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Three Skills to be a Successful Entrepreneur

No man is an island. No business is either. It’s helpful to learn from those who are a few steps ahead or are walking stably beside you. Now is the time to accelerate progress through networking and collaboration in order to enjoy exponential improvements and growth. Our panel of fourteen experts offers invaluable insights into the question: What are three priority skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

From our Experts:

Tom Ruwitch

1. Persistence... Entrepreneurs are bound to fail from time to time in their journeys. You can't quit the first time you fail.

2. Interpersonal skills... You must work well with others if you want to be a successful entrepreneur. Working alone in a garage is a mythical image.

3. A willingness to let go and delegate… You can't do it all yourself. Build a team. Establish structure. Don't try to juggle it all.

Stephen Hager

1. Fire in your belly to do something different, better and take-on risk

2. A picture of success, vision and desired outcomes with leaky boundaries

3. Surround self with people smarter and different than you who support your picture of success

Adam Kreitman

1. The ability to sell

2. The ability to delegate

3. The ability to learn from failure (or, better yet, the failures of others)

Steve Smart

1. The ability to lead with vision: The ability to see, define and rally others to a future state is critical for long-term success.

2. The ability to incorporate the right talent: No one can do it all on their own. It becomes critical to recognize that fact, develop a high performing team and delegate well.

3. The ability to manage change: With a growing business, change is happening all over. Within the organization, within the industry and in the business world in general. Being able to manage change and lead the organization in the midst of it is important.

Jared Peno

Along with personal traits such as perseverance, self-motivation, and focus, I think having the following skills is vitally important to an entrepreneur's success:

1. First, you must have a marketable service or product. If you don't, then you have nothing to sell and no platform for becoming an entrepreneur.

2. Second, you need to have vision. When you are starting out, take advantage of your ability to adjust to demands and trends quickly; always have an eye for opportunity.

3. Lastly, and I believe most importantly, you need to be able to grow your personal network. Entrepreneurs sell solutions and the more people you know the more people you can potentially help. Your worth as an entrepreneur is directly tied with how well and how many people you can help. Creating an ever-growing network of people allows for more relationships and more opportunities for you to solve problems.

These are just a few of the Partner responses.

Check out this article in the academy to get all responses

Video: Recipe for a Great Presentation

Presentations normally scare us even though they are the doorway leading to business, career and leadership opportunities. Get your recipe for confidence and success

Speaker, author and presentation expert Fred Miller is as delicious in his speaking delivery as the cake he discusses and shows you at the opening of his presentation. He packs a wealth of valuable ideas and practices into this brief topic on creating a repeatable, successful presentation every time you speak. In it, he addresses the importance of:

  • Compelling your audience to be open, charmed and curious within the first minutes
  • Crafting your title and slides using images and text effectively
  • Impacting your audience immediately with an introduction that speaks to the needs and desires of your audience and gets their attention
  • Using questions to make a strong bid for audience participation and engagement
  • Providing valuable points and reinforcing them with powerful and humorous stories to make you irresistible to your target market
  • Using your presentation slides as a support tool without them being a crutch
  • Demonstrating cohesiveness in your message through a solid construction of your topic
  • Managing audience questions strategically with timing and composition of your invitation
  • Ending on a positive, memorable and engaging note so your audience remembers what’s best about you and your services.

Fred E. Miller is an entertaining, intelligent and thought-provoking speaker, author, and presentation coach. His website iswww.NoSweatPublicSpeaking.com and you can contact him at Fred@NoSweatPublicSpeaking.com

Nurturing Customer Relationships

Learn how and why specialized experts and business owners create habits to nurture and expand relationships with their existing customers.

Serving customers and setting an intention to create a satisfying experience with them engenders ongoing loyalty and often-extraordinary results. Being grateful and mindful about your customers and attentive to their needs, translates into strong relationships that are mutually positive and supportive. Some likely results: your customers develop business for you. They like you, they trust you, they continue to buy from you and they refer others to you. Most important of all, developing caring habits that keep them happy ultimately make you happy too. Benefit from the experience of our experts who offer you a range of ideas to try out for your benefit and those you serve.

From our Experts:

John Eyres

I like to EMAIL out new and interesting trends I feel would benefit some of my current and past clients. This is a very positive way to help them and help me keep in touch with them. I think they really appreciate the way I send them specific information tidbits they can use in their business.

Cathy Sexton

I send an email every week with a productivity tip of the week that brings value and is quick and easy to read. I get a lot of positive feedback.

Glenda Woolley

I like to give more than my customers are expecting. When opportunities arise to support them in unconventional ways they don’t anticipate, more than a working relationship develops. We also become friends.

Bill Prenatt

Many years ago I had a colleague who said, "Do the best you can and do a little bit more.”

My goal in working with my clients is to make them feel special...like they are my only client in the world. I also want them to trust me deeply.

Doing what I say I'm going to do, when I say I'm going to do it, is important to me. They don't care what I know unless they know that I care.

These are just a few of the partner responses. 

Check out this article in the Academy to get all of them.

For further information, support and advice from thirty experts on this topic and many others, become a member of the e4e community by visiting our website at www.e4ecommunity.com

Moving from Victim to Victory Consciousness

The job of a good leader is to help a person become responsible by transferring responsibility to them so they live their purpose.

As a child deeply in love with nature, living on the edge of a park, and the fifth of six children, I knew a lot about chaos, the beautiful, free, creative and exhilarating kind. Starting out free to explore from infancy, school at age five felt like bitter confinement and at times crushing domination, and was the first time I was acutely aware of the down-side to our civilization process. As a result, I have always been drawn to unorthodox concepts of how people might form community, develop into good, contributing, caring citizens who are empowered to be victorious in their lives. In the last 30 years I have turned that awareness into an obsession (and a company), leading to questions that have since liberated my life and the lives of others.

  • How can we shift the civilization process so that rather than diminish people and demean the human spirit, each person is assisted in expanding into their wholeness?
  • What can we do to create a world in which it feels safe to be powerfully influential, inventive, vulnerable, creative and collaborative so that we are authentically free co-creators?
  • What does an organization look like in which people thrive rather than simply survive?
  • How do we avoid that which makes us feel and act like victims and rebels and absorb that, which makes us empowered, contributing and accountable?

It’s clear our current organizational structures are not working well. News headlines make us all too aware of the meaning of the term dysfunctional within schools, families, businesses and institutions. Schools struggle to effectively educate, many businesses, marriages and families are in a state of crisis. And then there’s the current state of health care, the economy, welfare, our judicial systems, the environment, and governments, to name a few.

Additionally, a requirement for mutual cooperation is essential as we expand our increasingly technological and global community. We are evolving at an accelerated pace which creates greater stress and a pressing need to be more inter-dependent and streamlined in our evolution. What once took years and even decades to create now takes only months or days and our outdated organizational systems can’t keep up with our present or future. What’s the answer?

Recently, in studying a variety of organizational models, I was delighted to discover a human system that is synonymous with the work of my company LifeWork Systems. The model is called a chaord, derived from a combination of the words chaos and order. In a chaord, all the best within human beings and all manner of systems are honored and focused towards what is both most meaningful and effective.

Leading scientists from many disciplines have recently discovered that life itself thrives on the edge of chaos with just enough order to give it patterns we have taken for granted and assumed developed in a linear, plodding manner. It’s just not true. Much of what exists in nature formed in both a complex and simultaneous way. In other words, a variety of systems acting independently worked in harmony to rapidly collaborate and create what could not otherwise occur. Nature literally explodes with creativity and cooperation. What’s key is that each element involved in any healthy system not be confused nor impeded in living to their distinct purpose, values and vision.

A chaord is similar to this beautiful discovery in nature; when people share power, are equipped to co-create change, and independently self-govern, then everyone can harmoniously blend available chaos with order for rapid, effective change. In ordered chaos, each person is first and foremost purpose-oriented, focused on individual and group purpose, values and visions. Next, everyone is organized to expediently harness the creativity, gifts, initiative and collective talents available in service to that purpose or vision. Ordered chaos is to vision what a bow and arrow is to a target. Control is released so the arrow can literally fly to the target. This is the path from victim to victor.

What does this mean specifically? Organizations operating as a chaord function by a set of principles in which power is shared, knowledge and initiative are distributed at all levels and self-governing, socially and emotionally intelligent individuals and teams work independently to accomplish their goals with faith in each other to deliver their part. Imagine homes, educational institutions, community organizations and businesses in which adults and children learn to share decision-making, governing, and whole tasks are delegated to individuals and teams independently and yet, interdependently.

In this system internal motivation, purpose, vision and self-management are top priorities that replace traditional command and control, linear top-down managing so that joyful participation from passion and purpose reign. I have successfully created this very system in my own family and in client sites, including businesses, non-profit organizations, churches and schools.

During the first half of the 21st century, it was the practice of parents to shape the minds and hearts and lives of their children and to a large extent this is still a worthy role. At that time however, this was out of balance. There was something crucial usually missing in the formula for influencing children’s lives. Too much emphasis was focused on the shaping of the child and not enough on the child’s individual internal motivation, inductive reasoning and discovery and development of their unique purpose, values and vision for their life. They were not developed into leaders and proactive participants as part of their rearing. The result: Many adults turn into people who are out of touch with their ability to make choices from internal motivation and instead feel like “victims” to the whims and preferences of others. Their internal roadmap is buried and their power atrophied.

A result from my experience of my childhood and the well-intentioned, control-driven attempts by my parents, other adults, and educators, to make me a good citizen, was an unbalanced need to do what my parents and other authorities wanted from a sense of fear and disempowerment. I have come to realize many others experience the same. Maybe that’s why Brene Brown, renounced expert researcher on Shame and Vulnerability states,

"We are the most over-weight, over-medicated, in-debt, addicted cohorts in the history of the world."

The emphasis on shaping human beings from the outside in, is costing us more than we could ever imagine and at the root of co-dependency, shame, repression, suppression, addiction and many neuroses. It is at the root of victim consciousness. When parents raise children this way and educators teach students this way and managers manage employees this way, there grows a disconnection between the one leading and the one being led, and a disconnect within each person.

During that era and today, the mainstream methods for how to lead others is still a source of much dysfunction. When we use a control-based approach for leading others, this is a form of over-protecting, pampering and spoiling. I’m not referring here to spoiling others with too many material goods but rather, with taking too much responsibility for the ideas, happiness, behavior, choices and results of those they lead.

In the words of psychologist Alfred Adler (father of individual psychology), “people often make the mistake of taking too much responsibility for other’s achievements and too much blame for their mistakes. They forget the person is always observing, interpreting and deciding for him or herself.” When we leave out the purposes and subjectivity of the individual, and don’t guide others in the wise use of their power, we are teaching others to be less responsible. What we protect we make weak and we should never do for others anything they are capable of doing for themselves.

The job of a good leader is to help a person become able to respond (responsible) in their life; to help them by transferring responsibility to them in such a manner that they discover their own high purpose and how to live it. Then they can do the same for others. It’s been my life’s work, first with my family, then in over 70 schools and now with many business and community organizations, to provide the missing tools and information that allows leaders to improve success in others and bring out the best already residing in those they lead.

We live in exciting times with tremendous opportunity to expand into the amazing, capable, creative human beings we are and to have fun alone and with others. A chaordic model is exciting because it provides meaningful uncertainties, risks, challenges and opportunities to develop leaders who contribute in ways that cannot be found in traditional models. Vision, with action, leads to infinite possibilities. It’s time to buckle up, and go for the ride of our lives. We are designed by nature itself to function within organized chaos on purpose when we are given the appropriate training and support for how to do so! We are meant to be victors, not victims!

Judy Ryan is Owner of LifeWork Systems and a human systems expert. Executives, community leaders and educators hire Judy and her company because they want the advantages of a healthy workplace. To contact her, you can call her at 314.239.4727, by emailjudy@lifeworksystems.com or on her website www.lifeworksystems.com

Video: Connecting

Expert promoter and master at connecting, Karen Hoffman shares her tips for how to ensure the connections you make with others count.

Expert promoter and master at connecting, Karen Hoffman shares her tips for how to ensure the connections you make with others count. Her advice includes:

  • Focus conversations on how you will work together
  • Make your connections relational, not just transactional
  • Go deeper with fewer people vs. skim the surface with many
  • Stay open-minded, open-hearted and suspend judgments
  • Find and focus on people you know, like and trust

Karen Hoffman is founder of City of Experts and Gateway to Dreams, organizations designed to connect and promote people so they can live their dreams and provide their valuable services to the world. Call her today at 314.503.6376 or Karen@cityofexperts.com

The Power of Passion in Succeeding in Marketing and PR

It’s not just about a diploma hanging on the wall. Want to have success in marketing? Be passionate, push boundaries, and most importantly, make mistakes.

You have invested in your education and have a degree? Whether you have or not, your success depends on something more: Passion

So, you have a degree in marketing, communications or public relations. What does that mean for entering the work force? The harsh reality is that in many employers’ minds, it may not mean much, as a large number of people with college degrees have no practical experience and/or meaningful internships.

Of the resumes we receive at KolbeCo, roughly 20% have meaningful experience. In addition, they are not students of the media, meaning they don't watch the news, read the paper or are active in building a professional brand for themselves on social media.

As I look back at previous generations, many professionals of years past did not have the educational experience, but they had practical experience. They learned on the job. They were always passionate students of their trade.

Allow me to share my grandfather’s story, a man who faced a challenging childhood, managed to get a high school education, and started his career selling irons door-to-door during the Great Depression. But the man who began as an iron salesman had a passion for engineering. He was self-taught, never stopped learning, and went to work for Douglas Aircraft in California, which later merged and became McDonnell-Douglas.

During his time there, he became the chief engineer on the AV8 Harrier project and worked in a lead role on the Apollo project. Yet he only had a high school diploma. Why was he successful leading a team of 2200 engineers? Because he was a student of engineering – even in retirement!

He loved designing aircraft, and it was a big part of his identity. He remembered many of the internal debates within the walls of McDonnell Douglas – now Boeing. These were passionate debates on how to address problems and make designs better. Believe it or not, I have met people on his team who remember debates with my grandfather from 30 or 40 years ago! That is what I call passion.

I believe there are lessons to be learned from my grandfather’s story – lessons that translate to the marketing and PR industry. The story teaches us that it’s not just about a diploma hanging on the wall. Want to have success in marketing? Be passionate, push boundaries, and most importantly, make mistakes. Want to be a great PR person? Have a true, authentic appreciation for the media. Become a consumer of media – read a journalist’s articles, watch the news, follow them on social media, learn the audience. You will soon understand what a journalist or a producer likes. You don't need to ask them and shouldn't have to. As you learn this you become a resource as a PR person and not a pest.

But being a great professional is also about finding your personal passion, and gaining life experience. Looking to enter the marketing field and not sure how to get started? Volunteer at a nonprofit. Explore the world. The more depth you have as a marketing person the more creative you can become. While some of this comes from experience, there are numerous creative people who are young and always thinking of new ways to push the boundaries. As a new graduate, look to push the more senior experienced people to their limits as well. They will appreciate it if they too are passionate people.

Education is a great start, but where you go from there is up to you.

For marketing, branding and public relations assistance visitwww.kolbeco.net.