I want to start my own business. I want to open an African dance/after hours establishment for my African people. I’m not sure where to begin or who to network with? Can you give me some ideas or advice? -Vanessa


I would start throwing small house parties and charge admission. That is what I did when I was throwing club house parties in Houston, Texas. The name of my business was Lonesome Inc. You need to develop a base and this is the best way to do it and also discover if there is a viable audience for your dream. You can rent clubhouses at apartment complexes. The nightclub business is a rough business and weather can be a factor in your success story too. Develop your business plan based on this model first.

I live in a small town and there is literally nothing to do for the youth here. I would LOVE to try and open up some type of educational/recreational center for them. Could you give me some type of direction? -Lisa


You need to contact your local SBA and create a business plan. You can also get with your local church and use church volunteers to help build your center. This dream involves a village and you should start building a relationship with them. A lot of people share your thoughts and you need to talk to them.

Good Morning Rushion!

I hope that you had a great weekend! I am planning to pursue the direction of baked goods to sell. I need suggestions/help with marketing. Also, there is a big venue, Hartville Market, in Hartville, Ohio coming up. I would like to get a space in this market to sell goodies. Any ideas and directions? -Rachel from Orrville, OH


Have you developed a menu and have you created a price point for your items? Also, you need to start posting pictures of your baked goods on social media and let people know that you will be selling this at the Hartville Market. It is very important that you pre-sale your opportunity, otherwise you will be swallowed up by the competition.

I’ve dabbled in my own business ventures but have never really been satisfied, so I always find myself teaching someone how to do what I’ve done. How do I find my own happiness in what I do? -Sonya from Dallas, TX


Teaching might be your path to happiness. You might be a natural consultant.

Good morning.

I have a new non-profit in Texas that serves homelessness and those at risk for homelessness to include families, single women, etc., and am looking for funding. What is the best way to filter through private funding grant sources? Any other advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. -Carole from Sugar Land, TX


This is the part of the game that is the most painful. There is no easy way to filter through this process. This website should be able to help you.

I am trying to start my own business and I’ve invested my own money in different projects. One is a concession trailer because I love to cook (and I have the best homemade punch around). And the other one is a press machine for t-shirts and more. My question is do you think I have too many irons in the fire? How can I promote my businesses? And are there available funds out there for businesses like me? -MsJones


The problem is that all of your dreams have you pointed in different directions. So you need to focus your plan for success. The concessions trailer and the punch can be marketed and branded together. What is your menu? and please focus on your style, so your customers will know what type of food to expect. No one will give you any money unless you have a business and a focused menu that will create a customer base for your business. I would recommend a credit union for business, because their rules are not as restrictive and if you join the credit union that can lead to a more favorable situation.

I have already started my business but now I’m trying to find the most effective way to market and distribute my product. My company is Veggio. I make cookie from vegetables with a special high antioxidant content and they don’t have sugar or flour and they are gluten free. I have the cookies in several small local stores but I need to go nationally. What do I do? You can see more about me at Veggiocookie.com -Joe


I went to your website and the cookies look good. I think gluten free is a great way to market your brand, but before you try to go national, you should try build your brand locally. Will any of the stores that you are sold in allow you to create a sample station once a week so people can sample your product? That is very important. Also you need to have pictures of your cookies with ice cream and milk. Right now you are sounding too healthy and that is the challenge you have to over come. You need to hold a cookie challenge contest to create hype for your brand.

I started a campaign last week with quotes from my book and a lower sale price. Since then I’ve seen 200% more sales and growing. Do you have any tools for drawing even more attention to a series? -Edwyna


You are finally starting to market your book. So please stay consistent with this plan and watch your product grow. You can start tagging local media outlets and national publications. Please be consistent and you will win. I am glad that you were not afraid to reduce your price point.

Good morning.

I want to start my own Baking Business, I love to bake homemade deserts. I just have a fear of starting a business. Right now I bake and give them away. How can I overcome my fears? If you get a chance, I have a page where I post all my sweets (LaNitas Homemade Sweets) on Facebook. I look forward to your advice. -Danita


You need to stop giving away your product. You need to create a baked goods menu and focus on the holiday seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is when baked goods are in high demand. But you have to start marketing your brand on your social media right now. Right now, because I market my baking so much on social, I can probably open a store. So you are contacting me during the right time of the year, but you need to put your plan in action and focus on the fall & holiday season.

Good morning Rushion,

I asked you this before but I’m going to ask you again because I did let my feeling get in the way on what you had to say about my manuscript. I must say, I do apologize. What do you think of my manuscript? Now I have developed tough skin. Bring it! -Sharon


You have a good story, but it is not fully developed. Which means you need to have an editor review your work prior to submission. I have written many scripts that I felt were worthy of an Emmy, but it was through team effort that has made my writing career a blessing. Steve Harvey wrote his book, Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man, in a room with ladies who had many comments. That is how he kept his content relatable.