Startup Professionals Musings

10 Symptoms Of An Entrepreneur Who Is Nearly Broken

Startup Professionals Musings

If an entrepreneur doesn’t find themselves in over their head at least 20% of the time, they are probably not pushing the limits, not taking enough risk, and probably not working on an idea that’s worth doing.

How Idea People Can Transform Into Visionary Leaders

Startup Professionals Musings

A popular approach for aspiring entrepreneurs these days seems to be to corner anyone who will listen, with a pitch on their current “million dollar idea.” The initial monologue usually ends with the question “How much money do you think this is worth?”

8 Change Triggers Every Entrepreneur Must Spot Early

Startup Professionals Musings

When the economy tanks as it did in the last recession, that’s a strong signal that things have to change, and it’s hard to miss. But most of us in business have to deal most of the time with weak signals, or change that is happening in a far more subtle way.

8 Strategies To Avoid The Entrepreneur Arrogance Trap

Startup Professionals Musings

In my years of mentoring entrepreneurs, a problem I have seen too often is low self-esteem, and over-compensating through arrogance and ego. These entrepreneurs find it hard to respect customers or team members, and their ventures usually fail.

10 Key Components Of Every New Venture Strategic Plan

Startup Professionals Musings

Deciding to be an entrepreneur is a lifestyle move, and should be part of a long-term strategic plan. You shouldn’t be making this decision just because you are mad at your boss, or you would like to be rich, or someone else thinks you have a good idea.

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10 Keys To Surviving From A Startup To An Enterprise

Startup Professionals Musings

Early-stage entrepreneurs rightly keep their focus on creating an innovative product or service. After celebrating success at that level, they often find themselves ill-prepared to move to the next stage, for scaling their business into a high-performing enterprise.

8 Keys To Business Success For Entrepreneur Introverts

Startup Professionals Musings

It really is possible for an introvert to succeed as an entrepreneur, even though you can’t expect to start and build a business alone. You need to build business relationships with partners, team members, investors, and of course customers.

Some Good Startups Don’t Qualify For Equity Investors

Startup Professionals Musings

Angel investors and venture capitalists don’t make equity investments in nonprofit good causes. The simple reason is that it’s impossible to make money for investors when the goal of the company is to not make money.

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6 Founder Actions That Can Kill A Promising Business

Startup Professionals Musings

In my experience as an advisor to entrepreneurs, business startup founders most often point to a shortage of funds as the primary cause of their startup failure.

8 Actions To Ignite Engagement For You And Your Team

Startup Professionals Musings

Based on my own experience as a business professional, employees who are not seriously engaged in the business should be totally obvious to everyone, including the manager or CEO. Yet many managers and executives seem to ignore the situation, or have no idea how to fix it.

10 Tips On Managing An Overwhelming Business Workload

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the most common complaints I hear from entrepreneurs is that they are overwhelmed by the workload and stress of starting their company. Then there are the additional challenges of balancing the demands of family and friends. Having too much on your plate can turn your dream into a nightmare.

8 Indications Of An Entrepreneur Sought By Investors

Startup Professionals Musings

An entrepreneur is literally “one who creates a new business.” The best new businesses are ones that have never been done before, so mastering creativity and recognizing creativity are key skills and mindsets. But how does one recognize and nurture creativity in a person or team?

New Entrepreneurs Are Rebuilding Our Business Engine

Startup Professionals Musings

Large corporations and conglomerates, the engines of growth and vitality in the twentieth century, have lost their edge and their image. They have proven themselves unable to innovate, and they have lost more jobs than they create.

5 Tips to Gain From People Who Don’t Think Like You

Startup Professionals Musings

One thing we all have to learn in business is how to work with and lead people that are not like you , and don’t think like you. In my experience as a business advisor, that’s probably the biggest hurdle to success encountered by every new business owner.

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6 Myths On Starting A New Business That Can Kill You

Startup Professionals Musings

Starting a new business is fraught with challenges, and none of us has the bandwidth to kill them all.

10 Keys To Making Money By Investing In Entrepreneurs

Startup Professionals Musings

Investing in entrepreneurs and startups is a fun but different world from investing in conventional stocks, bonds, and commodities. First of all, it’s more of an investment in people than in a business, since the startup is usually an idea barely half-baked when they need your money.

Real Entrepreneurs Must Make Good Decisions Quickly

Startup Professionals Musings

Every so often a promising entrepreneur seems to freeze in the oncoming headlights and gets run over by his competition. Why is it that his idea which seemed so fundable only months ago fails to attract investors today? The team is the same. The company's market is the same.

How New Ventures Can Avoid Conventional Media Costs

Startup Professionals Musings

The power and influence of paid media advertising, including print ads, TV commercials, radio, and even online digital campaigns is waning, in favor of unpaid earned and owned messaging from your website, social media, key market influencers, and existing customer word-of-mouth.

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7 Emigrant Entrepreneur Traits We All Should Emulate

Startup Professionals Musings

In my experience as a business advisor and angel investor these days, I seem to more frequently hear from entrepreneurs and business owners with “can’t-fail” or “get-rich-quick” ideas.

Driving Your Team With Fear Has Negative Consequences

Startup Professionals Musings

Trying to be a business leader by instilling fear in your employees and partners is never a good approach, but it is particularly devastating in a startup.

7 Common Themes That Indicate An Extraordinary Leader

Startup Professionals Musings

In building successful businesses, I find that creating a new and innovative product or service is usually the easy part. The hard part is providing the leadership required to align and motivate all the constituents and players – from engineers, to investors, vendors, and ultimately customers.

8 Steps To Stop Killing Yourself As A Micro-Manager

Startup Professionals Musings

For a few, delegating comes easily, maybe too easy. For others who are perfectionists, letting go of even the most trivial task is almost impossible. If you are in this second category, you probably don’t like the references behind your back that you are a “control freak” or a “micro-manager.”

10 Startup Quandaries That May Redefine Your Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Most entrepreneurs struggle with many startup founders quandaries in building their business, and these key dilemmas are probably the biggest source of pain and failure for the entrepreneur lifestyle.

6 Keys To Marketing That Many Entrepreneurs Overlook

Startup Professionals Musings

Marketing is everything these days. You can have the best technology, but if customers don’t know you exist, or they don’t know how your technology solves a real problem for them, your startup will fail.

9 Elements Of Every New Venture That Investors Expect

Startup Professionals Musings

New entrepreneurs are always looking for a shortcut in getting their venture story and plan across to investors, and closing on the funding they need.

10 Business Areas Where Data Is The Key To The Future

Startup Professionals Musings

Even though ‘big data’ has now been around for several years, the opportunities for startups seem to keep growing, just as the amount of data keeps growing. According to IBM , companies have captured more data in the last two years than in the previous 2000 years.

9 Keys To Effective Communication In Today’s Business

Startup Professionals Musings

When was the last time you changed how you communicate to your team and to your customers? The way you deliver your message is key to maximizing its impact, or even reaching the intended audience. Don’t count on people reading your Annual Report for breaking news.

10 Realities Today Cause Startups To Bypass An IPO

Startup Professionals Musings

In the old days, every entrepreneur dreamed of easily taking their startup public, and making it big. Today the rate of startups going public (IPO – Initial Public Offering) is up from the dead zone, but is still half the rate back before 2000.

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7 Wise Leadership Strategies When Smart is Not Enough

Startup Professionals Musings

Most of the entrepreneurs I have met are smart, but many are not always wise.

5 Lifecycle Stages Of A New Venture Test Your Culture

Startup Professionals Musings

Successful startups seem to follow similar paths to greatness, and unfortunately all too often that path leads them back down the hill much faster than they went up.

Keep A Real Job Until Your New Venture Shows Traction

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the big decisions every aspiring entrepreneur has to make is when to quit your current job to devote yourself fulltime to your new startup. Some of you are so committed to the new passion that you quit your day job early, and dedicate all your time and resources to the new venture.

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7 Common Causes Of Failure To Communicate in Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Most business mentors tell me that the single biggest problem they have to deal with in small companies is the lack of open, honest, and effective communication, both from the top down and from the bottom up. Some entrepreneurs forget that talking is not communicating.

6 Clues To The Right Employees For Your New Venture

Startup Professionals Musings

Entrepreneurs are usually highly creative and innovative, but many innovative people are not entrepreneurs. Since it takes a team of people to build a great company, the challenge is to find that small percentage of innovative people, and then nurture the tendency, rather than stifle it.

Finding The Right Angel Investor For Your New Venture

Startup Professionals Musings

If your startup is looking for an angel investor, it makes sense to present your plan to flocks of angels, and assume that at least one will swoop down and scoop you up. Or does it? Actually numbers and locations are just the beginning.

8 Keys To Enjoying Work, And Enhancing Your Career

Startup Professionals Musings

As a business advisor, one of the most frustrating things I see is the number of employees who are unhappy at work. Business owners don’t like it, the new generations think promotions will solve it, and productivity levels continue to suffer.

4 Strategies To Ramp Up The Total Customer Experience

Startup Professionals Musings

Much has been written recently about the requirement to focus today on the total customer experience, as a competitive edge or even for survival.

4 Laws Of Natural Selection Relate To Every Business

Startup Professionals Musings

The good news is that the latest Kauffman Early-Stage Entrepreneurship (KESE) Index shows the highest level of new business activity recorded in the last two decades, and the cost of entry at an all-time low.

7 Keys To Balancing Profits Versus A Higher Purpose

Startup Professionals Musings

It’s always been tough to start a new business, even when the bottom line was just making a profit to stay alive. A few years ago, a second focus of sustainability (“green”) was added as a requirement for respectability. Now I almost always hear a third mandate - social responsibility.

5 Keys To Growing What You Have Planted As A Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

Have you noticed that more companies beg you to participate in their business today? It started with an email survey on your last stay at their hotel, but now includes requests for online product reviews, to social media input on the design of future products.

5 Startup Cost Realities Most Founders Underestimate

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Flickr by Phil Gyford Starting a new venture still costs real money, even though the entry price has come down dramatically in last few decades.

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