Leadership

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How To Stimulate a Growth Economy

By | Community, Leadership, Startups, Strategy | 19 Comments

Over the last 25 years, almost all of the private sector jobs have been created by businesses less than 5 years old.

It’s because of this fact, that I believe most economic development strategies are broken. They focus on convincing bigger, established companies from outside of the region to open up new, remote offices, and focus less on fostering new growth opportunities by startups, building disruptive technologies.

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boulder up a hill

A Salute To The Entrepreneur

By | Leadership, Startups | 27 Comments

Today I want to honour the entrepreneurs in our world. I know I’m super biased, but let’s put that aside for a second.

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, gets better without someone standing up and deciding to make it better. I believe most people go through their day and take for granted that someone, at some point in time, decided that there needed to be a better way.

And that’s why today, I want to salute the entrepreneurs… and here’s why:

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Finding Your Passion

By | Leadership, Motivation | 6 Comments

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 11.27.33 AM

“Find something more important than you are and dedicate your life to it.” ~Dan Dennett

I love that quote!

To truly feel alive, you need to find something that you love, and you can’t do it for prestige.

It requires passion.

There’s a great video of Steve Jobs answering the question asked by Kara Swisher, “What’s the number one thing required to accomplish some of the things you’ve done in your life?”  To which he replies, “Passion.”

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5 Traits Of Great Mentors

By | Leadership, Startups | 2 Comments

Question
Over the years I’ve had different mentors.

There was Brian who I met when I found myself in jail at 16 years old, and others like Gerry who I reached out to 10 years later when I was weeks away from going bankrupt running a $1.2M dollar company.

They showed up when I needed them most. Some refer to them as their “Yoda’s,” others call them their teachers. I like the word mentor, even though I’ve never asked them to be, or called them that in person.

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Long Term Greedy vs. Short Term Greedy

By | Leadership, Startups | 2 Comments

As the world evolves to one of “instant gratification,” it seems that doing business has as well.

Even though I believe in moving fast and creating value for customers as quickly as possible, I do believe that we should take a long term view on building a business.

Long term means that you invest the time to find the right employees who share your values. It also means finding partners that make you look good and are going to be around in 10-20 years.

Short term is all about optimizing for near term gains. It can also mean either pushing your team to exhaustion or always sucking the value from any deal to be all one-sided.

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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Entrepreneurial Needs

By | Leadership | 5 Comments

Maslows-Hierarchy-of-Needs

“It isn’t normal to know what we want. It is a rare and difficult psychological achievement.” ~ Abraham Maslow

All great entrepreneurs have this in common. They know what they want. But they didn’t always know what they really wanted. Most of them went through what I call Maslow’s Hierarchy of Entrepreneurial Needs, borrowed from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs depicted above. My experience was no different.

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Keeping Startup Advisors Informed (Email Template)

By | Leadership, Metrics, Startups | 9 Comments

As a startup advisor and angel investor, one of the first things I try and teach every entrepreneur, is the importance of keeping advisors and investors in the loop.  With that in mind, I’ve created an email template that you should consider using.

Benefits of sending update emails

  • Have you’re advisers solve problems for you
  • No surprises, surprises are bad
  • Let your advisers celebrate your successes
  • Good news will go farther [lets us promote you!]

Best format and frequency

  • Put your most important challenges at the top
  • Short and sweet
  • Make it “Skimable” [bullets!]
  • Every 3 weeks (or if there’s any major issues news).

Other Tips

COPY/PASTE

===================================
+ Top 3 Challenges
+ Metrics
+ Whats New / In The News
===================================

> Top 3 Challenges
1. Getting Press
2. Hiring Biz Dev
3. Building Sales Team

> Metrics
1. Revenue / Target
2. Return Usage / Retention

> Whats New / In The News
1. [Source] – [Title] [Shortend URL] 2. Hired Rails Programmer (@username)
3. New Customer – Fortune 500 company

===================================

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