Category Archives: Inspiration

Inspiration: The A-ha Moments [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Required Reading for Entrepreneurs: Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki

The author of the international bestseller The Art of the Start offers a new perspective on the art of influence.

enchantmentGuy Kawasaki’s acclaimed books have established him as the entrepreneur’s entrepreneur, and in The Art of the Start he wrote the essential contemporary guide for starting any new enterprise. Now Kawasaki turns to the mystery of influence and offers a compelling new take on this key force that drives any successful business or personal interaction.

Enchantment‘s fundamental message is that in any transaction the goal is not to get your own way, but to bring about a voluntary, enduring, and delightful change of heart in other people, by working with and through them and enlisting their own goals and desires. It’s enchantment that enables us to maneuver through difficult decisions, break people’s entrenched habits, defy the wisdom of crowds, and get colleagues to work for long-term goals.

Kawasaki’s advice includes:
• How to Achieve Rapport, Credibility, and Trust
• How to Help People Enchant Themselves
• How to Overcome Resistance
• How to Enchant Your Employees…and Your Boss
• How to Resist Enchantment

Anchored by his road-tested wisdom and inimitable wit, Enchantment is another classic from one of the most respected voices in business today.

Interview: Amanda Pekoe, co-founder and CEO of The Pekoe Group

pekoeAmanda Pekoe is the co-founder and CEO of The Pekoe Group. The Pekoe Group is a full-service boutique marketing and advertising agency offering their creative ingenuity to you.

Listen to Amanda’s interview here. Read the rest of this entry

Inspiration: Cameron Herold: Let’s raise kids to be entrepreneurs [Video]

Bored in school, failing classes, at odds with peers: This child might be an entrepreneur, says Cameron Herold. In his talk, he makes the case for parenting and education that helps would-be entrepreneurs flourish — as kids and as adults.

Required Reading for Entrepreneurs: The Wisdom of Failure by Laurence G. Weinzimmer and Jim McConoughey

wisdomThe “how-not-to” leadership book
There is a paradox in leadership: we can only succeed by knowing failure. Every accomplished leader knows there are minefields of failures that need to be navigated in order to succeed. Wouldn’t it be great to have the insights to help you prevent from making avoidable mistakes? Unfortunately, in business talking about mistakes can be taboo, and, at a certain level, learning from failure is not an option. Weinzimmer and McConoughey speak frankly about the things that are difficult to talk about – the unvarnished truths necessary to become a successful leader.

  • Based on a groundbreaking 7-year study of what almost 1000 managers across 21 industries really think about lessons from failures
  • Includes exclusive interview material from CEOs at a wide range of organizations, including major firms such as Caterpillar, Priceline.com, and Allstate; startups; and entrepreneurial small businesses
  • Drills down into failure to uncover the strategies that aspiring leaders need in order to avoid the most damning leadership mistakes: unbalanced orchestration, drama management, and reckless vanity

Learning from the mistakes of others is a necessary part of the journey of effective leadership, and this book offers an indispensable guide to learning these powerful lessons—without paying the price of failure.

Inspiration: The Startup Founder Cheat Sheet [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Required Reading for Entrepreneurs: Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is About Help Not Hype by Jay Baer {Comment to Win!}

youtilityThe difference between helping and selling is just two letters

If you’re wondering how to make your products seem more exciting online, you’re asking the wrong question. You’re not competing for attention only against other similar products. You’re competing against your customers’ friends and family and viral videos and cute puppies. To win attention these days you must ask a different question: “How can we help?”

Jay Baer’s Youtility offers a new approach that cuts through the clut­ter: marketing that is truly, inherently useful. If you sell something, you make a customer today, but if you genuinely help someone, you create a customer for life.

Drawing from real examples of companies who are practicing Youtility as well as his experience helping more than seven hundred brands improve their marketing strategy, Baer provides a groundbreaking plan for using information and helpfulness to transform the relationship between companies and customers.

Tell us why you want to upgrade your marketing. Comment to win a copy of Jay Baer’s Youtility.

5 More Reasons to Start Your Own Business

Last week, we talked about our top 5 reasons to start your own business and guess what? We have 5 more.

You ready? Because here we go!

1. You will finally have the respect you deserve

Mainly, you’ll learn to respect yourself. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. Starting your own business is tough. More than tough. It might be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. When you get to the other side, success or failure, you’ll see exactly what you’re capable of when pursuing your passion and dreams. Everyone surrounding you on the endeavor will see it, too.

2. You’ll create jobs

In the last post, we talked about the tax breaks that come with hiring your family. That’s all well and good, but think about all the other jobs you’re creating. You’ll be an economy-stimulation machine. You’ll have the chance to mine and cultivate talent. You’ll be the one in the boss’s seat.

3. Your story will reach your customers

When we talk about branding on this site, one of the things we like to talk about is sharing your story. Why are you here? Why is this the thing you’re passionate about? When you share your passion with people, they can passionate in response. Your customers are the perfect people to hear your story and help you spread the word.

4. You can flex your creative muscle

One of the big things the self-employed tend to do is find their creative flow and use it to advance and grow their business. Imagine what kind of entrepreneur/boss/innovator you can be when you are allowed to work the way you’re comfortable with. Being your own boss let’s you off the leash to explore your full capabilities. Go as far as you can.

5. Start a legacy

Whether you want to keep the company in the family or hand it over to your most trusted second in command, you have started something that could last for a long time. Your business could be enduring. You could start something that lasts far into the future, beginning with your own innovation and spreading out for generations to come.

Why would you start your own business? Did you start your own business? What pushed or inspired you to jump from the corporate world into the world of self-employment? Share in the comments!

Required Reading for Entrepreneurs: Big Bang Disruption by Larry Downes

bigbangIt used to take years or even decades for disruptive innovations to dethrone dominant products and services. But now any business can be devastated virtually overnight by something better and cheaper. How can executives protect themselves and harness the power of Big Bang Disruption?

Just a few years ago, drivers happily spent more than $200 for a GPS unit. But as smartphones exploded in popularity, free navigation apps exceeded the performance of stand-alone devices. Eighteen months after the debut of the navigation apps, leading GPS manufacturers had lost 85 percent of their market value.

Consumer electronics and computer makers have long struggled in a world of exponential technology improvements and short product life spans. But until recently, hotels, taxi services, doctors, and energy companies had little to fear from the information revolution.

Those days are gone forever. Software-based products are replacing physical goods. And every service provider must compete with cloud-based tools that offer customers a better way to interact.

Today, start-ups with minimal experience and no capital can unravel your strategy before you even begin to grasp what’s happening. Never mind the “innovator’s dilemma”—this is the innovator’s disaster. And it’s happening in nearly every industry.

Worse, Big Bang Disruptors may not even see you as competition. They don’t share your approach to customer service, and they’re not sizing up your product line to offer better prices. You may simply be collateral damage in their efforts to win completely different markets.

The good news is that any business can master the strategy of the start-ups. Larry Downes and Paul Nunes analyze the origins, economics, and anatomy of Big Bang Disruption. They identify four key stages of the new innovation life cycle, helping you spot potential disruptors in time. And they offer twelve rules for defending your markets, launching disruptors of your own, and getting out while there’s still time.

Based on extensive research by the Accenture Institute for High Performance and in-depth interviews with entrepreneurs, investors, and executives from more than thirty industries, Big Bang Disruption will arm you with strategies and insights to thrive in this brave new world.

Inspiration: 16 Surprising Statistics About Small Business [INFOGRAPHIC]

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