I want to open my own business. Where do I start as far as saving money or getting grants to open my business and be my own boss? I want to open a bakery and coffee cafe. -Latorra from Dallas, TX


Have you created a business plan? You need to visit your local Small Business Administration office and they will supply you with information and it’s free. The counselors are very helpful. Plus they have manuals about many different business startups, so it can provide you with a great deal of information for your business plan.

Hello Mr. McDonald.

I am a very talented writer and I have experienced so much misfortune in life. Nonetheless, I am very encouraged and I desire to use my gift and my story of overcoming to inspire. I am currently developing some powerfully inspirational yet comedic movie scripts that are in line with the themes of another producer’s work. How do I get the opportunity to meet and present my work to this person as I know I am writing future box office hits? –Toni from Atlanta, GA


It is very important that you develop your own voice and not a voice that is already dominating the industry. Your misfortune can definitely be turned into success, but you need to understand that everything that you write will be a hit. You should develop a screening team that allows you to bounce your pitches and storylines off them before you get down the road too far. Also TV shows and production companies have pitch rooms. Where ideas are pitched or heard prior to be being developed.

What’s the best resource for start-up funding? -Cookie


The best funding for any startup is still a credit union or bank. But you have to have your paperwork in order for them to take you seriously. Group funding is very popular today, but a good old fashion bank loan still works. Also, you can look at venture capitalist and appeal to their charity arm for sponsorship dollars. All presentation or decks have to be very detailed.

I don’t know if you can answer my question or not, but I do want to open a business later on down the road after retiring from the military. I would like to be a motivational speaker. Would you sir happen to know how I could start?
-Shonna from Chicago, IL


You should start at your church, homeless shelters, youth centers, battered shelters and 12 Step Programs. All of these people need motivation and you also need a platform to organize your point of view. Use these platforms to hone your skills and build your brand. You have to start somewhere and all of these facilities have a captive audience. They want to do better and your motivation can be a big key to them living a better life!

On behalf of Chef Bryce Taylor, who is presently in school, would like to ask the following:

Hello Mr. McDonald, I am 13yrs old. As an entrepreneur, how do I get people to take me seriously as a young man trying to build his business and brand? It can be a little discouraging, but I don’t let it deter me. How can I get people to hear me on a larger scale? I have money making ideas that I would like to share, so that I may secure my brand, my future and by making residual income. Simply put, I want Chef Bryce Taylor to be a household name.


Chef Bryce Taylor: youth is actually a huge benefit, because he has a larger audience to appeal. Please understand that success in any field requires patience and proper planning. Also, you have to be consistent and very focused! I suggest that he starts posting short cooking videos hosted by him. They should be posted weekly and build his brand. The videos should be no longer to 60 seconds to 120 seconds long. This will develop a consistent format for him and also develop a following.

I’m growing my brand but still not reaching the amount of people I’d like (even with social media) or hitting the profits I want. I want to do more for others (hire people) and make more money at the same time. I can’t get loans because my business is nontraditional and people act like I should work for free because I don’t have millions of followers on social media (my SM engagement is awesome, but no one cares). Even in spite of all the articles written about me, my life story, etc., I often feel overlooked and under appreciated in my industry and in my city. What can I do organically and inexpensively to increase my reach, exposure, and get people to give me the opportunities I’m more than qualified for AND pay me, too? I’ve hired publicists and all that in the past, but I’m still not where I’d like to be. http://superwomanproductions.com is my website. -Angela from Detroit, MI


I went to your site and what is missing is your success stories. For instance, if you go to my website, you will clearly see that I have been successful in the entertainment industry. But I also need to add the relationship and business activities that I have with corporate companies like Ford, Home Depot, Walmart, Tracfone and many more. You have an excellent site, but I cannot trust what you can do, because you have not told me any success stories. Please build that part of your website and scream your success and make people hear it. Then you can build your brand.

Hi again Mr. McDonald,

I will self-publish one of my children’s book before the end of this month. The purpose of the book is to deliver a message to children that “with a strong will plus hard work, people can usually accomplish what they want.” When it comes to branding & marketing, I have schools set up in Baltimore to have book readings & open discussion with the students. Do you have any other suggestions on how to promote this message for children while trying to sell it? -Kitria from Houston, TX


When you do these book readings and open discussions, I would suggest that you use Facebook Live. It is easy to use and Facebook will schedule your event and promote it to your friends and fans. This is an excellent way to start building your brand and getting the word out. I love how you are involving so many schools in your plan for success. But you can reach an even bigger audience when you are hosting these events by using Facebook Live. It’s a homerun!

What would you say are the five basic beginning steps necessary to establish my business? I would like to focus my attention on the one that will be most successful. Right now I do calligraphy writing, I design and paint t-shirts, I make gift baskets, and I make homemade baked goods. However, none are very profitable monetarily.
-Rachel from Orrville, OH


everything that you’ve mention can make you a lot of money. The problem is that you are doing too many things. Narrow your focus on the top two that generate the most revenue and put in place a plan for success.

Where do you start with a 513c when you have no money?
-Roxanne from Spring Valley, NY


You start with bake sales, car washes and garage sales. If you have no money, you have to think small before you start building big. Also ask your friends to donate items for you garage sales and ask them to volunteer their services. Roxanne, you will always need help in building your dream, so start putting that team together today. Your base has to be local. I am a far away voice and you have many people who will help you if you just ask them.

Thank you for your answers about creating finances to build a business. I was going to ask the same thing. -Brenda from Barnwell, SC


Money Making Conversations is an open forum and I really appreciate it when it becomes a place to get information, because a lot of people share the same dream. You can do whatever you want in life, but don’t ever feel that it is impossible. With proper planning and being focused, you can make your dreams happen and it will not happen over night. Steve and I sat down in 1999 to start his dream. Look at his success now! It is a journey!