Startup Professionals Musings

How To Change Your Perspective And Create Innovation

Startup Professionals Musings

In today’s fast moving world of business startups, learning trumps knowing every time. What established businesses know through experience keeps them from looking for the new and innovative ways to do what they do better, cheaper, and faster.

5 Entrepreneur Lifestyle Drivers That Lead To Success

Startup Professionals Musings

As a startup advisor, I see many aspiring entrepreneurs whose primary motivation seems to be to work part time, or get rich quick, or avoid anyone else telling them what to do.

7 Key Culture Elements That Drive Value In A Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

As an entrepreneur, it’s never too early to set the culture you need for a thriving business, as well as thriving employees, customers, partners, and vendors.

6 Keys To Managing Funding From People Close To You

Startup Professionals Musings

In their passion to succeed, too many entrepreneurs treat friends and family investments as “low-hanging” fruit, only to find out later, after a stumble, that the pain of lost relationships is greater than the loss of their beloved startup.

Building Healthy Innovation Ecosystems for Your Projects

Speaker: Nick Noreña, Innovation Coach and Advisor, Kromatic

In this webinar, Nick Noreña will walk through an Innovation Ecosystem Model that he and his team at Kromatic have developed to help investors, heads of product, teachers, and executives understand how they can best support innovation in their own ecosystem. He'll also go over metrics we can use to measure the health of our ecosystems as we build more resources for innovators.

7 Keys For Moving A Startup To A Sustainable Business

Startup Professionals Musings

As a business advisor, I have too often seen technical entrepreneurs get a product or service off the ground with ease, but then struggle mightily when their business reaches a couple of million in annual sales, or the employee count grows beyond a handful.

7 Ways To Maximize Team Motivation And Productivity

Startup Professionals Musings

I was shocked to read an old Gallup study that indicates only 13 percent of employees worldwide are actively engaged at work, and more recent data shows only a small change in the right direction.

8 Funding Proposal Red Flags Every Startup Can Avoid

Startup Professionals Musings

After many years of working with angel investors seriously trying to find new ventures worthy of their hard-earned money, I find their frustration often exceeds that of entrepreneurs sincerely looking for financial help.

6 Benefits of Outsourcing and Freelancing In Startups

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the most stressful and unanticipated challenges that comes with starting a new business is hiring and managing employees.

10 Strategies For Attracting Investors That Will Fail

Startup Professionals Musings

Many new entrepreneurs are so excited by their latest idea that they can’t resist contacting every investor they know, assuming the investor will be equally excited and want to contribute immediately.

5 Steps To Get You From Your First Idea To A Business

Startup Professionals Musings

One thing I have learned the hard way in business is that implementing new ideas is usually much more difficult than conceiving the idea in the first place. That’s why I caution my aspiring entrepreneur clients against proclaiming to investors that they are a great “idea” person.

7 Startup Risks That Come With Other People’s Money

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the myths I often hear as an advisor to many entrepreneurs is that their lifestyle would somehow be better if they could more easily find other people’s money to build their startup.

4 Customer Decisive Moments That Your Startup Can Win

Startup Professionals Musings

Today’s customers are much more in control of their buying decision, as they have more choices and more information than ever before.

8 Personal Strategies For Winning With Relationships

Startup Professionals Musings

Based on my years of experience in both startups and large companies, trusted relationships are more the key to success than a great business model, how smart you are, or how much money you have.

7 Tips To Keep Your Team Ahead Of “Business As Usual”

Startup Professionals Musings

Most small businesses have now forgotten the last recession, and are back to “business as usual.” They don’t realize that business as usual is gone forever. With social media and smart phone apps, real product information spreads at astounding speeds.

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10 Manageable Risks That An Entrepreneur Should Take

Startup Professionals Musings

There is an old saying that good lawyers run away from risk, while good businessmen run towards risk. Entrepreneurs see “no risk” as meaning “no reward.” In reality, all risks are not the same.

9 Keys To Effective Networking, In Person Or Virtual

Startup Professionals Musings

Too many entrepreneurs I meet in my role as a business advisor still seem to believe networking is all about selling and convincing everyone that what you have will change the world.

6 Personal Assessment Tools To Optimize Career Growth

Startup Professionals Musings

Too many people, young and older, let their career and their lifestyle happen to them, rather than proactively making things happen based on their personal passions, skills, and interests.

7 Keys To Active Listening For Real Customer Feedback

Startup Professionals Musings

Entrepreneurs and business executives seem to be even more focused on their technology than the rest of us, and less inclined to listen to the voice of the customer, even if they remember to ask.

8 Business Realities You Only Learn From Experience

Startup Professionals Musings

Every new entrepreneur who has not spent years in corporate life has the advantage of an unbiased look at business opportunities, but at the same time has the disadvantage of missing critical business experiences that can cost them dearly in their first startup venture.

5 Forces That Kill Momentum For Business First-Movers

Startup Professionals Musings

Is your strategy as a business leader to be a first-mover or a follower?

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5 Crowdfunding Approaches To Tempt Every Entrepreneur

Startup Professionals Musings

Even if you ignore all the hype around crowdfunding, there can be no doubt that it is a real alternative for entrepreneurs to achieve visibility and funding today.

8 Keys To Scaling The Business After Initial Traction

Startup Professionals Musings

A common pain of startups after an exhilarating first surge of early adopters is a long and frustrating plateau of slow growth, where it seems like nothing you do will get your business to profitability.

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Startups Are Not Just The Realm Of Young Generations

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the biggest myths in the business world is that startups are no place for Baby Boomers, that aging generation born between 1945 and 1964.

9 Keys To Finding The Perfect Angel Investor For You

Startup Professionals Musings

As a long-time advisor to entrepreneurs, and a former angel myself, I still find startups confused about the definition of an angel investor, and how and when to attract one.

6 Challenges In Penetrating The New World Of Services

Startup Professionals Musings

Selling services has always been about relationships, but the challenges of building relationships with services clients have exploded.

6 Insights To Current Funding Trends For Your Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

Venture capitalists (VCs) have long been seen as the top of the pyramid for startup funding sources, but in fact angel investors now fund over twice as many companies, according the Crunchbase.

6 Reasons Your Hockey Stick Growth Curve Can Go Flat

Startup Professionals Musings

Every entrepreneur thinks he can relax a bit after his business model is proven, funding is in place, and revenues are scaling as projected up that hockey-stick curve.

8 Errors To Avoid In Your First Minute With Investors

Startup Professionals Musings

As an aspiring entrepreneur, one of the most important things you need is a memorable “ elevator pitch ,” to communicate your startup value proposition and leave a great first impression on friends, investors, employees, and future customers.

5 Ways To Sample The Joy Of An Entrepreneur Lifestyle

Startup Professionals Musings

Even though I’m a big proponent of becoming an entrepreneur, it is definitely not for everyone.

6 Ways Of Telling Your Story That Draws People To You

Startup Professionals Musings

In my role as a mentor to entrepreneurs and an angel investor, I find that too many are stuck in this myth that a good pitch, and good marketing content, should consist of more product features, and more hype on customer benefits.

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10 Keys To Investor-Friendly New Venture Financials

Startup Professionals Musings

If you need to attract investors to your startup, your financial projections have to be as attractive as the idea. The problem is that these business financials are future projections, while the idea is “now,” so you believe the idea can do most of the selling.

A Culture Of Purpose In Business Leads To Doing Well

Startup Professionals Musings

Many entrepreneurs still don’t understand that building a business culture today of doing good, like helping people (society) and planet (sustainability), is also a key to maximizing profit. Employees and customers alike are looking for meaning, not simply employment and commodity prices.

Why Successful Startups Often Have A Pair Of Founders

Startup Professionals Musings

In my work with new startups, I often find people who believe that the terms “ entrepreneur ” and “ inventor ” are interchangeable. Yet I find a big difference between “starting a new business” and “creating a new product.”

5 Ways To Increase Your Agility In The Face Of Change

Startup Professionals Musings

As a business and entrepreneur advisor, I have no trouble getting owners and managers to agree that change is happening faster and faster in the consumer and technology world, requiring them to keep their business more agile , just to keep up.

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7 Tips For Building Millennials Into Next-Gen Leaders

Startup Professionals Musings

Millennials have come a long way in business since I started writing about them nearly ten years ago. They started out as that spoiled generation of kids, born between about 1982 and 2004, who had everything, and could care less about business.

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7 Key Strategies To Ensure Long-Term Customer Growth

Startup Professionals Musings

In my experience working with entrepreneurs, once they feel they have a winning formula for their business, they are often hesitant to change or update it. They forget that adapting their company and themselves as their customers evolve is the key to long-term survival.

10 Early Business Strategies That Can Lead To Failure

Startup Professionals Musings

Starting a new business is a serious undertaking. Yet many aspiring entrepreneurs I know approach it as a fun project, get-rich quick scheme, or perhaps an expensive hobby.

Startups Need Your Data, But Consumers Are Still Wary

Startup Professionals Musings

Neither people nor computers can really help you as a personal assistant unless you are willing to share data about what you like, what you feel, and who and what’s important to you.

7 Lessons For Mobile App Developers To Beat The Odds

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the quickest ways to become an entrepreneur these days is to develop and publish a smartphone app. The price of entry can be less than $10,000, so the competition is huge and growing rapidly. According to Tim Cook at Apple, there were over 20 million registered developers in 2018.

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7 Questions To Test Your Potential As An Entrepreneur

Startup Professionals Musings

As a mentor to aspiring entrepreneurs, the most common question I get is, “I want to be an entrepreneur -- how do I start?” The obvious answer is that you need an idea first, but I’ve come to realize that the process is really much more complex than that.

5 Priorities For New Business Leader Self-Development

Startup Professionals Musings

In my business of mentoring new entrepreneurs and advising small company owners, I recognize that most don’t start as experienced leaders, and most don’t realize that people leadership is a primary key to their future success.

6 Team Members Who Will Make Your New Venture Robust

Startup Professionals Musings

In my years of advising startups and occasional investing, I’ve seen many great ideas start and fail, but the right team always seems to make good things happen, even without the ultimate idea. That’s why investors say they invest in people (bet on the jockey, not the horse), rather than the idea.