Small Business Ideas
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a wish is not enough

A dream is like a crow bar, some use it to open things - others drop it on their toes.

helping you develop your niche market business ideas

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Learn to speculate - protect your money

All investments are speculations - the difference is that the risks are hidden within investments.

Investing sounds safer, and you will be told it is safer, by those that want your commissions and fees.

The only person that really cares about your money is you.

Learn how to speculate and control the risks.

Read this brief set of articles on speculating.

Start slow.

Stay safe.



Friday, December 30, 2005

Simplify Your Life

Complexity confuses, check the little things.

The canary in the mine shaft is a small thing. Miners carry bird cages because they know canaries are more sensitive to bad air than humans. A singing canary is therefore a comfort.

If your life is crowded with complexity it may show in the small things first.

How much effort is required to carry a cup back to the kitchen? You've done it naturally most of your grown life. Now it just sits on a shelf, too much trouble to move. That is just an example.

Are there simple thing that seem complex?

Things that last year were automatic, but now take effort and thought to accomplish?

Your plate may be too full.

Remove some of the extra duties you have picked up. Cut down on the commitments you make easily and then regret. Get rid of conflicting schedules and relationships.

Learn to say no.

To others - and to yourself.


If your life is so cluttered every small choice is an overload, that is a warning.

The canary has stopped singing.

Leave the mine shaft.


Thursday, December 29, 2005

Start A Business

Do you regret that you did not start a business a year ago?

Will you regret it in two years if you do not start a business today?

This does not mean you have to open the doors of your business this afternoon - although if you can it might be a good idea.

You know what you would like to do.

Start the process
to start your business.

The sooner you start your business; the sooner you start the learning process that will make it a success.

It will not necessarily be easy.

It may take years of effort to reach profitability.

What will you be doing in five years if you start a business tomorrow?

What will you be doing in five years if you don't?


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

No New Years Resolutions

Set a year end goal today!

Perhaps you were going to lose 20 pounds next year, and thought that might make a nice resolution.

Nice perhaps, but also vague enough it won't work.

If you are considering a new years resolution, make a start today.

You are giving up smoking as your resolution?

Make it a goal to not smoke for the rest of the year - starting now!

Come New Years Eve you will have completed your goal, and you will know that you can do it for three days. If you can do it once, next time set a longer goal.

You can do that also.


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Are We Barbarians?

Shakespeare: "He is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature"

Are we so enmeshed in our own insulated world that we cannot see the truth others may present?

Yes - we are.

Just cruise through some blogs, mine included.

You will find opinion after opinion, presented as fact.

The opinion of a political party becomes the opinions of its followers, and is presented as fact. That is why political figures lie, they know it will be repeated as truth by their followers; if it is repeated enough it is treated as fact.

We can think for ourselves. - It will only hurt for a little while.

We know history has been modified by those who wrote it. We know history is being changed and rewritten today. How much more is reality being modified by those that control information?

We do not have to be barbarians.

The first step is to challenge what we are told by those we follow; rather than challenge those that oppose them.



Monday, December 26, 2005

Create Your Own Snowflake

This is just for fun.

No great deep thoughts.

No important point.

Create Your Own Snowflake.

Just fun.


Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night

Best of the season to everyone.

If you are celebrating a different holiday please leave your traditional greeting in the comments.

For Christians, Christmas is a reminder that we were all born to die, and that there can be comfort in the knowledge of that journey.

What is the source of your celebration? - A quick comment on that would also be appreciated.

If you have no cause to celebrate, a simple Bah! Humbug! is ok; a request for prayer might be in order also.



Friday, December 23, 2005

Dottie Walters Helps Us

Dottie is always helping someone - that is why she is so successful.

Dottie Walters is a wonderfully creative entrepreneur, and a highly respected professional.

Dottie was encouraging us with Bastiat Free University where she will be helping us develop a Master's course.

Dottie motivated us with a quote by the renowned pilot Amelia Earhart:

"Some of us have great runways —already built for us.
If you have one TAKE OFF!
But if you do not have one,


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Prepare For Success

contingency plans are a good idea, but what will you do if everything goes right?

There are huge bunches of people that will warn you to plan for problems.

OK, not a bad idea.

But huge bunches of people never experience great success. They are so concerned about what might go wrong they never start.

Successful people plan.

Successful people plan to succeed.

Plan your work - work your plan.

Have a plan on what to do next if everything turns out ok.

Prepare for problems.

More importantly, prepare to overcome problems and keep going until you win.

Have plans on what to do once you win.

Prepare for success.


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Howl At The Moon

Of alpha males and alpha wolves.

Those that watch wolves write mostly about the alpha male, and secondly about the beta males. I have read about what some term the delta male. An Alpha rules the pack, the betas follow in their order. Once in a while a male wolf, the delta, picks an attractive female and they leave the wolf pack.

This wolf that picks a sweetheart and then goes his own way is an inspiration. If those two happy wolves are willing to risk all, perhaps it is reasonable to find humans that shun the pack and go their own way.

I am always amazed by the other type. A felon with two strikes against him, in a state that gives life sentences for the third strike. All he has to do is move to another state, and hopefully take up a new career. Most stay with the same gang they were with, and get that third strike. This is a beta wolf with no thought beyond belonging.

The other extreme is someone like you that discover themselves, seeks out opportunities that suit, and then plans to go out and accomplish.

Apply thought.

It is your life, live it.


Details, Details, Details

Success is in the details.

This is not a nag post at you swing for the fences generalists.

This is not a pat on the back for the nitty gritty get it all perfect types.

This is requesting recognition that a successful venture requires control of the details.

If this is not your strong suit, work with or hire someone who cares about the little stuff.

If you are into the little stuff yourself it is a bit easier. Listen to and read those people that have a large field of vision.

There are many areas we all need help - this is but one of them.

Know who you are, know how to compensate for your own weakness.

Get the details right


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

How Dad Feels When The Kids Grow

I imagine this is how moms feel too.

My daughter asked me how it feels when all the kids are out of the house (I have 5).

I said it feels great.

For about two days.

Get Another Opinion

In the multitude of counselors, there is safety.

Years ago there was a wonderful best selling business book.

Up The Organization by Robert Townsend was full of short vinettes that illustrated people oriented business principles.

One short story involved an executive torn between choice
A and choice B. When he asked for advice, someone said - "what about choice C ?"

We frequently get caught up in an argument and miss other options.

While there are many modern equivalents, here is one where only two options are seen to exist, so no one looks for more.

We are often so involved in picking between pro and con, we may neglect finding input to point out other possibilities.

Seek out wise counsel.



Monday, December 19, 2005

Phishing, Phraud, And Other Phakes

Here is a great test, Catch That Phish.

Technology is a great tool, but like all great tools it can be used for good or evil.

Take the above test, and pass it on to your friends.

You may not fall for this sort of phishing hook, but you can help protect others. I kinda doubt if anyone will get all 10 questions right.

Also take a look at the comment to a post at The Tsunami Hitchhiker. You will notice another warning, from a victim of identity theft this time, not your normal phraud target.

Keep safe, don't wait to protect yourself.


Sunday, December 18, 2005

Check Your Rudder

If the destination is wisdom, your opposition can power the rudder that steers the ship.

You just need to listen to your critics.

Other sources for steering are religious or political convictions, dreams and goals, or a combination of sources.

You may have the wind in your sails, but that small rudder is what determines your destination.

The Bible even talks about the tongue being a rudder, able to turn a great ship. - It makes sense if you think about it. What is said may have more power than thought, especially if someone doesn't think first.

What is steering your life?


Don't Dilute Your Potential

Specialize and focus on one thing.

At one time I was an executive with a start up.

We were well funded by a single source, and had a unique product that had good potential. We also had an excellent executive team; and a founder and president of the company that had been successful in another industry.

The founder found more products that he became enamored with. He bought some other companies. He had us add running these other almost related products. Soon we had three sales teams, a set of product reps, and several companies running at once.

I went into the president and suggested we needed to concentrate on our primary market, we had diluted our executive staff to the point it could no longer be effective.

When I walked out of the meeting one of the other execs asked what had happened. I told him the president was actually considering adding even another company; - and I had fired him. He said I couldn't fire the president, I said I knew that, I had just quit.

Everyone was worried I might have upset their apple cart. They all kept their jobs, and worked at trying to stretch themselves four directions; until the company started to dissolve about 6 months latter.

That was the short version.

What the president did to that company, we can do to our lives.

We can do a couple of thing very well, say be a parent and work a job. If we add a third thing, we have to make some sacrifices in the first two. If we add a fourth direction we risk nothing being done well.

Concentrate your effort where you want to make an impact.

Don't dilute your potential.


Saturday, December 17, 2005

Expand Your View

Don't let yourself become myopic.

If you are always with the same people.

If you always do the same things.

If you constantly engage in the same activities -
you may be cheating yourself.

There is a very large world out there.

We know so little of it, and so much we know is wrong.

You can change that.

Get out.

If you have lived in a city you know how your vision becomes used to short views. Take a trip to the country and it is relaxing, or scary, to be able to see so far.

Take your imagination for a ride in the country.

Travel, meet new people, read new books, discover new things.

Life is to short to live it in a box.

Get out of the box - and live.



Friday, December 16, 2005

Study your Dreams

The more you read and study, the easier it becomes.

The easier it becomes, the more you enjoy reading and studying.

But there is a trick.

It is only easy and enjoyable if you are reading what
you want to read.

You have dreamed your dreams.

You have fashioned your dreams into distinct goals with a date.

Those dreams represent what
you want.

Study what you dream about, read and take courses on your goals.

You will move closer to acquiring your dreams.

You will discover the pleasures of self-directed learning.

You will be on the path to a life of pleasurable growth.



Thursday, December 15, 2005

Starting Next Years Goals

Always do more than expected.

Many people slow down when a completed goal is in site.

Many folks procrastinate as the next goal looms on the horizon.

Ever give someone a 10 minute break? Many will stretch it to eleven or twelve minutes.

If you want to accomplish something, be the one back in ten, or nine.

There will be less irritation, more cooperation, and you will be recognized as the one that is consistent. - All it costs you is a minute.

Start your project a bit early too. Even if you are the only one watching.

I have decided to experiment with a financial site next year. - So I started it last night. It already has two posts.

Speculation Rules is new, it is not yet fully set up, and it is basic. But if someone wants to taste the flavor of that little early extra; hard won financial knowledge will be shared. All investment is speculation, start to learn how to profit from your time and money.

Why wait for January?



Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Pick a Direction

Where do you want to go?

Perhaps it was Yogi Berra that said, "If you don't know where you are going, that's where you'll end up."

What if you are not sure where you want to end up?

Pick a direction instead of a destination.

If you love science, but are not sure which discipline fits you best, read a bunch of science in several disciplines. If you latter decide on something else, your general knowledge will make you more valuable.

The opposite also applies, if you know exactly what you want, head for it. - But also read general texts so your knowledge stays well rounded.

If you are driving form New York City to San Diego, take some detours, if you have time take a lot of detours.

You can make the trip in a few days, or you can detour for months. The trip of months will give you experience to last a life time. - That is good for you, and good for those that will be around you.

The knowledge you acquire from self-directed learning is similar. You will see a lot of interesting things you would not encounter if you took the standard route.

You will be more valuable; to yourself first, and to others also.

Expand your scope.

Pick a direction, or if you have a destination, - wander.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Year End Goals are better than New Year's Resolutions

Bastiat Free university has 101 courses.

That is one course better than our year end goal.

By March of next year we will be on a new server, with a better looking site.

By June 29, 2006 we will be running a tighter college curriculum with improved courses and better functionality.

Then we will be ready for the masses, even if it takes them decades to discover BFU. - We could just be that far ahead of the curve.

There are lots of ways to look at Bastiat Free University now:

Check us out.

Other than a post our two about new projects, there will probably not be a lot of visible change until next year.

Finishing a goal is a good thing.

It will be easier to goal set now than keep a New Years resolution in a couple of weeks. I will not smoke another cig for the rest of the year. I will start learning about ---- today. I will read a book about my favorite subject (cars, flowers, poker) by year end. Set a goal and do it!

What is your year end goal, - for this year or for next year?


Monday, December 12, 2005

dreampower, keep on keeping on

Take a break, but come back aggressive.

You have hit your intermediate goal.


Take a bit of time to celebrate, - take some time to review and plan ahead.

The get back to it.

Start hard on the next step of the project.

Habit is an important tool, stay in the habit of accomplishment.


Sunday, December 11, 2005

Trans Union, Again

This time the credit services of Trans Union were needed by someone other than myself.

For the most part I find credit reporting agencies intrusive and annoying.

Sometimes however they are a big help.

Click here for a bit I wrote after I had some data compromised by someone's carelessness.

Trans Union provided quick, easy, and reasonable controls; and notified the other major agencies as well.

A gal I know just had her purse stolen. Everything from her bank accounts to pay pal were accessed; only Western Union stopped payments and contacted her.

One call to Trans Union however and her credit reports were protected and the problem noted.

Trans Union may be a good first call if you have a similar problem, right after you call the police.



Saturday, December 10, 2005

Question Authority

Everyone is wrong sometimes.

It is ok to analyze what you have been taught.

It is ok to disagree with those in authority.

It is imperative to question what you think you know.

So much of what we think we know has been tainted by misconceptions of others.

Do not automatically ignore those with differing views, they may hold in some of their statements the key to releasing you from fables.

"Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned." - Mark Twain


Friday, December 09, 2005

Check the Opposite Relationship

Sometimes the reverse is more profound.

I was surfing through a few blogs and found one that said much of what I had recently posted, but from a positive rather than a negative view.

I believe what I wrote was true.

I know what I wrote would be tough to swallow.

It would have been so much easier to read and understand had I looked at it from another angle.

What is the good that comes from a right relationship?

Does it effect everything just as a wrong relationship has negative consequences?

I think I will tackle that one in the next post on that blog.

In the meantime, I need to consider other viewpoints before I write.



Thursday, December 08, 2005

For Lovers Of Liberty

Is freedom important to you?

Click here to get a historic view on liberty, from Plato to the present day. Freedom books, articles, letters, and more.

At no charge, a DVD with over 500 works on freedom, with search features.

At no charge.

Get it today.


Illiquid Markets

Dreampower is not a trading site.

You can get some trading stuff at The Tsunami Hitchhiker or learn about successful market trading at Bastiat Free University.

But here is an introduction to markets from the 321gold site that should not be ignored.

A video clip on the excitement of trading illiquid and irrational markets.
This is a must see!


Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Good times

Enjoy your life.

Your life is short.

Too short to waste it in ill advised ventures fallen into by poor council.

In other words, - bad advice wastes life.

Find councilors that have a solid foundation, and listen to them.

Don't spend your time making mistakes that could have been avoided.

Seek out those that have success in the areas you want to excel.

And listen to them.

You will find that many great people are willing to share their insights if they believe you will heed their instruction.

losers are also willing to talk, and there are far more of them than winners.

Find successful people, ask about their success.




Tuesday, December 06, 2005

A Deeper Understanding

As it relates to goals.

This ties in to a prior post on goals.

The shaping of Bastiat Free University has been a process. Goals have been set, some have been changed.

Even the purpose of BFU has been altered. The slogans we have used to define Bastiat Free University have changed several times reflecting that purpose drift.

The school was started to assist entrepreneurs in developing themselves. "T
he wealth of centuries, comprised of knowledge, at your fingertips."

We discovered and accommodated those with little money that just want a venue for gaining knowledge. "
Cost appropriate learning."

As we discovered more about our students and their needs, we adjusted. "Rediscover the pleasures of self directed learning."

By now our original base of small business had expanded a great deal. We have found students internationally that weigh the balance of what we offer against what traditional industrial age schools provide. We wrote a short essay, and for a while played the card, Distance learning versus Brick and Mortar.

We just spent some time analyzing ourselves, and our concepts. It is time we brought Bastiat Free University up to date. We have almost as little in common with distance learning colleges as we have with traditional B&M Universities.

We are not state sponsored. We are unaccredited and plan to remain that way. We do not aim to create machine part graduates for the industrial age.

We want to offer tools that the Netcohort will use to shape themselves. We are established not as an alternative school, but as an alternative learning system.

A degree has become a job acquisition tool, a personal marketing device. The purpose of education has become getting a job. As society's bloated organizations shrink, a degree will have less value.

For those of you that see the future changing dramatically. For those of us that want to avoid being pressed and formed into meat patties in the McDonalds of life, we offer a new type of school. BFU is a school focused on self directed learning. Learning is the key, not job acquisition.

If you want to face and conquer your personal future and not conform to a machine cut image, Bastiat Free University is for you.

This is no longer a slogan, it is a celebration of our students.

BFU - a school for the independent mind


Monday, December 05, 2005


Most limits are self imposed.

Some consciously, some unconsciously.

But most without a second thought to see if they are reasonable.

"When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law." - C. F. Bastiat

And in fact there is a third choice, the mores of your area or tribe may contradict both law and morality.

That is when it is nice to be a human.

We have the ability to think, and to act or not act, based on thought, - not these conflicting limits.

Often it is better to move to an area where your morals line up with local laws and mores.

Thought combined with action will prevent you from having to say "I was just following orders."

Know your limits, define them for yourself, examine any limits that are forced on you.

To your own self be true.

Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgement.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
For the apparel oft proclaims the man;
And they in France of the best rank and station
Are of a most select and generous chief in that.
Neither a borrower, nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell; my blessing season this in thee!
William Shakespeare



Sunday, December 04, 2005

Separate Yourself

How important is your life.

I am amazed when a felon is caught again in a three strikes state.

They know the third felony conviction will be life in prison. Yet they stayed in that state, hanging out with the same old gang, after two felony convictions. - Why didn't they move?

On a different note.

If your plans for yourself and your family are very different than those around you, - why wouldn't you move?

I can understand a commitment for moral reasons. Recently a missionary in Haiti was kidnapped while transporting a sick child to the hospital. He and his family know the risks of living in Haiti, and made an informed and prayerful choice.

The other story is so often apparent however, folks staying where they are at risk or not wanted, because emotionally they don't want to move.

Today is a good day to start the investigation.

Where would your family be safer than where you live?

Where would there be greater opportunity than where you are now?

Where will you find the freedom to pursue your dreams as you wish?

Those I know that have investigated and moved, did have a period of adjustment. For up to a year they sometimes wondered if they had made the right choice.

The move can be as simple as leaving old friends and finding new ones, or as daring as leaving your country to move to another.

Perhaps it is not so daring if you are moving toward freedom and opportunity.

Eventually those that move discover a freedom and confidence that will last them the rest of their lives. - Many then considered their greatly expanded options and move again.

Racial persecution, religious freedom or business opportunity are just some of the reasons to move.

That first step may be hard, but the rest of your life is hopefully a very long time.



Saturday, December 03, 2005


How independent are you?

Some will never leave home emotionally. These are the folks you see with the unthinking political blogs. They believe what their parents or professors believed, unchallenged. They believe at the top of their voice. Everyone that does not believe exactly as they do must be a fool or worse. They will continue to shout their belief in whatever their leaders say; - no thought required.

Now that those people have left.

Most of us retain much of what we were taught, and that is not a bad thing. As time passes we examine our prejudice and our bias and modify them. We do this to varying degree based on experience and inclination.

We can define this as walking a path. For some the path is blazed at their birth, and they will never stray from it. For others they may occasionally view new un-predestined horizons, and follow another path toward them. For the remaining few the whole world is their campground, paths and signposts are like a cage; they want to know truth even if it is uncomfortable to learn.

Now to the purpose of this exercise.

How do you relate to the path for your life?

Your daily choice is to stay on the path, - or explore a new path.

Your life will be less cluttered if you know the sort of independence you value. You can then not consider or throw out other ideas. All you need to consider each day is if you wish to change and view a larger world.

You may chose a path to stay on, and still explore. Do it by choice not by predetermined destiny.

Do you want to stay on the path, on a path, or open yourself to discovering the whole world?

Chose for today.



Friday, December 02, 2005

Power of a Goal

Most of you know about Bastiat Free University.

BFU is a venture that is being constructed by prayer and

Having the course structure available, even if primitive, was a goal for last June 29.

After the first 30 or so classes, their addition to the curriculum started to slow down. I knew that I could do the research and construct a couple of classes a week. At that rate I would have over 80 by the end of the year. I made the goal to hit 100 classes by the end of the year, that would be 2 plus classes a week.

We just added our 91st course, we are close, and may be able to take a week off at the end of the year if we hustle.

The goal kept us going, a small weekly bite kept us on track, it will be done.

We will be a better looking site, and functioning well, by our first anniversary, - and the two hundred fifth birthday of C. F. Bastiat, - 29 June 2006.

This anniversary goal is tougher to divide. We will be moving to new servers around March, and our new look will be ready by then, ready to move to the new URL

The pieces will come together.

We had a dream of cost appropriate, self directed, Renaissance style learning.

We expanded the dream, we defined the long term goal and set short term goals.

We acted.

Dreampower works.

If we will.


Thursday, December 01, 2005

Toastmasters International

Learn public speaking, overcome your fears, at Toastmasters.

One of your keys to personal success is not just
public speaking, or comfort while public speaking, - but enjoying public speaking.

I dropped out of speech courses in college, I hated the pressure without reward that was involved. When I had graduated I took a job teaching, forcing myself to be at the front of the room. I also joined
Toastmasters, and learned a great deal just by attending.

At one point I eventually made a living as a public speaker, and was part of the National Speakers Association of professional speakers. I don't belong to NSA or Toastmasters today, but both helped form who I am.

Like ethical associates, those that enjoy public speaking are a rare and necessary component of most businesses' success. If you wish to be one of those individuals, you are well ahead of those others that cower at the thought of presenting.

Toastmasters has a simple easy route for acclimating yourself to speaking in public.

If there is a Toastmasters club in your area, visit a meeting. You will find many folks like yourself; smart, friendly, and eager to experience growth. If they are available, visit several public speaking groups in your area, find the one where you fit in best. In the structured environment of Toastmasters you will be led slowly into first comfort, and then pleasure, at expressing yourself in public.

If there are no Toastmasters clubs in your area you can still
learn public speaking; - Click => start your own Toastmasters club.



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