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Entrepreneurial Strategies for Success
Team Altman Dot Com
In order to be successful, entrepreneurs need to have many skills that enable them to conceive, develop, implement and grow new ideas, products, services and business, and following are some of the most critical skills that an entrepreneur must develop and possess.
Team Altman Dot Com March 20, 2010
Entrepreneurial Strategies for Success
Table of Contents
Skills of Successful Entrepreneurs Innovation: The Entrepreneur’s Key to Success Successful Entrepreneurs Guiding Principles for Business Success Entrepreneurial Engine: Small Business is the Economic Backbone Mastering the Markets: Entrepreneurial Strategies for Success What Kind of Success Do you WANT? Effective Leadership Qualities The Entrepreneur in All of Us How Entrepreneurs Overcome Fear Why a Successful Entrepreneur’s Business Progress Never Stops
Skills of Successful Entrepreneurs
There has recently been an increase in Small Business startup activity, and entrepreneurs through vital innovation will continue to be at the forefront, as the focal point, and driving force in the rebirth and future growth of the critically vital Small Business economy, and the mantra for 2010 and beyond should be ―As Small Business Goes, So Goes the Global Economy.‖
In order to be successful, entrepreneurs need to have many skills that enable them to conceive, develop, implement and grow new ideas, products, services and business, and following are some of the most critical skills that an entrepreneur must develop and possess.
Technical skill sets that entrepreneurs develop enable them to be able to understand, communicate with, and lead the technical staff of their organization, and they really need to be able to understand the technical language spoken by the staff and have a very good general understanding of what is faced by the team and organization to be able to effectively lead. This does not mean that the entrepreneur needs technical skills that are superior to the technical staff, but the level of technical understanding is important to the organization to provide the best results of the team efforts.
A significant trait that successful interpreters share is their ability to maintain focus, as they concentrate on goals and objectives to ensure they are reached as new goals and objectives are created on the path to successful business results, on customers to ensure that their satisfaction is adequately maintained at a
high level, and employees to make sure their morale and associated motivation is maintained for maximum operational efficiency.
It's as important a realization that any entrepreneur must have that their leadership skills are critical to the success of the company, since it is a rare occasion that an entrepreneur can make a company succeed alone, similar to team sports where having a great athlete on the team doesn't ensure that their team will win if all the other players cannot perform up to standards needed for success. The leadership skill sets include the entrepreneur's ability to both identify critical staffing needs, and the expertise to fill them accordingly, in addition to the skills required to lead the team to success.
Truly successful entrepreneurs share another common trait of having a vision of not only where they want their business to be in the future, but the tasks the business must successfully complete in order to get there. Also, it is just as critical that the entrepreneur has the ability to communicate this vision in an exciting and passionate way to not only employees but investors as well, and not only do they share their vision and motivation, they are ready, willing, and able to help achieve it.
An intense passion for what they are trying to accomplish is yet another common trait almost all successful entrepreneurs share, which means they are willing to commit whatever it takes on the entrepreneur’s part, to have the persistence to see the business through difficult times, and provide the level of intense effort needed to achieve the goals and objectives they set.
Ability to Change
At some point all successful entrepreneurs develop the understanding that the global economy and business environment they operate in, is in a constant state of change, and while their focus remains on the end results, they have to constantly adapt and change their strategies and what they offer to continue to meet ever changing global market conditions.
The question that has been debated most often is whether or not successful entrepreneurial skills can be taught, especially skills such as passion and persistence. As most that take part in the debate tend to agree, that even if certain entrepreneurial skills cannot be taught, by increasing the level of understanding of the importance of successful entrepreneurial skill sets in all, then global entrepreneurs can sharpen their focus on developing these skill sets or adding individuals with the skills to their management team, and by such efforts bring to the business what is needed to execute their business plan and achieve success in their entrepreneurial endeavors.
Innovation: The Entrepreneur’s Key to Success “Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth”--Peter Drucker
When it comes to creating wealth, no one does it better than an Entrepreneur and Small Business, and in tumultuous economic times Small Business will lead the way to the rebirth of a dynamic and thriving economy, and to be an effective company, Peter Drucker correctly observed the company must always innovate, and if it failed to perform the task of innovation over time it would fail to be successful, and yet most executives are marginally satisfied if at all with their businesses current levels of innovation, and of course many are disappointed with the level of improvements that result from their efforts.
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In the course of developing innovative ideas entrepreneurs need to be careful that they are just innovating for the mere sake of innovating, since this never results in very profitable endeavors, or it might seem that actually current levels of innovation aren't really innovations, just only small incremental improvements on existing ideas, products and services.
Profitable innovation happens most frequently within well defined parameters of problem solving, and without these parameters the innovation would simply be about creating just new ideas, and yet we must realize that innovation, or at least commercially successful innovation is actually more than that, it is about creating new value, and with the new value the potential for the creation of new wealth.
In taking the innovation one step beyond the creation of new technologies one has to determine why many innovative creations don't work right away, but sometimes take many years and multiple efforts before success is achieved, and when we focus on what was missing in the process, many times it's as simple as getting the idea to spread and become viral to a point where the innovation becomes very successful.
This is true many times when entrepreneurs are able to create networks that combine different innovations that together are able to fully exploit results, and therefore become successful as a group called a value network, or a value chain, which is usually taken for granted or purely neglected by many managers and executives, but changes here can result in profitable, innovative solutions for both entrepreneurial organizations and their customers.
A businesses value network is the collection of business functions, systems, and processes that are designed to deliver the greatest value to its customers, and the value network becomes a critical mechanism for the process of innovation, and also becomes a key part of the business strategy because it creates systems that include the creation of a natural barrier to entry for competitors, make the business more competitive in the marketplace,
insurer profits and good economies, and most importantly insulates the company from losses in a bad market similar to the current state of the global economy.
Instead of building a value network, many companies look to marketing its traditional 4P's (Product, Price, Place, Promotion) to navigate the through hard times or to squeak out an extra dollar of profit, and while the 4P's are useful tool, they frequently do not go far enough, so creating a value network will serve much the same basic function as the 4P's, but actually takes it several steps beyond, and the good news is the 4P's can be fairly easy to replicate, however replicating systems and processes are much more complex, as such, the value network becomes intertwined with overall corporate strategies.
Strategy is a combination of the many things entrepreneurs do, for example, for Wal-Mart or Southwest Airlines to compete on price, all of their processes that to work together and all the small details have to exist to support their one driving goal, which is to provide the lowest prices for their many customers, and of the features of these two companies, part of their 4P's including the warehouse is, and the airplanes, are all fairly easy to replicate. Yet, the way their processes, capabilities, and personnel integrate and execute is what makes each of these extraordinary companies unique and very successful, even in the worst of economic environments like the current global economy, as execution of the processes redefined for maximum efficiencies even at the smallest detail tasks, by highly trained managers and personnel committed to the one single end result of lowest prices to many loyal customers, and in return the most valuable by-product of the team’s finely tuned efforts is the maximum effect on the bottom line profit, and the creation of wealth.
Finally, a clear understanding of innovations and how when taken in and of themselves they do not function to create new strategies for entrepreneurial success, but when combined with other innovative ideas and processes they create success and wealth beyond anything that could be accomplished with the innovation by itself.
Successful Entrepreneurs Guiding Principles for Business Success
A simple fact proven over and over again, is that there is no simple formula for Entrepreneurs to use when creating a successful business, yet many Entrepreneurs have found there is an easier way to increase their chances of success by studying the wisdom, principles and insights of successful Entrepreneurs that have already accomplished success in their entrepreneurial endeavors, and following are just a few Entrepreneurial Words of Wisdom: “Entrepreneurs are risk takers, willing to roll the dice with their money or reputation on the line in support of an idea or enterprise. They willingly assume responsibility for the success or failure of a venture and are answerable for all its facets.” --Victor Kiam, owner of Remington Products
“The best reason to start an organization is to make meaning; to create a product or service to make the world a better place.”--Guy Kawasaki, venture capitalist, CEO of Garage Technology Ventures
“A friendship founded on business is a good deal better than a business founded on friendship.”--John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil
“An entrepreneur tends to bite off a little more than he can chew hoping he’ll quickly learn how to chew it.”-Roy Ash, co-founder of Litton Industries
“I've been blessed to find people who are smarter than I am, and they help me to execute the vision I have.”-Russell Simmons, founder of Def Jam
“One of the unique things we small companies have over the big guys is the ability to establish personal relationships. Big companies really can't do that. You read about effective organizations, learning organizations, lean and mean organizations, but small companies can be virtuous. We as small companies can have virtue because we as small companies are basically the embodiment of one or two people, and people can have virtue, while organizations really can't.”--Jim Koch, founder of Boston Beer Company
“Experience taught me a few things. One is to listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds on paper. The second is that you're generally better off sticking with what you know. And the third is that sometimes your best investments are the ones you don't make.”--Donald Trump, real estate developer “High expectations are the key to everything.”--Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart “A successful person isn't necessarily better than her less successful peers at solving problems; her patternrecognition facilities have just learned what problems are worth solving”--Ray Kurzweil, Inventor “I wanted to be an editor or a journalist, I wasn't really interested in being an entrepreneur, but I soon found I had to become an entrepreneur in order to keep my magazine going”—Richard Branson, Virgin Records & Airlines “Entrepreneurial profit is the expression of the value of what the entrepreneur contributes to production”-Joseph A. Schumpeter, Economist “The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity”—Peter Drucker, Author & Businessman “You are surrounded by simple, obvious solutions that can dramatically increase your income, power, influence and success. The problem is, you just don't see them”—Jay Abraham
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“There is no substitute for knowledge. To this day, I read three newspapers a day. It is impossible to read a paper without being exposed to ideas. And ideas.. more than money.. are the real currency for success‖—Eli Broad “I believe the true road to preeminent success in any line is to make yourself master in that line. I have no faith in the policy of scattering one's resources, and in my experience I have rarely if ever met a man who achieved preeminence in money making.. certainly never one in manufacturing.. who was interested in many concerns”—Andrew Carnegie “The remarkable social impact and economic success of the Internet is in many ways directly attributable to the architectural characteristics that were part of its design. The Internet was designed with no gatekeepers over new content or services‖—Vinton Cerf “There are a lot of things that go into creating success. I don't like to do just the things I like to do. I like to do things that cause the company to succeed. I don't spend a lot of time doing my favorite activities”— Michael Dell “What is it that you like doing? If you don’t like it, get out of it, because you’ll be lousy at it. You don’t have to stay with a job for the rest of your life, because if you don’t like it you’ll never be successful in it”—Lee Iacocca
Entrepreneurial Engine: Small Business is the Economic Backbone
"Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth." --Peter Drucker
In a nation of Entrepreneurs like the United States and other global markets, Entrepreneurs make up the backbone of the global economies, and they will be the ones who create economic growth, associated increase in wealth, and the jobs to bring the global economy out of the recession. So when looking at entrepreneurs and their inherent strategies it must be noted that some strategies are purely deliberate and some strategies purely evolve with the market and new opportunities from the birth of new industries and technologies. Of course, the real world, inevitably, involves some blending of thinking and planning ahead as well as some real-time adaptation along the way.
Entrepreneurial innovation has never been part of the institutionalized systems and of large corporations with labor unions, and never will be. Systems have never been able to reproduce the thoughts and passions of genius entrepreneurs, or even the most ordinary competent strategist, and in almost all cases never will, and large systems, processes, and especially the labor unions aren’t designed to encourage the creative and innovative thinking that comes from the passions, of true independent innovative entrepreneurs.
So when we examine the requirements of entrepreneurship we know that good entrepreneurial management is part of the formula along with real entrepreneurial strategies and the strategies for entrepreneurial success are few and simple, but yet difficult, since it takes a true independent entrepreneur to identify the real opportunities which present themselves, especially during times of recession, and recognition of market trends and conditions that create new opportunities is a strong trait that identifies the true entrepreneurs. Additional traits of entrepreneurs are innovativeness and creativity, willing to take risk for their new ideas and innovations, able to
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anticipate future needs and problems, willing to work independently with self-direction, and a strong sense of competitiveness that comes from the passion inherent to the entrepreneurial spirit.
At the very heart and essence of entrepreneurship is innovation, which is the effort to create purposeful and focused change in economic or social potential, which includes three kinds of innovation. The first kind of innovation is ―technological innovation‖ which is innovation including new products, ideas, and technologies. The next kind of innovation is ―economic innovation‖ which includes entrepreneurship and turning those things into new businesses and industries, and finally, ―cultural and social innovations‖ which are the ability to invent new ways of thinking, new art forms, new designs and concepts that identifies trends in the marketplace and associated opportunities.
These different identifiable components of innovation can share the same thought processes of the entrepreneur as they reinforce each other and overlap, and many times the genius of the entrepreneur is noticed and identified because they are able to apply all three kinds of innovation at the same time to the same problem or opportunity. As always, the ―Entrepreneur Nation‖ will eventually spur economic recovery, but the timing of the recovery is dependent upon what kind of problems or barriers entrepreneurs encounter with systems and institutions, huge U.S. Government intervention and its related regulations and taxes, that affect how quickly they can adapt their innovations to the marketplace, which will start to create growth and jobs in the U.S. and global economies.
Mastering the Markets: Entrepreneurial Strategies for Success
Entrepreneurs who have owned and operated their business for very long have learned to appreciate the impact the global economy can have on their businesses, even at a local level that seems to be in relatively good shape
in comparison to other niche markets, and the ripple effect of negative market conditions tend to migrate both nationally and globally, sometimes very slowly, yet at times quickly depending on the initial market impact.
The track economies take always goes up in good times and then comes down in more challenging market conditions, and then back up, riding the optimism of good times followed by the pessimism of shrinking markets, and back up again, leaving the entrepreneur with greater challenges to successfully adjust operations during economic downturns, and the timing of the adjustments is critical to both lessen the effect of negative conditions, and take full advantage of positive market conditions in the most timely manner, and increase the positive effect on the bottom line profit.
The first thing global entrepreneurs need to do to master their markets is grow emotional skin thick enough to not only keep from feeling sorry when the economy slows, but also not to get too excited when the economies turn, start to grow, and begin performing at higher levels.
A realization and considerable understanding has to be developed and reached about the ebb and flow of economic conditions of the markets, as they are going to do what the markets are going to do normally in reaction to ever changing economic conditions both positive and negative, and of course there is very little that anyone can do to change the natural occurrence of economic events and cycles, although well-intentioned governments tend to always try and take actions to positively impact economic cycles, but too many times they only succeed in the exacerbation and extension of the negative portion of the cycles.
Once Entrepreneurs are able to gain greater control of their emotions it becomes easier to focus on the many processes of operating the business in the most efficient way in relation to economic conditions, with the goal of maximum efficiencies that directly translates to not only maximum profits, but maximized positive cash-flow as well. Also, when focused and clear thinking is developed, the easier it is to maintain greater focus and the more
creative one becomes, the more success Entrepreneurs experience in making the correct, yet sometimes difficult strategic decisions at the right time, especially when there is some level of discomfort.
The focused mind set of the successful Entrepreneur always looks for ways they can use poorly performing economies to their advantage, making ―lemonade out of the lemons‖ they have been handed, and they succeed through innovation, which is what the true Entrepreneurs are best known for. Not only are customers, products and services are viewed and thought of differently, but promotional strategies are viewed with an emphasis on regular adaptation and modification based on challenges of shifting and evolving market conditions, or ―lemons‖ the economic world has thrown at the Entrepreneur.
It is critically important to keep in mind that when the local, national and global economies improve, the fruits of innovative mindset thinking remain in the form of new ideas and concepts within the business, and the Entrepreneur has developed and put together a bigger bag of new market strategies, systems and processes that ultimately pay great dividends during both growing economies and recessions.
Entrepreneurs collectively with the other millions of small business owners throughout the world are the global economy’s backbone and ultimate solution to moving it towards any economic turnaround, whether locally, nationally or globally. Together, the collective entrepreneurial mind set of Small Business moves from pessimism to optimism, and as people become more optimistic they in turn spend money, and jobs are created. The greatest advice to remember is to ―think globally and act locally‖, take the ―lemons and make lemonade‖, and always be part of the solution as the markets grow and recede, and economic struggles are fought, won and lost, and people go back and forth between optimism and pessimism.
Unexpected events and tragedies will always have an effect on the economy, but how the Entrepreneur views their business and markets, reacts to challenges and quickly develops innovations, will determine their ultimate
survival and the level of success achieved, which is why any of us make the choice to become Entrepreneurs in the first place.
What Kind of Success Do you WANT? When we think of the word ―Success‖ it can have many different meanings to people including the top grade on a test, retirement to a dream location, enough money to take care of desires, or enough to pay for children’s education at the best schools. So whatever the individual’s definition is, it is always about achievement of that certain something or getting to that certain place.
We have discovered that as much as people in general say they want success, extremely few actually put in the time and effort, and seek out and get the help they need in order to define and achieve their goals for success. Time and time again we hear the excuses and weak reasoning, as to why they failed to follow through including ―my parents didn’t prepare me,‖ ―I didn’t get the right education,‖ ―I’ll wait for the economy to improve,‖ and ―I’m stuck trying to decide what to do.‖
Through the experience of helping thousands of Entrepreneurs be successful, I have observed there are people that believe they can and will succeed, and those who truly do not, and as it turns out the overwhelming majority of the time, both kinds are almost always right. When we look closely at the strongest personality traits of the true Entrepreneur, they believe they will succeed, and will do whatever it takes to reach the goals they have set to measure their success and make their dreams come true. An out of work employee who hasn’t been able to find another job decides to run the risk of starting their own business, an Entrepreneur whose business is struggling just to break-even, and decides to seek much needed help from someone that knows how to improve businesses. They both know and understand that what stands in their path to success are really opportunities and challenges that need the right planning and effort to meet and overcome.
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But when we look closely at those without the right kind of drive to achieve success, any kind of challenge gives them an ―excuse‖ to put off, delay, quit, or as they almost always manage to do, lay blame for their failures on others, so they don’t have to ask someone for help, or even simply change how they do things. They fail to develop a plan to follow closely, and make the necessary changes and adjustments to stay on the path to success, and this is one of the biggest reasons why 45% of businesses fail within the first two years and 90% fail within 10 years.
People instilled with a strong entrepreneurial spirit know what they believe, and are willing to do whatever it takes including the steps necessary to clearly define their mission and vision, and concisely plan how they will achieve their goals and dreams of SUCCESS, and then successfully execute their plan.
Effective Leadership Qualities “Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes”—Peter Drucker “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things”—Peter Drucker “Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall”—Stephen Covey “The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born-that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That's nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born”—Warren G. Bennis
“The leader is one who mobilizes others toward a goal shared by leaders and followers... Leaders, followers and goals make up the three equally necessary supports for leadership”—Gary Wills “In the past a leader was a boss. Today's leaders must be partners with their people... they no longer can lead solely based on positional power”—Ken Blanchard “Even though worker capacity and motivation are destroyed when leaders choose power over productivity, it appears that bosses would rather be in control than have the organization work well”—Margaret J. Wheatley
Part of the many responsibilities an entrepreneur has when trying to successfully operate their business is developing the traits and qualities of a good leader, qualities that inspire confidence and trust from not only employees, but customers as well, and the confidence they have that you know what you’re doing and trust that you will do what you say you will do, in addition to other attributes any good leader must develop and use before anyone willingly follows them, and the good news for entrepreneurs is leadership qualities and skills can be developed over time with the right focus and training.
To be a successful leader the entrepreneur must develop a clear and concise vision needed to inspire people by giving them purpose and direction, and you will get the best out of your team, since it is only natural for people to want to be part of a success story, and it is the entrepreneur’s task as a leader to show them how you can lead them there. Developing a well thought out strategic plan is critical to accomplish your vision, and the plan doesn’t have to be expansive and elaborate, but you need to clearly define the path which you are going to lead the team on from point A to point B, in simple, clear, concise steps and be sure to assigned timelines with deadlines to each step of the process, and finally, the entrepreneur needs to make sure that everyone is on board with the strategic plan and clearly understands not only their individual roles, but the role of the team as well, to insure the team’s and your success.
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If you do not have the instinct, then you must develop the leadership attribute of decisiveness, since no one wants to follow someone who can’t make up their own mind, especially when it comes to what is perceived as small decisions, and this doesn’t mean make unknowledgeable decisions, but first get as much wise input and counsel as you can, and then make an educated decision you can live with and always be ready to make new decisions based on additional information, and remember that informed decisive decisions is a quality of a leader that others are willing to follow.
A successful entrepreneur is able to adapt and make adjustments in the ever changing world of the marketplace, adaptation to new trends, technology, products, and marketing strategies, always working with the plan in mind, and brainstorm with the team ways you can best adapt to changes, implement the necessary changes with the thought always in mind that the plan is a virtual living tool, not static doctrines that would actually be worthless if one could not adapt them to the ever changing marketplace.
Your role as an entrepreneur and leader is only as good as your word, and when it comes to your word, keep it, as in if you tell someone working for you that you are going to do something, then do it, and it is important to remember that it takes time to build the integrity of one’s word, and only a moment to undo all the work, as nothing destroys trust and confidence like breaking your word, for which there is really no excuse.
Genuine praise should be given whenever it is warranted, as it is important to keep high morale for continued high performance, and avoid even the slightest temptation to give false praise unless you want to lessen and diminish the work that’s already been done.
Employees will always notice entrepreneurial leaders that are honest and fair-minded, but they are even quicker to notice dishonest and biased behavior, even the most subtle displays, and great leaders avoid playing favorites and destroying the high morale of the team, always working to build and maintain the successful team.
The Entrepreneur in All of Us
If you're like me, and I kind of think of myself as being like everybody else, in a competent kind of way, in most activities and tasks that I do I tend to think of myself as an entrepreneur, I guess mostly because I have owned and operated businesses with an enlightened entrepreneurial spirit, even when I've been employed at other Jobs at the same time. So we kind of develop the mentality and the mindset of ―how do I make something out of this great idea of mine?‖ Or ―I know this would be of value to somebody else,‖ but of course, not everyone has the same mindset, and perhaps you don't even think of yourself as a typical entrepreneur, or entrepreneur at all, and maybe you don't own a business and you have no desire to ever own a business.
But whether you realize it or not, and whether you own a business or not, you just might be thinking like an entrepreneur whether you know it or not, since when you have income, expenses, assets, taxes, and have ever had enough information to prepare a personal financial statement, you are just like an entrepreneur in business, and you didn’t even realize how much you have in common with the business entrepreneurs that surround you.
The really important thing here is that whether you know it or not you have had to learn some basic business principles that not only help you with your personal life and finances, you can also receive great benefits by learning some additional basic business principles including management of your cash flow, just what assets and liabilities are, how to prepare a personal financial statement or balance sheet, and your personal profit and loss statement.
By learning the business basics and the meaning of basic financial information that you see and think about every day, you empower yourself with information to help you make many important decisions, and once you learn you will realize that the information is not extremely complicated, and you will find that a little dedication and discipline towards your continuing business education will take you far, both personally and in the business
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world. When you learn to read a financial statement and realize it is not that difficult, some really interesting things begin to happen, as you start making better decisions concerning your money that are more profitable and sustainable cash flow wise.
The world seems to be moving faster and is constantly changing, as we seem to be in an era of many very significant changes, with technology and major financial decisions changing and reshaping the everyday world we live, which affects our jobs many of us thought were secure but no longer exist, causing an opposite rise in entrepreneurship, a natural phenomenon of the global economic marketplace.
Many of us have been forced to realize that employers don't take care of us anymore, and we have become more self-sufficient in taking care of ourselves, and along with this realization some of us have been blessed with the understanding that our governments are having more trouble taking care of us, since it is no great secret that Social Security does not offer any substantial retirement benefit and none of us should even count on that is part of any retirement plans we might have.
Which brings us to the big question of what are we going to do? The answer is pretty obvious that we need to become financially competent and start taking care of business ourselves, since it's pretty obvious nobody else is going to do it for us, and for many other similar reasons we will be much better off in the long run. We must resign ourselves to the fact that financial competence is a mandatory ability that each one of us must achieve, especially in today's world. You need to know a lot about how to manage your cash flow if you haven't figured it out already, and you need to keep a close eye on your assets and liabilities (balance sheet), and he should begin to know a little bit about how to invest as well, since the days are over for throwing our money haphazardly into nonproductive investments.
The bottom line is we need to learn and know more about what we are doing, all of us, and become better “entrepreneurs” and “investors” then we are today, and we really don't have any choice at this time, since the sooner we start taking charge of our financial lives, the better off we are all going to be, and the world will be.
How Entrepreneurs Overcome Fear “You can't operate a company by fear, because the way to eliminate fear is to avoid criticism. And the way to avoid criticism is to do nothing.” – Steve Ross Foregoing strategic decisions and deciding to do nothing because of fear is an entrepreneur’s worst enemy, and there is always a certain amount of fear that exists in everything we do, whether it is deciding to walk out the door each morning and go to work or school, which direction we take on the way, as well as the many decisions we make throughout the day, and the more we know and understand about what we are trying to decide has a direct effect on the level of fear in our everyday decision-making.
There is fear that exists in every entrepreneurial endeavor that has ever been undertaken, and the level of fear is directly related to the amount of education and knowledge the entrepreneur has been able to gain prior to starting the business project, from the skills they have developed to the processes they have learned, entrepreneurs have been able to take that first step in starting their business, and the first step of overcoming their fear is always the most difficult step to take.
We overcome our fears by taking action, whether it is through education or trial and error and learning each step of the way, and the road to successful actions we learn is managed through the "educated actions" we take every day, as the successful entrepreneurs face their fears every day, taking action and making the decisions needed
multiple times throughout the day in a continual process of meeting and overcoming fears they have, not only of starting a business, but of continuing the business and its operations each business day.
The biggest fear an entrepreneur has to overcome is taking the first step to starting a business or business project, especially difficult if they have not taken the time needed to develop and prepare a well thought out business plan, and this makes perfect sense because if we can't make decisions based upon sound information developed as part of a clear and concise strategic plan, then the risks of any decisions based on unknown facts are much greater and therefore keep many entrepreneurs from following their dreams and desires to create successful business operations. The more an entrepreneur can learn about all aspects of operating a business from sales to inventory control, financial management to personnel management, marketing strategies to social media integration, laws, regulations and any other aspects specific to their industry and expertise, the easier it becomes to overcome fear.
In the end there'll always be a certain level of fear that stays with an entrepreneur each day, but a small level of fear is always good and should be understood and accepted as part of the business environment, as the fear of tough competition keeps an entrepreneur striving for the perfection of better service, for better products, and for greater value to the customer.
Fear keeps us sharp by making us maintain that certain level of knowledge base required to address decisions and opportunities that present themselves throughout each day, and that ultimately provide us with the successful results we knew would happen because the training, education, and experience we attain gives us the edge needed to successfully meet and overcome our fears of failure. And even though we may fail at times, the number of successes will ultimately far outweigh the number of failures, and that is part of the entrepreneurial dream.
Why a Successful Entrepreneur’s Business Progress Never Stops “Whenever an individual or a business decides that success has been attained, progress stops."--Thomas J. Watson
Successful entrepreneurs share a trait that is one of the secrets to their success, and many of you reading this might already know the secret that frequently separates highly successful businesses from less successful ones, and that is the simple fact that no matter how successfully developed the business becomes, how much profit the business makes, how many customers or clients it serves, and how well respected the business is, it will always seek to improve the business operations, processes, market strategies, technology, and services in order to continue growing as it looks beyond the horizon and develops its next mission.
A successful business should never be finished or complete as it continues down the path of improvement in order to reach new goals and objectives it has set for itself, even as new goals and objectives have been developed and stand ready to replace the most recently attained ones, and successful entrepreneurs that understand, have the drive to look for innovation to meet new opportunities they have identified in the market, a process that repeats itself over and over throughout the long and successful life of the business. Once again, successful entrepreneurs understand that progress is necessary and must continue for a business to attain success as measured by goals and objectives as part of greater missions that fulfill the vision of the entrepreneurs.
When we look at progress and what it means as part of the business environment, it is the continued advancement toward a better and more complete business condition through an enhanced development, and this makes perfect sense, as it seems that successful businesses are always in the progressive mode of continued
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advancement and enhanced development of the business to meet the goals it has established to be successful, and without this there would be no success, or success would be short-lived at the very least.
If you as an entrepreneur operate a business and have been doing it for any length of time, you most likely know more today about who you are, what you do, what your strengths are, what your weaknesses are, the likes of the customers and clients you serve, how you serve them, and improvements that need to be made, then you did when you first started. Hopefully, you have been able to take what you've learned and apply it to your business by changing what doesn't work and improving processes, enhancing what works and improving processes and procedures that are incomplete, and repeating the progress over and over, as this is one of the secrets to entrepreneurial success.
If you are able to see and understand this as you grow in your business, and you become wiser and realize everything is always progressing, everything is always changing, and you and your business must be part of the progress and change, then it becomes easy to see that successful businesses are always in progress and it becomes clear, that how could they not be?
So in the end you have to ask yourself the real question of whether your business is in progress, and whether you as the entrepreneur understand the secret and honor it in your entrepreneurial endeavors. Do you have a plan for making changes and adjustments as you learn they are needed, and if not, why not? And if not, it is time to develop a ―strategic plan‖ that includes how your business will continue to progress and grow in order to meet the mission, and objectives and goals that you establish is part of the plan.
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