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Tag Archives: Entrepreneurship

How to get Ready Now to Win in 2011: Podcast with Coach Jim Rohrbach

Jim Rohrbach

Take a listen to this podcast with Jim Rohrbach, coach to successful company owners (www.SuccessSkills.com), as he talks about the key thing you need to do right now to be ready with your plan in place for 2011. This all has to do with the biggest lesson coming out of Napoleon Hill’s classic Think & Grow Rich, putting your chief aim and mission in place right now.

Jim also talks about the importance of finding a mastermind partner or developing a mastermind group to help keep you on track, and to share your wisdom and energy with others.

Jim also posted a great article here Why You Need to Read Think and Grow Rich and there’s a free tool for writing your mission statement on the website.

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Founders Share Advice at Entrepreneur Bash

Seven founders featured in How They Did It gave great advice at the Great Lakes Entrepreneur Bash on November 16th in Chicago. Take a look at these videos from the panel that included:

Bill DeVille, Health Personnel Options, Ohio
Jim Dolan, The Dolan Company, Minnesota
Tim Krauskopf, Spyglass, Illinois
Vince Pettinelli, PeopleServe, Ohio
Chris Moffitt, Rubicon Technology, Illinois
Michael Polsky, SkyGen, Illinois
Mark Tebbe, Lante Corporation, Illinois

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Entrepreneur, Know Thyself!: Podcast

An interview with Georges van Hoegaerden of The Venture Company

Listen to this podcast from outstanding venture capital and entrepreneurship thinker, Georges van Hoegaerden, who discusses the 35 venture funds who make money – out of 790 funds in the US. Georges says that even though they make money, they are not necessarily good venture funds!

Entrepreneurs are not spared from Georges’ eagle eye. His biggest piece of advice for entrepreneurs is to know exactly who you are and what you want out of an investor so that you can go to the right kind of investor in the first place. So many company founders have a one-dimensional outlook: I need money, and they have money. End of story. But that’s not a thorough enough understanding of your own mindset and the actual needs of the investor, to know whether there’s a chance of a good marriage, or a relationship that will hit the rocks fast. Many founders are so desperate for money that the attitude is, “any port in a storm,” without realizing that the wrong money could lead to the wrong relationship which could lead to the entrepreneur being fired or going bust far faster than if a slower and more thoughtful approach had been taken, resulting in eventually finding the perfect partner. Listen up!

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The Deadly Phrase for an Entrepreneur – “In Order To”

We were in a meeting yesterday for one of our companies, interimCEOinterimCFO, discussing various steps in a new initiative, when I had the feeling of falling into a trap. Every so often I fall into the same trap when we are working on plans and budgets and assigning projects.  The trap is that I start thinking – and waiting – for the next great thing. What we have is good, but it will be so much better when we do just one more site redesign. And the search function on the site is good, but it will be great when we get it notched up just a bit more, so we should wait on a full rollout ‘til its even better. And we better not tell anyone yet because its not, well, perfect.

See what I mean? This is an extension of what Wayne Dyer has been writing about for years. “When I get out of high school everything will be great.” “When I get out of college life really starts.” “When I get married things will be better.” And so on.

We are goal setting and goal achieving machines by nature. All well and good. But when we put goals before goals before goals, well it can get endless and counterproductive.  The evolution of software is actually a successful example of iterations of imperfect but better efforts finally leading to good and then great products.

As entrepreneurs it’s easy to want to do a hundred and one things before we think we are ready to put our product or service out into the world. It’s easy to enter the danger zone of saying “in order to”.

-IN ORDER TO acquire a hundred more customers, we need a flashier website
-IN ORDER TO start making sales calls we need to add more product offerings
-IN ORDER TO _______ (fill in the blank)

Howard A. Tullman, founder of  Certified Collateral Corporation and about a dozen other companies said it right in How They Did It: “A lot of people wait for a perfect solution to come along and never get their businesses going. The idea of just getting going and assuming that the right tools, the right systems, and the right people will come along is crucial to the entrepreneurial process.”

Dan Sullivan, founder of The Strategic Coach program, has what he calls “The 80% Approach,” which means to work to solve 80% of a problem on the first go-round. Then take another 80% out of the problem the next time (this means working on the remaining unsolved 20%) so that the second generation solution will be at 96%. And so on.

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Dharmesh Shah: Eleven Harsh Realities of Being an Entrepreneur

Great article by Dharmesh Shah, OnStartups.com called “The 11 Harsh Realities Of Being an Entrepreneur”. Here is the bullet point list, but it is definitely worth reading the entire article:

1. Your First Iteration of an Idea Will Be Wrong
2. Your Friends and Family Won’t Understand What You Do
3. You Will Make Less Than Normal Wages For A While
4. Everything Takes Twice As Long…If It Even Happens
5. Titles Mean Nothing. You Will Be a Janitor
6. There Is No Silver Bullet
7. Customers Will Frustrate You
8. You Can’t Do It All Yourself
9. There Is No Such Thing As An Overnight Success
10. Building A Team Is Hard
11. There Are Forces Outside Your Control

Any other harsh points on your list?

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Sales Coaching – the Advanced Lesson: Podcast

Philippe Lavie, President of KeyRoad Enterprises, is not only an outstanding sales team coach – he’s also the sales coach’s coach. Much thanks to Philippe for sharing advice and insights earned from years of growing sales teams, sales professionals and sales management. Listen to the coach here for three great insights:

  • The game changes through company stages, from startup to young growing company to large company. Very different sales challenges.
  • Beware: if you don’t understand the processes that you need to automate sales tasks, the only thing you do is automate non-existing processes and get to chaos much faster
  • There are seven specific elements that go into evaluating whether someone is a leader

Listen here.

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Entrepreneur Mentoring

Talking with Kristine Kerr at Inc. magazine reminded me of attending the Inc. 500 conference in 2008 and hearing a great presentation on mentoring featuring Jay Goltz of Artist Frame Service, who acted as mentor to Rich Dennis and his company Nubian Heritage.

Inc. magazine and the Clinton Foundation’s Economic Opportunity Initiative (CEO) have joined forces in support of the Entrepreneur Mentoring Program (EMP). EMP facilitates “structured, high-impact mentoring relationships between some of the nation’s most successful business leaders and entrepreneurs running emerging growth companies in America’s inner cities.”

Over a nine month period, mentors work with entrepreneurs to help them develop a better understanding of their business and industry, become better leaders and make better decisions about the critical issues that face their company.

If there were 10,000 Jay Goltzes fueling the next generation of 10,000 entrepreneurs – I wonder what the results would be?

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Entrepreneurship and the Higgins Boat

The process of identifying and interviewing the founders for How They Did It really got me thinking about all of the contributions, both big and small, made by entrepreneurs. Contributions that have not only advanced science or technology, but have helped to shape the world. A perfect example – Andrew Jackson Higgins. A single individual, credited with winning World War II by General Dwight Eisenhower. Owner of a lumber-importing firm in New Orleans, Higgins’ production of LCVP’s – Higgins boats – allowed for open-beach landings, and were integral to the winning war strategy.

Who are the entrepreneurs that have inspired you? What contributions have they made? Better yet…what contributions are you making right now?

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TechExpo on October 6

The second annual Chicago TechExpo is coming up this Wednesday, October 6 at UIC Forum. The Chicago TechExpo was created in Chicago with the sole purpose of introducing and connecting small business owners to technology solutions to help grow their business. This is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to meet one-on-one with experts from leading technology companies and attend workshops that will help them leverage digital opportunities to operate smarter businesses.

Howard Tullman, President and CEO of Tribeca Flashpoint Academy, and one of the 45 featured founders in How They Did It will be presenting a workshop on the importance of building social networks.

This is a great event for entrepreneurs that I highly recommend checking out if you’re in the Chicago area. Reserve your spot today.

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Cleversafe’s Chris Gladwin on How to Redefine Your Industry: Podcast

I am really pleased that Chris Gladwin, CEO and founder of Cleversafe, spent some time talking about his experience starting, growing and selling companies.

Chris is the consummate entrepreneur, from Cruise Technologies to MusicNow to Cleversafe – successfully creating, financing and growing technology companies, and not in easy circumstances. Chris tells how the music space became hypercompetitive, with 226 VC-backed companies and only 4 with successful exits (he sold MusicNow to Circuit City and then to AOL).

Cleversafe is now redefining the whole notion of how data storage occurs, and it’s taken six years to both engineer the team’s vision and to see the world come around to cloud computing.

And it turns out Cleversafe is taking in additional capital. Listen in to hear some straight talk from a champion company founder.

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