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Posts Tagged ‘entrepreneurship’

Living Proof.jpgIn Living Proof, Adam von Gootkin explores the entrepreneurial lessons he has learned as the cofounder of Onyx Spirits Co., LLC. He believes that entrepreneurs must prioritize their independence and create positive, winning mindsets that manifest themselves into successful business ventures. He also discusses how the growth of technology has created opportunities and networks of resources that have made entrepreneurial success more achievable than ever before.

The author believes that:

  • Learning valuable business lessons while working as an entrepreneur can be more impactful than learning from professors who have not run a business before.
  • Believing in one’s mission, product, and goals is important in the face of doubters or opposition. Market research, passion, and business partnerships must drive an entrepreneur to be the best in the industry.
  • Surrounding oneself with a diverse group of advisors from many industries can be critical to success. Knowing when a company should be run by expert managers instead of a founder can increase profitability.
  • Setting goals and a path to achieve them requires an insatiable horizonmindset. This is the “grass is always greener” belief that will drive an entrepreneur to work harder and smarter to grow a business.
  • When seeking startup capital, different investors come to the table with a variety of strengths and expectations. Entrepreneurs must be familiar with the many levels of investment and with the investors themselves.
  • The best entrepreneurs create services and products that not only fill customers’ needs, but that fill them better than any other competitors in the marketplace.

To learn more, please visit www.bizsum.com

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make-your-own-wavesIn Make Your Own Waves, Louis Patler explains that those starting their own businesses can learn a great deal from the rules followed by Big Wave surfers. Like surfers, successful entrepreneurs must have confidence and an understanding of their own unique strengths. They must prepare carefully and take calculated risks. Success comes from going all in. The marketplace, like the ocean, is unpredictable, so both innovators and surfers must constantly adjust to changing conditions. For those looking to move from start to startup, the surfers’ rules offer a strategic roadmap in 10 steps.

Innovators and entrepreneurs looking to move from start to startup can learn from the rules and strategies of Big Wave surfing, which include:

  • Learn to swim. Before a person can surf, he or she must learn to swim. Innovators must start with an understanding of their situations, including the trends, competition, and full potential of their products, among other things.
  • Get wet. In order to be a real surfer, a person has to leave the beach and get in the water. Innovators must take action to make their dreams come true.
  • Always look “outside.” The best surfers scan the horizon before committing to a wave. Innovators should watch for what is coming next before they take action.
  • Commit, charge, shred! There is a moment in Big Wave surfing in which surfers must rely on their preparation and, despite their fears, force themselves over the ledge. For innovators and surfers, success comes from going all in.
  • Never turn one’s back on the ocean. Business owners should never take their customers for granted, just as good surfers know never to turn their backs to the ocean, because they can never predict how conditions might change.
  • Stay stoked! Those who have the most success in surfing and in business are those who love what they do.

To learn more, please visit www.bizsum.com

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the-six-secrets-of-raising-capitalGaining the interest of investors means gaining both their emotional involvement and financial confidence. The traditional methods such as idea-pitching and writing exhaustive business plans are weak approaches that can leave solid business ideas unfunded. In The Six Secrets of Raising Capital, Bill Fisher provides a model for reeling in investors. Good stories, rather than good ideas, are what draw investors into new opportunities. Winning business narratives are built on facts, conflict, and the promise of a happy ending.

Fisher believes that:

  1. Stories, not ideas, get funds. Investors are looking for good stories, with compelling heroes and villains. A business narrative is fact-based, memorable, and right to the point. It also has a happy ending.
  2. Bulletproof is better than a business plan. Nobody has the time or interest to read a business plan. Instead, a one- or two-minute bulletproof speech based on high credibility and expertise provides the best bet to interest investors.
  3. Money has personality. Angel investors are everywhere, in both informal and formal relationships. Whether working with a group of casual investors or with hedge fund managers, entrepreneurs should identify the right group of investors for a particular start-up.
  4. Investors like to be romanced. Investors are a lot like dates; entrepreneurs meet with prospective investors, get to know them personally, negotiate a relationship, and either form a partnership or break up. Toxic personalities in business, as in romance, must be strictly avoided.
  5. Capital can crash dreams. Negotiating the nuts and bolts of investor funding involves two categories of needs: economic and control. Both entrepreneurs and investors seek to secure the best financial return for themselves while also attempting to gain as much control over expenditures and operations as they can. Learning to negotiate from a point of decisiveness and firmness while maintaining politeness at all times is the best strategy.
  6.  Deals do not close themselves. The entrepreneur is responsible for micromanaging the closing of all deals and ensuring that funds are wired by investors.

To learn more, please visit www.bizsum.com

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one-perfect-pitch

One Perfect Pitch by Marie Perruchet offers step-by-step guidance to entrepreneurs who are seeking funding for their ventures, or those who need to sell themselves or their products or services. By focusing on their one-of-a-kind stories and knowing the ins and outs of pitching etiquette, entrepreneurs can make their ideas unforgettable and make their businesses seem like exciting and worthwhile investments. In the hypercompetitive world of entrepreneurship, particularly in Silicon Valley, having multiple pitches prepared and practiced is essential for survival.

Pitching to investors is an essential part of entrepreneurship. The perfect pitch needs the following:

  • Storytelling.Every startup founder has encountered challenges along the way. The stories of overcoming these challenges are inspirational. They get investors’ attention and help them relate on a personal level.
  • Multiple iterations.The pitch that works for one investor will not be the right pitch for another investor. Smart entrepreneurs will have several versions of their pitches that cater to different types of investors. They will also be able to condense their ideas into one-minute elevator speeches.
  • Practice, practice, practice.The best presentations are those that do not feel scripted. They are delivered in a natural and relaxed manner. The only way to ensure this is to practice presentations over and over again.
  • An amazing presentation.Whether a presentation is a one-minute elevator speech or a longer, more formal presentation, it must wow the audience. It should have three acts, including a hook, a product demonstration, and an ask. The presenter must be authentic, confident, well spoken, and relatable.

To learn more, please visit www.bizsum.com

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9780730314592.pdfWho would have thought a successful leadership career would stem from a high school suspension. But that is what happened for Alex Malley. His school suspension is just one experience in a line of missteps that yielded important learnings that led him on a path to become a successful CEO, television host, educator, and mentor. All of these experiences inspired him to write The Naked CEO, a compilation of the learnings he has accumulated and shared over the years with young people preparing to leave college and enter the business world. Malley’s key message is to never let fear or embarrassment hold people back from pursuing their dreams. Unless individuals are comfortable with their own journeys, they are unlikely to truly help others on theirs.

Young people can start their careers and build the “big life” of their dreams through courage, hard work, and paying attention to the following truths:

  • Dare to dream. Individuals who are authentic and true to themselves, know what they want, and apply themselves toward their goals can achieve great things.
  • The past does not determine the future. Individuals are affected by their early life experiences. Those experiences can create fears that sometimes get in the way of achievement. However, with self-awareness and the determination to overcome those fears, success is within each individual’s control.
  • Creating one’s universe is the first step to success. Understanding one’s unique gifts and contributions and visualizing how to use that understanding to effect change is how an individual creates his or her “universe.” The process requires self-reflection and having the determination to follow one’s “passion, imagination, and vision.” This is the path to personal success.
  • Without authenticity there is nothing. Every individual has unique qualities and unique contributions to make. However, without being true to oneself, those qualities and contributions cannot be brought to fruition.
  • Success is based more on relationships and less on knowledge. Ultimately, it is people, not knowledge, that make the business world go round. More opportunities are created through networking and building authentic relationships than anything else.
  • Wisdom is a collection of experiences. By using trial and error, making mistakes, “sucking it up”, and not fearing failure, people can reach their “big lives.”

To learn more, please visit http://www.bizsum.com

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China’s Super ConsumersWith the rapid rise of China’s economy has come a new class of “super consumers” who are ready to assert themselves the way American consumers have over the last century. Already there are more than 500 million online shoppers in China and some 1.5 million millionaires in a country of over 1.2 billion people. This huge population—four times the size of the United States—presents an enormous opportunity for foreign companies, but the long history of China and a language and culture so different from those in Western nations present many pitfalls as well. As Savio Chan and Michael Zakkour explain in China’s Super Consumers, newcomers to the market must take the time to understand Chinese history and culture and the special challenges of doing business in China.

The authors provide the following tips on doing business in China:

  • Companies that want to succeed in China need to understand its historical culture. Group harmony matters more than individual liberty. Networks of trusted family and friends are so important that Chinese spend a good deal of energy maintaining these networks. Relationships are more complex and agreements more contingent than in the West. Even the language favors nuance and ambiguity over directness.
  • In the last decade, the Chinese consumer has been on a meteoric rise with rapid urbanization and growing disposable incomes. This new wealth, together with the sheer size of the country, has made the Chinese consumer a global force. In addition to the mainland Chinese market, there is a huge demand for the products, services, and experiences Chinese overseas travelers want to buy.
  • Retail channels, supply chains, and marketing in China differ somewhat from those in the West, even when they appear outwardly similar. However, China’s distribution infrastructure does not yet match that in the West. Retail channels tend to be single brand and can be expensive to sustain. Therefore, e-commerce is highly attractive and a low-risk path to entry. For luxury goods, Chinese buyers expect to see flagship stores.
  • China is not really a single market–it is an amalgamation of markets that are defined both geographically and by customer type. Businesses must understand the need to customize their offerings and approaches to serving each of these markets differently.

To learn more, please visit http://www.bizsum.com

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Do Cool ShtContrary to popular belief, it is possible for people to have enjoyable careers and work with like-minded people who share their interests. In Do Cool Sh*t, Miki Agrawal, a young, successful entrepreneur, shares her journey of finding work she loves rather than working only to make money. For her, making money is not how she defines success. Rather, success is about doing the absolute best with the capabilities a person has rather than putting in hours in exchange for a paycheck and a boring existence. Her belief is that people truly can have it all.

According to Agrawal:

  • People who step outside their existing social networks to make new connections may find it difficult at first, but it could create opportunities to meet potential investors for new business ventures. Without taking chances, these connections will never be made.
  • Before asking for something, it is important for individuals to first understand exactly what they want. Clear proposals will make recipients more accepting of the “ask.”
  • Although there is a place for passion, entrepreneurs also need to stop and identify what they are good at. It is difficult to be successful in a venture without the skill set to back it up.
  • Opportunities do not have to be strictly entrepreneurial–there is also an “intrapreneurial” approach where people expand their reach with their existing employers by growing their internal programs. This can only happen in work environments where creative thinking is encouraged.
  • Part of the journey to success includes creating a list of admirable people. Entrepreneurs must connect personally with the people they admire in order find mentors who can help them launch their businesses.
  • Teams are vital to success. Not investing the time to hire the right people can result in constantly re-hiring and training new people.
  • If people are not willing to change the way they do business, they will never get the chance to experience new things. New experiences are vital for achieving success.
  • The type of communities people spend time with strongly influence the types of people they become. Part of creating new lifestyles and mindsets involves finding new people with whom to spend time.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

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