email calendar and an Excel spreadsheet that will do the same thing. What is/are your favorite motto and/or quote when it comes to business? Any final words of encouragement and/or inspiration for the budding entrepreneur? Ten little words can make you successful…If it is to be, it is up to me!!! I suggest you find a company and a product that you believe in, like I have with Lightyear Wireless. Then go to work! Make a plan for tomorrow, next week and next year. Set your goals and get to it. After you have started your business, decide how many people you need to contact to make a sale. If you want to make two sales a day, and you know you sell one out of every five people you talk to on average, then you know that every day you will need to speak with ten people in order to close two sales. It’s that simple, DON’T MAKE IT DIFFICULT!