This is a webinar on how to get an idea for a business and launch it. It includes four days of of video sessions and email-based course materials. You can purchase this workshop for anytime, on-demand access. The cost is $195.

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I’m giving a webinar on how to get an idea for a business and launch it. And, you’ll be pleased to know that I have never had a lot of money when I launched my businesses, so I’ll teach you how to launch a business the same way: with very little money.

I give lots of big speeches about entrepreneurship, but they are always closed to the public, so blog readers rarely hear them. Also, I do a lot of coaching sessions for entrepreneurs, evaluating their  ideas, getting them out of slumps, helping them raise money—all the stages of a business. And I keep thinking that so many of the calls are the same that I should do a webinar about the most frequent issues.

So the webinar will be one week long: October 15 – October 19. I’ll do a live video each day about how to launch your own business. At the end of each session I’ll take questions, and the last day will be all questions—you can ask me anything, live, and I’ll answer. If you miss any of the sessions, you can listen to the recording on your own schedule.

The cost of this webinar is $195. You can pay the fee via PayPal to penelope@penelopetrunk.com.  I’ll send you a confirmation and an introduction to the webinar which will include some fun initial reading and instructions for accessing the videos.

Download now!

Here are the topics we’ll cover: Read more

Last month I gave a speech at the Natural Products Expo in California, and I took my son with me. Everyone’s an entrepreneur in my family, and my son’s first thought was that this would be a good way to expand his egg business. He knows the eggs he gets from our chicken coop garner a high price from natural food types.

“This isn’t where you sell regular food,” I tell him. “This is more like a convention for processed natural food. People can charge more money for processing eggs than selling just the eggs.”

“Maybe someone can process my eggs,” he suggested. Read more

Melissa’s in China, which means I have to wake up at four in the morning to talk, which means we have no phone calls, and her emails are unsatisfyingly delayed.

I miss her. She is with Steven, who I think is buying her a ring.

How I decide where to focus my energy

Going to China with Steven was a good idea because men love being in a foreign country with a woman who can speak the language. It’s similar to how men enjoy when a girl wears a wig or even a new necklace to have sex—they can pretend they are with someone new.  (I read this in Cosmo, which is great for women with Asperger’s because it’s a rule book for dealing with men.) Read more

My son already has experience taking care of an animal and selling it. Last year, his 4-H project was pigs. He showed them, then he sold them, and we even went to the carcass show, which is where fifty people go into a meat freezer with a agriculture professor and find out why one kid’s carcass got a blue ribbon and one kid’s got a white ribbon.

If you guessed marbling, you guessed right. But the Farmer says this is an outdated way to look at meat. He says you get lots of marbling from feeding animals corn instead of letting them graze on the grass, but corn feed is like candy feed because there’s so little nutrition.

Okay. So even though we fundamentally disagree with the carcass show judging process, my son did take care of animals and then kill them, which is no small feat for a kid transplanted from New York City to rural Wisconsin. Read more

Sunday nights at our house are dinner with me, the kids, the Farmer and the Ex. They are always fun dinners, and I always feel very lucky for that.

My six-year-old talked about his new baby cousin, Eva (who is pictured, in utero, above). “She has a terrible name,” he said, “for Pig Latin. Its Vaeay. It doesn’t work.”

We all do the vowel arranging in our heads and agree, Eva is not a good Pig Latin name.

“Mom has a great name! It’s Enelopepay.”

The Farmer says, “It sounds like it could be the name of her next company.”

The Ex says, “Yeah, emphasis on the pay.”

The three adults laugh.

And then I get nervous. About what I’m going to do next. If you have had three companies, people assume you will have a fourth. So I assume that, too. Which makes me nervous. Read more

This post is cross-posted at TechCrunch.

We need to get more guys who are running tech startups to decide instead to be stay-at-home dads.

What do you think of that? Stupid, right? That’s what it sounds like when anyone suggests that we need to get more women doing startups.

If you are worried that women don’t feel capable of doing whatever they want, you can stop worrying. Women outperform men in school at such a huge rate that it’s easier to get into college as a male than a female. And women take that to the bank by earning more than men in their 20s. Women would probably continue out-earning men except that when men and women have kids, women choose to downshift way more often than men do.

Clearly, women have a choice. There are plenty of opportunities out there for women if the women would just continue working in their 30s the same way they did in their 20s. So clearly, women don’t want to. Women are choosing children over startups. Read more

Brazen Careerist is my third startup. People ask me all the time why I gave up my position as CEO. If you knew what startup life was really like, you would ask me why I was CEO for as long as I was.

When I started building the brand of Brazen Careerist around the year 2000, I talked about ideas like job hopping as a way to build a solid career, and I warned that generation Y’s entry into the workforce would be a total shock to employers. I was labeled a heretic and a moron.

But pretty quickly, people started thinking I was right. And I started making $15,000 a speech to discuss these ideas.

The intoxication of being on a trend, and knowing how to monetize it and being excited about being right, that’s what makes someone do a startup. So I picked up two partners, I launched Brazen Careerist, and quickly, Mashable called us the number-one social networking site for Gen Y. We were on a roll.

We raised money. We launched products, we pivoted 20 times. We were due to raise more money right after the markets crashed. So of course we couldn’t raise money. And of course I did what all startup founders do when they run out of money: I had a shit fit. And then I had a nervous breakdown.

But the thing is, in a startup, everything moves at warp speed, even a nervous breakdown. So I recovered fast, convinced investors to put in more money. And we kept going. Read more

This is probably what you think self-employed looks like:

I’m at an amusement park with my kids, in the middle of the week, and I’m on a conference call while I watch my son try to get on a ride.

Being self-employed looks so nice at an amusement park. The self-employed are always free to go on a vacation. They pick up their friends at the airport in the middle of the day, they show up for poker night because they can stay out late, and they can plan their wedding without having to pretend they are working.

Close up, though, most self-employed people are completely stressed about money.

That money part is what I hate about being self-employed. Anyone who says they don’t love a steady paycheck is lying. A paycheck is so nice. It’s reliable like a friend, it makes you safe, it gives you a way to organize your life.

Here’s how I deal with the worrying: Read more

Last week was a board meeting for my company, Brazen Careerist. I used to hate the board meetings because there is so much to prepare beforehand, and if everything is not going great, then you have to really face that.

1. Hide your feelings if they are going to be trouble for someone.
I am still a major shareholder in my company, but I do not work at the company day to day. I would like to say that my neediness issues and fear of abandonment do not follow me to my workplace, but in fact, they are huge there. And I spend a lot of time worrying whether people listen to my opinions because they care or because it’s easier to listen than to try to get me to shut up.

When the board meeting rolls around, I get nervous. I don’t know if I should go or not.

I like to go because I like knowing what’s going on. Well, and of course, I like giving my opinion. I also like hanging out with the board. I really like Ryan Healy now that I don’t have to work with him. And everyone on my board is someone who did a huge amount for me at one of the (many) very tough times in my life. (Like this time.) So I just really like everyone. Read more

This is the column I wrote for BNET. Usually I keep my best ideas for my blog, but after I posted this on BNET I thought: Hold it! This is a great idea! Everyone should be doing this to make their career great. So here’s the post.

If you want to make yourself stand out as a top candidate for almost any job, try this approach: start a company and then sell it for nothing. This is a lot easier to do than you may realize, especially if you think of entrepreneurship as a career-building tool— instead of a bank-account building tool.

Are you thinking this sell-for-a-dollar thing is a waste of time and effort?

It’s not. Here are five reasons why it's a smart career move: Read more