Startup Professionals Musings

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.

Use Key Strategic Elements To Avoid Business Plateaus

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the biggest challenges I find for new business owners is for them to move from working in the business to working on the business.

10 Innovation Myths For New Venture Founders To Avoid

Startup Professionals Musings

Most people think innovation is all about ideas, when in fact it is more about delivery, people, and process.

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 Ways Your Startup Co-Founder Is Like A Good Spouse

Startup Professionals Musings

As a long-time business advisor and angel investor, I’m a believer that “two heads are better than one” in building a new business. Very few entrepreneurs have the range of skills and experience to be the solution creator as well as business creator, or operational as well as sales leader.

6 Keys To Growing Your Career Through The Gig Economy

Startup Professionals Musings

While everyone agrees that the “ gig economy ” is really here, the practical realities, other than not counting on long-term employment, are not so obvious. In my role as a mentor to many business professionals, I still see some who have no idea how to adapt to the new realities.

8 Ways To Learn From Your Team And Succeed Together

Startup Professionals Musings

Starting and running a company is a team effort. Yes, it takes a leader (entrepreneur), but you can’t do it alone, without a team. Maybe only you and a co-founder comprise the team at first, to provide key skills, back you up, and test your ideas.

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10 Challenging Insights From New Venture Innovators

Startup Professionals Musings

Most people agree that entrepreneurs have to think differently and take risks to have much chance of building a successful business.

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.

6 Ways To Help Others At Work And Still Save Yourself

Startup Professionals Musings

Don’t you wish you were better at saying “no” to all those extraneous requests for a bit of help at work?

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.

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.

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.

5 Reasons Business Leaders Are Short On Relationships

Startup Professionals Musings

If you are a business professional or owner today, success is more and more about relationships. People relationships are the key to career growth, more than results, and customer relationships build brands, rather than the other way around.

5 Key Attributes That Foretell New Venture Survival

Startup Professionals Musings

Every startup wants to be a predictable success, yet so few ever achieve this enviable position. In reality, getting there is not a random walk, and requires an understanding of the stages that every business must navigate and the organizational characteristics necessary at each stage.

How To Ensure Results From All Business Conversations

Startup Professionals Musings

Whether you are trying to motivate your team, close a deal with a customer, or get funding from an investor, a casual conversation is usually a waste of your valuable time. These result is a founder who is always “too busy,” but never seems to get the business done and the team moving.

10 Keys To A Startup Surviving The First Five Years

Startup Professionals Musings

The “valley of death” is a common term in the startup world, referring to the difficulty of covering the negative cash flow in the early stages of a startup, before their new product or service is bringing in revenue from real customers.

10 Tips To New Venture Leaders To Never Stop Learning

Startup Professionals Musings

You probably think that the fact that you have started your own business validates your leadership ability. It may confirm that you were a leader yesterday, but do you have what it takes to be a leader tomorrow?

5 Elements Of Innovation That Are Not Product Related

Startup Professionals Musings

Having a breakthrough idea or technology alone does not assure business success. “ If we build it, they will come ” may have worked as a movie theme for Kevin Costner, but as an investor, I tell entrepreneurs a great solution is not enough.

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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10 Entrepreneur Attributes That Will Make You A Star

Startup Professionals Musings

Elon Musk via Flickr by TED Conference To be successful as an entrepreneur, you don’t have to be a fabulous person, but it helps. Some people, and some entrepreneurs, have that something extra that you can’t quite put your finger on, like Ryan Seacrest is searching for on American Idol.

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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8 Ways To Use Personal Values To Highlight Leadership

Startup Professionals Musings

True business success and leadership starts with real personal values, extends to building a team, and finally to inspiring customers and your community. That’s a huge leap from an entrepreneurial idea, to a product, to making money. Is it any wonder that the majority of startups fail?

6 Elements of Customer Psychology Drive Buy Decisions

Startup Professionals Musings

Many entrepreneurs think that adapting to the new technologies, like smart phones and Internet commerce, are the key to attracting new customers. In fact, businesses need to adapt even more completely to the changes in the buying and social behavior of consumers.

7 Keys To Using Social Media to Kickstart Your Brand

Startup Professionals Musings

7 Tips For Entrepreneurs Seeking A Balanced Lifestyle

Startup Professionals Musings

I know some entrepreneurs with successful businesses, and others who seem to have a great relationship with their family, but I can’t think of many who have both. Some people would argue that these two successes are mutually exclusive, but I’m not convinced.

Change Your Management Style To Meet Today’s Culture

Startup Professionals Musings

Change is hard. But these days it’s required and inevitable.

10 Ways To Make Your Business Memorable With A Story

Startup Professionals Musings

The entrepreneur’s challenge is to effectively communicate their value proposition, not only to customers, but also to vendors, partners, investors, and their own team. Especially for technical founders, this is normally all about presenting impressive facts. But in reality facts only go so far.

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Why It Pays To Focus Your Business On A Narrow Niche

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Picpedia Everyone in the business world has heard of the old bestseller by Geoffrey A. Moore titled “ Crossing the Chasm ,” but most entrepreneurs have no idea how it relates to them.

“Nail It Then Scale It” - The New Mantra For Startups

Startup Professionals Musings

Steve Blank via Flickr by jdlasica I see more and more entrepreneurs who seem to have everything going for them – vision, motivation, passion, even a good business plan, product, and money, and yet they can’t close customers.

As An Entrepreneur, Are You Ready To Meet The Press?

Startup Professionals Musings

Not so long ago, training to meet the press and television reporters was a realm reserved for top business executives only. Now, even the earliest stage startup can rise to visibility or be forever lost by their first media spotlight, so it behooves us all to know the rules early.

5 Key Drivers For Creating A Board For Your Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Flickr by MDGovpics Many entrepreneurs I know are confused by definition and need for an Advisory Board versus a Board of Directors.

7 Problem Solving Mistakes To Avoid In Your Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Flickr by Fortune Conferences In every business, especially new ones, quick and effective problem solving is a critical skill.

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.

How To Be A Business Leader As Well As Thought Leader

Startup Professionals Musings

By definition, most entrepreneurs are thought leaders. They have the ability to recognize a market need, the skills to design and implement a solution, and the drive to start a business from that solution. It all comes from within themselves.

6 Tips to Boost Workforce Engagement and Motivation

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Wikipedia The challenge for all of us in business is to improve competitiveness by improving employee productivity and reducing costs.

10 Change Recommendations To Meet Business Pressures

Startup Professionals Musings

Every business professional needs to stay cool under pressure, to be a top performer, and for the sake of their own health. Yet everyone has a melting point – a critical threshold where pressure causes them to respond irrationally.

5 Questions To Help Solve The Tough Business Problems

Startup Professionals Musings

In my role as a business advisor, one of the attributes I often see in a good leader is the ability and willingness to ask good questions , before moving forward or issuing edicts, potentially in the wrong direction.

4 Keys To A Super-Charged Team And Workplace Culture

Startup Professionals Musings

Startup work environments are always chaos, but they can still be great environments to work in, or they can be terrible. Whether yours is terrible or great, that same tone flows out to your customers, and regulates your productivity inside.

5 Keys To Starting A New Venture In Your Local Town

Startup Professionals Musings

Image via Wikipedia From the advice I hear these days, if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to be in Silicon Valley, Boston, New York, or one of the few other financial hubs around the world.