Startup Professionals Musings

5 Keys to Moving From Entrepreneur Thinking To Action

Startup Professionals Musings

As a mentor to aspiring entrepreneurs, I’m always surprised by the fact that some never seem to be able to that first startup going, while many others never seem to stop, starting their second or third initiative before the first one is fully hatched.

8 Team Member Types Test Your Entrepreneur Leadership

Startup Professionals Musings

The most valuable assets of a new startup are the people on the team, and the most challenging task of the entrepreneur and team leaders is to spend their leadership time and energy productively.

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6 Keys To Successfully Addressing Investor Questions

Startup Professionals Musings

Entrepreneurs looking for investor funding often fail to realize that all money comes with strings. For example, if you have watched the Shark Tank TV series, you probably noticed that the Sharks always ask the entrepreneurs for their intended “use of funds.”

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6 Keys To Measuring Return On Investment In Marketing

Startup Professionals Musings

Every entrepreneur knows that good demand generation marketing is the key to growth these days, but very few have the discipline or know-how to measure return in a world of a thousand tools and techniques.

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.

6 Entrepreneurship Advantages For Seniors In Business

Startup Professionals Musings

A popular myth that most of you probably believe is that startups are only for the younger generations. In fact, I see more and more evidence that new entrepreneurs are coming from the older age groups (age 45-64), and success rates move up with age.

10 Ways Entrepreneurs Limit Their Creative Potential

Startup Professionals Musings

Every entrepreneur believes in their heart that their startup is more innovative and creative than their competitors. Yet none knows exactly where creativity comes from within, or how to pick and motivate the most creative people for the team.

9 Different Approaches For Motivating A Startup Team

Startup Professionals Musings

Entrepreneurs inherently understand that they have to be the initial leader of their startup, but often they don’t have the experience or the training to know where their leadership competencies lie, or how to build a leadership team.

6 Tips For Entrepreneurs To Lock In On The Right Road

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the simplest questions I get from aspiring entrepreneurs, and ironically one of the hardest, is “How do I start?” I want to tell them to just start anywhere, but I realize that most have no idea where anywhere is.

8 Steps To Success With A Startup Board And Advisors

Startup Professionals Musings

Many startup founders I know avoid establishing a formal advisory board or board of directors for as long as possible, with the excuse that this is just another burden, or it has more risk than value to the founder.

8 Indications Of A Real Entrepreneur Versus A Hacker

Startup Professionals Musings

As a startup investor, I often see business proposals looking for funding that really look like expensive hobbies looking for donations.

8 Ways To Get Your Business Going Without Investors

Startup Professionals Musings

If you really want to start a business your way without a boss or professional investor hovering over you, then just fund it yourself or through friends and family, and grow it organically. It’s more possible to bootstrap today than a few years ago, as the cost of entry continues to go down.

5 Reasons Two Founders As A Team Are Better Than One

Startup Professionals Musings

It seems like every entrepreneur I meet these days is quick to proclaim themselves a visionary, expecting that will give more credibility to their startup idea, and improve their odds with investors.

5 Stages Of The Market Lifecycle Gate Startup Success

Startup Professionals Musings

As a frequent advisor to new entrepreneurs and startups, I often hear your frustration with being treated differently from other startups by investors, on expectations for valuation , traction, and market size.

10 Key Business Plan Elements Not In A Product Spec

Startup Professionals Musings

As an advisor to new hardware entrepreneurs, I often hear the myth that a business plan is no longer required to find an investor, if your idea is good enough. You may have heard that venture capitalists in Silicon Valley no longer read business plans.

7 Ways To Optimize Passion And Energy In Your Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

Most of you will start your business with plenty of passion and purpose, but all too often I see both disappearing after months of facing unanticipated setbacks and challenges.

10 Popular Business Strategies That Most Often Fail

Startup Professionals Musings

Every entrepreneur I know has their favorite excuse for a previous failure – an investor backed out, the economy took a downturn, or a supplier delivered bad quality.

8 Learning Principles To Keep You Ahead Of The Game

Startup Professionals Musings

Aspiring entrepreneurs who rely only on traditional learning vehicles (teachers, classrooms, and risk-free practice) are doomed to failure in anticipating change today.

7 Startup Leadership Keys To Ramp Up Team Commitment

Startup Professionals Musings

Entrepreneurs need to be effective team leaders, since no one can transform an idea into a product and a business without some help. Unfortunately many founders I work with as a mentor are experts on the technical side, but have no insight into leading a team.

10 Keys To Enabling Your Startup For Unicorn Growth

Startup Professionals Musings

Investors will tell you that they love to put money into startups that are scalable, and ready to become the next unicorn. But what does that really mean? Simply stated, it means that your business has the potential to multiply revenue with minimal incremental cost.

How To Reinvent Yourself As A Business Startup Today

Startup Professionals Musings

The era of stable lifetime jobs for business professionals within a single company are gone. Companies are rightsized quickly now as markets change rapidly, and business professionals are quick to jump to new opportunities for growth and survival, with no ties to special benefits or pension plans.

6 Tips To Market Your Idea Before Building A Solution

Startup Professionals Musings

Savvy entrepreneurs start testing their ideas on potential customers even before the concept is fully cooked.

7 Entrepreneur Questions To Select The Ideal Investor

Startup Professionals Musings

Too many entrepreneurs tell me they are looking for an investor, and can’t differentiate between venture capital (VC) investors versus accredited angel investors. They argue that the color of the money is the same from either source.

5 Strategies For Balancing Revenue Versus User Growth

Startup Professionals Musings

Some analysts argue that revenue drives growth, while others say user growth drives revenue. Both have worked. Google reached $1B in revenue within five years of incorporation, and now has a market capitalization of over $1 trillion.

7 Ways Your Day-To-Day Routine Drives Startup Success

Startup Professionals Musings

Most of the young entrepreneurs I know are classic proof of the old adage that people tend to overestimate what they can do in a short period, and underestimate what they can do over a long period.

7 Positive Ways To Highlight Your Competitive Clout

Startup Professionals Musings

Most entrepreneurs spend far too much time thinking negatively about competitors, and can’t resist making derogatory statements to their own team, to investors, and even to customers.

5 Rewards Of Independence That Excite Entrepreneurs

Startup Professionals Musings

For all entrepreneurs, starting a business is the route to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” no matter how risky. It’s the American dream that has been the goal of people in this country for over 240 years. If you are here in the U.S.,

How To Make New Venture Innovation Thinking Look Easy

Startup Professionals Musings

Why do a few entrepreneurs, like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, seem to come up with all the real innovations, while the majority of business leaders seem stuck in the rut of linear thinking?

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6 Strategies For Startup Exit That Investors Accept

Startup Professionals Musings

The last thing a new entrepreneur wants to think about for a new startup is how it will end. Yet one of the first things a potential equity investor asks about is your exit strategy.

8 Keys To Hooking Investors, Even If They Are Sharks

Startup Professionals Musings

As an advisor to entrepreneurs and active angel investor, I often get questions about the realism of the Shark Tank TV series, compared to professional investor negotiations. The simple answer is that with all the staging of TV lights and billionaire investors, it’s nothing like Silicon Valley.

Balance Your Focus Between Passion And Perspiration

Startup Professionals Musings

Many experts are certain that successful entrepreneurs are the ones with the most inspiration (passion and dream), while others will assert that it’s about more perspiration (working harder). In my experience, both are always required in heavy doses.

How Your Mindset Has To Evolve To Match The Business

Startup Professionals Musings

According to most definitions, an entrepreneur is one who envisions a new and different business, meaning one that is not a copy of an existing business model.

5 Challenges No Entrepreneur Anticipates In A Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

Every entrepreneur I know finds it a challenge to balance the joys of entrepreneurship against a set of frustrations they never anticipated. Of course, most of you expect that raising money will be difficult, as well as staving off competitors, and handling that occasional toxic customer.

7 Ways Investors Assess Your Focus As An Entrepreneur

Startup Professionals Musings

In my experience as a business mentor, one of the biggest challenges I see is a failure to focus. Most of you aspiring entrepreneurs have new ideas on a regular basis, and find it hard deciding which to pursue, or try to tackle several at the same time.

10 Stumbling Blocks To Innovative Business Thinking

Startup Professionals Musings

Successful entrepreneurs are the ones who think the most creatively, not only in their initial product or service, but more importantly all through the stages of growth from startup to maturity.

4 Principles Guide Every Socially Conscious Business

Startup Professionals Musings

I’ve noticed that most young entrepreneurs are more socially conscious today than ever before, which is a great trend.

5 Ways To Validate Your Technology As Market Driven

Startup Professionals Musings

Technical entrepreneurs love their technology, and often are driven to launch a startup on the assumption that everyone will buy any solution which highlights this technology. Instead, they need to validate a customer problem and real market need first.

6 Keys To Startup Wins Without Disruptive Innovation

Startup Professionals Musings

As an investor, innovation is a term I certainly like to hear these days, but many of you entrepreneurs try to take it to the next level, by claiming to have a “ disruptive innovation.”

7 Reasons To Avoid Stealth Mode For Your New Venture

Startup Professionals Musings

It’s still popular these days for startup founders to operate in stealth mode, meaning no details about the idea or progress are shared with anyone until the big reveal and rollout. The common reason given is that this prevents any competitor from stealing their idea and beating them to market.

8 Questions You Should Ask Before You Join A Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

Every startup founder loves to prompt for questions from investors and potential key team members about their vision, and the huge opportunity that can be had with their disruptive technology.

5 Keys To An Effective Startup Communications Mindset

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the biggest challenges we all face when put into business leadership roles is how to communicate most effectively.

8 Ways Your Old School Can Energize Your New Venture

Startup Professionals Musings

Most aspiring entrepreneurs look to their alma mater, or any university, as a source of classes that can help them, but neglect to think outside the box or take advantage of all the other resources to be found there.

5 Keys To Starting New Trends Rather Than Following

Startup Professionals Musings

I’m sure all of you are convinced that your new business will create the next trend and ride the wave to success, but the reality is that most startups fail , so anticipating future trends is clearly harder than it seems.

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