The Entrepreneur and Innovation from A to Z by Dr T William Hefferan by Dr T William Hefferan - Read Online

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Entrepreneurship is an adventure into discovery, filled with exciting challenges and personal growth leading to quality achievements. When I began my journey as an entrepreneur, I had never heard the word entrepreneur before. I was eight years old and simply put two and two together: I had a product that met a need, I had a need to raise money, and I had an idea that was consuming my consciousness. My family always had a large vegetable garden. My 6 1⁄2 year old sister and I desperately needed a swimming pool. Parents generally don’t jump to every whim their kids dream up! The solution was right in front of us. We decided to sell our excess produce door to door. Invariably, we sold everything in our little red wagon at the very first house we approached. Day after day we re-loaded our wagon and sold out on each trip. We employed a winning marketing technique – another term I had never come across. You see, my sister acted and looked exactly like Shirley Temple -- the famous child actress -- no one could resist her charms! That simple model has guided me as an entrepreneur for over 23 years. Throw in some continuous innovative thinking and perseverance and the formula begins to blossom. Along the way, challenges created new learning curves. With the right tools, anyone can become a successful entrepreneur and make an endeavor fulfilling and rewarding. My business is designing, developing, syndicating and managing commercial investment real estate since I was 18. Each project is based on innovative ideas and becomes a stand-alone business. I've always insisted that anyone can be an entrepreneur. At its core, it’s as basic as our door-to-door vegetable sales adventure. You’ll simply need to add the easy to grasp concepts I describe throughout this book. I decided to write this book because I feel strongly that if everyone had an entrepreneurial -- intrapreneurial spirit, we would end high unemployment, under-employment and stagnant wage growth. My approach is to provide you with a collection of articles I've published as well as excerpts from papers and books I've written on entrepreneurship and innovation. This comprehensive book is presented as a compendium of eight separate books that comprise: The Entrepreneur and Innovation from A to Z.

The book spans concepts from how to innovate – the beginnings of the entrepreneur’s journey -- to running a successful business, including:
•Passion for the endeavor that drives success
•Business plan formats and marketing strategies
•Communications skills that are critical to developing and growing your business
•Leadership and management to achieve continuous improvement
•Hiring the right people, team building and ‘Espirit de Corps’
•Rethinking strategies and fostering collaboration that generates new ideas
•Help employees to be the best they can be and engage them as partners versus ‘workers’
•Learn why social responsibility is critical for the success of any business
•Know the economics of your endeavor including influences of the global economy
•Establish continuous learning throughout your organization
•Learn how our government really works and how to benefit from that insight
Filled with real-life examples, this informative book is a unique light reading approach to learning the details of how to become a successful innovative entrepreneur. It is a broad collection of diverse articles to ensure you won’t want to put the book down. Hard facts, research results, real-life stories and enough humor to entertain, The Entrepreneur and Innovation from A to Z is filled with advice for all aspects of starting, managing and succeeding in any entrepreneurial endeavor and business.

Published: Dr T William Hefferan on
ISBN: 9781310734007
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The Entrepreneur and Innovation from A to Z - Dr T William Hefferan

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nonfiction

ALSO BY DR. HEFFERAN

Perseverance

. . .

Conflicting Contradictions

. . .

The Old Colony Building

. . .

JOBS

. . .

JOBs: How the U.S. Can Reach Long-Term Full Employment

. . .

The Place for Business

. . .

Employees and Employers Connect

. . .

Cooking as an Event

. . .

Cooking as an Event - 2

. . .

Employers and Job Seekers Pursue Mutual Excellence through Postmodern Communications Strategies

INTRODUCTION

Entrepreneurship is an adventure into discovery, filled with exciting challenges and personal growth leading to quality achievements.

When I began my journey as an entrepreneur, I had never heard the word entrepreneur before. I was eight years old and simply put two and two together: I had a product that met a need, I had a need to raise money, and I had an idea that was consuming my consciousness.

That simple model has guided me as an entrepreneur for over 23 years. Throw in some continuous innovative thinking and perseverance and the formula begins to blossom. Along the way, challenges created new learning curves. With the right tools, anyone can become a successful entrepreneur and make an endeavor fulfilling and rewarding.

My family had a vegetable garden that always produced too many vegetables for us to consume. My 6 1/2 year old sister and I desperately needed a swimming pool. Parents generally don't jump to every whim their kids dream up! The solution was right in front of us. We decided to sell our excess produce door to door.

Invariably, we sold everything in our little red wagon at the very first house we approached. Day after day we re-loaded our wagon and sold out on each trip. We employed a winning marketing technique - another term I had never come across. You see, my sister acted and looked exactly like Shirley Temple, the famous child actress. No one could resist her charms!

My business has been designing, developing, syndicating and managing commercial investment real estate since I was 18. Each project is based on innovative ideas and becomes a stand-alone business. I've included my resume in this book (see 'Dr. Hefferan's Bio').

I've always insisted that anyone can be an entrepreneur. At its core, it's as basic as our door-to-door vegetable sales adventure. You'll simply need to add the easy to grasp concepts I describe throughout this book. I decided to write this book because I feel strongly that if everyone had an entrepreneurial/intrapreneurial spirit, we would end high unemployment, under-employment and stagnant wage growth. My approach is to provide you with a collection of articles I've published as well as excerpts from papers and books I've written on entrepreneurship and innovation.

This comprehensive book is presented as a compendium of eight separate books that comprise: The Entrepreneur and Innovation from A to Z.

• Book One: Entrepreneurship and Innovation

• Book Two: Communication and Public Speaking

• Book Three: Education and Training

• Book Four: Customer Service

• Book Five: Employment Environment

• Book Six: The Knowledge Worker Economy

• Book Seven: Social Responsibility

• Book Eight: The White House

The book spans concepts from how to innovate - the beginnings of the entrepreneur's journey — to running a successful business, including:

• Passion for the endeavor that drives success

• Business plan formats and marketing strategies

• Leadership and management to achieve continuous improvement

• Hiring the right people, team building and Espirit de Corps

• Rethinking strategies and fostering collaboration that generates new ideas

• Help employees to be the best they can be and engage them as partners versus 'workers'

• Learn why social responsibility is critical for the success of any business

• Know the economics of your endeavor including influences of the global economy

• Establish continuous learning throughout the organization

• Learn how our government really works and how to benefit from that insight

Filled with real-life examples, this informative book is a unique light reading approach to learning the details of how to become a successful innovative entrepreneur. It is a broad collection of diverse articles to ensure you won't want to put the book down. Hard facts, research results, real-life stories and enough humor to entertain, The Entrepreneur and Innovation from A to Z is filled with advice for all aspects of starting, managing and succeeding in any entrepreneurial endeavor and business.

QUOTES THAT INSPIRED THE BOOK

• Even if you're not yet an entrepreneur, you can be entrepreneurial in everything you do. Tory Burch

• The sooner you start being fearless the better. L'Wren Scott

• Be bold, be courageous, be your best. Gabrielle Giffords

• There's a box that you get placed in. My goal, really, is to blow that box wide open. Shonda Rhimes

• When you innovate, you've got to be prepared for everyone telling you you're nuts. TWH

• Embrace the things that make you unique, even if it makes people uncomfortable. Janelle Monae

• I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have. Thomas Jefferson

• Do, or do not. There is no 'try.' Yoda

• When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world. George Washington Carver

• Were all a little bit stronger than we think we are. Robin Roberts

• It's very important to take criticism seriously but not personally. Hillary Clinton

• Given how quickly business moves, you're going to get knocked down; success is how many times you get back up. Sally Krawcheck

• I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying. Michael Jordan

• Nothing important gets done without intense perseverance & persistence. Relentlessly pursue your goals. TWH

• If you haven't failed yet, you haven't tried anything yet. Reshma Saujani

• Think big and break things down into a series of doable steps. Gina Bianchini

• If you push through that feeling of being scared, really amazing things happen. Marissa Mayer

• It always seems better the next day. Persistence is really important. Susan Wojcicki

• In order to achieve stuff in life, you have to be hungry. Leila Janah

• Do every job you're in like you're going to do it for the rest of your life. Mary Barra

• Don't use the few stereotypes of 'female leadership.' Be yourself when you lead. Melinda Gates

• Everyone is broken by life, many grow stronger in those broken places. Earnest Hemingway

• Flow is a state of focus and enjoyment that people feel when fully immersed in a task.

• Career advice: Everything takes three times as long and is three times as hard as you thought it would be. But do it anyway. Kate McKinnon

• Innovate or die. TWH

• People who succeed have momentum. The more they succeed, the more they want to succeed. Tony Robbins

• The difference between a successful person and others is not lack of strength, not lack of knowledge but rather a lack of will. Vince Lombardi

• Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success. Dale Carnegie

• I don't want to wait for people to give me opportunities — I want to make my own. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

• Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat. F. Scott Fitzgerald

• It isn't the mountain ahead wearing you out; it's the pebble in your shoe. Mohammed Ali

• If I can't be daring in my work or the way I live my life, then I don't really see the point of being on this planet. Madonna

• If you're not willing to fight for what you believe in, don't get in the ring. Madonna

• The new normal: Hyper-innovative thinking transcends linear thinking into elliptically polarized multi-dimensional ideas. TWH

• Innovation: Anything you can think of — they can make; so make it happen. TWH

• There's a world of difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it. Bill Phillips

• Learn from yesterday. Live for today. Hope for tomorrow. Albert Einstein

• When you see someone skipping to work — you know they love their job. Warren Buffett

CONTENTS

Also by Dr. Heferan

Introduction

Quotes that Inspired the Book

Detailed Table of Contents

Book One: Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Book Two: Communication and Public Speaking

Book Three: Education and Training

Book Four: Customer Service

Book Five: Employment Environment

Book Six: The Knowledge Worker Economy

Book Seven: Social Responsibility

Book Eight: The White House

Postscript

Endnotes

Dr. Hefferan's BIO

Dr. Hefferan's Writing BIO

Excerpt from Perseverance

Behaviors and Personality Traits — Excerpt from JOBS

DETAILED TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction

Quotes that Inspired the Book

Book One: Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Entrepreneurship: The Solution to High Unemployment

Why Employers Desperately Need Innovators and Entrepreneurs

Do You Have Characteristics of an Entrepreneur?

Dell and HP - Where are Your Intrapreneurs?!

Nike Inadvertently Reinvented Innovation

How to be an Innovator at Work

Innovators Create the New and Evolve the Old

Why Entrepreneurs Are Worth Their Weight in Gold

Anyone Can Be an Innovator

Innovation: Always On

Innovation Means Survival

Passion for Work

Women as Innovators

A Glance at an Early Entrepreneur (Entrepreneurship Series)

The Adventure Continues (Entrepreneurship Series)

An Innovation Mind-set Has to Be Nurtured

Apple and Inventioneering

Hyper-innovation: Our New Normal

Why Continuous Hyper-innovation is Our New Normal

Education in Its Purest Form

Entrepreneurship: A Class Act

Entrepreneurship - The Adventure (Series)

Fine Wine and the Entrepreneur

How to Become Both an Innovator and a Leader

I Want Joe's Dream Job!

Innovation Mind-set: Is It Just a Trick?

Innovation and Entrepreneurship: A Class Act (Series)

Innovation's Impossible: Everything Has Been Invented (Series)

Innovation: The Idea Connection (Series)

Innovative Thinking: Isn't That Just Day-dreaming? (Series)

Obamacare - Positive Outcomes Include Innovations (Series)

Shirley Temple and the Entrepreneur (Series)

The Puerto Rico Seafood Company Motivation (Series)

The Puerto Rico Seafood Company Employment Environment (Series)

Thinking Outside the Box: The New Version

Inventioneering: Beyond Innovation

10 Things We All Need in a Laptop

10 Ways Anyone can be an Entrepreneur

An Easy Path to Help a Business Grow

How Innovation Connects Everything to Everything

How an Entrepreneur Thinks Different

How Anyone Can Be a Leader and Benefit in the Process

Innovating from the Other Side of the Desk

Anyone Can Be an Innovator

Business Plan for Entrepreneurs - Executive Summary

The How-to of Business Planning for the Entrepreneur

Yes, Women Can Have It All

Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Chapter 13, JOBS)

Book Two: Communication and Public Speaking

Communication Skills: The Secrets for Job Seeker Success

Storytelling: The Secret to Great Public Speaking

Writing a Great Speech: It's All about Your Audience

The Clinton Method

How the Art of Storytelling WOWS Any Audience

Developing Good Negotiating Skills — Move Your Career to New Heights

President Obama and Social Media

Presentationing: The New Art Form for Communications

Public Speaking: As Easy As Storytelling

The Many Ways You Will Learn to Love Public Speaking

Book Three: Education and Training

Finally! The Answer to Our Jobs Problem: Blame School Kids

How U.S. Education Can End Its Race to the Bottom-1

How U.S. Education Can End Its Race to the Bottom-2

Why Parental Involvement in a Child's Education is Critical

Why Science and Math Are Critically Important

Detroit's Demise Due to Education Shortfall

How Online Education Will Save Our Education System

K-12 Education Takes a Good Step Forward

Why We Need to Re-think the Role of School Boards

What Makes a Great Teacher and Why We Need More of Them

Why Community Colleges are So Critically Important

How We Can Fix Our K-12 Education System

How You Can Maximize Your Education ROI & Job Prospects

New Fix for K-12 Education: Kids Need Job Mentors

Solving High Unemployment Requires Fixes for Our Education System

Education Comes in Many Forms

Education Takes on Many Shapes

Employees Face Challenges Outside Our Borders

Fixing K-12 Education

Kids Need Job Mentors

Let's Stop Stalling and Evolve Our Education System

Why Mentors Are the Secret to Employee Advancement

A Different Take on Our Education System

Family + Parents + Kids + Education = Jobs

Solving the Education Problem is Simple

The Cultural Shift in Education That Creates Jobs

The Jobs Paradox

Everyone Has Given up on Fixing K-12 Education

Where is Joe the Plumber?

Book Four: Customer Service

Customer Service: The Good-the Bad-and the Ugly-1

Customer Service: The Good-the Bad-and the Ugly-2

Esprit de Corps — Customer Service - Revenue

Is Amazon Too Big?

Why Good Customer Service Tells Us Which Companies Are the Best

Book Five: Employment Environment

9 Strategies Every Job Seeker and Employee Needs to Know

Personal Branding: Real-life Story

8 Employee Perks Employers Should Love to Provide

Obamacare: Positive Outcomes Include Job Creation

Personal Branding

Why Personal Branding is a Must

Why Personal Branding is Critical for Career Growth

Dan Gets Help with His Job Search

Dianna Deserves a Promotion but Loves Her Current Job

How Mentoring Drives Performance and Career Growth

15 Ways Apple's Brand Strategy Can Build Your Personal Brand

How Mentoring Benefits Both the Mentor and the Mentee

How Personal Branding Can Be Your Ticket to Success

Can't We All Just Get Along?

Career - Family - How Do Women Define Having It All?

Employees Love to Come to Work - Here's the Secret

Ethical Workplace Culture Mirrors It's Leadership

Everybody Wants to Work at Apple

Find Your Purpose in Life — At Work

Honesty, Ethics and Authenticity Build Your Reputation

How We Can Learn to Love Criticism in the Workplace

How Employers and Employees Create the Ideal Working Environment

HR: The Company's Most Valuable Asset

Is the 9 to 5 Job What We Really Want?

Job Interview Skills: More Important Than Ever Before

The Knowledge Worker Economy: The Critical Role of HR

Learn to Love to Come to Work - Here's How

Why Mentors Are the Secret to Employee Advancement

Personal Branding - You Can Tell This Book by Its Cover

Show What You Know: You'll Help People Become Employed

The Fix for Healthcare to Keep it Alive as an Employee Benefit

The Lingering Job's Recovery Requires a Perfect Resume

The Secret for the Perfect Resume to Land You the Perfect Job

The Resume with this Secret Sauce Lands You Your Dream Job

Book Six: The Knowledge Worker Economy

Knowledge Worker Economy - The Implications

How to Land a Knowledge Worker Job

Dianna Deserves a Promotion but Loves Her Current Job

How Uncle Dick Taught Me All about Passion for Work

4-B's of Job Creation: Benghazi, Bernanke, Birther, and Bologna

8 Surefire Ways to Get Things Done at Work with Your Team

Do You Have What It Takes to Find Your Dream Job and Career?

4 Reasons Why We're in for a Jobs Extravaganza

How We Can Reach Long-term Full Employment

My Three Year Love Affair with the Town Talk Gas Station

Why the Sequester Will Hurt Job Creation Long-term

6 Ways Job Seekers & Employees Benefit from HR Professionals

7.8% Unemployment: Just Part of the Story

10 Concepts That Fix Unemployment Once and for All

Build Your Reputation

Connecting With Great Employees

Cost Saving New Ways to Hire Using Old Ideas

Eight Strategies to Retain Top-tier Talent

Hire the Cheapest Employees: The Formula for Failure

How We Can Ensure Obamacare Doesn't Cause Mass Layoffs

Choose a Job You Love, Never Have to Work a Day in Your Life -Confucius

Knowledge Workers: What Attracts Them to an Employer?

Leadership and Charisma

Our Knowledge Worker Economy Faces Relentless Competition

Some of Our Jobs Have to Go

Star Trek, Jobs and Congress

The Knowledge Worker Economy: The Critical Role of HR

The New-Normal for Unemployment

The Path to Successful Organizational Change

These Women Leaders Are Reinventing Leadership

We Need Women Leaders

Passion for Work (Reprint from my book, JOBS)

Book Seven: Social Responsibility

Social Responsibility: Who Benefits Most?

The Family That Lost All Hope

Living and Working Together for the Common Good

Project: JOBS

Social Responsibility Benefits Job Seekers and Employers

Why Volunteering Feels So Good

Wisdom in the Streets (Reprint from JOBS)

The Real Solution to Obamacare Issues: Exercise

My Personal Experiment

Book Eight: The White House

Postscript

Endnotes

Dr. Hefferan's BIO

Dr. Hefferan's Writing BIO

Excerpt from Perseverance

Behaviors and Personality Traits — Excerpt from JOBS

BOOK ONE

Entrepreneurship and Innovation

And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. — T. S. Eliot

Entrepreneurship: The Solution to High Unemployment

What would happen to the unemployment problem and the ups and downs of unemployment we struggle through if everyone became entrepreneurs tomorrow? Problem solved - long-term high unemployment gone for good. I knew this job thing would be easy to solve. So, people let's get going!

Okay, there may be a few issues we need to consider before this plan solves one of our country's biggest issues that intolerably lingers on and on. Too many people are under-employed or face multiple part-time jobs as a solution. Many people have given up looking for work. But there are many courageous soles who are deciding to turn their passion into a viable business that ultimately provides them with income. And the prospect of a prosperous future.

But how viable is it for all of the 8.1% unemployed to immediately transform themselves into full-fledged entrepreneurs. While not going too far astray into social science research, our personality traits and behaviors are a result of approximately 50% genetics and 50% our environment. The question about being born an entrepreneur or not is similar to the age-old question: are certain people born leaders?

Sure there are some characteristics of a leader and characteristics of an entrepreneur that you are born with as part of your 50% genetic makeup. I argue that given one's own environmental influences, the other half of the equation, anyone can be an entrepreneur.

From my personal perspective, I have always been an entrepreneur long before I even heard of the word, let alone knew what it actually meant. I can remember when I was eight years old; I always seemed to get into endeavors that resembled a business. It seemed like the natural thing to do. However, becoming an entrepreneur does not require a born talent or characteristic or behavior.

Passion for the work is a key element in the entrepreneurial process. Being identified as an entrepreneur also has benefit because we are proud of seeing our personal passion evolve into our dream of creating a successful business. Entrepreneurs also have a need for achievement and a yearning for independence which drives intense dedication toward making the endeavor a success.

I can relate to the notion that doing something different that no one else is doing is exciting. Entrepreneurs also thrive on demonstrating to naysayers that their idea can bring positive results.

I believe that anyone has passion for something - like a hobby. Considering the difficult environment the unemployed face, most anyone should be motivated to transform that passion into making it a business.

Entrepreneurs are risk takers and will move mountains to drive their idea to fruition. Referring to what I said above, some are born with a propensity toward risk-taking behaviors. Others are forced to take the risk of starting their own business due to their environment, currently dominated by the Great Recession.

An entrepreneur also has to be a continuous learner and open to constant change and improvement to his or her passion, now a business. Other characteristics include persistence/tenacity, initiative, and constant optimism. Always feeling positive about the future of the endeavor ensures the entrepreneur will forge ahead through thick and thin.

As I think about the characteristics of entrepreneurs, I immediately think of the early immigrants who set our country on a path leading to what we are today. I think of their intense work ethic that was driven in part by the environment in which they had to make money for food for their family.

Just to make the decision to embark on their incredible journey to an unfamiliar land, many had to have an extra special shot of adventurous risk taking in their genes. They were the quintessential optimists. They hopped off the boat and started businesses that, before they decided to leave their homeland, they never dreamed they might one day own.

Considering less unknowns and better conditions overall, can our unemployed acquire the spirit that their ancestors had?

Every one of us, employed, under-employed or unemployed, have more opportunities than our relatives had in those early years to become entrepreneurs. Following the paths of our early settlers and immigrants and taking charge of our own future is just a matter of taking advantage of our internal and external driving influences we all have.

I don't know if everyone could become successful entrepreneurs by tomorrow, unless we define tomorrow from a 'grand-perspective' perspective. Let's define tomorrow as the day when we return to our roots. We'll call this the day when America is reborn, marking a point in our history when we'll never again see so many without meaningful employment.

We might even consider this future tomorrow — the day when America is reborn — as the one positive the Great Recession may have given us.

Why Employers Desperately Need Innovators and Entrepreneurs

Here's the good news, employers look at talented innovators and entrepreneurial thinkers as worth their weight in gold. Job seekers and employees love the idea of getting paid working for a company that lets them develop their passions and ideas that help transform the company, vaulting it into profitability that wows shareholders.

I'm not following that paragraph with, Here's the bad news. I'm calling it, Statistics we are energetically on the way to overcome.

• The US is number eight in the world, down from number one with regard to pending research,

• Patents and venture funding are number six, down from number one,

• The US is last out of the 40 countries surveyed concerning direct factors relating to innovation (1999 - 2009, Boston Consulting Group and ITIF).

Defining the Players

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, tells us that innovation is made up of both a novel business idea and new technology. Schmidt points out that while government's role in spending for innovation has been critical in the past, that involvement now faces a severe uphill battle in Congress. This is in spite of the fact that other developing countries enjoy heavy government involvement in generating innovations and in heavily supporting them financially.

In my book, JOBS: How the United States Can Reach Long-Term Full Employment, I combine innovation and entrepreneurship in one chapter. They have their differences, but I believe they are inseparable in this conversation.

Some associate an entrepreneur generally as someone who is on their own starting their own business. Schmidt, . . . innovation — novel business idea and new technology. That sounds like an entrepreneur or an intrepreneur. The point is that, from a broad perspective, innovators and entrepreneurs are the two primary forces that will launch the United States back into first place and guarantee America's future.

Job seekers and employees looking for a new job need to look for companies that have the types of strategies and systems that foster creativity and innovative thinking. Job seekers contacting a potential employer should have some creative ideas in mind that would fit into the company's operations. Their innovative ideas need to be viable concepts that clearly boost the company's performance and are based on the job seeker's past successes.

Contemporary job seekers/employees need to clearly and authentically identify with the profile of someone who thinks like an innovator and an entrepreneur when looking for their ideal employer.

Early in my commercial real estate design and development career, I adopted the concept of forced newness. I became sick and tired of the relentless cycles of economic downturns that dramatically affect my industry. In effect, I was forced into thinking differently about every project.

During downturns, I actively go after failed projects that the owners have all but given up on. The prices for these projects typically reach rock bottom because the owners just want to get out of them. I look for ways to reinvent these projects by completely changing them, or completely altering their use, or designing a unique feature into them that no one else is using.

Job seekers/employees need to think similarly that downturns (or finding themselves in a disappointing job) offer them an opportunity to promote their innovation thinking capital into improving their career trajectory. Fostering innovation will become more critical as the pressures of globalization intensify. From an employment and jobs perspective, our society needs to evolve so our knowledge economy can evolve to the level we desperately need it to reach.

New Ways of Thinking

Knowledge builds curiosity and creativity. I live by the notion that the more I learn, the more I discover how much I don't know. This feeling drives me to learn and discover new things, adding to the desire to search for more. Innovation is a result of that continuous discovery process.

The culture in organizations should encourage employees to feel free to think about and explore new and different ways of looking at things, and not constrain them in any way. Organizations need to encourage employees to talk about creative ideas they have, so those ideas will be discussed and ultimately put to work.

Job seekers, employees and employers clearly understand they need to join forces to put the United States back on top again. We need to create new things that change the world in profound ways. But we can't stop there. We need to evolve our products, processes and services in ways we have yet to imagine. Fareed Zakaria put it this way, Finding new ways to do these old tasks might be the greatest and most important innovation of all.

Do You Have Characteristics of an Entrepreneur?

Looking back when I was eight years old, I wish someone had told me I was an entrepreneur. Then I could have explained to my friends why I kept getting into unusual projects. I'm sure it wouldn't have helped matters any if I just said to my 8 year old buddies, I'm an entrepreneur, even if I knew what an entrepreneur really was.

I was always excited about creating things from an idea that was rattling around in my head. My first clue about what an entrepreneur is came to me in the third grade when I started my first business. My 6-1/2 year old sister and I sold vegetables door-to-door.

We always sold our little red wagon full of goods very quickly. I inadvertently learned the value of marketing - my sister was a dead ringer for Shirley Temple!

For some reason I was driven to putting things together to make something new and different. Kids have imagination and like to try anything that looks like fun. At 13, I built a wooden boat complete with a cobbled up steering mechanism and a motor 40 times too large for my boat that went faster than any kid should be allowed to go on the water.

I owe my mere survival to establishing a business that suited my needs and assuaged my addiction to creating new things that were fun and exciting. At 18, I started buying small apartment buildings that ultimately grew into my current business which is designing and developing commercial investment real estate.

Because we're involved in every type of commercial real estate project, no day or project is ever the same for me or my employees. We create something new and different every day.

I was finally able to answer the question, what are the characteristics of an entrepreneur.

In my book, JOBS, I refer to the identity theory to explain there is not one single definition that describes every entrepreneur. Below are six general characteristics of an entrepreneur.

General Characteristics

1) Your instincts can be more right than wrong. I was never dissuaded when someone told me my ideas will never work. Trust your instincts, rely on your hard-driving talents and never give up.

2) Continually search for opportunities. I got tired of recessions that looked like they might slow my company down. I found that pursuing areas no one was engaged in at the time made downturns the best of times for my organization. Always look for opportunities in the most remote places where no one else is looking or no one else dares to go.

3) Always think outside-of-the-box with everything you and your company does or plans on doing regarding a product or service. If you don't reinvent yourself continually you run the risk of becoming an archaic bureaucratic organization void of creativity or inspired people.

4) Always keep your eyes and ears open for places where people fear to tread. I became known as someone who tries daring projects. This reputation caused people to call me when they had a problem project or something they wanted to get rid of. New analysis can turn an old idea into a gem.

5) Churchill famously said, "Persevere! Persevere! Persevere! If every project you are tackling is easy, everybody would be doing it. An entrepreneur develops fortitude to forge ahead through all difficulties with a hard-driving mindset to never give up the goal to make the dream a success.

6) Build a better mousetrap. My favorite example is what I call building a box next to another box and charging more money for my box than my competitors. When I develop a new office building in an office park I think of it as a box next to another box. By employing a top architect, adding gorgeous landscaping and other trend setting amenities, I make the competition look like the low rent district. I make my project the high-end of that market so I am able to fill my project up faster at a higher rental rate.

Everybody has an idea rattling around in their head. I like to use the example of Sarah Blakely who invented spanx. She got an idea in her head because she wanted something that nobody was selling — so she invented it — started selling it — she is now worth over $1 billion.

Dissect your idea, do your homework, review the numbers, even try using www.SurveyMonkey.com and initially test your idea before you spend any money. The point is, just get started and remember Thomas Edison who said, I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb.

Dell and HP - Where are Your Intrapreneurs?!

Dell and HP, I know you are diligently innovating your existing products and morphing them gradually into what might sell like a brand-new creation. Both of you need to come up with a game changer. You know, a NEW product that puts you in the tech history books - sets you apart — prevents you from finding yourselves mired in the mud of bureaucratic commodity peddlers.

Don't despair! I'm here to provide the two of you with hints to get you both on the right track.

I know you're trying really hard to copy Apple's strategy of changing the colors and sizes of their iPad. That keeps us all dreaming about the launch of the Apple TV and the iPhone 9 someday. But at some point both of you have to stop hiring bureaucrats and budget wonks and hire leagues of free-thinking intrapreneurs to save the day.

Help is on the Way

My first game-changing hint for both of you is found in my brand-new definition of Thinking Outside of the Box.

Next, I want to introduce you to another game-changer - the intrapreneur. An intrapreneur works inside of a company and gets to do about anything they want to do as long as it's aiming with some accuracy at a disruptor in their industry, for example.

An intrepreneur is very similar to an entrepreneur. They are given freedom to work on developing their ideas into something workable. They know how to take an idea all the way to a finished product by coordinating with others in the organization.

And the exclusive secret sauce championing intrapreneurs toward success is enhanced through experience packed successes and failures.

Intrapreneurs have a few more slight advantages over the traditional entrepreneur,

• automatic deep pocket funding source from their company,

• much less financial risk from a failure,

• access to the company's infrastructure and personnel, and

• more freedom - their idea packed minds aren't cluttered with things like paying the rent while they're developing their industry game-changer.

The Company Can Help the Idea Process in Many Ways

Besides untold freedoms, even the design of the layout of a company can encourage employees to interact with one another to help gel ideas into finished innovations. Google is on the leading edge with this philosophy through its Disneyland-style campus.

Similar concepts encourage idea developers (as in Disney's Imagineering philosophy) to work and play together as long as possible. The more their life resembles a wonderfully free-thinking Disney-like atmosphere, coworkers can become close friends who talk about and generate new ideas together.

If companies like Dell and HP fail to follow Google-type models, they will join the ranks of those defeated by creative disruption.

Many companies have used the company retreat idea to get away from the work environment to free their minds to look at the big picture and new ideas. Bill Gates has done this for years. Camp David could also be a good example.

The Rationale and the Big Picture

I'm only beating up on Dell and HP because they've been in the news lately with some issues, possibly requiring some form of reorganization of sorts. Both companies have been industry leaders for years. Michael Dell gave us incredible value from his reinvention of the supply chain concept. HP was the leader in color printers, among other things.

Without any game-changers, I fear both may follow in the footsteps of Kodak and Blockbuster who didn't see the writing on the wall soon enough. Things are moving faster and faster - continuous innovation needs to be our new norm.

It takes strong leadership — a certain type of leader in a company — to understand the need to give intrapreneurs the reins and the budget in order to keep the company viable.

Several years back, Dow Chemical's then CEO was unaware of the value intrapreneurs brought to the company. The company stopped producing anything innovative - the very thing they were known for — leading to his fall from grace.

This is an issue both for employers and employees. Take note - employees - you're not off the hook. Everyone in an organization needs to be keenly aware of the value of creative thinking and intrapreneurship.

Draper University focusses on developing 18-27 year olds to become successful entrepreneurs through its innovative use of the total emersion learning strategy.

We all have some level of intrapreneurial spirit that we can put into action. Employees become more valuable to an organization when they relentlessly steer toward intrapreneurship.

In my book, JOBS, I describe the floor sweeper for a large Fortune 500 company, who, on his own, invented a new floor sweeping compound that made his job more efficient and cut costs in his department.

Yes, anyone can be an intrapreneur. Until the Dells and HPs of the world put their intrapreneur-driven innovation programs into high gear, we will continue to see the same attempts at innovative products that boast meekly about their differentiating new color of purple.

Nike Inadvertently Reinvented Innovation

Nike doesn't know this yet but they just reinvented how we will think about innovation in the future. In Nike's honor, let's call this new strategy the Nike Model of Postmodern Innovation.

First of all I don't work for Nike and they are not paying me for this article. I just love their really cool stuff. I have always loved all new technology and gadgets of all types and varieties. I especially like Nike's gadgets — or any gadget for that matter — that can measure my athletic performance.

Isn't it Just an Ordinary Product?

So how could ordinary performance measuring equipment have anything to do with a new way we need to think about innovation? The answer lies in the notion that Nike needs to capitalize on how this new device could solve one of our country's most troublesome health and social issues: Obesity.

Your first thought might be that we all know if we exercise — and eat properly — we probably won't be obese. Then what is so earth shattering about non-new common knowledge? Nike's new device takes an ordinary concept — innovates it - and makes it a fashionable item that you want to wear all the time. It's a cool looking bracelet/wristband that motivates you to exercise: The Nike+ Fuel Band.

I am already a motivated person when it comes to exercise. Occasionally, due to time constraints, I need to push myself to squeeze in the exercising I love to do. But with my ever present motivational wristband, I find it now impossible to let down my cheering fans awaiting the scoring and charting of my athletic performance for the day.

Without sounding like a Nike commercial, Nike is integrated into its product an incredible layer of motivation to make sure the user exercises regularly. I have a mantra that I live by in my business, I think in terms of "connecting everything to everything." I take my ideas and combine them with everything and anything that is relatable and see what pops out.

Nike emerges victorious in the use of my concept by connecting the performance measuring of their wristband to a website cheering section that is unparalleled in the unique ways it motivates athletes.

The New Value of Innovation

The real value in this postmodern way of thinking about innovation includes not just the revenue-generating aspect of an innovative product but it also has a socially conscious component. I am confident an artfully created kids-equivalent Nike exercise website would motivate children to move away from the many screens they are hypnotized by and lose the horrible health altering weight that will ultimately push our healthcare costs beyond our nation's total GDP.

Given the enthusiasm for online games, think about giving every kid in our country a cool looking bracelet that connects them to their very own cheering section. Their cheering fans spring into action every time the fuel band is plugged in for a recharge and announces their athletic prowess to the world. This special personalized website connects to all social networks to give kids more reason to socially interact with their peers about exercise.

These kids won't even realize that this cool looking fashion accessory that uniquely connects them with their friends may be saving Medicare and Medicaid.

Every Company Can Do This

I'm not saying that every innovation a company rolls out should have a social component affixed to it. I am saying that with the mindset of "connect everything to everything," let's at least think about improving society as we concentrate on maximizing revenue.

Many companies are attempting to do this. However, I feel their efforts may not be entirely authentic. Examples that come to mind include breakfast cereals, the refreshing drinks kids are drawn to and, of course, our old favorite — fast food.

They all allege that they are focused on health conscious choices, but let's face it, what they're doing is not working. Just ask Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Our Challenge

As our society has become more affluent, creative people have given us so many cool things we absolutely have to have. Some of these great innovations unintentionally introduce us to unintended consequences. Human nature being what it is, we sometimes lack the personal fortitude required to combat the negative effects associated with some of our innovations. We need some help.

Obesity — the result of many factors — is front and center of new issues insidiously creeping up on us. I think we are entering a new age where we all need a bit of extra motivation to overcome these new challenges that have far-reaching ramifications on society.

Nike, I promised you I wouldn't charge you for naming our new age of innovation after you. My reward will come when others adopt the Nike Model of Postmodern Innovation and pitch-in to authentically help us solve many of our social issues and still maximize shareholder wealth.

How to Ignite the Fire in Your Innovation Inner Self

The pressure is on. Your product sales are slumping, your competition is on fire with product improvements, time is quickly running out and your mind is blank. The intense pressure can make creating new ideas almost impossible.

You can develop innovative thinking skills and enhance your level of creativity so you can avoid facing a blank wall when all eyes are on you to produce. The secret lies in how you approach what you want to end up with.

Effective preparation strategies turn on the magic light in your head to illuminate that new idea so you clearly picture it in your mind. Integrate creative thinking strategies in your everyday game plan so new idea juices are flowing constantly.

Your Innovation Spark Fully Ignites When You:

• Think in terms of creating something from scratch - begin with a clean palette,

• focus on changes in your industry and engage in continuous learning regarding your career path,

• are always open to new experiences and keep an open mind as a way of life,

• practice your craft continually with the goal to become absolutely the best at it that you possibly can be,

• remain open to any and all extraneous ideas, images and anything else that excites your creative juices,

• make it a habit to try new ideas and designs that are completely disconnected from your project or product,

• remember that Thomas Edison failed 1000 times before he found the right material for the element in the light bulb - your innovation may not come on the very first try,

• cheer yourself on with Churchill's words of encouragement - Persevere, persevere, persevere,

• concentrate on generating a variety of ideas by backtracking to an earlier approach when you feel you're going off in the wrong direction,

• study what others have done in similar circumstances and use their starting points and general pathways as structural outlines to build your particular individual path toward your required solution and the innovation you are seeking,

• engage your research engine and aim toward creating new knowledge even in the face of not knowing exactly where you're going to end up,

• fully employ my new version of out-of-the-box thinking that conveniently positions you at a starting point for creative thinking - a different place altogether from your normal patterns and thinking,

• keep in mind Simonton's words, . . . exceptional thinkers, it turns out, stand on common ground when they launch their arrows into the unknown.

The Creative Thinking Process Starts with a Vision

Innovation involves imagining and creating in your head an image of what you would like to see when your product or service arrives in the perfect world you imagine that world to be. This is a place where you imagine that new product in such complete detail that you can actually feel it and see it in your mind.

This can't be a wishy-washy visioning process; you have to visualize your product or idea in intense detail so you know where you're heading. This exercise is critical to discovering what is really in those hidden recesses of your mind.

This image may not instantly appear in your mind - the process takes concentrating on every detail of what you know this product has to look like. The more you push, the more you will see your product or idea evolve. You fully believe in the final product because you imagine it, you see it in your mind; you have lived it through this creation process, and you feel it as a completed product everyone wants and needs.

Practice Makes Perfect

It helps when you've done this a few times. Your first idea may not be the perfect finished product. You know, practice makes perfect. Always remember the first step is to get away from your day-to-day/everyday normal environment. If you're rushing around your office trying to go from meeting to meeting, addressing problems, answer everyone's questions, directing your personnel, and writing down your grocery list, you'll never effectively think creatively at the level you need to reach.

Innovations are not generally earth shattering, world changing moments of insight that seem to magically appear as though they spring out of nothingness in an instant. Innovations are the result of planned strategies outlining how you approach the overall process — from identifying the problem or need — to the vision of what the final product will look like.

When these strategies become imprinted in your mind so they automatically engage as you approach any problem or need, you will continuously build your innovative thinking muscles. Your brain has (and builds) pathways and mechanisms that work behind-the-scenes to help you in your quest to become a world class creative thinker and a champion of innovation.

How to be an Innovator at Work

All the sudden you're worried your boss is ready to fire you because you are selling anything anymore. Unless you're experiencing a life changing event to serving your skill set, you need to come up with a new game plan.

Recently a friend of mine asked me for advice because the economy was affecting his sales level. His customers were not swarming to buy new products his company was offering. He was worried his boss might look elsewhere for a top salesperson.

Sound familiar? My philosophy during the good economic times and the bad is never to get stuck in a rut where you consistently follow the same patterns with your job. We all need to continually stimulate our thinking with creative thinking in all aspects of what we do. It's actually a lot of fun to move at the current breakneck speed life is awarding us with.

Being innovative is also called thinking creatively. One easy example I like to use is connect everything to everything. The wheel was discovered in about 4000 BC yet it wasn't until 1972 that Bernard Sadow added wheels to luggage. Make it a habit to consider new perspectives and to connect things creatively.

Let's say you're a salesperson like my friend and people can't afford your product because of the slow economy. In 1851 Merritt Singer was having trouble selling a new invention he made popular called the sewing machine. Every housewife desperately wants one of my machines. Why can't I sell any? Singer kept thinking.

Rather than change anything about the product to make it better or cheaper or paint it a different color, he offered housewives financing so they could pay for the product over time. He immediately sold more machines than he could possibly produce. He connected a good product to something that was unrelated to the product itself.

The human brain collects and retains all kinds of information but only a small portion of that important stuff rises to the level of conscious awareness. Our caveman ancestors for example relied on their brains sorting mechanism to pull out only the things necessary to keep them alive, feed their families and other basics. We all sort things out — some automatically other things we sort out based on cultural influences we are aware of and are socially acceptable.

It might seem difficult to jump in and out of thinking creatively so the secret is to always have creativity on your mind concerning every aspect of what you're doing. Ask yourself why am I following the traditional path when there might be a better idea to get from point A to point B. Automatically ask yourself: can I do or use this same repetitive action in a different way? Enjoy putting yourself in a different frame of mind — it's fun.

The following is from my book, JOBS, How the United States Can Reach long-term Full Employment,

• Dreamer: has a big idea of how something can be bigger and better.

• Innovator: demonstrates how this idea will outperform current practices.

• Passionate: influences others and has his/her dream resonate with them.

• Organized: systematically identifies, develops, and implements the dream.

• Risk taker: not afraid to start with nothing and build, regardless of cost.

• Committed: dedicated to his or her dream.

• Continuous learner: always seeking best practices and implements them.

• Competitive: what is or who is to be the best?

No idea or concept is too wild to at least think about. I actually relish the idea when people laugh at the ideas that I come up with. I've made it a habit to always think about how to do something different. I use my smart phone and record any wild ideas that I have the minute I think of them because they're fresh and I'm really excited about them at the time. The other thing is that these lightbulb moments always seem to come unexpectedly out of the blue.

It allows me to keep track of the ideas and increase my ability to make use of those ideas while promoting my constant creative thinking innovative ideas. I keep these ideas organized in folders in my computer because these ideas can relate to other products or projects that may come up later or projects that are in the hopper at the time.

I use the philosophy that anything you can think about you can create or do. Obviously this has limitations but not from an idea standpoint. Don't think about the impossibility of something when you're dictating it into your smart phone, you can always adjust the idea later. Opportunities will grow as will new job opportunities based on these new concepts. By fostering innovation constantly we will create things unimaginable today because traditional linear thinking and fixed reference points that give us comfort are gone. Take away the limits from you thinking - always think innovatively.

Now let's get back to my friend was worried about losing her job. Only about one company in every 10 will continue growing in terms of what investors want for return on investment. Once a company produces and sells its product up to the maturity of that product the company's to grow in a new way to remain a viable company. This time period/span is going faster and faster. I advised my friend he needs to be the fireball employee who invigorates his company with continuous innovations.

We all need to think like Merritt Singer who 're-invented' a simple sewing machine — propelling it into the history books and creating the precursor to the MasterCard in the process. Companies are searching the globe for Merritt Singers.

Innovators Create the New and Evolve the Old

An innovator is one of the most critical drivers of a company's performance. They focus on evolving existing products and processes or create something brand-new. An innovator looks at something that seems to be working just fine and asked if he or she can make it better or more exciting to the consumer.

An innovator is driven by looking at the alluring possibility of change.

Several concepts come to mind when I think about innovation such as, continuous change, innovate or die, creative destruction, inevitable decline and status quo is not always okay. There are plenty other concepts that we associate with innovation all pointing to the necessity for organizations to imbed the innovation mandate into their operations.

The winner of the innovation evolution mindset race is my old favorite, Apple. Even if their product might remain in the same genre, by adding new stuff these products become brand-new must haves. What other company has people lining up around the block to buy a new version of their product?

Speaking of smart phones, compare Apple's product evolution strategy of the once ordinary cell phone to the strategies exhibited by Blackberry, et al. Contrast the reputations of the innovators with the purveyors of the ordinary. We know we're always going to get something special, unique and really cool from companies fixated on creativity.

Sometimes I worry that Apple will become the only smart phone and tablet maker unless someone else figures out this secret process called evolutionary innovation that Apple seems to own right now.

I've been to Disney World 12 times. I mention this because anyone who has been there and studied Walt Disney remembers his concept — Imagineering. His original premise was (and still is at Disney) to make sure all the guests in the theme parks are transported into a completely different world.

The thinking at Disney is similar to the philosophy surrounding technology today. I put it this way: Anything you can think of they can create — and then some. That's a tall order; however, that's how organizations need to think today if they are to survive. In Disney's case they may not create the impossible but through Imagineering they make us think they did.

Customers expect to be wowed by new products they spend their hard-earned dollars on. Product evolution minded companies understand this and aim to please - and shareholders are watching.

Employees are the critical link in this process. Just like the companies they work for, employees have to participate in this innovation evolution mindset. They need to stay ahead of the creative job seekers nipping at their heels.

Those of you needing help acquiring the innovation evolution mindset see my article.

Savvy organizations have a secret weapon. Customers transmit their needs and wants in the social media. All an organization or employee needs to do is spend time listening to the vociferous world of customers and sprinkle in some Imagineering.

Sure, I make it all sound easy. However, when the culture of the company strives to emulate Disney and Apple, every step in that direction steadily increases your competitive advantage and market share. Employees with the innovation evolution mindset see their value to the company increase exhibited through higher salaries.

When organizations adopt the innovation evolution mindset, the employee-innovator wins, management wins, the organization wins, shareholders drive share price, and the customer — who is king — comes out on top.

The Unemployed Become Successful Entrepreneurs

When I started selling vegetables door-to-door at eight years old with my six-year-old sister, I couldn't even spell entrepreneurship let alone have any idea what that weird word meant. Setting up that simple business seemed like what I was supposed to do. No one hinted that I should do something like that and no other kids were doing anything like that. For some odd reason I just enjoyed operating a business, even though I really didn't know it had a special nomenclature.

I enjoyed keeping track of things, like what we sold each day and the money we made. I even kept accounting ledgers for our vegetable business. Those ledgers were actually waitress tablets used to write down customer orders at a hamburger joint. I still have those ledgers that show on the first day (before we actually hit the road) I logged in $0.01 for the day because I found a penny! My apparent insanity included maintaining a cash receipt ledger as well as a weekly balance sheet for this non-multinational corporation.

Well needless to say I have continued operating the same way since I was eight years old doing new things that are fun and exciting creating and implementing. In my book I talk about how an entrepreneur is not is not driven primarily by financial gain but by some inner enthusiasm to create something that is an operating entity that accomplishes something. The entrepreneur is typically passionate about the endeavor and does not consider working on the endeavor as work but more as a hobby. I discuss a research study that shows how an entrepreneur/intrepreneur adds significant value to an organization.

I need to again refer to my insanity as an example of passion for the work as an entrepreneur. When I was 18, I discovered that if I started working at 4:00 AM to 4:15 AM, I felt as though I had two employees who thought just like I think and work just like I work. The work during those long days did not feel like work at all. Entrepreneurs gravitate to work that feels like this. If the work doesn't meet those criteria, they sort of reinvent the work to make the work enjoyable, rewarding and even exciting.

I don't usually report on general business news that doesn't relate to what fits my topic. However, last week Coty announced they are trying to buy Avon, with Warren Buffet's company financing the deal. Buffet says he only gets involved with companies when he understands what the company is about, has good operating plans, has a good product, has a good future, and is a good company in general. These are simple concepts that have made Buffett successful.

I mention this merger/acquisition because the Avon is built on door to door salespeople as entrepreneurs who own and operate their own small business.

I was fortunate to know a woman who operated her own Avon business. Before I got to know her, I thought Avon was simply selling a few make-up items to friends and neighbors. I saw how dedicated and organized Sally was about her business and how expansive she could grow her business. The possibilities seemed endless how far she could take her business. I began to respect her as the quintessential entrepreneur and business owner. She ran it with the pride and enthusiasm of any CEO of a major organization. This business was her own, it was her passion. She believed in the Avon products and the Avon brand. The sky is the limit for her company; she is the one in control. It's her own creation. It is hers forever.

I encourage any unemployed person of any age to look into this type of work and use my friend as a model example. From selling vegetables door to door, or doing the same with a national brand - you control your destiny - it is your very own business.

Why Entrepreneurs Are Worth Their Weight in Gold

Knowledge builds curiosity and creativity. The more we learn the more we discover how much we don't know. What you get out of your education directly relates to how much work you put into your education.

Dedication to education drives entrepreneurs to learn and discover new things, adding to their desire to search for more. Innovation, creating new things, and putting their ideas into action are a result of that discovery process that entrepreneurs treasure.

As globalization continues to intensify, those with the entrepreneurial spirit will become more valuable to companies struggling to compete. Organizations are feeling the pressure of the intense global competition which drives their need for faster and faster innovation and more creative thinkers. This applies not only to products and services, but also in the way an organization operates.

What Really Motivates an Entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurs thrive in the exciting and challenging global environment, and live for the adventure of starting something new and different.

The journey to innovation is filled with hurdles and roadblocks, just the ingredients that drive entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurial spirit resounds with incredible value because that energy and excitement drives others in the collaborative process throughout the company. This synergy creates gold for organizations searching for a competitive advantage.

Under the leadership of an entrepreneur in the midst of operationalizing