Advice about starting a business

Starting a business is complicated, but there is support for entrepreneurs. And advice can come even from unusual sources. Example: the ex-Navy SEAL with lessons in business leadership.

Hard-core leadership lessons are taught at by the likes of well-named Jeff Boss, a former Navy SEAL, now a business consultant. In one recent post, Boss describes the ways “a leader should show up.” That includes dressing the part, listening and being candid. And, he says, there are no excuses: “Tired after a rough night sleep? People don’t care. Having a rough hair day? Oh well. Angry from that last conversation you had with a colleague? Get over it. The attitude you display, the words you speak, the body language you exude and the scornful faces that you don’t think anybody else sees (but of course they do), all contribute to the value — or lack thereof — that you, as a leader, create for others.”

For someone starting or running a small business, is helpful for staying sharp on marketing, attracting venture capital and people, and managing money., by the Missouri-based Kauffman Foundation, abounds with blogs and meeting opportunities for entrepreneurs. Here, it offers an online “Founders School,” along with information about its “One Million Cups” events, which are coffee-fueled meetings where start-ups present their businesses. There are also links to webinars on how to hire, manage, and pay workers, and how to navigate the rough landscape of government regulation. is another site by the foundation dedicated to entrepreneurship education and support. Recognizing that things don’t always work out for new business ventures, the organization last month held a “Fail Night” — a meeting for people whose entrepreneurial efforts have crashed and burned: “Still mourning the demise of your last great idea? Join us for a somber, supportive and celebratory meeting … to talk about business failures. We invite anyone in the community to share their stories about failed or failing ventures … Kleenex and light refreshment will be provided.”

Self-employment is the subject of this page at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s site. There’s a “20 questions” section for helping you decide if you have entrepreneurship in your blood.

Taxes — an unhappy consequence of success — require attention. So, here’s the Internal Revenue Service’s page on tax information for small business and for the self-employed.

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