The huge mistake most business owners/entrepreneurs make!

I was reviewing U.S Bureau of Labor and Statistics information today and was surprised by the statistics relating to small businesses (defined as businesses with employees)…. 

Listen up…

20% of small businesses (with employees) fail in their first year

10% more fail in the second year

After 5 years 50% have failed

…and after 10 years only 35% remain. 

Frankly, I was surprised by these numbers… in my experience more failures occur in the first years with only 20% or less surviving 5 years! 

The Bureau statistics include small businesses of all sizes (with employees) and are not biased toward truly small businesses without employees or with only a few. Perhaps that explains the apparent discrepancy? 

What didn’t surprise me was the pathetically low income levels of business owners…

According to Fundera…

75% of all business owners earn less than $75k per year… with only 7% earning over $150k.

Now, we know there are lies, damn lies and statistics…so we can make statistics support any position we wish to take 

But, really? 

Why do we see so many business failures and such small earnings for entrepreneurs in small business? 

Fundera did some research and has reported that the reasons given by the entrepreneurs for their business failures can be categorized broadly as follows:-

  • 42% were products that had no market need (42%!! Are you kidding me? How does that happen?)
  • 29% were due to cash flow issues/lack of capital
  • 23% due to having the wrong team in place
  • 19% due to strong competition

(you will note this adds up to more than 100% – that is because multiple responses were provided for the same failures) 

What is conspicuously absent here is the main reasons for ALL business failures:- 


In today’s world people are in such a rush to commence their business that they forget a basic principle of life: To build anything that lasts you must first build a strong foundation.

For the entrepreneur, or wannabe entrepreneur that means stopping, listening, feeling and creating a step by step plan that builds the foundation BEFORE starting, building or buying a business.

And what is needed to build that foundation?

  1. Knowing where you are going
  2. Knowing where you are today
  3. Financial stability
  4. Relationship stability
  5. Health consciousness
  6. Education and skills
  7. Passions and beliefs
  8. Understanding where success can be found
  9. Product ideation
  10. Business type

Failure, and years of struggle await anyone who chooses to ignore any of these foundational steps. 

The picture above is a graphic representation of how the foundation is built.

My book, Unleash Your Inner Entrepreneur (available from Amazon or my website) goes into great detail on each of these areas. After reading it, you will understand exactly what you need to do to reduce the risks associated with owning your business. 

If you don’t have time to read the book (or just plain don’t want to), and are anxious to get started today, my program “Get Unleashed” will have you ready in 90 days or less if you do the work. 

Success never comes easy…but failure sure does. Which would you prefer?

You may be wondering who I am and how I can claim to prepare you for entrepreneurship in just 90 days. Right? 

How does 40 years of business experience sound for a start? I am not some wannabe business guru that has read a couple of books and knows it all. I have literally “been there, done that”! From small private companies to multinational public companies, I have seen them all. 

How does being at the forefront of not 1, not 2, but 3 brand new industries that didn’t exist when I was born sound? You will find details in Unleash Your Inner Entrepreneur. 

How does owning and exiting several of my own businesses sound? Yep…done that too. 

Who would you rather get advice from when needing brain surgery? Someone who has read a few books on brain surgery, or a brain surgeon who has done hundreds or thousands of operations? 

Yup, thought so.  

If you are serious about going into business for yourself, I am serious about helping you do exactly that… 

But not just any business…

The perfect business for you. A business with purpose. A business that is driven by your passion. Your business that makes a difference in people’s lives.

Are you ready? 

You could schedule a free and no obligation chat with me here…

No webinars. No sales pitch. Just a chat, ok?

Please don’t become a statistic.

You’re fired!

Two small words that hit you like a sucker punch to the guts… 

Your bowels tremble, your normally creative mind slows down to a stop, desperately trying to understand what is happening… 

You want to know why… why you? Why is this happening?

Thoughts start to tumble through your brain, each one worse than the one before….

What do I tell my husband/wife?

How will I pay the bills?

What will my friends think?

What do I do now?

If this is you, or you think it could one day be you (remember, everybody hears those words at some stage in their career – unless they work for themselves)….

…then there are a few things you should do immediately upon hearing those words (in whatever form they take)…

  1. Hold your head up high, do not plead or bargain to keep your job…the decision has been made, and it does not matter if it is right or wrong, good or bad. It is done. Your job is to accept the reality, no matter how hard that is.
  2. Do not sign anything. You no longer work there, and are not required to sign anything on the spot. Simply decline to sign and ask to take a copy of any documents with you so that you can review them.
  3. Do not agree to anything, but do take notes of what has been said. As soon as possible write a summary of the meeting, sign and date and keep for your records.
  4. Leave the premises quietly. It is usual for you to not be permitted to say goodbye to your co-workers, and there are logical reasons for this. Simply pack up your belongings, or ask that they be forwarded to you and leave.
  5. Make sure all company owned equipment is returned as soon as possible. Ask for a receipt confirming the return.
  6. As soon as possible, sign up for unemployment benefits to start the clock running for your first check.

There are many other steps that you will need to think about quickly…

What do you say to friends? Colleagues? Family?

How do you manage those self destructive thoughts that enter your head?

Now that you have all the employer related stuff under control, what do you do next?

For a mini-course on how to get back your mojo after being fired, and what to do in what order…sign up for my free email mini-course here:

The end of your job is not the end of your life…it may just be the beginning!

Who is Randy Baker

The best thing I did was throw out the blue suit…

When I worked with big 2 accounting firm, KPMG, in my twenties, everyone wore a blue suit.

No exaggeration necessary; literally everyone and their brother was dressed in navy blue (sometimes with pin stripes).

Looking back, I’m amazed at my own audacity, but amongst the blue suit brigade that was KPMG, I made my own way. I had long hair, an always-loosened tie, and never wore blue.

Was I a rebel…

Was I just a nonconformist…?

Did I just hate blue?

Even now I can’t answer that question – after all, who knows what someone in their 20s actually thinks? Right?

But here’s how I made my way:

  • I learned that working smart was better than working hard.
  • I learned that fairly valuing my contribution was more important than selling my skills for pennies.
  • I learned that asking for what you want is the only way to get it
  • I learned that I always have a choice.

My clients were a diverse range of public and private clients. Some were interesting … most were not.

And London was awash with “wannabe” businessmen, pursuing their dreams in an endless army of blue suits.

My stint in the London office allowed me to pursue my passion for travel while honing my skills in M&A, corporate divestitures, and forensic accounting.

Upon returning to Australia, the allure professional accounting had once held was now wearing thin.

But I was able to hone my analytical thinking.

I began to step into my career as a change agent when the blue suits tired of me, and I tired of the suits.

What had been a fast-flowing river at KPMG literally dried up, and it was time to move on. I will be forever thankful for that day, as it was the beginning of parlaying my education and experience into a career that has built businesses, driven success, and in some ways, created entire new industries.

My early work experience gave me the technical skills on which to build a career, but personal style, fearlessness and self-belief are what have made my career great.

In looking back to my post-disco years with KPMG, I realize that there are a few strong themes here.

 Let’s call them life lessons:

  • You need a bag of skills, knowledge and experience in order to find your own way.
  • Conformity is never the way to go.
  • Opportunity is what you find when things don’t seem to be going right; you find a way.

What do I suggest now?

Throw away your blue suit.

It could be the start of a greater journey than you ever imagined!

Are you really a CEO?

Are you CEO of your own business?

Are you the CEO he wants to be?

Or are you just the solopreneur struggling to grow…

Working too hard…

Doing everything…

Not making enough money?

It’s not your fault…

You probably haven’t been told the secrets of top CEO’s…

So I’m gonna give you a few of them here….

CEO’s have what is called executive presence – that is not a function of how they stand, or how they command a room… it is made up of 6 different factors:-

  1. Emotional Quotient – how they manage their emotions
  2. Communication – how authentic they are
  3. Taking responsibility – not finding blame
  4. Curiosity – always questioning and looking for better ways to achieve the objective
  5. Commitment – staying focused and doing what they say they will do
  6. Coaching – helping others achieve success

CEO’s have learned healthy habits that positively impact:


2. Relationships

3. Health

5. Education

5. Beliefs

 CEO’s have a daily routine which includes exercise, motivation, and quiet “thinking” time.

 CEO’s work “ON” and not “IN’ their business.

 CEO’s think about money differently. It is not earned and not a reward… it is simply a tool.

 CEO’s know their numbers.

 CEO’s create operational plans to execute to meet their objectives.

 CEO’s have daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly objectives that they refer to each day.

CEO’s pull the levers that grow the business, not the levers that stifle it.

 CEO’s believe they can achieve what they set out to do.

 If you want to grow your business, even if you are a solopreneur, you must first learn to be an effective CEO.

Simple as that.