Living in the Limelight: An Entrepreneur’s Anthem

rush moving pictures tour

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been passionate about rock music. And like many boys in the 1980s, I was a fan of the band, Rush. I distinctly remember the day I bought Moving Pictures, their breakout album and the first one I purchased with my own money. Upon arriving home, I laid the vinyl on our family room record player and out of the boxy speakers blasted the opening track, “Tom Sawyer”. The ‘A’ side of the album closed with “Limelight“, and I sat there so amazed at what I just heard that it took me a while before flipping over the record.

Living on a lighted stage
Approaches the unreal
For those who think and feel
In touch with some reality
Beyond the gilded cage.

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Masterful Use of LinkedIn

I’ve been on LinkedIn for over 10 years and have never seen this before.

Creative Use LinkedIn

This is a classic example of how crafting simple, authentic content can easily distinguish one from the crowd. If the purpose of LinkedIn includes sharing who you are, deepening your relationships, and building your brand, this accomplishes all that and more in one masterful stroke.

Sharing his experiences in this way tells us much about this person:

  1. He’s self-aware, reflecting on his experiences, short-term and long-term.
  2. He’s vulnerable, willing to make those reflections public even if they relate to tough lessons learned.
  3. He’s giving, offering us nuggets of himself that we otherwise would not know. This gift keeps on giving because it also causes us to reflect on our own experiences.
  4. He’s smart yet down to earth, sharing lessons that are simple and pithy and others that are complex and analytical.
  5. He’s humble, proving that he continues to learn no matter how experienced he gets.

Thank you to Phil Nevels for being all these things and more.

Co-Working and Education

Yesterday, David Wolinsky wrote a between-the-eyes piece on ADMCi’s blog about why co-working doesn’t live up to its inherent potential of 1+1=3. It was a more direct way of saying what I did a few months ago.

To me, the a-ha moment was realizing that the people behind many co-working spaces still haven’t figured out how to create the “stickiness” that’s so critical to any business. As David rightly puts it, many believe “we’ve got a spare room, let’s rent it out to a bunch of strangers to work.” Sorry, contrary to what they may think, co-working is not a simple real estate play. Continue reading

The Entrepreneur as Craftsman

It’s not just about the entrepreneur or the startup, it’s about building a great company. It’s about tapping into our basic instinct to do a job well and develop the skills to do so.

Just as a father consistently focuses on doing his job well and keeps trying new techniques to get better. Or a teenager who earned her license and someday must drive in the mountains, through snow, or alongside a caravan of trucks. In each case, the craftsman is dedicated to doing quality work. Continue reading

Selling to Startups

As a market, they don’t respond to a well-thought out strategy. No amount of research will reveal any hot buttons. And tactics that seem to be working at any point in time are really simply a matter of luck.

They’re like fingerprints, every one a unique identity. No matter their age, capitalization, ownership structure, industry, revenue, or profitability, there’s no way to build typical customer profiles. Executive titles and experience levels often don’t matter. And sometimes they do. Continue reading

Think, Act, Communicate

In his book, Start With Why, Simon Sinek shares the idea that great leaders think, act, and communicate based on the Golden Circle.

I’m discovering that Think-Act-Communicate (TAC) is also an effective framework for strategic and tactical planning, particularly for startups and small companies, who don’t need the bloated planning frameworks often used in business. Continue reading

Finding vs. Keeping

Entrepreneurs are naturals at finding. We easily find business opportunities and new markets. We quickly find people who want to work with us by sharing our vision. And if we have the patience, adaptability, and tenacity, we find enough customers to build a business.

But once we make the find, we have a tendency to direct our time, attention, and resources away from it. We often lose interest with the people and organizations who take big risks in buying from us, working with us, investing in us, and partnering with us:  the early adopters who helped us build the foundation of a business. Continue reading