I like to conduct year-end reviews of myself. I review my intentions from the previous year. Where did I move forward? Where did I not? Where must I course correct to steer my life and business in my intended direction? I ask myself what I truly want for the upcoming year and I determine my plan of action.
The statistics are alarming. Nine out of 10 start-ups die at five years. I know the challenges personally because I'm on my eighth start-up now. From selling one of my successful ventures to Arlene Dickinson of the Dragon's Den, to some not so fruitful ventures, I have had my share of wins and losses.
Many believe entrepreneurial spirit and skills can't be taught. Certainly that was the opinion of one of Craig's MBA professors. "Either you've got it or you don't," he once opined to Craig. We disagree. You can teach entrepreneurship, and you might be surprised how -- through volunteering and being active in social causes.
I've always had an entrepreneurial drive. I still hold vivid memories of picking pears from the large tree that grew beside the trampoline in the backyard of my childhood home. I remember packing them into plastic grocery bags (we weren't all that environmentally conscious back then) and loading them into my little red wagon.
The impressions we leave with people will usually determine our success or failure at engaging them further to create opportunities to enhance or restart our careers. Our handshake, ability to relate to others, the way we speak and dress and how we make others feel around us are all factors in the judgement process. They are also all factors that we have control over by establishing a strong personal brand.
Developing skills in engineering, software development, analytics, security, behavioural economics, psychology, sales or digital marketing was a great first step towards that fulfilling in-demand career. Understanding how to apply those skills to help transform industries increases your employability and makes you an attractive candidate for the best employers of today and tomorrow.
If you're anything like me, the moment you tell someone that you're a side hustler it elicits a response of awe and wonder...or maybe it's well disguised pity that you're filling every waking moment with work. Filling your days with extra projects in the hopes of kick starting your passion or transforming that passion into your paycheque is foreign to some, but its steadily becoming a reality for many.
When it comes to surviving the startup grind, I don't think there's any better training than a previous life as a server or bartender. There are a ton of valuable skills that I believe translate directly from being "on the floor" to being successful in business. Here are five reasons why servers make great entrepreneurs.
One of the challenges we face when we start out, is we really don't know what will take off, so we dabble in a range of ideas, and I actually still believe this is a good way to go. But pay attention. Watch closely as to what is the most popular and perhaps, given my new insights, think about who else could benefit from what you are doing.
With only a shoestring budget, Dollar Shave Club found a way to rise above the mega brands and connect directly with consumers. They shocked us, made us laugh, and made us feel cool. They had the balls to call us out if we even thought about going back to that lame, expensive razor that we've been using all along.
Despite the importance of crisis preparedness in a 24 hour news cycle, many companies still don't have a crisis communications plan in place. Instead, they either hope one will never happen or figure they can "wing it" when a crisis eventually does occur. Simply put, not having a crisis plan in place is like playing Russian Roulette with your company's brand.
This New Year as you make your resolutions, commit to making one that will get you healthy and fit -- financially. While setting personal resolutions have become second nature, the New Year should also be the time each of us sits down with family. Talk about what your financial goals are in 2014 and what you need to have in place to ensure that your family is protected and aware.
One can easily see the allure of focusing on millennial entrepreneurs. Their youth and inexperience allows them develop innovative solutions and ideas and their low overhead enables to them to work on what Y Combinator's Paul Graham famously called the "ramen diet" where the only food entrepreneurs can afford is ramen noodles.
Entrepreneurship is a dirty word for many MBA candidates. Synonymous with extreme financial distress, entrepreneurship for many MBAs is a deep chasm of despair, particularly considering the high debt load that most MBAs have post-graduation. These attitudes and misconceptions have hurt MBA grads instead of helping them.