Startup Professionals Musings

The Average Startup Overnight Success Takes Six Years

Startup Professionals Musings

Every startup founder knows implicitly that startup success is a long hard road. Yet we always dream that we are the exception to the rule. So once in a while it’s good to look at some facts to temper our imagination.

Baby Boomers May Be Your Biggest Startup Competitors

Startup Professionals Musings

Contrary to what you might guess, the highest rate of entrepreneurial growth over the last few years is not Gen-Y upstarts, but Boomers over the age of 50, now called encore entrepreneurs.

6 Leadership Insights To Inspire New Venture Founders

Startup Professionals Musings

Starting and building a company is all about leadership – formulating an idea, building a unique plan based on vision and experience, and forging a path over and through all obstacles.

7 Success Principles To Drive Your Next New Venture

Startup Professionals Musings

Many aspiring entrepreneurs are looking to the Internet as an opportunity to get rich quick, instead of a place where you can start a business you love, for very little capital and minimal technical expertise.

Creating the Next Big Startup Takes More Than Passion

Startup Professionals Musings

Every aspiring entrepreneur I know is convinced that his or her idea could be the next big startup, blossoming into a billion dollar unicorn.

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.

Salary 394

4 Keys To Consciously Making Your Team More Creative

Startup Professionals Musings

Most entrepreneurs I know are individually very innovative, but a successful startup can’t be a one-man show (for long). That means they need to build an innovative team, which is not a skill that most people are born with.

5 Startup Intangibles That Can Energize Your Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Some investors seem to focus wholly on the strengths of the management team, or a sustainable competitive advantage, and in reality these are the core attributes for every funding equation.

Your Passion Can Breed Biases That Kill New Ventures

Startup Professionals Musings

I’m sure we have all seen entrepreneurs with high levels of passion and confidence touting an idea that seems to make very little sense to us.

An Old Style Of Leadership Is Winning In New Ventures

Startup Professionals Musings

Startups provide leadership in the market. Entrepreneurs provide leadership to their startup. There are many styles of leadership, like dictatorial, laissez-faire, and democratic. One that I hear discussed more these days, in this age of relationships, is called “servant” leadership.

Reasons Not To Make Decisions Today On Gut Instincts

Startup Professionals Musings

I still know some entrepreneurs who boast of simply following their gut instincts, rather than listen to anyone or any data, to make strategic decisions. We’ve all worked with autocratic leaders in large companies who seem to thrive in this mode.

Merger 292

5 Phases of Leadership Growth Lead To Company Success

Startup Professionals Musings

Most of you aspiring entrepreneurs have no idea how dramatically your own role has to evolve as you develop a solution, start a business, and expect it to scale into a successful self-managed company.

5 Strategies For Business Growth Many People Forget

Startup Professionals Musings

In this age of constant market evolution and new technology, there is no such thing as a static business that is self-sustaining. The traditional approach of implementing stable and repeatable processes, so that your business can run itself, no longer works.

Merger 260

10 Questions To Test Your Aptitude As An Entrepreneur

Startup Professionals Musings

Currently there is no professional certification, or standardized testing, as there is for accountants and lawyers, to see if you are ready to tackle the rigors of starting a new business.

10 Ways To Build Trust And Loyalty In Your Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Business trust seems to be in short supply these days. Perhaps it’s because we are reminded daily of scams on the Internet that result from unscrupulous businesses and people. Yet if you run a business, you know things won’t get done, and most customers won’t buy, unless they trust you.

Fear Of Failure Makes It A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Startup Professionals Musings

People with a victim mentality should never be entrepreneurs. We all know the role of starting and running a business is unpredictable, and has a high risk of failure. For people with a victim mentality, this fear of failure alone will almost certainly make it a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Cost 262

7 Keys To Business Relationships That Lead To Success

Startup Professionals Musings

Investors invest in people, not ideas. Customers buy from people, not companies. Employees rally for a great leader, not a brand. As an entrepreneur, you need relationships to succeed. That means relationships with team members, investors, customers, and vendors.

Funding Alternatives Change As Your New Venture Grows

Startup Professionals Musings

Some entrepreneurs start polling venture capitalists for that multi-million dollar investment before they even have a business plan. That’s like trying to sell part of something to a stranger for big money when you haven’t fully defined it yet.

Don’t Despair While Building A Sustainable Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Entrepreneurs seem more quickly frustrated these days when their “million-dollar idea” doesn’t turn into a sustainable business overnight.

7 Practices Reduce Risk In Even The Smallest Business

Startup Professionals Musings

In the last few years, I’ve heard more and more about a new type of small business, called a “micro-business” (or micro-enterprise). These are usually characterized as owner-operated, with five employees or less, and less than $250,000 in sales.

Why Team Management By Fear Is Bad For Any Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Despite the ease of communication through social media, new tools, the popularity of fearless independence and #MeToo, I still see many business organizations that are less than productive due to fear.

6 Steps To Providing Exceptional Customer Experiences

Startup Professionals Musings

For decades, efforts to satisfy customers have been built around demographics – capitalizing on race, ethnicity, gender, income, and other attributes. Today, in this age of pervasive social media and two-way communication, the focus needs to get beyond demographics into personalities.

How To Stay Cool, Despite Team Members Who Annoy You

Startup Professionals Musings

In my career in business, I’ve found that the people you work with make all the difference. If everyone works well together, you all feel a sense of job satisfaction.

Lessons On Startup Success From An Olympic Champion

Startup Professionals Musings

Willingness to take a risk is the hallmark of a serious entrepreneur. That’s why one of the first questions that potential investors ask is “How much of your own money, and friends and family, have you put into the new business?” If you won’t risk yours, you won’t get investors to risk theirs.

5 Strategies To Overcome The Fears Of A New Venture

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the biggest impediments to starting a new venture is the “ terror barrier ,” as popularized by Bob Proctor, a 75-year-old millionaire and world renowned entrepreneur.

Business Complexity Goes Up Dramatically As You Scale

Startup Professionals Musings

Most of the entrepreneurs I advise today are ready to declare success when they get that first surge of traction with a real customer. This is a good sign, but they have no idea that the hard work of scaling the business is still ahead of them.

8 Guiding Principles For Pursuing A Winning Venture

Startup Professionals Musings

Every entrepreneur has an idea for transforming a market with innovative new technology, or transforming society with a new process. But unfortunately, most of these ideas fail at the execution level, or are not truly innovative.

10 Leadership Elements That Work In Today’s Business

Startup Professionals Musings

The pervasiveness of social networking and the Internet has caused a new focus and value on “openness,” which leads to a new element of leadership, called “open leadership.” The mantra of open leadership is “Be Open, Be Transparent, and Be Authentic.”

How The Best Entrepreneurs Do Better Than Anyone Else

Startup Professionals Musings

At some point in their life, hopefully everyone strives to be the best in their chosen profession. Most people think that being the best requires more intelligence, more training, and more experience. In reality, in business or even in sports, the evidence is conclusive that it is as much about how you think, as what you do. I saw this illustrated a while back in the classic sports book, “ Training Camp: What the Best Do Better Than Everyone Else ”, by Jon Gordon.

8 Key Skill Sets Required For Success In Your Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

In my experience in large businesses as well as years of advising startups, I see far too much focus on product skills, and too little on people and process skills.

7 Attributes Of People With An Entrepreneur Mindset

Startup Professionals Musings

As an angel investor and a mentor to aspiring entrepreneurs, I’m always disappointed to see founders who seem stressed out most of the time, and more annoyed than energized by the abundance of challenges they see in building their startup.

6 Powerful Drivers Shared By Successful Entrepreneurs

Startup Professionals Musings

In my experience mentoring new entrepreneurs and aspiring business leaders, I see far too many who seem to be driven by all the wrong reasons.

10 Business Constants Flourish In This Age Of Change

Startup Professionals Musings

In this age of constant change, I usually find myself writing about what has changed.

5 Barriers To Wise Delegation In Business Leadership

Startup Professionals Musings

I often wonder how many more startups would succeed if their founders could master the art and science of delegation. It seems inherent in the mind of most first-time entrepreneurs that it was their idea, and they must do all the work themselves to make it happen.

Businesses Need Employee Engagement More Than Process

Startup Professionals Musings

The days of leadership without engagement are gone. With interactive social media and video everywhere, everyone needs to feel they have a relationship with their leaders, and every brand needs leader personification for customers to relate.

8 Ways To Ensure Team Accountability In Your Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

Maybe it’s just me, but I sometimes feel that accountability is a rare talent in business today. In big businesses, people are quick to defer with “that’s not my department,” and even startup founders too often blame failures on the economy or the lack of investors.

7 Steps To Meeting Your Goals With Your New Venture

Startup Professionals Musings

Successful entrepreneurs are usually hard-driving, and highly focused on some specific goals, like being the dominant player in a given domain, or the low-priced provider of their product.

Even the Best Startup Solutions Need Modern Marketing

Startup Professionals Musings

As a long-time advisor to aspiring entrepreneurs, and a technology fan myself, I still meet dozens of techies with great solutions who assume they don’t need marketing to change the world. They subscribe to the myth that “if we build it, they will come.”

7 Tips To Test Your Idea As A Part-Time Entrepreneur

Startup Professionals Musings

Many experts will tell you that you can’t succeed as a part-time entrepreneur, as any good startup will require a 100 percent commitment of your time and energy. But not many of us have enough savings to live for a year or more without a salary, fund the startup, and still feed the family.

How To Maximize The Level Of Your Business Contacts

Startup Professionals Musings

In the world of entrepreneurs and startups, high level relationships are everything. You can’t start a business alone. You need partners, team members, investors, vendors, and customers. But people don’t realize that all relationships are not the same.

Early Adopters Are Not Enough To Assure Your Success

Startup Professionals Musings

Every technical entrepreneur is an early adopter of technology, so naturally they build things with people like themselves in mind.

How To Improve Your Competence And Win People Over

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the biggest challenges I have as an advisor to tech entrepreneurs is to convince you that marketing is required for your product, no matter how great it is, just to get it found with today’s information overload.

8 Steps To Assembling The Most Talented Startup Team

Startup Professionals Musings

With the pace of change ever escalating, entrepreneurs today can’t afford to acquire talent through traditional hiring alone, and need to revise the perception that “talent” is only full-time employees. At the same time, more people in the workplace don’t want to be “employees.”

Demand 232