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Incredible Business Lesson From…Mike Tyson

By on Feb 21, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Article by, Dave Lavinsky Generally I wouldn’t use the phrase “business lesson” and the name of legendary/infamous boxer “Mike Tyson” in the same sentence, but in this case I think it’s deserved. Because his quote “everybody’s got plans… until they get hit” is really important. I’m probably stating the obvious, but to make sure we’re all on the same page, here’s what Tyson means: every boxer has a game plan when he (or she) goes into the ring. By the time he enters the ring, the boxer has analyzed his competitor and trained repeatedly in order to attack the competitor’s weaknesses and protect himself against their strengths. But, in the heat of the battle, when you “get hit,” things quickly change. Your gut instincts trump your well laid plans, and anything goes. Importantly, the same holds true in business. While I strongly support creating a business plan, things will NEVER go exactly as planned. And the key to your success is how you react when YOU “get hit.” What will you and your business do when you don’t get the funding you expected? Or when a key employee leaves? Or when your number one customer goes elsewhere? Or when the economy tanks? I have found that the entrepreneurs and companies that respond best to “getting hit” are the ones that employ mission statements. What are mission statements? Mission statements explain what your business is trying to achieve. For example:   Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Kiva’s mission is to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty. And, since 1901, Nordstrom’s mission has been to “offer the customer the best possible service, selection, quality and value.”   Why do mission statements matter? For internal (e.g., employees) and external (investors, partners, customers) audiences, your mission can inspire and get them excited to be part of what your company is doing. And, importantly, for internal decision-making, mission statements help as key decisions should be made with regards to how well they help your company progress in achieving its mission. So, when your company hits a rut, rather than completely scrambling, you need to ask yourself what you should be doing...

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Incredible Business Lesson from Mike Tyson

By on Feb 11, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Article by, Dave Lavinsky Generally I wouldn’t use the phrase “business lesson” and the name of legendary/infamous boxer “Mike Tyson” in the same sentence, but in this case I think it’s deserved. Because his quote “everybody’s got plans… until they get hit” is really important. I’m probably stating the obvious, but to make sure we’re all on the same page, here’s what Tyson means: every boxer has a game plan when he (or she) goes into the ring. By the time he enters the ring, the boxer has analyzed his competitor and trained repeatedly in order to attack the competitor’s weaknesses and protect himself against their strengths. But, in the heat of the battle, when you “get hit,” things quickly change. Your gut instincts trump your well laid plans, and anything goes. Importantly, the same holds true in business. While I strongly support creating a business plan, things will NEVER go exactly as planned. And the key to your success is how you react when YOU “get hit.” What will you and your business do when you don’t get the funding you expected? Or when a key employee leaves? Or when your number one customer goes elsewhere? Or when the economy tanks? I have found that the entrepreneurs and companies that respond best to “getting hit” are the ones that employ mission statements. What are mission statements? Mission statements explain what your business is trying to achieve. For example:   Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Kiva’s mission is to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty. And, since 1901, Nordstrom’s mission has been to “offer the customer the best possible service, selection, quality and value.”   Why do mission statements matter? For internal (e.g., employees) and external (investors, partners, customers) audiences, your mission can inspire and get them excited to be part of what your company is doing. And, importantly, for internal decision-making, mission statements help as key decisions should be made with regards to how well they help your company progress in achieving its mission. So, when your company hits a rut, rather than completely scrambling, you need to ask yourself what you should be doing...

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10 Tips for the First – Time Business Owner

By on Jan 26, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I write Entrepreneur.com ‘s Young Entrepreneur column because I believe there are far too few resources directly addressing the nonacademic trials and tribulations young entrepreneurs face along their journey. Whenever possible, I encourage up-and-comers and established entrepreneurs to mentor the next generation of dream-seekers; for it is this insight and insider education that will provide the foundation for the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. With that, here are 10 pieces of advice that I wish someone had given to me before I launched my first venture. Focus. Focus. Focus. Many first-time entrepreneurs feel the need to jump at every “opportunity” they come across. Opportunities are often wolves in sheep’s clothing. Avoid getting side-tracked. Juggling multiple ventures will spread you thin and limit both your effectiveness and productivity. Do one thing perfectly, not 10 things poorly. If you feel the need to jump onto another project, that might mean something about your original concept. Know what you do. Do what you know. Don’t start a business simply because it seems sexy or boasts large hypothetical profit margins and returns. Do what you love. Businesses built around your strengths and talents will have a greater chance of success. It’s not only important to create a profitable business, it’s also important that you’re happy managing and growing it day in and day out. If your heart isn’t in it, you will not be successful. Say it in 30 seconds or don’t say it at all. From a chance encounter with an investor to a curious customer, always be ready to pitch your business. State your mission, service and goals in a clear and concise manner. Fit the pitch to the person. Less is always more. Know what you know, what you don’t know and who knows what you don’t. No one knows everything, so don’t come off as a know-it-all. Surround yourself with advisors and mentors who will nurture you to become a better leader and businessman. Find successful, knowledgeable individuals with whom you share common interests and mutual business goals that see value in working with you for the long-term. Act like a startup. Forget about fancy offices, fast cars and fat expense accounts. Your wallet is your company’s life-blood. Practice and perfect...

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How Can I Start a Business with No Experience?
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How Can I Start a Business with No Experience?

By on Jan 26, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Article by, Ryan Himmel I have a business idea that I’d like to get off the ground but have no previous experience in business. Where would it be best to go first for advice, planning and development of my idea? The success of a business rarely has to do with the novelty of an idea. Rather, it more has to do with whether or not the management team is able to execute on the strategy and goals. Luck and “the big idea” are factors, but they are not nearly as important as execution. I would encourage you to gain an understanding as to your ability to execute on the idea. Specifically, to determine if this idea is worth pursuing. What you really need is advice and guidance from someone who has already done what are you are planning to do. Research online and on LinkedIn and create a wish list of seasoned veterans in your industry that you think may be able to help you and possibly become advisors for your company. Once you have your list, review your professional and social networks to try to identify common connections for an introduction. If you can’t seem to find any, then you’ll have to try calling or emailing cold. When you do this, don’t just pitch your product, but rather discuss how you can work together on something that can be a game changer in the marketplace. You may even need to attend a few conferences that you know they might be attending. Try to broaden your network by joining business community workplaces. There are still several incubator and accelerator programs for companies that sell both online services and physical products. I would recommend going through the directory listed on the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA). You can also utilize several other nonprofit resources such as the SCORE association, which comprised of 11,500 volunteer business counselors throughout the country. It’s a free resource, and it’s fairly easy to book an appointment with one of the local mentors. Another resource is the Small Business Development Centers, which have mentors and workshops to help with the development of your business. Best of luck with your business idea and let us know how...

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Real Estate Investing Gone Insane: Don’t Do This….

By on Jan 25, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

By Paul Esajian Why are real estate investors making these devastating mistakes today? Surf a real estate investing forum for 5 minutes today and you’ll find countless case studies in outrageously horrific missteps, which if they haven’t yet, will cost many their life savings and potentially a lot more. The new surge in interest in real estate investing has infected the nation. In some areas, it’s like almost an apocalyptic picture of zombies running around with an unquenchable thirst for buying properties. It’s just the brains that seem to be missing from the movie. Every foreclosure or motivated seller is NOT a deal. It’s OK to throw up a $322 million spec house if you have the spare change to do it and just want the bragging rights, but this type of extravagance isn’t the savviest real estate investing strategy for most. Unfortunately it is sad to see so many new ‘investors’ make far more insane moves today. They aren’t just simply making poor acquisitions; they are betting their last dime on deals and counting on ‘delayed financing’ which never appears, they don’t know local real estate laws, don’t know how to qualify tenants, what makes a good buy, what can sabotage their ability to rent or sell, what makes a deal or what the real numbers are or will be, what improvements add value or take away from it,  and they are buying properties with clouded title and non-performing tenants they may never be able to get out in time. It’s lunacy. If you are going to bet all of your energy, savings, time, future and you children’s future on real estate investing don’t you think it is worth at least attempting to avoid these cringe worthy fumbles by investing at least a few hours in some quality real estate education to get it right? Or don’t; go ahead and wing it, let some other real estate investing pro who did invest in their real estate education clean up and cash in on the mess you are leaving behind on your way out. Just keep this in mind when you are filling out that job application for a position flipping greasy burgers in a couple of years from now,...

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