Entrepreneur Packbands

New Year, New Gig: Packbands

Packbands Bundle Package

As 2018 launches, so does Packbands, a new company and new product that my son, Pete Evenson, and I have co-founded (and co-created).


Those who know me, follow me, have worked with me or read my content are probably aware that I’ve always liked having a few irons in the fire. Being an entrepreneur for years (having started, marketed and sold several companies), and branding and marketing many small businesses, there’s always a curiosity about what’s next.


Packbands is what’s next. Packbands are stretchy, adjustable straps used to manage cables and cords, contain rolled clothing for travel, attach items to a backpack, purse or stroller, secure fitness and outdoor equipment…we think the list (at least at this point), is endless. And we hope, through our sales and marketing efforts, Packbands will become indispensable for many!

Tangled extension cord side by side with cord managed with Packband


The process of coming up with an idea and then actually executing (the hard part), has been going on for about a year. It has been challenging, instructive and overall, extremely satisfying. From a personal standpoint, the fact that Packbands is a family business is the best part. If you’d like to read more about the concept to development to manufacturing process, please read the post: Packbands: From Idea to Reality. 


Our first shipment of Packbands (one packaged bundle includes three bands: 9″, 12″ and 15″) has just arrived. You can find out more about the product by visiting our website. Want to see how Packbands work? Please visit our Instagram and Facebook pages.


Think you’d like to try out Packbands? Sign up on our website and receive a discount offer via email.


Pete and I are excited about this new venture – we’d love to hear your feedback, ideas or questions. Have any connections you think we should speak with? Please be in touch!

Entrepreneur Startup

35 Signs You Might NOT Be an Entrepreneur

Not an Entrepreneur Checklist

by Martha Spelman

“That’s a great idea!” is a line we’ve all said. Sometimes to ourselves, sometimes to others and the best? Someone’s said it to us.

Many of us dream of being entrepreneurs. Taking that great idea and turning it into a business. Designing, building, and delivering. Reaping the adulation – and dollars – that come with success. This success comes with hard work and a savvy attitude. Embracing the business software offered by Vantiq would certainly make your life easier! But we may also tend to overlook the toll extracted by starting a truly successful business. Toiling for hours, days, weeks, months even years before seeing results. Taking big risks with money, time and sometimes, relationships. Think you’re cut out to be an entrepreneur? Many are but here are some signs you might want to stick to the day job. If these don’t put you off, contact astrsk to see how they can help you and your business to take off.

Signs you might not be able to hack the Entrepreneurial Life:

1. You have a day job — and like it that way. The thought of a night job, even working in your garage, just makes you tired.

2. You say you want your own business — but what you really want are your own hours.

3. Your favorite pastime is idea-generation — in fact you come up with new ones all the time. But when it comes to “executing”…not so much.

4. You don’t subscribe to the Edison adage: “Success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration” — because you really prefer not to sweat.

5. Friends would probably label you risk-averse — take a chance? “Um, no thank you. I’ll keep my money in the mattress,” you say.

6. “My job is okay — it pays the bills, I don’t have to work overtime and I’m home every night for dinner.” Sound familiar?

7. You’ve just told someone your latest idea and they hated it. Your response, “Yeah, you’re probably right.”

8. Sacrificing is something you want to give up.

9. You’d rather play a sport, party, go out, get together with friends, read, watch TV, take out the trash — hey, do almost anything — instead of working on your idea.

10. Write a business plan? Create a marketing strategy? Define the ideal customer for your new idea? Ugh, that just sounds soooo boring.

11. When the going gets tough, you get going…home.

12. You clearly see world domination in your future. In fact, every week it seems you have new worlds to conquer.

13. You own a pair — or two — of beer goggles. And wear them proudly.

14. Two things near and dear to you: a steady paycheck and an expense account.

15. In addition to talking about your new business, you’re writing a screenplay, training for a marathon, and planning on losing 30 pounds.

16. You like the title “Entrepreneur.” It’s the job description that turns you off.

17. You’re easily distracted. Focus is something a camera does.

18. Your idea of “friends and family financing” is how you pay the rent.

19. You think Kickstarter is how you get your motorcycle going.

20. “Sticktoitiveness.” You always forget what that means.

21. You know your limitations. They include Paris, London and Hawaii.

22. “Applying yourself,” in your lexicon, means changing jobs.

23. You’ve said: “Before I can start my new business, I need to take a few classes, listen to a lot of podcasts, learn how to program, score a GoPro, buy a new laptop, grow my hair out and get a cool workspace.”

24. You are worried about what to do with all the money you’re going to make.

25. “Business meeting” is code for “nap.”

26. You haven’t Googled these idioms: Rolling up your shirtsleeves. In the trenches. Elbow grease. Nose to the grindstone. Buckling down. Getting hands dirty. And why should you?

27. You’re fine with wearing many hats if they all make you look good.

28. Favorite sayings: “It’ll just happen.” “Research, shmresearch.” “If I build it, they will come.”

29. Favorite foods? Coffee, coffee, coffee. Wait! Maybe you do have what it takes.

30. You live with your parents because then you can pocket your salary.

31. You’d like to “ship” your product. You just can’t find a box.

32. Dreaming big is so much more exciting than starting small.

32. You talk a good game. But the rules seem fuzzy.

33. You still have available credit on your Visa.

34. You acknowledge that the “devil is in the details.” But you’re not particularly religious.

35. Dinner is steak, mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, crème brulee and a bottle of $200 cabernet.

If none (or at least most) of the signs don’t ring a bell, being called “Entrepreneur” might truly be in your future (or you’ve already arrived)! Good luck to you and keep up the good fight.

Do you have any Signs You Might Not Be An Entrepreneur to add? Please comment below!

Calling all Entrepreneurs: Contact Martha. Martha Spelman is a Los Angeles-based business branding, marketing and strategy expert. She works with entrepreneurs to start and grow companies and is the author of The Cure for Blogophobia: How to Easily Create, Publish & Promote Your Business Blog.

Business Strategy Entrepreneur

Mind Your Own Business: 17 Tips for Entrepreneurs

Image: one bright light bulb among others

by Martha Spelman

Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes. They may differ by age, gender, financial resources, work backgrounds or skillsets. But all entrepreneurs have several unifying traits: they believe in the core idea, are risk-takers, and are willing to work hard. That can be the combination for a rousing success. True entrepreneurs don’t have a choice; they just have to do it; they just have to try. There are lots of things that can put you off taking that leap but it’s important to remember that there is plenty of help out there such as Managed IT Support.

I’ve been an entrepreneur for years. I’ve started, run, marketed and sold businesses and I’ve consulted with many more entrepreneurs along the way. Choosing the right marketing strategies is amongst the hardest parts of the business. Learning how ringless voicemail works may help you decide if this is right for your business. Whether you’re a brand new entrepreneur or one with years of experience, these tips should be of value.

Valuable Tips for Entrepreneurs

1. Coming up with an idea is the most fun; executing it…not so much. The idea is about 1% of the overall business but execution is about 99%. In other words, the day to day work is where success lies.

2. Most people just think about how great their idea is. They don’t think about how they will let people know about their great idea. Figure out how you’re going to market your business, and to whom (Who’s your audience?), before you spend too much time or money on your idea.

3. Take criticism. Talk to people about your idea, show them what it does or how it works. Listen to what they have to say. You will not like everything you hear, or incorporate all of the suggested changes, additions, deletions or comments, but it’s all valuable.

4. Being an entrepreneur is not a get-rich-quick-scheme. Most businesses are not overnight successes. The best way to succeed, and make money, is to work the business, everyday, for a long time. Even if your business is viable, you may not break even for three or four years. It may take even longer to show a profit.

5. You will be most successful operating a business that you like (or love!). Determine where your interests lie and what your passions are. Figure out a business that combines some or all of those. Making a lot of money should not be one of those things. Do something you can’t wait to do, and the money will come.

6. Always have a contingency plan. What if things go wrong…or right? Do you have the financial, strategic, operations or marketing plans in place to cover what happens if you have too little, or too much, business?

7. Strive to be as passionate about your business after 20 years as you were when you started. Continue to learn about your industry, set new goals, expand your brand and most of all, challenge yourself to grow, change and improve your business.

8. Do what you know. Use the knowledge, experience and expertise you’ve acquired to start your own business. Do what you know…but do it differently, more efficiently, more cost-effectively, more sustainably or in a way that will improve results. Reinvent a better wheel.

9. Brand from the beginning. Take time (at the start) to create a Mission Statement, a Vision Statement, a Positioning Statement and a Core Values Statement. If you lose your way, these can get you back on the right track.

10. Offer something no one else does. Become the undisputed heavyweight in your field or design the widget with “wow!”.

11. Work like you’re getting paid. Get up every day and put the hours in — whether someone’s paying you or not. Make the time…back burner jobs don’t succeed.

12. Set goals for yourself and your business. Write them down. Be accountable to someone or to yourself.

13. Work backwards: decide where you want to be and then figure out the steps to get there.

14. We all have a favorite job; something we’d rather be doing. Don’t address just your favorite part of your business but be mindful of the operational, financial, marketing, and strategic plans that need to be in place to make your business a success. Need help and support establishing your strategic business plan? Head to The Alternative Board TAB website for a variety of useful business coaching tips.

15. Be realistic as to the size of business you want to create. A business you run by yourself may support your lifestyle as well as a business that employs a dozen people (and with a lot less stress). If possible, create a business that is scalable. It will take a while to become the global business you dream of running. When you do get there, it is essential that you utilise the help of services like CloudPay to manage payroll, letting you focus on the important aspects of your business instead.

16. Do it for the right reasons – not because you want to impress. Do whatever you do well and you’ll earn both personal satisfaction and the esteem of others.

17. Don’t quit. When you hit a wall and think, “I just can’t do this anymore,” keep going. My training as an endurance athlete taught me that when you doubt you can continue, when your brain says, “Stop!” is when you have to swim 10 more strokes, run 50 more steps or just bike to the top of the hill. By the time you’ve gone just a little further, the situation has probably changed and you’ll find can keep going.

Small business is the fastest growing sector in the United States and accounts for 54% of all sales in the US (Source: SBA). There are many reasons why the sector is growing so rapidly. But if you’re an entrepreneur, or would like to start your own business, you already know why. And if you’ve haven’t started yet, now is a good time.

Want to share some entrepreneur tips of your own? Please comment on this post.

Need help starting or re-starting your business? Martha can help. Martha Spelman is a Los Angeles-based branding and marketing expert. She is the author of The Cure for Blogophobia: How to Easily Create, Publish & Promote Your Business Blog and co-founder of Newzful, a content marketing services provider.