Startup Professionals Musings

8 Inspirational Insights For Those Chasing Your Dream

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.

5 Business Relationships That Will Get You To The Top

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.

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5 Basic Ingredients For A Startup Recipe For Success

Startup Professionals Musings

I realized a while back that creating a new company for the first time is a lot like whipping up a great dinner entrée for the first time – you need a recipe, even though it may look simple. You know the basic ingredients, and you can visualize the results you want.

7 Types Of People Who Get Results With Minimal Motion

Startup Professionals Musings

Isn’t it amazing that some people you know always seem to be working hard, but never seem to get anything done? As an entrepreneur, you need to avoid partnering with these people, or hiring them into your startup. The challenge is to find people who get things done, as well as work hard.

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 To Being Willing To Risk Your Neck In Business

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.

7 Critical Resources For A Thriving Startup Community

Startup Professionals Musings

As a mentor to aspiring entrepreneurs, I often feel the frustration of someone trying to build a startup in the wrong place and time, and wrongly attributing their struggle to personal limitations.

7 Startup Proposals That May Raise Investor Red Flags

Startup Professionals Musings

If you aren’t willing to take some risk as an entrepreneur, then don’t expect any gain. Yet everyone has limits, and every investor implicitly has similar limits on what makes a startup investable, or one to avoid at all costs.

A Fearless Leader’s Mindset Will Conquer Any Obstacle

Startup Professionals Musings

The cost of entry to the entrepreneur lifestyle is at an all-time low, but the challenge of winning and success is at an all-time high. Anyone can build a new web site, or publish a smartphone app for a few thousand dollars, but getting market penetration requires a lot more.

10 Strategies That Work Best For Serial Entrepreneurs

Startup Professionals Musings

Entrepreneurs who experience success with their first startup are often amazed to realize that the risks and fears of doing it right the second time go up, rather than down.

10 Alternative Funding Sources For Your New Venture

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the most frequent questions I get as a mentor to entrepreneurs is “How do I find the money to start my business?”

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6 Ways To Pull In Customers Without Push Marketing

Startup Professionals Musings

Entrepreneurs have always believed that their product or service must show real value to customers, but today the smart ones are even able to make their marketing valuable. The days are gone when marketing was all “pushing product.”

8 Keys To Success In Your Next New Business Interview

Startup Professionals Musings

Startups and small businesses are different worlds from big enterprises, so the qualities you need to get a job in a new venture are different.

8 Strategies To Satisfy Investors You Are Accountable

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.

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7 Characteristics Of Startup Founders Who Enjoy Life

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 Ways To Make Your Business Presentations Stand Out

Startup Professionals Musings

As an entrepreneur, I understand your passion when pitching your solution to investors and customers, but passion alone won’t make one more technology pitch stand out above all the rest.

7 Keys To Transforming Your Invention Into A Business

Startup Professionals Musings

Do you have an invention that you believe is worth a million dollars? In fact, it could be worth much more than that, if you are able to use it to kickstart a successful business.

7 Due Diligence Checks On Your Idea To Save Some Pain

Startup Professionals Musings

In my experience, consummate entrepreneurs tend come up with more startup ideas than they can ever implement, and some of the ideas may not even make business sense. But how does any entrepreneur know which ideas to implement, and which ones are best left behind?

5 Team Engagement Principles Are Vital To Leadership

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.

6 Ways To Make Customers Remember You As Exceptional

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.

6 Keys To Translating Technology Into Business Value

Startup Professionals Musings

Young entrepreneurs often are so excited by new technology or their latest invention that they forget to translate it into a value proposition that their customers or potential investors can understand and relate to.

7 Strategies To Solve Your Business Problems Faster

Startup Professionals Musings

Problem solving is a full-time task in business. Whether you own the business, or have only a small role in daily operations, making decisions and solving problems is a key part of your job.

5 Ways To Focus Your Strategy On Delighting Customers

Startup Professionals Musings

The world keeps changing, and visible business strategies that worked well in the past, including being the premium brand or low price producer, simply don’t get the customer loyalty they once did. Today, customers are looking for real relationships, a memorable shopping experience, and satisfaction of a higher purpose. They follow leaders who live and promote these strategies.

6 Drivers For Aspiring Entrepreneurs To Finish School

Startup Professionals Musings

A continuing question I hear from young entrepreneurs is whether a university degree is important to startup success, or just a distraction in achieving their purpose in the world.

How To Pull Customers To Your Website With Real Value

Startup Professionals Musings

Traditional marketing says you have to “push” your message out to customers, over and over again, to get you remembered. A more effective approach in today’s Internet and interactive culture is to use “pull” technology to bring customers and clients to your story.

7 Negative Reactions To New Ideas And How To Prevail

Startup Professionals Musings

In business, and in your personal life, the ability to anticipate and overcome criticism is one of the biggest differentiators between leaders, who make things happen, and followers, who may have great ideas but never seem to get things to go their way.

6 Motivations Shared By Most Satisfied Entrepreneurs

Startup Professionals Musings

Out of curiosity, I often ask aspiring entrepreneurs like you, who come to me for help, what drives them to take on the workload and risk of a new startup.

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.

6 Keys To Sizing Your Market For A New Business Plan

Startup Professionals Musings

Many entrepreneurs are so enamored with their product vision that they believe their own hype, and are convinced that the market for their solution is so huge that no one will ask them for independent market research data.

7 Keys To A New Startup While Still In A Paying Job

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.

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.

7 Tips On Advancing Your Career To Being A Great Boss

Startup Professionals Musings

One of the things I’ve learned in working with aspiring entrepreneurs is that managing and leading a team is a scary venture into the unknown for many people, even if they have worked as a business professional for years.

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.

10 Tips On Selling Yourself As Well As Your Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

Too many entrepreneurs I know still believe that that their great idea will carry the startup, and they may even minimize their own value, especially if they have introvert tendencies. Yet most investors agree that the “idea” is worth nothing alone, and it’s the entrepreneur execution that counts.

5 Ways To Conserve Investor Cash And Ensure Survival

Startup Professionals Musings

Cash flow is a basic survival metric for every startup. Investors check your burn rate to assess your efficiency, and project your remaining runway before you run out of money and into a brick wall.

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.

8 People And Process Talents Every Entrepreneur Needs

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.

5 Keys To Negotiating Your Fair Share Of Any Startup

Startup Professionals Musings

I always tell entrepreneurs that two heads are better than one, so the first task in many startups is finding a co-founder or two. You need to find the skills or experience you don’t have in business, technology, or money. So the first question I usually get is what percent of the company or equity is that person worth? Giving a co-founder a salary won’t get you the “fire in the belly” you want.

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.

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.

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.”

5 Keys To Reducing Startup Risk By Building On Trends

Startup Professionals Musings

It may not be as sexy, but starting a new business which builds on an existing technology or business model is usually less risky than introducing that ultimate new disruptive technology. There are many levels of innovation that go beyond copying someone else’s idea, but stop short of pushing the leading edge (bleeding edge). Many of the major business successes started this way. McDonalds didn’t invent the fast food model – they simply improved on the cookie-cutter White Castle process.