Author Archives: Ella Moshtag

About Ella Moshtag

MBA, with more than 15 years of proven experience in managing and supporting businesses by implementing and executing business planning, budgeting, marketing, and managerial reporting

The Theory of Self-Expansion in Business: The Importance of Confidence and Perception

As a business owner, I have observed a phenomenon that I believe has not been fully explored in the business world – the theory of self-expansion. This theory suggests that a person’s level of self-confidence and personal growth can have a significant impact on their business success.

I first became interested in this concept through a conversation with my friend’s husband, Luis, who owns a jewelry shop in San Francisco. Luis, who is short and petite, expressed his frustration with customers who would lie to him or treat him poorly because of his small stature. This sparked my curiosity, and I asked him if he thought customers’ behavior changed depending on the salesperson’s body size.

Luis confirmed that this was indeed the case. He had noticed that customers would never yell at his 6-foot-tall, 300-pound employee, but they would often shout at him, even though he was a skilled and experienced jeweler. I asked if he noticed this had an effect on his business growth. He admitted that he had never thought about it in those terms, but he believed that his business was not as successful as it could be because customers did not take him seriously due to his small stature.

This conversation made me wonder if other business owners had experienced similar challenges due to their physical appearance. I began researching successful business owners of all shapes and sizes and found many examples of people who had overcome their insecurities and used their unique qualities to their advantage.

I also started to consider how self-improvement courses and personal development could help business owners to boost their confidence and develop the skills and mindset needed to succeed in their industry. By investing in their own growth and development, business owners can learn how to overcome their insecurities and leverage their unique strengths and abilities to build better relationships with customers and grow their businesses.

For example, a short and petite jewelry shop owner like Luis could take a public speaking course to learn how to confidently communicate with customers and business partners. A plus-size clothing store owner could take a course in fashion design to gain more expertise in creating flattering and stylish clothing for people of all sizes.

I know that many people still do not believe in the important effect of meditation in their lives, but it’s worth giving it a try. In fact, I suggested to my friend Luis to try a specific meditation technique to help him overcome his struggle with customers treating him poorly due to his small stature. The technique involves finding a quiet place and sitting up straight, then focusing on your breath. After a few deep breaths with awareness, close your eyes and see yourself from the eyes of someone else. See that you are sitting and meditating, and try to look into your details like the color of your clothes and your hair. Then, see yourself growing, expanding, and getting bigger and bigger, feeling yourself in a huge body. Imagine that as you get bigger and bigger, the room that you are sitting in is getting smaller and smaller. Finally, take your attention one more time to yourself from the eyes of someone else, seeing how big you’ve become, so big that you need to tilt your head up to look at yourself. After doing this meditation for at least 15 minutes per day each day, Luis noticed a significant improvement in how customers treated him and took him seriously as a skilled jeweler and business owner.

Ultimately, by investing in their own personal growth and development, business owners can not only improve their own confidence and self-esteem but also enhance their reputation and credibility in the eyes of their customers. This can lead to increased customer loyalty, positive word-of-mouth marketing, and ultimately, greater business success.

If you are interested in this subject I have a few books to suggest:

  • The Power of Perception: Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, and the Gender Divide” by Shawn Andrews and Lauren Bossio
  • The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know” by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
  • Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges” by Amy Cuddy

Surviving a Recession: How Small Businesses Can Survive and Thrive During Economic Downturns

The United States has experienced several recessions throughout its history, with the most recent one being the Great Recession that began in 2008. During this time, the economy suffered a significant downturn, and many small businesses struggled to survive.

During the Great Recession, small businesses faced a number of challenges, including reduced access to credit, declining sales, and increased competition from larger businesses. Many small businesses were forced to close their doors or cut back on staff to stay afloat. This had a ripple effect on local economies, as small businesses are a significant source of employment and economic activity.

It is important for small businesses to be prepared for another recession, as economic downturns are a natural part of the business cycle. Small businesses can take steps to mitigate the impact of a recession, such as maintaining cash reserves, diversifying revenue streams, controlling costs, and seeking out assistance. By doing so, they can improve their resilience and ability to weather a downturn.

In addition, small businesses have several advantages that can help them during an economic downturn. One of the key advantages is flexibility. Small businesses can be more agile and adaptable than larger entities, allowing them to pivot their business models or adjust their strategies quickly in response to changing market conditions. This can help them to stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive.

Another advantage that small businesses have is personalized service. Small businesses can offer a more personalized and customized level of service to their customers, which can help to build customer loyalty and differentiate them from larger competitors. This can be especially important during a recession, when consumers may be more selective in their purchasing decisions.

Small businesses also have strong community ties. They are often deeply embedded in their local communities, which can help to create a strong customer base and a supportive network of suppliers and partners. This can be especially important during tough economic times, when communities may rally around local businesses to keep them afloat.

Lower overhead costs are another advantage that small businesses have. They often have lower overhead costs than larger entities, which can help to preserve cash flow and profitability during tough times. This can give small businesses an edge in terms of pricing and competitiveness.

Finally, innovation is a key advantage of small businesses. They are often at the forefront of innovation, developing new products or services and finding new ways to meet customer needs. This can help them to stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive during a recession.

These resources can help and offer advice on how to get through these challenging times if you are a business owner or you know small enterprises that need to keep aware and ready for potential economic downturns.

  1. The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides resources and support for small businesses, including information on disaster preparedness and recovery:
  2. SCORE is a nonprofit organization that provides free mentoring and resources for small businesses:
  3. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) offers resources and advice for small businesses facing economic challenges:
  4. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce provides guidance and support for small businesses during economic downturns:
  5. The Wall Street Journal’s Small Business section offers news and advice for small business owners:
  6. The Harvard Business Review has a range of articles on small business strategy and management, including during times of economic uncertainty:

These books offer a range of insights and strategies for small business owners looking to prepare for and navigate economic downturns, and may be helpful for those seeking guidance and inspiration.

  • “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries – While not specifically about economic downturns, this book provides guidance on building a resilient and adaptable business that can weather uncertainty and change.
  • The E-Myth Revisited” by Michael E. Gerber – This book offers insights on how to build a successful small business, including tips on preparing for and managing economic downturns.
  • Small Business Survival Book” by Barbara Weltman – This book provides practical advice and strategies for small business owners facing challenging economic conditions.
  • The Art of Possibility” by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander – This book offers a fresh perspective on how to approach challenges and navigate uncertainty in business and in life.
  • Crush It!: Why Now Is the Time to Cash in on Your Passion” by Gary Vaynerchuk – This book provides advice on how to build a successful personal brand and leverage digital media to grow a business, even during tough economic times.

Bridging the Gender Gap in Entrepreneurship: How to Support Women-Owned Small Businesses

As a woman, International Women’s Day holds a special place in my heart. It’s a day to celebrate the incredible achievements of women and to recognize the unique challenges that we face. One way to celebrate Women’s Day is by supporting women-owned small businesses.

As a female entrepreneur myself, I know firsthand the obstacles that women face when starting and growing a business. Funding, mentorship, and networking opportunities are often harder to come by for women entrepreneurs. Despite these challenges, women-owned businesses are on the rise, and they are making a significant impact on the economy.

According to a study by American Express, there are now over 12 million women-owned businesses in the United States, generating over $1.8 trillion in revenue and employing over 9 million people. Women entrepreneurs bring a unique perspective and approach to business, often driven by a desire to create positive change and make a difference in their communities. They also tend to prioritize work-life balance and build businesses that align with their values.

So, how can we support women-owned small businesses? As a consumer, one way to show support is by shopping at women-owned businesses and promoting them on social media. By buying from women-owned businesses, we can help to grow their customer base and provide them with the resources they need to succeed. As a fellow entrepreneur, I believe that mentorship and support are also key to helping women entrepreneurs succeed. By sharing our knowledge and experience, we can help bridge the gender gap in entrepreneurship.

Finally, we can advocate for policies that support women-owned businesses, such as increased funding for small business loans and grants and increased access to resources and support. As a woman, I believe it’s our responsibility to work together to create a more equitable and inclusive economy that benefits everyone.

Here are a few links to resources and organizations that support women-owned small businesses:

  1. National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO): NAWBO is a membership organization that provides resources and support to women entrepreneurs. They offer networking opportunities, mentorship programs, and advocacy for policies that support women-owned businesses.
  2. Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC): WBENC is a certification organization that helps women-owned businesses gain access to contracts and opportunities with corporations and government agencies. They offer a range of certification programs and resources to help women entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
  3. Women’s Business Centers (WBCs): The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) sponsors a network of Women’s Business Centers across the country that provide training, counseling, and resources to women entrepreneurs. They offer workshops and one-on-one coaching to help women-owned businesses start and grow.
  4. American Express Shop Small Map: American Express has a Shop Small Map that allows consumers to search for and find small businesses in their area, including women-owned businesses. This is a great resource for finding and supporting local women entrepreneurs.
  5. Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi): We-Fi is a global partnership that provides funding and support to women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries. They offer a range of financing and technical assistance programs to help women entrepreneurs access the resources they need to succeed.

The Secret Sauce to Affiliate Marketing: A Recipe for Success

Finding Your Niche: Identifying Profitable Products for Promotion

Finding a good niche is crucial for affiliate marketers because it allows them to target a specific audience and offer products that meet their needs and preferences. A niche can be a specific product category, a demographic, a geographic location, or a particular interest or hobby. By narrowing down their focus, affiliate marketers can differentiate themselves from their competitors, increase their conversion rates, and build a loyal following of customers.

While there is an element of luck involved in identifying gaps in the market, there are also some strategies you can use to increase your chances of success. Here are a few ways to identify gaps in the market:

  1. Research your competitors: Look at what other businesses in your industry are offering and see if there are any areas they are neglecting. Look for complaints or frustrations customers have with existing products or services, and see if you can provide a solution.
  2. Conduct customer research: Talk to your target audience and find out what their pain points and needs are. Ask them what they wish they could find in the market and what they would be willing to pay for.
  3. Follow industry trends: Keep up to date with industry news and developments, and look for emerging trends or gaps in the market that you can capitalize on.
  4. Look for opportunities in underserved markets: Consider targeting niche markets or underserved demographics that are often overlooked by larger businesses.
  5. Experiment and test: Try out new ideas and products and see how they resonate with your audience. If you have an existing customer base, ask for their feedback and suggestions for new products or services.

Remember, identifying gaps in the market is an ongoing process, and it may take some trial and error to find the right opportunity. But with persistence and a willingness to adapt and experiment, you can increase your chances of success and find a profitable niche in the market.

Plan to Succeed: Building a Solid Business Foundation for Lasting Growth

For those looking to start an affiliate marketing business, I recommend a four-step planning approach. Each stage should be executed over the course of one month to ensure thoroughness and effectiveness.

During the first stage, spend one-month conducting research. This includes identifying potential affiliate products or services to promote, researching your target audience and competitors, and developing your branding and marketing strategies.

Once the research is complete, move on to the second stage, which focuses on establishing your platform. Spend one month setting up your website, social media accounts, and other marketing channels. Make sure your platform is user-friendly, visually appealing, and has clear calls to action that encourage visitors to click through and make purchases.

The third stage is the running phase, where you will actively promote your affiliate products and services to your audience. This stage should also last for one month, during which you will experiment with different marketing channels and strategies, and track your results carefully to identify areas for improvement.

Finally, after running your affiliate business for some time, it is important to take a step back and assess how things are going. Spend time researching and improving, making changes to your website, adjusting marketing strategies, or finding new products to promote based on metrics and customer feedback.

By following this three-step planning approach, affiliate marketers can lay the groundwork for a successful business and continuously improve and refine their strategies to achieve even greater success in the future.

Overall, this plan allows you to take a structured and strategic approach to launch your affiliate business, while also leaving room for flexibility and adaptation as you learn and grow. By committing to ongoing research and improvement, you can increase your chances of long-term success in the competitive world of affiliate marketing.

Invest in Your Future: Maximizing ROI and Growing Your Affiliate Business

The amount of initial investment required for starting an affiliate business can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including the platform you choose to use, the products you plan to promote, and your overall marketing strategy. Here are some steps you can take to estimate your initial investment:

  1. Determine your business model: Are you planning to start a blog, a YouTube channel, or another type of online platform? The cost of starting and maintaining each of these will vary.
  2. Research affiliate programs: Look at the affiliate programs you plan to join and determine whether there are any upfront costs or ongoing fees. Some programs may require payment to join, while others are free.
  3. Consider website costs: If you plan to start a website, consider the cost of domain registration, hosting, and web design.
  4. Determine your marketing budget: Consider how much you plan to spend on paid advertising, social media promotion, and other marketing efforts.
  5. Estimate other costs: Don’t forget to factor in the cost of tools and software you may need, as well as any legal or accounting fees.

Once you have a sense of these costs, you can create a budget and estimate your initial investment. Remember, the costs of starting an affiliate business can add up quickly, so it’s important to plan carefully and be prepared to invest both time and money into building your business.


In conclusion, affiliate marketing can be a lucrative business venture if approached strategically. By identifying a profitable niche product and developing a detailed plan for success, affiliate marketers can build a strong foundation for growth and profitability. This includes investing in their business and continuously researching and refining their strategies to stay ahead of the competition. By taking a thoughtful and deliberate approach, aspiring affiliate marketers can unlock the secret sauce to success and achieve their financial goals in this highly competitive industry.

Mastering Affiliate Marketing Metrics

How to Track, Analyze, and Optimize Your Performance for Maximum Results

As with any type of marketing campaign, measuring and tracking your results is essential for success in affiliate marketing. By monitoring your performance, you can identify what’s working well and what needs improvement, allowing you to refine your strategies and optimize your campaigns over time. In this response, I’ll go into more detail about why tracking your results is important in affiliate marketing, and provide some tips for how to do it effectively.

Why Tracking Your Results is Important in Affiliate Marketing

There are several reasons why tracking your results is crucial in affiliate marketing:

  1. It helps you identify which products are most profitable: By tracking your performance, you can see which products are generating the most clicks and sales, allowing you to focus your efforts on promoting those products.
  2. It allows you to refine your marketing strategies: By analyzing your data, you can see which marketing channels and tactics are most effective, and adjust your strategy accordingly.
  3. It helps you optimize your ROI: By tracking your costs and earnings, you can calculate your return on investment (ROI) for each campaign, allowing you to make informed decisions about where to allocate your resources.

When you’re running an affiliate marketing campaign, it’s important to measure your performance and track your results. To do this, you need to understand the key metrics that are used to measure the success of an affiliate marketing campaign. Here are some of the most important metrics to keep in mind:

  • Click-through rate (CTR): This is the percentage of people who click on your affiliate link after seeing it on your website or social media post. A higher CTR indicates that your audience is engaged and interested in the products you’re promoting.
  • Conversion rate: This is the percentage of people who click on your affiliate link and then make a purchase. A higher conversion rate indicates that your audience is not only interested in the products you’re promoting, but they are also taking action and making purchases.
  • Earnings per click (EPC): This is the average amount of money you earn each time someone clicks on your affiliate link. A higher EPC means that you’re earning more money per click, which can be a good indication of the quality of the products you’re promoting.
  • Average order value (AOV): This is the average amount of money that customers spend when they make a purchase through your affiliate link. A higher AOV means that your audience is buying more expensive products, which can lead to higher commissions for you.
  • Return on investment (ROI): This is the amount of money you earn from your affiliate marketing campaign compared to the amount of money you spend on advertising and other expenses. A higher ROI means that your campaign is generating a good return on your investment.

By tracking these metrics and using them to analyze your performance, you can make informed decisions about how to optimize your affiliate marketing campaigns and maximize your earnings.

Tips for Tracking Your Results in Affiliate Marketing

Now that we discussed a few metrics to consider while examining the success of your affiliate business, let’s see how effectively you can track your results in affiliate marketing:

  1. Use tracking tools: There are many tracking tools available that can help you monitor your performance, such as Google Analytics, ClickMeter, and Voluum. These tools allow you to track clicks, conversions, and other metrics, and provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your campaigns.
  2. Set up conversion tracking: Conversion tracking is essential for measuring the success of your affiliate marketing campaigns. Make sure you have conversion tracking set up on your website, so you can track when visitors take specific actions, such as making a purchase or filling out a form.
  3. Analyze your data regularly: Make it a habit to regularly review your data and analyze your results. Look for patterns and trends, and identify areas where you can make improvements.
  4. Experiment with different strategies: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different marketing channels and tactics. By testing different strategies, you can learn what works best for your audience and optimize your campaigns for maximum impact.

Tools and Resources:

  • Google Analytics: This is a free tool from Google that can help you track your website traffic and performance. You can use it to see how visitors are interacting with your site, which pages are most popular, and where your traffic is coming from.
  • ClickMeter: This is a paid tracking tool that allows you to monitor clicks, conversions, and other key metrics for your affiliate campaigns. It offers a range of features, including link tracking, conversion tracking, and A/B testing.
  • Voluum: This is another paid tracking tool that offers advanced analytics and optimization features. It allows you to track clicks, conversions, and revenue and provides real-time data and reporting.
  • Affiliate networks: Many affiliate networks provide their own tracking and reporting tools. For example, Amazon Associates offers detailed reporting on clicks, orders, and earnings, while CJ Affiliate provides analytics and insights on your performance.
  • A/B testing tools: A/B testing can help you optimize your landing pages and other elements of your affiliate campaigns. Tools like Optimizely, VWO, and Unbounce can help you run A/B tests and analyze your results.
  • Excel or Google Sheets: These spreadsheet tools can be used to create custom tracking and reporting templates for your affiliate campaigns. You can track metrics like clicks, conversions, and revenue, and create graphs and charts to visualize your data.

Cash Flow Management for Sole Proprietorships: Strategies for Success

Small businesses and sole-proprietorships typically rely more on cash on hand and liquidity than large companies. This is because small businesses often have fewer financial resources and are more vulnerable to cash flow issues. Cash in hand refers to the amount of cash that a business has readily available, while liquidity refers to a company’s ability to convert its assets into cash quickly.

Large companies often have access to a wider range of financing options, such as lines of credit, loans, and bonds, which allow them to manage their cash flow and invest in long-term growth opportunities. Small businesses and sole-proprietorships, on the other hand, may have limited access to financing and rely more on their existing cash reserves to fund their operations and growth.

In addition, small businesses and sole-proprietorships may have less predictable cashflows than larger companies, which can make it challenging to manage their liquidity. They may also face more difficulty in obtaining credit or financing, which can further restrict their access to cash.

Money controlling and budgeting are related concepts but they have different implications for small businesses. Money control involves monitoring and managing the cash flow of a business to ensure that there is enough cash available to meet the needs of the business. This includes tracking revenue and expenses, managing accounts receivable and payable, and forecasting cash flow needs. Money control is important for all businesses, regardless of their size, as it ensures that the business has the resources it needs to operate and grow.

Budgeting, on the other hand, involves creating a plan for how a business will allocate its financial resources over a specific period of time. Budgets typically include revenue and expense projections, as well as estimates for capital expenditures and other investments. Budgeting is important for small businesses as it helps them to plan for the future, allocate resources effectively, and make informed financial decisions.

While money control and budgeting are both important for small businesses, they have different focuses. Money control is focused on managing cash flow in the short term, while budgeting is focused on planning for the long term. Both are necessary for the success of a small business, and they should be done in conjunction with each other to ensure that the business is financially stable and able to grow over time.

Let’s consider a sole-proprietorship fitness coaching business as an example. A fitness coaching business can use the knowledge of money control, cash flow management, and budgeting to their benefit in several ways:

  • Control spending: By creating a budget, a fitness coaching business can control their spending and avoid overspending on unnecessary expenses. For example, they may decide to limit their spending on marketing or equipment until they have a steady client base and steady cash flow.
  • Monitor cash flow: By regularly tracking cash inflows and outflows, a fitness coaching business can ensure they have enough cash on hand to cover expenses and make strategic investments in their business. For example, they may choose to invest in new equipment or expand their business by hiring additional trainers when their cash flow allows for it.
  • Manage receivables and payables: A fitness coaching business can use their knowledge of cash flow management to manage their receivables (money owed to them by clients) and payables (money owed to vendors or suppliers). By tracking these transactions, they can ensure that they are receiving payments on time and paying their bills on time, which can help them avoid cash flow problems.
  • Build cash reserves: By prioritizing liquidity and building up cash reserves, a fitness coaching business can weather unexpected expenses or temporary decreases in cash inflows. They can also use these reserves to invest in growth opportunities when they arise.

In this example, the knowledge of money control, cash flow management, and budgeting can help a fitness coaching business make informed financial decisions, maintain a healthy cash position, and plan for long-term growth and sustainability.

Here’s a basic cash flow template for a sole-proprietorship fitness coaching business:

Cash Inflows:

  1. Personal Training Sessions
  2. Group Fitness Classes
  3. Online Coaching Programs
  4. Corporate Wellness Programs
  5. Other Income (e.g., merchandise sales)

Cash Outflows:

  1. Rent and Utilities
  2. Equipment and Supplies
  3. Marketing and Advertising Expenses
  4. Professional Fees (e.g., legal or accounting services)
  5. Insurance Premiums
  6. Taxes
  7. Other Business Expenses (e.g., software subscriptions, website hosting)

Starting Balance: This is the amount of cash on hand at the beginning of the month or period you are tracking.

Ending Balance: This is the amount of cash on hand at the end of the month or period you are tracking.

To use this template, you would list all of your cash inflows and outflows for the period you are tracking (e.g., month, quarter, year) and calculate the net cash flow for that period. This will help you track your business’s cash position over time and make informed financial decisions.

When preparing a cash flow statement for a sole-proprietorship fitness coaching business, there are several important factors to consider in addition to the cash inflows and outflows. These factors include:

  1. Timing of cash flows: It is important to accurately time the cash inflows and outflows to ensure that the cash flow statement reflects the actual timing of transactions. For example, if you invoice a client for a personal training session but do not receive payment until the following month, the cash flow statement should reflect the payment in the month it is received.
  2. Seasonality: Some fitness coaching businesses may experience seasonal fluctuations in cash inflows and outflows. For example, if you offer outdoor fitness classes, your cash inflows may decrease during the winter months. It is important to account for these seasonal fluctuations when preparing the cash flow statement.
  3. Accounts receivable and accounts payable: If your business extends credit to clients or receives credit from vendors, you will need to account for accounts receivable and accounts payable in your cash flow statement. This will help you accurately track the timing of cash inflows and outflows.
  4. Investments and financing: If you plan to invest in new equipment or seek financing for your business, you will need to account for these transactions in your cash flow statement. This will help you understand the impact of these investments on your cash position and plan accordingly.
  5. Cash reserves: It is important to maintain adequate cash reserves to ensure that your business can continue to operate in the event of unexpected expenses or a temporary decrease in cash inflows. Your cash flow statement should reflect any cash reserves that you have set aside.


In conclusion, small businesses, including sole proprietorships such as fitness coaching businesses, must prioritize effective money control, cash flow management, and budgeting to achieve financial success and sustainability. By controlling spending, monitoring cash inflows and outflows, and managing accounts receivable and payable, small businesses can ensure they have enough cash on hand to cover expenses and make strategic investments in their business. They can also use cash flow projections to plan for future expenses and opportunities, and build up cash reserves to weather unexpected expenses or temporary decreases in cash inflows. By using these financial tools and strategies to their benefit, small businesses can make informed financial decisions and plan for long-term growth and sustainability. Ultimately, effective money control and cash flow management are essential for small businesses to achieve financial stability, growth, and success in today’s competitive business environment.

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Small Business, Big Dreams: How to Make Your Vision a Reality


For many individuals, starting a small business is a dream that’s often held back by the fear of competition and rejection. Over the years, I’ve encountered numerous friends and acquaintances with excellent business ideas, but they were hesitant to take the leap. The fear of failure is a significant factor that prevents many from pursuing their entrepreneurial aspirations. In particular, many people worry that their idea may not be unique or that there is too much competition in the market. However, it’s essential to remember that every successful business today has been built on an idea that has already existed in some form. The key is to identify a gap in the market and offer a unique approach to solving a problem or fulfilling a need. A new business doesn’t have to be completely novel; it can simply provide a different spin on an existing concept.

To overcome the fear of competition, one must conduct thorough research on the industry and its competitors. This involves identifying the key players in the market and analyzing their strengths and weaknesses. This research will help to identify what makes the business unique and how it can stand out from the competition.

One must also consider the target audience and their needs. Understanding the customer’s pain points and creating a product or service that caters to those needs is crucial. Once a unique value proposition is identified, the business can focus on marketing its product or service to attract the right customers.

Another fear that often holds people back from starting their own business is the fear of rejection. This fear stems from the belief that people may not want to buy from them or that they may not be able to convince people of the value of their product or service. This fear can be overcome by building confidence and developing strong communication skills.

Networking is a crucial aspect of developing a thriving business. Attending industry events, participating in online communities, and meeting with potential customers can bolster confidence and offer valuable feedback on business ideas. Practicing presenting the business concept to friends and family members can help refine the pitch and make it more effective. While rejection is an inevitable aspect of the business world, it’s critical to stay optimistic and persevere. It’s normal for not everyone to be interested in the product or service, and that’s okay. It’s important to remember that failure is a natural part of the entrepreneurial journey, and it’s through setbacks that we learn and grow.

Another factor that often holds people back from starting their small businesses is the risk of losing money and time. Starting a business requires a significant investment of both time and resources, and the possibility of failure can be daunting. However, it’s important to remember that taking calculated risks is a necessary part of entrepreneurship. While there are no guarantees of success, conducting thorough research and developing a solid business plan can help mitigate some of the risks involved. It’s also important to have a realistic understanding of the financial and time commitments required to start and grow a business.

Some might say that small businesses cannot succeed because gigantic companies eat them alive; it is true that in the past, large corporations have been able to use their size and resources to dominate smaller businesses. However, the rise of digital technology and the internet has leveled the playing field to a certain extent. Small businesses can now compete with larger corporations by leveraging online marketing and social media platforms. Moreover, there is a growing consumer demand for authentic and unique products and services that cannot be easily replicated by larger corporations. This has created opportunities for small businesses to thrive and cater to niche markets.

Finally, I would like to emphasize the importance of AI in today’s business world. AI provides small businesses with the ability to leverage technology and enhance their services to compete with larger companies. By using AI, small businesses can streamline their operations, automate repetitive tasks, and make more informed business decisions through data analysis. For instance, chatbots powered by AI can enable small businesses to provide 24/7 customer service and support without requiring additional human resources. AI can also help small businesses analyze customer data to understand their preferences and needs and offer personalized recommendations and promotions.

AI can help small businesses optimize their marketing campaigns and reach new customers through targeted advertising and predictive analytics. This can help small businesses increase their visibility and compete with larger companies in the market.

In a nutshell, starting a small business can be daunting, and factors like the fear of wasting money and time or competing with large corporations can be overwhelming. However, with some calculated risks, a tech-savvy approach, and a unique value proposition, anyone can overcome these hurdles. Remember, you don’t have to do it alone; there are support networks, resources, and mentors available to guide you through the journey. With the right mindset, approach, and a sprinkle of determination, you can turn your small business idea into a flourishing venture.

How to Change Passive Learners to Active Thinkers

Embracing a Curiosity-Driven Approach to Education

A Wiseman said, “never explain things to people without them first asking you.”1

I agree with it because this statement is usually interpreted to mean that you should not force unsolicited advice or explanations onto people. Instead, you should wait for them to ask questions or seek your input before sharing your knowledge or opinions.

There are a few reasons why this approach can be beneficial. First, when someone asks you for an explanation or advice, it shows that they are interested and engaged in the conversation. They are more likely to be receptive to what you have to say and to remember it better.

Second, when you offer unsolicited explanations, it can come across as patronizing or condescending, especially if the person already knows or understands the information. This can create tension or resentment in the relationship.

Finally, waiting for someone to ask for your input allows them to take ownership of the conversation or situation. They are more likely to feel empowered and confident in their decision-making if they have actively sought out advice or explanations.

A good teacher can use the advice of “never explain things to people without them first asking you” in their teaching method by fostering a culture of curiosity and inquiry in the classroom. By creating a classroom environment that values curiosity and inquiry, teachers can encourage students to ask questions and engage more deeply with the material. When students feel empowered to ask questions and challenge ideas, they are more likely to retain information and develop critical thinking skills. Here are some tips:

  • Make it clear that you welcome questions and that there are no stupid questions. Encourage students to ask for clarification or to challenge their ideas.
  • Rather than giving students all the answers, use open-ended questions to prompt them to think critically and engage with the material. For example, instead of asking “What is the capital of France?” ask “Why do you think Paris is an important city in Europe?”
  • Use real-world examples and case studies to make the material more relevant and engaging for students. Encourage students to apply the concepts they are learning to real-life situations and to ask questions about how the material applies to their own lives.
  • Use group discussions and debates to encourage students to engage with each other and to ask questions. Encourage students to challenge each other’s ideas and to ask follow-up questions to deepen their understanding.
  • When students do ask questions, provide them with thoughtful and constructive feedback. This can help to build their confidence and to encourage them to ask more questions in the future.

By creating a classroom environment that values curiosity and inquiry, teachers can encourage students to ask questions and engage more deeply with the material. When students feel empowered to ask questions and challenge ideas, they are more likely to retain information and develop critical thinking skills.

If you are interested in this subject like me, I encourage you to dig into the following resources:

Center for Curiosity: The Center for Curiosity is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to advancing the understanding and application of curiosity in all areas of life, including education. Their website includes resources and tools for educators on how to promote curiosity in the classroom.

Edutopia: Edutopia is a website that provides resources and tools for educators on a wide range of topics, including how to promote curiosity in the classroom. Their website includes articles, videos, and other resources on how to create a classroom environment that values curiosity.

The Foundation of Critical Thinking: is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to promoting critical thinking skills in education and society. Their website includes resources and tools for educators on how to teach critical thinking skills in the classroom.

TeachThought: Teach Thought is a website that provides resources and tools for educators on a wide range of topics, including how to improve critical thinking skills. Their website includes articles, videos, and other resources on how to teach critical thinking skills in the classroom.

Also, there are many books that can help you enjoy teaching even more:

  • The Power of Questioning: Opening Up the World of Student Inquiry” by Starr Sackstein
  • The Power of Curiosity: How to Have Real Conversations That Create Collaboration, Innovation and Understanding” by Kathy Taberner and Kirsten Taberner Siggins
  • “Curiosity: The Fuel That Drives Learning” by Bryan Goodwin and Tonia Gibson
  • “Teaching for Curiosity: Fostering Students’ Own Questions” by William F. McComas
  • “The Curious Classroom: 10 Structures for Teaching with Student-Directed Inquiry” by Harvey “Smokey” Daniels
  • Inquiry Mindset: Nurturing the Dreams, Wonders, and Curiosities of Our Youngest Learners” by Trevor MacKenzie and Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt
  • “The Big Book of Curiosity: Teaching for Curiosity in the Classroom” by Jim Stovall and Raymond Hull
  • “The Inquiry Approach to Science Teaching and Learning” by John L. Luft and Ronald A. Beghetto
  • “Empowering Students to Inquiry: Using the 5Es for Guided Inquiry Learning” by John D. Carpinelli and Heather L. Petcovic
  • “The Curiosity Manifesto: Creating a World Where People Ask Questions and Explore Freely” by G. Michael Maddock and Raphael Louis Vitón
  • Teach Like a PIRATE: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator” by Dave Burgess.


1 The quote “never explain things to people without them first asking you” is often attributed to Paulo Coelho, the Brazilian author, and philosopher, but it’s unclear if he ever actually said it. In fact, the origins of this quote are difficult to trace, and it’s possible that it was said by someone else entirely. Nevertheless, the sentiment behind the quote is widely recognized and has been echoed by many other thinkers and writers throughout history.

AI: Redefining the Way We Live and Work

Technological advancements in recent years have given rise to the development of artificial intelligence (AI), which has become a widely used and talked-about concept. While some people are wary of the potential impact of AI, I have always been a patinate believer in its ability to provide numerous benefits to society. My conviction in the potential of AI to transform our world was bolstered years ago when one of my close friends was part of the AI linguistics project at Sorbonne University in Paris. I was excited about the project’s potential to provide access to big data in one place, and I continue to believe in the values that AI can bring to our lives.

One significant benefit of AI is that it can make our lives more convenient and efficient. For example, personal assistants like Siri and Alexa can help us to manage our daily tasks, such as scheduling appointments, setting reminders, and playing music, among other things. Additionally, AI can be used in healthcare to help doctors and researchers to identify patterns in medical data, and to develop more effective treatments. AI can also be used in the transportation sector to improve traffic management and optimize routing and scheduling for public transportation systems.

Chat GPT also known as GPT is a large language model developed by OpenAI and it has been said that it is a leader in its field. When I asked Chat GPT “Why is Elon Musk Afraid of You?” it responded:

“As an AI language model, I don’t have a physical form or consciousness, and I don’t have the ability to cause harm or be feared. It’s possible that you are referring to the concerns that Elon Musk has expressed about the development and use of artificial intelligence in general. Musk has expressed concerns that AI could potentially become too powerful and eventually surpass human intelligence, potentially leading to a future where AI dominates humans. This has led him to advocate for responsible AI development and to support research into ensuring that AI is developed and used in an ethical and safe way. However, it’s important to note that his concerns are not specific to any particular AI system, including myself as a language model.”

It is clear that some people believe AI has the potential to take over the world and that it is being used for nefarious purposes. These conspiracy theories are often exaggerated or unfounded, but they continue to persist in popular culture. One such theory is that AI will eliminate many jobs and lead to widespread unemployment. While it’s true that some jobs may be replaced by AI, new jobs will also be created, and AI can help workers to be more efficient and productive in their work. 

Some other conspiracies about AI are: 

  • The AI agenda: This theory suggests that powerful individuals or organizations are using AI to further their agendas, whether that be to control the population, manipulate elections, or carry out other nefarious activities.
  • The AI deception: This theory proposes that AI is not what it appears to be and that it is actually being used for hidden purposes that are not in the best interests of humanity. Some people believe that AI is being used to collect personal data and monitor people’s behavior, without their knowledge or consent.
  • The AI singularity: This theory proposes that at some point in the future, AI will become so intelligent that it will be capable of improving itself at an exponential rate. This could lead to a rapid acceleration in AI development and an unpredictable future for humanity.

Despite all these horrifying theories, and as a consultant, I believe that small business owners can benefit greatly from using AI to improve their businesses. For example, AI can help business owners to analyze customer data and to identify patterns in customer behavior, which can inform business decisions. Additionally, AI can automate routine tasks and reduce the workload for business owners, which can free up time to focus on other aspects of the business.

For example, if you have an online teaching business you might think of the following ways of using AI to improve your business: 

  1. Data analysis: AI can analyze student performance data from past courses and provide insights on which topics and skills were most challenging for students. This can help teachers identify the areas that require more attention and tailor their course objectives accordingly.
  2. Natural language processing: AI can analyze textbooks, scholarly articles, and other sources of information on a given subject using natural language processing techniques. This can help teachers identify the most important concepts and skills to focus on in their course objectives.
  3. Personalized learning: AI can analyze student data and provide personalized learning experiences based on each student’s strengths and weaknesses. Teachers can use this information to adjust their course objectives to better meet the needs of individual students.
  4. Content creation: AI can help teachers create course materials, such as quizzes, exercises, and assessments, that are aligned with the course objectives. This can help ensure that students are learning what they need to meet the learning outcomes of the course.

I remain convinced that AI has the potential to provide numerous benefits to society. While some people may be wary of its impact, I believe that AI can help to make our lives more convenient, efficient, and productive. Small business owners can benefit from using AI to improve their business, and I hope to see more widespread adoption of this technology in the years to come.