Archive for the 'Entrepreneurship' Category

Overheard at a recent private workshop

If you are a subscriber or regular reader of this blog, you’ll have noticed that the frequency of my blog posts has been reduced quite substantially over the past few years. I have refocused my time, effort and attention on my most elite, high performance clients – my Platinum Program Members. Since these are private workshops, you wouldn’t be aware they are taking place. I thought I would share with you a few quotes that were captured over the two days of discussions – the discussion themes included:

  1. Determining the WHAT and WHY of difficult business decisions
  2. Creating Winning Proposals
  3. How to structure compensation plans, divisions and entities to achieve your corporate outcomes
  4. Determining what you want and don’t want from your business
  5. Business models – which one(s) should I choose?
  6. Determine the WHAT and HOW of important business decisions
  7. Preparing a business to be sold
  8. Stakeholders – How to deal with them effectively
  9. Project Management Principles – how to get them done on time and on budget
  10. Work-life Balance – is it achievable or even realistic?
  11. The Internet, the easiest thing that’s hard to do
  12. Automating Your Business – how to leverage limited resources while producing maximum results

Some of the quotes captured during the workshop:

  • The only crisis you will have in your business life is when you stop caring.
  • Your singularity of focus in all dimensions of your life should drive you especially when the waters around you are stormy
  • When you get conflicted internally – it’s because you’re unclear or unsure of the outcome you want to achieve
  • Successful people were where you are now BEFORE they were successful.
  • If you focus on what you don’t want you will attract more of it.
  • Your self motivation is directly related to the level of satisfaction you have with respect to the reward you expect – within your decision-making horizon.
  • There is always a cost of making a decision just as much as there is always a cost of NOT making a decision.
  • FOCUS on the WHAT – your Reticular Activation Systems (RAS) will come up with the HOW (solution).
  • You don’t publish blog posts for humans to read them – They are for the search engine (robots).
  • Your integrity, congruency and authenticity have to be in alignment with your ultimate (life’s) purpose.
  • The more components you can identify, value and communicate to your clients/staff the more valuable the proposition becomes.
  • You need to demonstrate all the components of the value proposition so you are able to “discount” from the top line and maintain your needed profit margin.
  • Separating the “what” from the “how” is how great decisions are made. Always start with the what and the how will take care of itself.
  •  Don’t hope for things to happen – expect them to!
  • How we are seen is how we are perceived.
  • You must know what your outcome is, before you start to do anything, otherwise you are wasting time, money and/or effort.
  • You must recognise who is supporting you (internally and externally) in your business to make sure they are justly rewarded and/or appreciated.
  • Never oversell what you are providing, your belief and conviction will speak louder than you could ever scream.
  • Everyone is begging to be led in at least one aspect of their life. Be that mentor, leader or inspiration for your clients, friends and family.
  • Don’t think about failing, always see yourself succeeding.
  • You must be able to substantiate a claim or value proposition to amplify the benefits.
  • Never forget who you are doing this for. There has to be a purpose to your business investments (sacrifices). Otherwise you will lose faith, belief and motivation to stay the course.
  • Inflection points are produced by a catalytic moment.  To take advantage of them you have to get the catalyst under your control
  • When you get conflicted, where something isn’t right; the conflict is within you because you don’t know what you (really) want.
  • We erode our destiny moment by moment through the decisions we take and the decisions we defer.
  • The more components of the value proposition you can identify and quantify, the more compelling the case becomes.
  • Each component of your value proposition has a cost and value, the more accurate you are in calculating (estimating) these, the more profitable and defensible your position becomes.
  • Disintermediation means you have to become the glue that makes it work better than it did before.
  • Your client or supplier’s calculator is different to yours. Their evaluation of the value proposition will be based on their calculator, not yours.
  • The value proposition you are presenting might be too complicated for the person you are presenting it to. If they can’t work it out, you have to explain it, step-by-step.
  • The more stakeholders you involve in your decision making, the more genuine and authentic you are, the more effective you can be in negotiating win-win-win outcomes.
  • Considering all stakeholders’ vested interests should be an integral part of your process, not by letting them make the decision, but ensuring their vested interests are fully addressed in the final solution.
  • The burden of the future should not prevent you from enjoying the present.
  • The future should never be a burden, if it is – change it, now!
  • The basis of your (current) thoughts is the result of your (previous) thinking.
  • If you knew you could NOT fail what would you do?
  • You should know the cross-road before you get there.
  • Reconcile what you WANT versus what you NEED.
  • It¹s not the client’s role to tell you what they want; it’s yours!
  • You should NEVER complete your to-do-list. Only do the top 20% items because they give you 80% of your results and conversely the remaining 80% is a waste of valuable time because it only produces 20% of your results!
  • Be decisive, don’t use tentative words like: but, or, maybe, might, could, should, hopefully, possibly, probably.
  • If the reward is too far, you will probably give up on your dream. Create smaller goals to achieve that are closer in time, easier to achieve.
  • Don’t hope, expect.
  • There is no word for fortunate in French, only lucky. We are not lucky, we are fortunate to have the opportunities and choices – that we create.
  • Prepare for the worst, but expect the best.
  • Think different, not differently.
  • Be authentic and genuine, never manipulative.
  • When you come to the fork in the road you need to take it.
  • If you believe, it will happen.
  • If you’re not trying to do something out of the ordinary how do you know it’s not just ordinary?
  • Vested interest is always how the other person sees it. If you can’t see it you need to take yourself outside of your way of thinking, think like they do.
  • The more appreciation you have for outside-the-box thinking the better off you will be.
  • When you are spiraling “stop it!”. You need to come back to the “what” not the “how”.
  • Entrenchment is how wedded you are to the current way you’re doing things.
  • As you second guess yourself, it lowers the value of your service or product.
  • In sales, hunters are needed just as much as farmers.
  • Singular focus is the key, but this doesn’t equal one thing for life!
  • You’ve got to own who you are.
  • Think through the complete set of scenarios before you start implementation.
  • Prepare your business for sale 2-5 years before you want to sell it.
  • The intimacy of the relationship with the stakeholders in your business
    will vary on their degree of involvement.
  • The more stakeholders you have, the more leverage you can have.
  • Figure out your timeline …. and start the clock.

If you read the lists and thought to yourself – WOW! That’s a lot of content! You’re right. All our workshops are value-packed, outcome-driven, results-focused. Platinum Program Members have no time to waste and want to get to the bottom line – YESTERDAY!

The Platinum Program is based on my unique coaching philosophy and mentoring methodology. It’s not for everyone, in fact it’s only for the most committed business people who “measure up” to an exceptionally high level of commitment and desire to achieve.

If you think you’re up to it and want a challenging environment that will hold you accountable to your goals (and dreams), contact us.

Entrepreneurship Definition

Entrepreneurship Defined: Living a few years of your life like most people won’t so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.
Entrepreneurship Definition

Is your business paying you more than just a wage?

Does running your own business payoff? The answer is yes, and no.

In a recent BRW Magazine article, University Of Western Sydney researchers revealed that even though small business owners still don’t earn as much as the typical wage earner, they’re becoming richer and smarter with their money as they tend to accumulate more assets.

Australian business owners report a lower level of weekly income. In 2010, they took home an average weekly income of $1975 compared with those on a wage who took home $2173.

But a new University of Western ­Sydney study shows business owners outstripped their more secure counterparts by accumulating assets worth more than $1 million ($1.095 million in 2010), whereas wage earners ­accumulated only two-thirds ($673,000) of this amount.

“As a small business owner, you sometimes sacrifice some income in favour of reinvesting that,” Mark ­Sargent from Newcastle University said. “There’s evidence the typical model, where you take the risk and get greater returns, actually is the case.”

Using data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and HILDA (Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia), the study  found there are more than 2.1 million owner-operators of small businesses in ­Australia and the proportion of superannuation investment by both wage earners and small business owners has increased markedly.

The value of superannuation holdings in the sample group shows contributions from salary and wage earnings households between 2003 and 2010 rose 60 per cent whereas the contributions from unincorporated small businesses nearly doubled to 112 per cent.

“The magnitude of the change was quite surprising,” Dr Sargent said.

“Traditionally, people have started their own businesses with a view of one day selling their business and using the proceeds to fund their retirement.

“What we have now begun to detect is that more business people are ­dramatically building up their superannuation funds. This is a far more ­protected and secure environment for wealth creation.”

This is both good and bad news for small business owners.

First the good news: At least business owners are rewarded with capital appreciation of their assets. It is assumed the capital growth difference with their salaried peers actually compensates for the lower income and would the greater access to business deductions.

The bad news: The risk borne by small business owners is usually very high, with many primary residences collateralised for business bank loans and the on-going risk of default and bankruptcy especially in times of economic and geopolitical turmoil. An employee might lose a job, a business owner his/her job AND his/her house!

The great news: Some small business owners succeed at making a higher income and create greater capital appreciation than their peers. This small, elite group of business owners learns powerful strategies that are tried and tested. If you would like to join them, contact us. We’ll let you know if you qualify to join them.

Entrepreneur: Defined

Entrepreneur, EntrepreneurshipWhen I did my coursework for my Ph.D. in Business Administration, one of the things that initially surprised me was how academics couldn’t agree on seemingly simple definitions for terms such as Entrepreneur or Family Business.

I quickly realised that the definition of the word, theme or concept determines HOW you’re going to study or research it, so it becomes a circular argument that creates a lot of academic debate – most of it beneficial and some frankly wasteful and redundant.

That’s why, when I recently came across the definition of an entrepreneur by Howard Stevenson – one of the field’s most prominent researchers, I thought it worthy of sharing with you even though it was conceived almost 40 years ago.

It’s a timeless definition that might take some reflection to fully appreciate.

” Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity
without regard to resources currently controlled.”

Too many people associate entrepreneurs with risk taking. Entrepreneur don’t get  up in the morning saying “Where’s the most risk in today’s economy and how can I get some?”

With this definition that focused on entrepreneurship as a process, Stevenson’s definition opened the term to all kinds of people. Plus, it matched the one demographic fact Harvard Business School researchers already knew about entrepreneurs—they were more likely to start out poor than rich.

“They see an opportunity and don’t feel constrained from pursuing it because they lack resources,” explains Stevenson. “They’re used to making do without resources.”

The perception of opportunity in the absence of resources helps explain much of what differentiates entrepreneurial leadership from that of corporate administrators: the emphasis on team rather than hierarchy, fast decisions rather than deliberation, and equity rather than cash compensation.

What would you expect, asks Stevenson “When you don’t have the cash to boss people around, like in a corporation, you have to create a more horizontal organization. You hire people who want what you have and not what you don’t have.”

In other words, entrepreneurs offer their team members a larger share of a vision for a future payoff, rather than a smaller share of the meager resources at hand.

When you really think about it, opportunity is the only real resource small (startup) businesses have.

Give it some thought – after all the brightest and sharpest minds are still grappling with this and other definitions…

If you find others that are worth sharing, please share by placing a comment below!

Strategy Versus Tactics

Business Coaching, Business Mentor, Business Coach, Business MentoringWe have all heard the expression “you need to work ON your business instead of IN it…

Easier said than done.

In fact, for most owner operators, it’s a transition they can never make.

The reason is simple: The personality traits that got them to go INTO business are exactly the ones that will keep them chained to the business, day in, day out.

Those personality traits create behaviours and habits that unfortunately most entrepreneurs can’t break. Sorry to be so pessimistic. It’s just the way it is.

Are you wondering if you’re one of the FEW who can make the transition?

If you are, you need to be:

  • Open minded
  • Flexible
  • Self aware

Otherwise you’re kidding yourself and will waste a lot of time money and effort on trying to change something that’s not going to change – YOU.

If you’re stubborn, intractable and think you’ve got it all figured out – “goodonya mate”. You’re all set and have “no worries”. She’ll be right mate.

If you’re open minded, flexible and self aware and want to work ON your business to grow it with less effort, have a look at my coaching and mentoring philosophy page. If it resonates with you, then contact us.