part time entrepreneurs rejoice!

I just came across a very cool business network called IAMPTE that’s coming from a very different point of view in business – ‘it’s okay to be a part time entrepreneur!

As I learned about it from Calgary based founder Kim Page Gluckie (pictured right), it struck me the immense pressure most entrepreneurs feel to make it big, build their empire and go full time. As if to not do that would be to fail.

The main things I want you to focus on here is the text book example she’s giving you about niche marketing, becoming a hub.

We did a little interview and I think what she has to share has a lot of important things to say about quality of life for entrepreneurs.

 

What is IAMPTE?

IAMPTE is the world’s first (well, actually only) organization that champions, advocates and supports motivated part-time entrepreneurs. It is a hub that connects the right people and information suited specifically to those with limited time and limited funds because of their part-time status, but recognizing they are limited in their enthusiasm or opportunity.

How did it start? What was the need you saw in the world that spurned this?

It started as I recognized that work from home dads, soon-to-retire employees and students creating their own businesses had all the same challenges as mom entrepreneurs, but without a support system that really resonated.

It also came from many conversations with clients over how much time they wasted or money they wasted making really poor business decisions because they just didn’t know who to trust and they didn’t know who to ask – the need I saw was evident in the tears shed in these conversations and more times than I can count hearing the words “I didn’t know what to do until I met you, I was going to quit trying”.

They do trust me to give sensible, affordable advice. I attract other trustworthy experts and felt I needed to take a leap to bring the right information together with the right people into a hub of knowledge and information sharing that makes sense for people who are really motivated to succeed, even if they are growing their business “on the side” of the rest of their life.

The real clincher for me though was when I went to pay $700 to renew my annual membership in the recognized international association for my marketing communications discipline and just couldn’t do it. It was far too expensive for how little it resonated with my actual business life. At that moment I realized there is no structured, information based organization available to me at all. So I created one. At a price I could afford.

What’s your vision for your members? What is it you’re working to help them achieve?

My vision for members to help them create a realistic view of what success looks like for them individually based on a blend of what they want to achieve in their business and the reason they are choosing to be part-time – which is usually a values decision (other commitments they won’t give up). And then, my vision is to give them access to a very specific set of tools, information and practical steps to act on that make sense to the part-time entrepreneur who really has little time or money to make mistakes. I want them to stop wasting their money on programs and strategies suited to entrepreneurs who have committed full time to their pursuit, and to understand that profitability comes from not what they spend, but rather what they do that fits them and nobody else.

What makes this different from other business networks?

This is different from other networks because its core premise is teaching over networking – and I’ve spent time finding exactly the right experts with the exact right knowledge that PTEs need who are donating customized articles and information because they believe in this mission as much as I do. Networking and supporting each other is an organic side effect of IAMPTE that is already truly amazing… it is literally changing people’s business lives. But it stems from access to trusted advice that can be acted on immediately in any realm of online or traditional marketing.

How are you marketing this right now? What have you been finding works best?

While I am the founder and owner of IAMPTE, there are 16 other experts in the community donating their expertise with exclusive content and their time to promote the organization through their networks. Most of the sharing about our organization has been through social media, with equal response on Facebook (www.facebook.com/iampte) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/iampte).

We just launched in February so there are many marketing plans not yet rolled out, and evaluation that hasn’t happened yet. Part of our ongoing strategy will be traditional and grassroots. We will be launching chapters and holding live workshop-style meetings yet this Spring in three cities. I anticipate that our core membership will grow from the live communities, and those relationships will be nurtured in the online communities.

How do you make money at this? Or what’s the plan?

IAMPTE is a paid membership organization at an affordable $199, with an affiliate program of 5% for anyone who signs up and posts an attractive badge claiming to BE or SUPPORT PTEs on their website.

While this organization is part of my business, and it is intended to generate revenue for me personally, it is also an opportunity for me to align with charitable causes that have similar values such as Kiva.org, to which we’ve already topped up two loans, and Calgary’s Making Changes to which we are donating a special gift at YYCTwestival.

The plan is also to invite community leaders with business knowledge to become chapter leaders – those leaders have opportunity to earn 80% profits from events they run in their own cities. It’s a very sharing model. IAMPTE complements my core business at MPowered Marketing. As an expert, like the other experts, it is a platform to showcase my small business marketing talents to support my marketing training, speaking and consulting business.

What’s your take on why so many part-time entrepreneurs fail?

I’m not convinced more part-time entrepreneurs fail than full time.

In fact, when factoring the direct selling industries (I consider home party consultants who are earning a living to be entrepreneurial in their own success-driven ways), part-time entrepreneurs may be more successful as a category.

But I do have some ideas on where any entrepreneurial “failure” stems from.

First, they have a clever idea but didn’t realize they had to become sensible business people and smart marketers themselves in order to actually succeed.

Second, they compare themselves endlessly to the success of others or how successful they think they should be – without pausing to define what success actually looks like and the steps to get there.

Third, they waste so much money making poor decisions based on the wrong advice or by “winging it” that they end up heartbroken – and often scared to keep going because they used the grocery money as startup cash and can’t afford more mistakes. And finally, not unique to part-time entrepreneurs, they aren’t passionate enough about what they are doing to see it through.

It seems like a lot of people feel like they either need to be a FULL time entrepreneur or nothing. Like being part time = failure – what’s your take on that?

Nobody can define what failure is or success is but the person in their own shoes.

There are “business experts” who would say if you don’t go all in, you can’t win.

I started my first company the day after a female, childless media mogul who I’d previously admired told me in answer to a question “women running businesses while raising families cannot succeed”. It made me so angry I was shaking. I have been proving her wrong personally every day since then, and have found myself surrounded by men and women who are succeeding part-time like me. But again… define fail?

IAMPTE has a wholistic view of what success is. Making profit while also being a good employee, parent, volunteer or student is success. Part-time success simply takes longer for most… which actually has business advantages… if someone can envision their success on a 3 year or 5 year roadmap, it helps overlook the small ‘f’ failures or mistakes and build on them. Part-time in business = whole life success in my opinion. Also in my experience.

9) What are top three keys to success for part-time entrepreneurs?

First: Spending money with a trusted expert to create a professional presence. Even $500 on a great logo plus a Facebook page creates a professional presence over a DIY Blogger page. Ideally, spending $2500-$5000 on a brand development process + logo + web design is enough to look like the professional they intend to be. Often, that is all they need to spend for an entire year if they are savvy about building their business beyond that.

Second: Defining what success actually means in order to avoid becoming defeated by comparisons to full time entrepreneurs doing the same thing, and to be able to recognize success from a whole life point of view. Success for most part-time entrepreneurs has to have a monetary goal with it, but more so, it’s aligned with values – making a difference, role modeling, educating, having personal freedom, feeling joy in their work. Really taking time to review this frequently helps stay passionate and committed when business gets hard – and it does often when you are a PTE in the first 3 to 5 years.

Third: Becoming a business/marketing expert for their own business is essential. They must become confident in their ability to make good decisions for their business so they can be responsive to the right opportunities, create/seek out the right opportunities, and save money for when expert help is actually required. This is why I teach marketing, even while consulting. PTEs cannot and should not take every course available nor should they hire every recommended expert. Even if they have the cash flow to afford it, they don’t have the time. There is a time and a place for hiring expert help, and they need to be pragmatic about when and who that is (like professional visual brand)… but even when hiring help, they must approach it as if they are learning it to do the work themselves.

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For more information on IAMPTE – check out their website at: http://iampte.com/

 

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Want Help? If you’d like some more direct guidance and hand holding on figuring out your niche then go and check out my Niching for Hippies coaching program http://marketingforhippies.com/niching-for-hippies/

 


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