Friday, December 18, 2015


Like many of you, I’ve noticed the world of entrepreneurship is defined and addressed in numerous ways.  For some it's one person with a desire to create a new idea, for others it's a small business providing a unique new widget, and for others it's simply a mindset.  How does one become an entrepreneur? Is it the result of the School of hard knocks? Is it an educational formula?  Or is it, perhaps a powerful combination of both?

Well I do believe it’s a combination of both, and during the coming new year, I will be offering you a few thoughts, ideas and hopefully a few challenges to make you think about your business and become a more educated entrepreneur from both schools of thought. 

For this week, I'd really like to know how you define entrepreneurship.  Tell me as well which influenced you most the school of hard knocks or was it a prescribed set of lessons and instructions on how to become an entrepreneur?

Here's this week educational challenge.  If you haven't yet read, Who Owns the Ice House, by Gary G Schoeniger and Clifton L. Taulbert, I highly recommend you do so.  Make it a goal to read it over the holidays.  It will help get your entrepreneurial juices flowing for the new year.  

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


While there are many definitions of what a business coach is, in this blog we are suggesting the coach is just that, a coach.  Think of a football team.  The coach and the player (business owner) meet regularly to go over what is working and tweaking what’s not working.  They may research the competition to judge their strengths and weaknesses, and develop plays (strategies) to ensure their team comes out on top.

The coach doesn’t go out on the field and pass the ball around, tackle the guy in front of them (or whatever else football players do), they specifically stay on the sidelines and help the players remember the details of the plays they have been working on.  When discouraged, players get a pep-talk; when they do something stupid, they get a bit of a scolding.  Coaches help business owners see the lesson in the midst of the turmoil, and they help us look past the fog of uncertainty into the future that is within his/her reach. 

Just as there are a variety of coaches on a football team, each with a special focus, a savvy entrepreneur will also chose to work with a variety of business coaches.  A sales coach is very different from a strategic planning coach, just as a technology coach is different from a speaker’s coach.  You may find someone that has coaching skills in a few different areas. However I suggest you, like Woodrow Wilson “not only use all the brains that [you] have, but all that [you] can borrow.” 

Let me know if you need the name of a great coach for your business.  It's one of the ways I help you FOCUS!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Here are some of my mentors; Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, Andrew Carnegie, Jack Welch, Lee Iacocca, Mary Kay Ash, Peter Drucker, Seth Godin, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Margaret Thatcher, Ken Blanchard, Julie Morgenstern, Jim Collins, Patrick Lencloni, Judith Glaser, John Maxwell, and
many more.

You might ask how some of the above could be mentors when they are actually dead.  A mentor can be anyone who provides you with wisdom in an area in which you are seeking to learn.  I love to read so I make it a habit of reading biographies and business wisdom from people who have accomplished great things.  Woodrow Wilson said, “I not only use all the brains that I have, but all I can borrow.”  Reading allows me to borrow wisdom and encourages me to press on with my goals.
Look for your own mentors:

·         Read - ebooks are great, I like to write notes in my books so I go to Goodwill and used bookstores for books I want to devour.

·         Ask people you admire questions - you can often learn the most amazing things about what a person has experienced or knows just by asking a few questions.   

·         Listen to audio books – your car can be one of the best places to learn.  Just don’t try taking notes while you are driving. 

·         Talk to different generations - find out what the younger generation is interested in and what an older generation really needs. 

Let me know what other mentor ideas you have or use.  You might be my next mentor!

Sunday, September 13, 2015


      A team of advisors is a collection of business leaders who may provide a complimentary service or be a part of a group such as a Mastermind with a paid facilitator.  This team of 4-6 professionals observe what owners have accomplished so far in their business, review business goals and listen to the past, current and future plans for the owners business.  What advisors ultimately provide for the business owner is a review, or a report if you will, identifying where articulation and actual outcomes are inconsistent.  The advisor's greatest asset is the support role they play in keeping the business owner on a true path for accomplishing the specific mission and vision of the business. When the business veers off course, the advisory team will point out where a correction needs to be made and supports the owner until the course corrections have been made. 

     The specialty of an advisory team is that each member, if selected carefully, has the ability to synthesize what they have observed and heard, and provide the business owner with challenging questions, thoughts, and ideas that may not have been thought through previously.  It is not the job of the advisor to tell the owner what to do with their widget or service, but, rather they share what they are seeing that is inconsistent, sifted through their own perspective and experience in business and then offers the owner ideas and suggestion to "chew on" from their own personal experience and expertise. It is from these suggestions that a process emerges and the business owner is then able to walk through and shore up the Vision Leaks* in the business plan.

      The input and time provided by a team of advisors is incredibly valuable.  Business owners need to treat them well, respect their input (especially if they don’t follow the advisors advice), and not expect more than the time the advisor is willing to give.  

* Bill Hybles, in his book Courageous Leadership talks about the need for leaders to keep the vision alive for the team.  When the vision become blurry or rarely talked about, members of the team may experience vision leaks, While written for Christian leaders, this book is a good read for all responsible for keeping the vision alive for a group or team. 

Next Week:  Where to find the best mentors!

Sunday, September 6, 2015


     I was blessed to have a very successful career in the field of education.  I utilized every piece of applicable information I received from mentors, books, and audio tapes (yes they were cassette tapes back then).  I attribute this hunger and respect for my continuing need for education in a variety of forms, no matter what academic degree I achieved, to my growth and development as a leader in my specific area of expertise. 

     However, when I became an entrepreneur, outside the world of academia, I quickly learned that what I didn’t know I didn’t know about starting and running a business, could easily railroad my ability to create a successful business in providing what I did know.  Therefore it was critical for me to find a way to continue my need for a different type of educational experience. My research and subsequent studies lead me to three specific areas of experiential learning: Advisors who provide wisdom based on experience, Mentors who offer knowledge in a variety of forms, and Coaches who encourage and challenge. I'm looking forward to exploring each with you in upcoming posts. 

Next Blog:  Advisors on Your Team; The who, what, when, where, and why.


We all want to be successful. Grant Cardone says we not only want to be successful, but it is “our duty, our responsibility, and our obligation,” to be successful!  How do we get there?  As entrepreneurs we are overwhelmed just trying to get the business up and running, but the more we work in the business rather than on it, the more likely we will lose focus on why we actually started our business in the first place.  This blog is dedicated to helping  each of us FOCUS on what will move us from the creation of our widget or service through the hills and valleys and each seasons that will impact our business.