Showing posts with label Solopreneur. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Solopreneur. Show all posts

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Happy Holidays!

 Happy Holidays!

It is that time of year again…holiday festivities are in full swing and the current year is winding down to welcome in the new.

It is a time of wonder, reflection, hope, and yes, exhaustion!

It is also the time of year when we at Access Profiles take a break from our business and shift our focus to our wonderful family and friends.

To that end, this will be our last blog post for the year. We will resume with our annual “Best Of” post in the beginning of January.

We look forward to being able to share many more blog articles to help you with your own Small Business in the coming year.

We hope that you will all be able to take the break you need too!

Wishing you all a very happy holiday season and all the best in the coming New Year.

Here is hoping that 2023 will be amazing!

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Sunday, June 30, 2019

What are You Celebrating this Independence Day?

There are all kinds of Independence.

For some, being independent means freedom from parental control. That may mean graduating from high school or college, landing that first “real” job, or even moving into a first apartment or new home.

For others it may mean having independence of thought. The freedom to think what they want and to do what they want ~ as long as it is legal!

Then there is the larger kind of freedom we celebrate in the United States on July 4th. On that day we honor and commemorate the independence fought for by the colonists. These brave people dedicated themselves to creating a country free from English rule and the right to form a nation where they were represented in government. 

Many immigrants continue to come to this country looking for much the same thing. They seek freedom from persecution for their beliefs, freedom from the ravages of war and poverty, and freedom to love and care for who they want ~ without risk of death or imprisonment for doing so.  

All of these types of Independence are to be celebrated and embraced.

Entrepreneurs Celebrate Our Independence! “Tweet This”

But when the word Independence comes to mind, we should also think  about the entrepreneurial spirit that is strong in our nation ~ and the many Small Business Owners that embody this spirit!

Independence Day really speaks to Small Business Owners. 
Entrepreneurs believe in and appreciate the rights we have in this country to pursue our dreams ~ and owning our own businesses are a large part of those dreams!

We recognize and continue to fight for those freedoms. We cherish the opportunities that allow us to reach our goals and build something of our own we can be proud of. 

As Business Owners…."our businesses are what drive us, worry us, and sustain us. Daily, we celebrate our ability to create something that is ours and to take it in the direction we want to go!", excerpt from “Celebrating Our Small Business Independence

You can discover even more about what Independence means to Small Business here!

So, this Independence Day, as we enjoy our time with family and friends, we will recognize how much our freedoms mean to us as a nation and how we continue to fight to protect them.

But, let us also take the time to celebrate the way each of us fights for our own independence and freedom. This includes the freedom to make  choices that not only will better us as individuals, but also our nation as a whole ~ and that includes our Small Business Owners!

Happy 4th of July to You All!

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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Ready to Take Your Holiday Break?

Are You Ready for Your Holiday Break?

Another holiday season is upon us and once I again I find myself ready to shift my focus away from my business and place it squarely on my family and friends!

The prep is done and I am ready to soak in the wonders of the season...are you?

The Holidays can frazzle the best of us!
We find ourselves pulled in a million different directions. We have to make time for family, work, and friends. Not to mention the extra “holiday specific” tasks this season brings ~ decorating, baking, shopping, wrapping ~ and the list goes on!

The hectic pace definitely can take its toll!

And while I love everything that is “holiday”, I know it is not in my or my family’s best interest to let it wear me down.

That is why I am a firm believer in taking a Holiday break!

Time off allows me to thoroughly enjoy my favorite time of the year and get some much desired “me time”. To accomplish this I gradually lessen my workload and go into “wind down” mode for the rest of the year.

I recommend that, if possible, you all do the same!

The question then becomes….How?

Top Tips to Help You take the Holiday Break You Need! “Tweet This” 

It is possible to take the holiday break you need ~ and these tips will get you started!

All it takes is some serious pre-planning! Working overtime to complete outstanding projects, notifying clients in advance you will be taking time off, and even pre-paying any bills and invoicing for completed work will help.

While all that extra work certainly adds to the controlled chaos of my pre-holiday schedule, it is worth it!

As an added bonus, by the time my holiday break is over, I find myself more than ready to dive head first into the coming year”, excerpt from  “Need a Holiday Break? Why We All Require Time Off!”.

Learn more about what you can do to get away “work free” and “unplugged” in my article “8 Easy Tips to Help You Take a Vacation”.

The reality, however, is that not everyone can take their break during the holidays.

For some companies, this is their busy time of the year. They rely on holiday sales for much of their revenue and simply can’t scale back. 

I suggest these companies schedule a break after the season ends instead!

No doubt these business owners, and their employees, will be more than ready after the whirlwind holiday season. Some businesses may be able to coordinate company-wide time off. Others may need to employ a rotating schedule to allow everyone to take a break.

But no matter when or how, taking that break is important. It will re-energize and refresh you and, after it’s over, you will find yourself ready to get back in there give it your all!

To jump start my own holiday break, this will be the last article I share this year! 

Look for our next post to come out in the beginning of January! I hope to once again share with you new information and tips to help you and your business succeed.

We wish for each of you the time to truly enjoy whatever celebrations this season will bring! Happy Holidays!

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Monday, December 26, 2016

Are You Ready to Say Goodbye to 2016?

Created by Kimberly Kline, API

It happens at the end of every December…. 

It is time to say goodbye to the past year 
and hello to the next!

But this yearly ritual often means different things to different people.

Some are sad to see the past year go.  Maybe they had some great things happen to them or their family.  Or they simply lament the passing of time.

While others are more than ready to start fresh.  It may have been an especially hard year ~ losing a loved one or problems with their job or family.

No matter what the case may be, there is no one that will not be effected one way or another when the clock strikes midnight.

That includes me!

After all, it is an exciting time when we get to herald in another new year.

And one of the first things many of us will do 
is make some New Year’s Resolutions.

But I, for one, will not be taking this traditional path.  The beginning of a new year is simply not the best time for me to decisions about what I want to accomplish or change in the coming year.

While I applaud the desire to make positive changes through our resolutions, I am here to say that I will not be making any.

That is not to say that I don’t welcome the idea of fresh starts, and the beginning of a brand new year seems like the perfect time for this.  By its very nature it comes with feelings of hope and possibility.

I, however, choose not to participate.

This time of year I recognize that I simply have too much on my plate to really focus on making any big decisions or setting goals.
I have to do what is right for me.”  
excerpt from “No New Year’s Resolutions ~ Who is With Me?”.

No New Year Resolutions ~ Why I Choose to Look Back Instead!  “Tweet This”

So instead of looking forward, I find that the older I get, the more reflective I become.

And one of the first things I think about is how truly lucky I am.

My family is my rock…and nothing I have ever or will ever accomplish happens without them and their unwavering support.  I only hope they feel they get the same from me.

I am also lucky to have so many of you 
that continue to read what I write and, hopefully, find some value in it.  
You keep me going.

Finally, I am excited and thankful for a new venture I have recently set in motion (I will share more about this in the coming weeks!).  Just like when I first started by blog, this path has revitalized my drive and passion for what I do.

I now have a new perspective and out of complacency has come purpose and drive.

What more could you ask from a year?

I wish you all 
the time to reflect on the good things 
that have happened in the past year, 
and a chance to look to the coming year 
with hope and wonder.

Enjoy, and see you again in 2017!!!

Authored by  

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Need a Holiday Break? Why We All Require Time Off!

Created by Kimberly Kline, API
“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” ….. so starts out one of our favorite holiday songs and, for us, this couldn’t be more true!

At API, we are crazy about the holidays. From a week or two before Thanksgiving right on through the passing of the New Year, we are hooked ~ although some might argue that our holiday excitement starts more like right after Halloween!

We love immersing ourselves in everything holiday ~ all the decorating, baking, shopping, and wrapping that comes with the season. We also love getting together with family and friends whenever possible. But our absolute favorite time is when we can sit with a hot cup of tea or a glass of wine, enjoy the tree lights, and watch a holiday movie ~ even the sappy ones.  

It truly is our happy time.

But then, “work” interferes and we are pulled out of our holiday reverie to attend to our small business. And while we are truly thankful and grateful for that small business, we need a break.

And there is no better time for us to take that break than during the week between Christmas and New Years!

How You can Take a Holiday Break from your Small Biz!  “Tweet This”

But getting this time off doesn’t come easy!

We work like fiends to clear off our desk of any outstanding work, invoice what we can, and shut the books. We even write and pre-schedule a few blog articles and other social media posts all in the quest of being able to take a true holiday.

Of course when you have your own business, it may not always work out that way, but we definitely try!

We find that we truly need that time to relax. 

Gearing up for the holidays is a hectic, albeit, joyous time. We often find ourselves on overload. And despite really needing a good night’s sleep, our brains are going a mile a minute with all the things we need to do for our business and in our homes and that sleep is often elusive.

There is no doubt that a holiday break is what we need.

To that end, our goal is to be online less frequently and only do what is absolutely necessary to keep our business running.

Our family and friends deserve the attention and the fun!

Are you ready for a holiday break of your own?  Or do you think owning your own business makes it impossible?

We are here to tell you, it is not only possible, it is a MUST!

We all need time away. We need a break both mentally and physically.

“We need to recognize that our mind, like our bodies, needs to rest and recharge in order to perform at its peak.” excerpt from “Productivity - Sometimes the Best Way to Achieve it is to ‘Scale Back’!”.

The stress of constantly being busy and, as it is with most entrepreneurs, being pulled in different directions, takes its toll. We can lose focus, lose sleep, and our family, social life, and even our health often suffers.

That is why we are a firm believer in time off.
The question then becomes "How"?

Over time, we have discovered some tried and true ways to help us take a vacation. And we use many of these same tips to take our Holiday Break!

All it takes is some serious pre-planning!

Working overtime to complete outstanding projects, notifying clients in advance you will be taking time off, and even pre-paying any bills and invoicing for completed work will help.

Learn more about what you can do to get away “work free” in “8 Easy Tips to Help You Take a Vacation ~ and Why You Should!”.

While all that extra work certainly adds to the controlled chaos of our pre-holiday schedule, it is worth it!

As an added bonus, by the time my holiday break is over, we find ourselves more than ready to dive head first into the coming year.

Will you do the same?

To that end, we wish you all 
a joyous holiday season.  
And we hope it is filled with fun, relaxation, and 
time spent with those you love, 
including some “me time” for yourself!

Created by Kimberly Kline, API

Until next year……….

Authored by   

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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Quotes to Inspire and Motivate You in your Small Business

We all need a little inspiration now and then.  Whether it is to get us through a particularly rough week, or simply to get us going on a Monday morning!

And this need is especially true of Small Business Owners, and even more so if you are a SolopreneurThe entire success or failure of our businesses lie with us alone. And that is true even as outside pressures, or even people, do their best to derail us!

Sometimes, despite our best efforts to stay focused and positive, we find ourselves falling prey to feelings of inadequacy or indecision. That is when we should look for inspiration wherever we can find it!

Entrepreneurs Look for Inspiration Wherever We can Find It! “Tweet This” 

Some of us can find it within. We rely on our own courage and resources to pick ourselves up and keep going. But many of us need something more. That is when we search for outside influences and motivation.

At API, we have found our own will to keep going from many sources.  
Sometimes it comes from our peer group. Being able to vent or bounce ideas off of others who are going through the same things makes sense.

Other times we simply need to break away. That can mean taking a well-deserved vacation, a long weekend, or just taking the time to get up and move!

Taking periodic “active” breaks throughout the day has truly helped us stay focused and creative. Find out more about how you can do this in; “Tips to Help You Gain Focus & Get Active!”.

But how else can we find inspiration in the midst of our day to day grind? Sometimes all it takes is a few words of wisdom!
For us, those words often come from favorite quotes (and we have shared some of these before in; “Top 10 Motivational Quotes to Inspire You”).

We find that these quotes are often just the quick “pick me up” we need, and we think they could help you too! 

Our “go-to” inspirational quotes:

Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be” and “Every person’s happiness is their own responsibility.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

We have always believed that we need to CHOOSE each day whether or not to be happy ~ even when we feel anything but! I, personally, have made this conscious choice while going through breast cancer, dealing with the death of my father, facing the uncertainties during this pandemic, and even during lesser times of stress or worry. And while it might not always be easy, it works! 

These two quotes are great inspiration for every entrepreneur ~

The best way to predict your future is to create it” – Abraham Lincoln

Photo by
When we make the choice to start our own businesses, we put ourselves squarely in charge of our own future. With that responsibility, we often need to reach deep and find the strength to keep going. This is when we truly discover “what lies within us”!

But no matter how hard we try, there are times we will be faced with obstacles along the way.  

The key to overcoming any obstacle is to believe that you can!

As entrepreneurs, we are often called upon to face our fears. These can be fear of failure or fear that we are not capable enough. That is when these quotes will help pull you through ~

Photo courtesy of

Instead of giving in, we need to remember….

We also believe that…….

Photo courtesy of Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing LLC
Photo by
Putting ourselves out there and taking a chance is often the hardest part of being an entrepreneur.
That is why, for us, these words from Eleanor Roosevelt make sense…
Photo by

Finally, we will leave you with this…. 
Life is hard but so very beautiful” – Abraham Lincoln.
Please Leave a comment and Let Us Know what motivates You and share your favorite quote!

Authored by   

API can help you with your hiring and hiring policy needs. And if you are thinking of starting or revamping your own Small Business or Small Business Blog, we are here for you. Check out our Services page to find out more!

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thinking of Starting a Small Business of One? 6 Tips to Help You Succeed


The idea of running your own business has an obvious appeal. Having the chance to be your own boss and run things according to your own interests and goals makes sense.

While many may choose to find a partner, or at least aim to hire help, there are those who choose to go it alone.

According to the Small Business Association, there are approximately 28 million small businesses in the US.  79.9%, or a little over 22 million, are considered “nonemployers”, those with no payroll or employees.  

You will find some additional statistics on the different types of Small Businesses here.

However, there are issues unique to the Soloprenuer that are not present when you have others to lighten the load.  

Running a Business Alone is not for Everyone.  “Tweet This”

Many times new entrepreneurs are afraid  to “go it alone”.  I was the same.  When I originally started my company, I had two other partners.  Then, in 2004, I went solo.

This was undoubtedly the best decision I could have made. I now had the freedom to take the business in the direction I wanted to go without answering to anyone else.

If you are thinking of running your own Small Business of One, then it is best to go into it with your eyes wide open.  Most importantly, you need to recognize the challenges of running a Small Business solo and then plan, as much as it is possible to plan, for how you can best deal with them.

6 tips to Help You Run Your Solo Small Business:

  • Start Off Right

Choose the Right Business Structure - Finding a good accountant/tax professional at this juncture can really help.  They will guide you in deciding what kind of business would be best for your circumstances (corporations, sole proprietorship, S or C corporations).  Some choices carry with them more personal liability than others.

Have a Clear Business Plan - While this is important for any type of business, when you are alone it has added value.  When you have a well thought out plan that truly speaks to the type of business you want to run, it will help keep you on track.  

Set up a Working Home Office - This can be anything from a nook, to an extra room dedicated to your business.  Or, like me, it can even be a roving backpack!  Since I travel at least a couple times a month, I have learned to consolidate most of what I need into one backpack  (although I do have a cabinet at home that serves as storage).

  • Recognize That Your Time has Value

Time is Your Most Valuable Asset - Many business owners don’t realize this enough, and when you are running it alone, it is even more crucial.  You need to understand that your time and focus must be on what can bring you business, like marketing and driving sales.

Outsourcing is Your Friend - When you are the only employee of your business, you may think that you have to do everything on your own. In fact, it is really in your best interests to outsource those tasks that you are not good at or simply don’t want to do.   For example, I have always used an accountant to do my business taxes.  I knew that this was not my strong suit, so my money was better spent in hiring someone that really knew what they were doing.

  • Remember, You Don’t Have to Always be Alone

Connect (in person or online) - Loneliness is often one of the parts of being a solopreneur that you don’t plan for.  If you are not careful, you can find yourself cut off.  But you can find ways to offset this.  Get out there and  join local groups and schedule lunches or coffee meetings.  If that is not possible, be sure to forge some strong online connections that you can chat with or even to vent!

Create Your Own “Board of Directors” - It is a good idea for you to gather a group of colleagues and advisers.  They can be invaluable to bounce ideas off of or to serve as a sanity check.  I found a local networking group to do just that.   We act as each other’s “board of directors”, champions, and promoters!  We meet once a month to learn from each other, talk about some of our current challenges, and to get feedback on when we need it.

  • Stay Organized

Running a Small Business of One isn't for the easily distracted. To manage your limited amount of time effectively, you have to be disciplined in getting done what needs to be done. That is why it also more important than ever to be organized (and this is definitely NOT my strong suit in my personal life).  Be sure to keep track of all work progress, be constantly aware of your money flow, and invoice quickly!

  • Find Tools to Make Your Day-to-Day Tasks Easier

Finances/Taxes - Be sure to keep your personal and business finances separate.  Accounting software can help you keep track of your expenses and give you a jump start on tax time.

Marketing - Your biggest challenge will be finding the time and resources to generate new business and market yourself.  If you are not careful, you will find yourself spending too much time generating and sharing quality content and reaching out to current and potential customers. 

I found these 7 really easy to ups apps and sites to help me.  Check them out here!

#active breaks & #productivity

  • Avoid Burnout 

Take Care of Yourself - Doing that can become one of the more difficult parts of running a business alone.  The dividing line between work and play can often become blurred when you run your own business, particularly if it's home-based.  You will find some easy ways to do this in my article on taking “active breaks”.  
Remember, you are the most valuable asset of your business so you can’t forget to take care of you!

There is no doubt that when you run your business of one, you have everything on your own plate.  And that can be both daunting and exhilarating! 

I understand.  I celebrated the 10th anniversary of running my own business of one in 2014 and it has been a wild and crazy ride. But, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  

So my advice?  Don’t let fear hold you back from accepting the challenge.  Just go in with your eyes as wide open as possible and you will find that you are glad you dove in!  I know I am!

Please Pay it Forward and Pass this On.  Leave a comment too, I would love to hear from you!

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Monday, February 17, 2014

My 10th Anniversary as a “Solopreneur”!

Ten years ago, February 2004, I embarked on an entirely new journey ~ I became the sole owner of Access Profiles, Inc.  

Up until this time, I had always worked with one or two partners.  We divided the work load, each of us taking what suited our strengths.

Most importantly, I always had someone to bounce ideas off of and to share the responsibility of running a business.  

All that was about to change.

About two years before this, one of the original three partners decided to leave the business.  My other partner and I experienced little transition with this change.  We divided up what our partner had been responsible for and went on our way.

Now, fast forward to February 2004, and my last remaining partner came to me with the news that she wanted to move on.  She was starting her own business and was ready to go in a different direction than where we were heading.

I was floored.  Feelings of self-doubt and fear threatened to take hold of me.  I kept wondering how I was going to manage to do all the work that had been done initially by three of us.  

With little in the way of alternatives, I plunged in.


I began by streamlining all my procedures and deciding on a concrete course of action.  I scheduled my days to cover everything I needed to do, plus left time for unexpected occurrences.

I soon found myself too busy to dwell on what could go wrong and instead focused on keeping my head above water.

Little by little I found myself not just coping with the added responsibilities, but welcoming them.  

I loved having the freedom to take my business in the direction I chose, without having to answer to anyone else.  I could pursue new business and find ways to increase awareness of my company on my terms.

I soon entered the world of Social Media (something that had not been possible before due to my partners’ lack of interest).  I created a Facebook page and joined LinkedIn.  Both helped me to get my feet wet.

Then gradually I was able to add other social media platforms and a blog.  While I still have a long way to go in getting them where I want them to be, it is a start.


And it is all mine.  My company is “me”....and my brand reflects that.  I am the creator and originator of all that is Access Profiles, Inc. ~ and I am proud of that.

Even if I still have a long way to go, I know that the path I take to reach my goals will be of my choosing.  If I falter along the way, so be it.  But I know I will learn from it and move on.

And each time I reach a milestone or accomplish a goal, I can truly say “I did it”.

Express Gratitude

However, despite having the sole responsibility for my company, I am never really alone.

I have you, my wonderful clients, connections, readers, friends and family that are with me every step of the way.  You have all offered me your support and encouragement.  For this I will always be extremely grateful.

I could never have done it without each and every one of you!

Authored by  

Join me on my journey by visiting and subscribing to my blog, .  There you will find tips to help you on your journey too!

Let’s connect!  Find links to my Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other pages too, here!  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What My Favorite Sports Movies Have Taught Me about Business ~ And Life!

I have gained many life lessons from playing sports, watching my children play, and cheering on my favorite teams. The belief in hard work, fair play, and team work is something that has had a great impact on me.

I am also a sucker for great sports movies. Whether they are funny, uplifting, or inspired by real events ~ it doesn’t matter. I find myself wanting to watch them again and again.

What I have also found is that by watching them I can learn a lot about life, and my business. Here are some of my favorites and what they have taught me.......

Brian’s Song (1971)
Tagline: An inspiring true story of friendship and courage.

Brian’s Song is the first sports movie I remember watching. When it was released in 1971, I was only 9 years old, but even now I vividly recall the overwhelming sadness I felt when Brian Piccolo died. I cried for at least a half hour even after the movie was over.  

The strength of the friendship that grew between two strangers, Gale Sayers and Brian Piccolo, was magnificent to watch. Despite competing for the same position, and their differences, their love of the game of football forged a strong bond between the two.

The scene that embodied this best was the speech Sayers gave as he accepted the George S. Halas award. Sayers closing remarks; “I love Brian Piccolo. And I’d like all of you to love him too. And so tonight, when you hit your knees, please ask God to love him.” This scene gets me every time. Watch it here!

What this movie taught me was that time is short. There is little value in saying that you will do something “tomorrow” as there is not always a tomorrow.

We all need to embrace the time we have and “go for it”. These parting words when sharing Brian Piccolo’s death from his coach, George Halas, say it all:
“Brian Piccolo died of cancer at the age of 26. He left a wife and three daughters. He also left a great many loving friends who miss and think of him often. But when they think of him, it's not how he died that they remember - but how he lived. How he did live!”.

Hoosiers (1986)
Tagline: They needed a second chance to finish first.

I didn’t watch this movie until years after it came out, but what a story! Like Brian’s Song, this movie is inspired by true events. It follows a basketball team from a small Indiana high school as they pursue a state championship ~ and who doesn’t like to watch an underdog make good?

At its most basic, Hoosiers is a story of hope and second chances

Characters Shooter (played by Dennis Hopper) and Coach Dale (Gene Hackman) each get the opportunity to rise above their past and achieve something worthwhile through coaching this team.

So no matter what may have gone before, each of us has the ability to put it aside and start over. I have done this often in both my business and my life. Sometimes it is necessary to leave the past behind.  

However, the life lesson from Hoosiers that had the most impact on me is that there is no glory in winning at all costs. The glory is in playing to the best of your ability. That is what really matters.

In Coach Dale’s words; “If you put your effort and concentration into playing to your potential, to be the best that you can be, I don't care what the scoreboard says at the end of the game, in my book we're gonna be winners.” Watch his speech here!

A League of Their Own (1992)
Tagline: This summer, Tom Hanks and the Rockford Peaches prove that a woman's place is at home...first, second & third.

A League of Their Own taught me a lot about how women struggled to be taken seriously in sports, and especially in professional sports. Despite real talent, it is suggested to the players that they need to put on a “show” to draw a crowd ~ resulting in the famous “catching split” performed by Dottie Hinson (Geena Davis).

However, as the film goes on, the women gain a real following.  Their hard work and talent even convert men, who originally came to only see the novelty of women playing baseball, into fans.

What I also loved about League was how it touched on the balancing act these women had to navigate. This scene between Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) and Dottie when she is leaving the team to go with her husband says it all!

Jimmy’s belief is that despite the sacrifices, having the opportunity to do what you truly love is worth it“It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard... is what makes it great.”

This is how I feel about being an entrepreneur, and this lesson has served me well. I love running my own business, but I also know that it is not always easy ~ especially when I also need time for my family. Rarely is anything worth accomplishing easy. And like Tom Hank's says, if it was easy "everyone would do it"!

Bonus Favorite: Watching Tom Hanks deliver the line;  “There is no crying in baseball”!

The Sandlot (1993)
Tagline: A piece of paradise a half block wide and a whole summer long.

Unlike the other sports movies I have listed here, there is no big game or winning home run scene in The SandlotWhat it does have is one of the best depictions of the sheer joy to be found in simply playing.

Some of the best friendships many of us will ever have in our lives were found in our backyards and local courts. There you could always find a pick-up game of some kind. I spent many summer evenings playing kickball, “kick the can”, “release the prisoner”, or any number of games with my friends. 

We also learned how to solve squabbles without any adults present, how to play fair, and how awesome it was to be able to do it all over again the next day. Watch the trailer to see what I mean!  

Bonus:  One of my favorite lines from the film (and I use it often) is “You’re Killing Me Smalls”!

The Little Giants (1994)
Tagline: For everyone who's waited to be chosen, and wasn't... your day has come.

I still love watching The Little Giants. Getting the chance to watch a group of kids no one thought could ever learn to play football become a team is priceless.

For me, the best lesson comes from discovering that a team that “should” win doesn’t always win. The half time locker room speech from Coach Danny O’Shea tells it best: 

“Well, wait a second, guys. Who said you had to be good to play football? You play football because you want to. You play football because it's fun. You play football so you could pretend you're Joe Montana throwing a touchdown pass, or Emmett Smith going for a long run. And even if those Cowboys are better than you guys, even if they beat you 99 times out of 100, that still leaves...
Tad: One time.
Rudy Zolteck: One time.
Junior Floyd: [Smiles] Yeah... one time!”

It is important to realize that the possibility of losing is no reason not to try. And, you never know, when it will be your “one time”, so go for it!

Bonus:  Greatest play ever “The Annexation of Puerto Rico”.  For years when watching football I have predicted that the next play would be “The Annexation of Puerto Rico”. And then ~ I saw it actually used in a pro game!  

Remember the Titans (2000)
Tagline: Before they could win, they had to become one.

For me, Remember the Titans is the ultimate “team” movie. It shows the power that can come from looking beyond the surface of a person to find what is inside and become part of a true team.

Remember the Titans tells the true story of an Alexandria, VA high school football team in the early 1970s at the height of desegregation. The journey from a team divided by race to one of strong bonds and teamwork is fantastic to watch.

The movie is full of inspirational moments!

In everything from the speeches given by Coach Boone, to the players’ transformation into more than teammates but friends, we see what can be accomplished when people learn to be more open and accepting.

One scene that sticks in my mind is when Gerry Bertier is in the hospital after a tragic car accident leaves him paralyzed from the waist down. Julius attempts to visit and is stopped by a nurse saying; “Only kin's allowed in here”. Gerry responds; “Alice, are you blind? Don't you see the family resemblance? That's my brother.”.

I also love when Coach Yoast tells the team; “I hope you boys have learned as much from me this year as I've learned from you. You've taught this city how to trust the soul of a man rather than the look of him. And I guess it's about time I joined the club.”.

From Remember the Titans we can all learn that change is rarely easy, but changing what is inherently wrong or no longer working is worth it. Many times people in business stick with the status quo simply because it is seems easier. This can be a mistake.    

We can also learn to look beyond the surface to find the true essence of a person. That is where we will discover if they are worth knowing. This can be invaluable when hiring or deciding whether to do business with someone.

Bonus: Remember the Titans has a Killer Soundtrack - House of the Rising Sun, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye, Up Around the Bend, Peace Train, and the list goes on!

The Rookie (2002)
Tagline: It's never too late to believe in your dreams.

In The Rookie, real life high school science teacher and baseball coach Jim Morris tries out for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays baseball team after making a deal with his high school team.

Morris finds himself, at the age of 35, surrounded by much younger players. However, his blazing fast ball gets him noticed, and ultimately into the big leagues.

What I take away the most from The Rookie is the importance of dreams. According to Morris; “If you don’t have dreams, you don’t have anything”

And dreaming is not only for the young. It is important to have hopes and dreams throughout our lives. These can be ongoing ones that we hold on to and ones that change according to circumstance.

Many times dreams are not meant to be practical. They can be things that may seem fantastical one day, but can become reality with hard work and focus.

I also love how in The Rookie, even when Morris' dreams are coming true, things are not always easy. He experiences times of self doubt. However, it is then that he remembers his “why” ~ for the love of the game; “You know what we get to do today?  We get to play baseball!”. Watch that scene here!

That is the kind of enthusiasm I try to keep for the choices I have made in my own life. I keep dreaming of where I want to go, and find joy in where I am now. I think that is one of the greatest lessons anyone can learn!

Please share your favorite or inspirational movies, I would love to see which ones you would pick!

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