Archives for entrepreneur

Why is an Entrepreneurial Mindset a Hot Quality in Talent Today?

When I tell people that the career management course I teach at Cabrini University incorporates lessons on emotional intelligence and entrepreneurialism, people ask me what that means, though most of them recognize the problems when entrepreneurial mindsets are lacking among their teams. In my experience, advanced learning institutions want to promote entrepreneurial mindsets, but may think that promoting actual entrepreneurship is at odds with a liberal studies education.

Back in 2005, I made plans to earn an MBA in Entrepreneurship. I even had tuition reimbursement approved by my firm at the time. My plan was to earn the degree, make sure it paid off for my firm by helping them successfully launch new services and products, as was the trend there at the time, and then start my own coaching business.

Things didn’t work out as planned, but they worked out… for me. The firm, which was over 20 years old, didn’t survive long enough to have been able to leverage my MBA, and I wound up starting my company much, much sooner than if I had earned my MBA first.

Google is quite a trend-setter, as you probably know. Businesses used to be very risk-averse; investing in new ventures isn’t territory companies will enter without extreme due diligence and substantial data. However, if you’re blazing a trail, there’s no one before you to prove which path will lead you to the promise land, and deep due diligence takes time no one can afford at the pace of change today. It’s also risky to avoid innovation, or to have so much structure that it stifles innovation. Today, you’ll be easily surpassed by more agile organizations that aren’t afraid to try and fail. On the other hand, if you jump on a bandwagon that wasn’t built right or headed in the wrong direction, you also risk failure.

To quote Jim Rohn:

“It’s all risky… If you think trying is risky, wait until they hand you the bill for not trying.”

Google has become an interesting case study for various talent strategies, including the kinds of qualities and skills that they seek. It seems that they, along with other Silicon Valley unicorns, have proven that hiring entrepreneurial talent does not make your workforce one big flight risk. In fact, it helps you innovate at a competitive pace, as long as you have the culture to nurture the inclinations of this population.

When I see a job description stating that the company wants an entrepreneurial candidate, or that they have an entrepreneurial culture, I wonder what that actually means to them.

There is a definition for entrepreneurialism, but there are also varying perceptions about the related qualities and conditions that enable companies to fully leverage it.

By some Glassdoor reviews and first person accounts, it seems that entrepreneurial could be synonymous with self-managed. With other data to add context, sometimes you can tell that a company is growing at such a rapid pace that they have little structured training, supervision, and coaching. This scares me, because even effective, successful entrepreneurs need strong mentors.

The benefits of an entrepreneurial mindset can be:

  • Innovation
  • Resourcefulness
  • Accountability
  • Time management
  • Coachability
  • Tenacity/Grit
  • Troubleshooting
  • Multitasking
  • Combination of people and tech skills
  • Opportunity-seeking
  • Problem-solving
  • Experimental
  • Outcome-driven
  • Project management skills

The transferable value of being entrepreneurial to a corporation is a “do what it takes” attitude.

These people don’t complain that they can’t be effective because they don’t have the resources; they go to Plan B, or C, or D, etc.

They don’t sit around while IT fixes technical problems; they go back to the old ways things were done so that progress can continue.

They don’t ask for extensions or offer apologies – they deliver some functional solution on time and promise an even better one in the future.

They don’t wait to be instructed or told; they see what needs to be done and make sure it gets done, even if they have to delegate it to someone they don’t actually have any authority to direct.

They stay on top of almost everything, keeping the customer (and revenue) at the top of the list always.

They put in extra hours when needed, and proactively invest in extra training to acquire skills that are valuable.

They make it work.

If all of this sounds great to you, let’s get clear about what you have to offer talent like this if you don’t want them to jump ship – and they will if their impact or opportunity is limited.

You need to give the room to fail. They will want to try things that have never been tried before, things that have not yet been proven. Be conscious of how often you say no, and make sure that when you say yes, you give them your full support. Back them up when they fail. Take accountability for giving them the leeway, and partner with them to devise their next victory.

Just because they can institute their own structure and deliver on time doesn’t mean that they don’t want to learn from working closely with those who have achieved more than them. Don’t let them hang too long solo without checking in, recognizing progress, and guiding them in overcoming challenges. Entrepreneurial people still want to cut out errors and get to results sooner. If you have wisdom that can prevent trial and error, offer it generously.

Just because these folks manage to do a lot with a little doesn’t mean they will sustain a job where resources are chronically limited. They’ll want to see you making investments in new technology and training. If they don’t, they’ll see the risk for them in falling behind and will seek out new opportunities.

Trust these folks to come in, work smart, honor their natural rhythms and work at their own pace, as long as they deliver. If they fail to deliver, help them understand what actually went wrong as a coach, rather than as someone who enforces punitive controls to course correct.

Give them time to recharge. This population is at great risk of burn out, because they are so driven to solve problems quickly and deliver. Even if you offer unlimited vacation, you may need to make sure that this talent is taking adequate time to manage the important aspects of their personal life – their personal finances and relationships. Make sure that they have ample time to enjoy the things that stimulate their curiosity and creativity outside of work. Help them manage their holistic wellness.

Don’t assume that these people want to climb the corporate ladder into management, though they love having an impact. What makes them great could be what they do with their hands and minds, not what they do with their people. Make sure that there are multiple mobility options for these folks to continue being challenged and growing.

Some may say that not everyone is cut out for entrepreneurial life. While I’d certainly say that not everyone is prepared for this life, everyone can adopt an entrepreneurial mindset and though we all may need to shift into maintenance mode from time to time, true entrepreneurs will not be happy staying there for very long.

Is your company seeking “entrepreneurial talent” or promote an “entrepreneurial culture?” What do they mean by that?

Imagine Dragons – Whatever It Takes

Get Imagine Dragons’ new album Evolve, out now: http://smarturl.it/EvolveID Shop Imagine Dragons: http://smarturl.it/ImagineDragonsShop Catch Imagine Dragons on tour: http://imaginedragonsmusic.com/tour Follow Imagine Dragons: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ImagineDragons/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/Imaginedragons Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/imaginedragons Directed by Matt Eastin and Aaron Hymes. Special thanks to the Bellagio Las Vegas and Cirque Du Soleil.

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a 13-year-old leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She is an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and previously was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where some of her students won the 2018 national competition, were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award. 

Michelle Dale Epic Career Tales

Michelle Dale has a life that many would dream of. She can work from anywhere, at any time as a digital nomad. She has managed to make a sustainable living out of her virtual assistant business while traveling the world with her family. A real dream! If you always wondered how you could leave your routine life, discover many incredible places in the world while earning great income, find out how Michelle’s story can get you to that nomadic way of life.

Kareen Walsh Epic Career Tales

Kareen Walsh is a Solutions Strategist, Career Coach, Author, and Personal Adviser. She has been running her own coaching and consulting practice, Revampologist, for the last 5 years servicing clients in Colorado, New York, Montana, and San Francisco. Kareen loves to focus on personal and professional development because she believes one can not thrive without it. Working with C-Suite leaders, individuals, and start-up founders, she has the ability to disarm anyone with her empathetic ear and get to the root of what is holding them back so she can help them propel forward. She recently combined her 20 year of experience, lessons learned, and tool kit into her first book: Be A Badass: Six Tools to Up-Level Your Life.

Patti Hunt’s Epic Career Tale

Listen to Patti Hunt’s Epic Career Tale

Patti Hunt retired from teaching high school science in Philadelphia expecting to work many, many more years, but not just because she has to sustain herself financially – because she found a better way to serve the mission that led her to teaching in the first place AND a better way to sustain herself financially by leading distribution for North America for USI-USA.

The EPIC Way To Celebrate 10 years – Boldly Embarking On A New Adventure

And-for-that-one-moment-Kelliee More

On June 2, 2006, I was called into my boss’ office (I was reporting to two people). I received the news that I was being let go. I had been laid off twice before, and had been fired twice before, but this news was the best news I could have received at the time.

Earlier that year, I had been put on probation and asked to work under a mentor, the late, great Allen Astra, to make sure that I was doing everything I was supposed to be doing. I had not made a placement in two-and-a-half months. This was after being offered the opportunity to work with a coach, the late, great Sheila Kutner, aka, “The Velvet Hammer.”

After two months on probation, I was given the chance to ask the account managers that I was working with to come into the board room with us, along with my mentor, Allen. They let me take the lead and confront them directly. Their general feedback was that I was not doing what I was supposed to be doing to identify and present suitable candidates for their job openings, so I asked them for specific instances where quality candidates were not delivered. When no specific instances could be cited, my bosses then realized that it was a perception problem, not a performance problem, and my reputation was redeemed. I was no longer on probation, and I was to be assigned more viable jobs. However, I still was not feeling great about my job.

I had already realized that recruiting no longer fulfilled me. The seeds planted five years earlier to becoming a career coach before being laid off the first time were growing, pushing through the soil and begging for water, nutrients, and sunshine. Sheila helped me realize that I was the only thing standing in my way. What more did I need to know? Well, how to run a business, for one. She helped me devise a six-month plan that had started January 1st of that year. I joined a professional organization and took courses on career planning and résumé writing by one of the industry’s founders, Jay Block. My target date to quit and start my company was June 1st.

I had only saved up $1500 (this was a few months after Tim and I honeymooned in New Zealand, and the year after we threw a wedding for 250 guests, so there wasn’t much left in our account).  I figured I did not need much overhead if I could land clients right away.

On Friday, May 13th, my 13-month old cat, Lucy, was hit by a car. The impact was to her head and face. We almost lost her on the way to the animal hospital. They gave her a 50/50 chance of surviving, and they thought her jaw was broken. The bills were $1200, but she recovered in two days and on Mother’s Day I was able to take her home. She’s still with us today and I never lamented spending that money.

I delayed my plans until I could save up another $1300, but my plans, I suppose, were not meant to wait.

 

Where-words-fail-music-Hans

On June 2nd, after being told just two months before that I was the right person for the job, though knowing the job was not right for me any longer, I was told that I would have one month’s severance and be eligible for unemployment benefits. They were letting me go, with no specific reasons. It did not matter…this was exactly what I wanted. Without that push out the door, who knows how long I would have stayed just to feel more financially comfortable and stable, only to feel increasingly dissatisfied in my role.

On that same day, I drafted an e-mail to all my friends, family and former colleagues, announcing my new résumé writing company, Charésumé (charisma + résumé, which was rebranded as Epic Careering in 2012) and asking them to visit my website. My website had been lovingly put together by my brother-in-law, a CTO, in exchange for my résumé writing services– my first client.  A company was born, and I was reborn as an entrepreneur.

I am celebrating the 10th anniversary of that fateful day the EPIC way– there has been an idea rolling around in my head since reading “Think and Grow Rich” several years ago, and I will be finally testing this idea out on a much smaller scale.

It is a Career Revival Concert.

re·viv·al  (rĭ-vī′vəl)

n.

1.

  1. The act or an instance of reviving: the revival of a person who fainted.
  2. The condition of being revived.

 

  1. A restoration to use, acceptance, activity, or vigor after a period of obscurity or quiescence: a revival of colonial architecture; a revival of the economy.

 

  1. A new presentation of an old play, movie, opera, ballet, or similar production.

 

4.

  1. A time of reawakened interest in religion.
  2. A meeting or series of meetings for the purpose of reawakening religious faith, often characterized by impassioned preaching and public testimony.

 

  1. Restoration to validity of something lapsed or set aside, such as a legal claim or status.

 

This combines sermon-like job search education with the emulsifying, healing, connecting powers of LIVE music.

Music-can-change-the-Bono

 

On June 2nd, I would like to invite you to celebrate 10 years of Epic Careering with me. I’ll be doing a very short version of the Career Revival Concert – three songs with three mini-lessons, at open mic night at The Whitpain Tavern around 8:30ish.

I hope you can join me and bear witness to what could be the birth of a new way of helping job seekers, and offer valuable feedback that will help me make the CRC the most effective edutainment job seeker event possible.

Thank you for being a supporter to Epic Careering reaching this momentous milestone. Thank you to the hundreds of clients who have entrusted me to help you reach the next level in your career. Thank you to the family and friends who have cheered me on, cared for my children, and referred your loved ones.

 

Adventures ahead, ALWAYS.

 

Can this strange campaign advice land you work?

I had the privilege of driving a few local dignitaries in my dad’s antique Dodge convertible for our township’s 300th anniversary parade.

Pet's Day Out by Mosmon Council on Flickr

Pet’s Day Out by Mosmon Council on Flickr

One of those dignitaries happened to be one of my best friend’s fathers, Bob, a former School Board President. He and the two other distinguished gentleman who rode with me had proclaimed to be retired from campaigns and leadership positions. As we went 3 miles at 2 miles per hour, we had a lot of time to come up with pithy conversation to fill the awkward silence, so I took this campaign advice with a grain of salt; it was probably more for conversation’s sake, but it really made me think.

Bob said, after passing out compliments to many of the parade-watchers on their dogs, that the best way to ensure that a campaign is “in the bag” is to find out the constituents pets’ names and add their names to mailings.

Huh.

I know that from my education in journalism and my experience as an executive sourcer, personal information is not that hard to find, if you know where to look. I do this for my clients when I write their cover letters and I teach clients how to do that through my webinar, Insider Edge to Social Media: 3 Success Secrets to Getting Hired.  But I didn’t consider pets as a way to a decision-maker’s heart. Could he be right?

There was an episode of Modern Family in which the patriarch, Phil Dunphy, went to extremes to help a potential home buyer envision himself in the home. In the end, it was very creepy, and I think you risk that if you take it too far.

What is too far, though?

If you know a decision-maker owns a dog, and you can find a picture of said decision-maker and her dog (say through Google images), would it be too much if you commissioned an artist to paint said dog and owner as a gift?

Probably, in most cases. You would probably want to dig as deep as possible to determine how an individual feels about their privacy versus their pet pride, perhaps even by inquiring within a contact’s personal network.

The example that I use may seem a little over-the-top. Gestures like this can backfire, or they can have residual paybacks for years to come. If such a gesture would be appreciated, that decision-maker would probably show off that painting to all of her close friends and family. It might also get that artist additional work.

In employment climates like this, creativity can take you very far, especially if that is what you think buyers or employers need most.

 

Can you think of any other epic examples that stand produce epic results?

 

Are you promoting yourself as creative, but not using creativity to reach your audience?

How to fund a small business and when to launch it

Many think small business owners come out of the gate with money in hand and account payables ready to bill invoices.

d.light ! by Steve Jurvetson on Flickr

d.light ! by Steve Jurvetson on Flickr

For most small businesses, this is not the case.  For the prudent, conservative entrepreneur, launching a small business takes some considerable time.  So for those of you who are considering this, let me give you a few hints.  The classic “out of the garage” story of Apple computers or social media giant Facebook is more of the outlier then the norm. Most small business are birthed from a divisional break off from sales or consulting.  Small business owners usually have an expertise in the area of business in which they have work for several years. In fact, most small business owners will be in that profession for close to ten years before branching out on their own.

So how do they do it and where do they get the money?

If, for example, a person provides a service to clients that are specific and unique of that provider, there is an opportunity for a small business.

Many small business start by providing their product or service to a select few or high paying clients which are first to test the business model.  Being able to measure the demand for a service or product will go a long way in knowing if the business model will be able to scale.

If this can be done as a part time venture that does not compromise your day job, it would be ideal.  Having a source of income during the trial period of this new venture will allow you to make financial mistakes, which are inherited to small businesses. Once cash flow is produced and a trail client base is established, it is important to keep cost low and fixed.  In today’s virtual world this is more achievable than in the past.   Most small business can only get funding via an SBA loan, but others choose to self-fund their ventures with debt from personal credit cards, which are essentially unsecured loans. This has it own limits due to FICO scores and available money in credit lines.  Still, it remains a main source of funding for small business owners even today.

The most exciting prospects are the social funding websites or crowd funding.  INC magazine just did a review of the top 22 crowd sourcing websites for small business ventures.  We all have heard of Kickstarter, but for some this will not be doable based on the sector of the venture.  Others may choose Fundable, Earlyshares, Seedinvest, etc.  I believe these crowd funders will eventually change the public and private market going forward.

In the end, ideas and being able to produce them will always be in demand.  Working with an advisor who understand entrepreneurs will be a hugh asset in navigating the pitfalls and financial changes one faces in starting and growing a business.

The Brogan Group is a registered investment advisor which specializes in investment management for individuals and other financial intermediaries.

We believe in empowering our clients through financial education.  We educate our clients around budgeting for families and cash flow management for small companies.

We serve the full spectrum of clients in portfolio management and risk assessment to different asset classes.  We specialize in Behavioral Finance and use this as our core approach.  Allowing us to have a 360 degree approach money management

We are not your average financial advisors. We have produced a proprietary way or changing clients behavioral when it comes to money management and investing.

Our Money Memory System is our core product for clients looking to move to a great awareness their financial lives.  This with our custom client approach allows greater outcomes in reaching our clients set goals.

We are a fee based advisory who believes in our fiduciary role in putting our clients first.

Epic Careering Internship

Fireworks streak

My internship with Epic Careering re-framed my future.  I have new goals, new contacts, and new skills that melded with my previous knowledge in ways that continue to provide me with ideas and excitement.

Karen introduced me to her company in early June.  When I found out that she crafted her company from the bottom up according to her interest in helping people in a way she knew how, I lit up.  Immediately, I became fascinated by the idea of entrepreneurship.  It has become a seed in my head that has been pleasantly haunting me as I start my senior year.

As the weeks went on, I learned about Karen’s suite of services and watched her processes of building a résumé from start to finish.  I acquired many new skills not only by observing her, but by participating in the social media sites on behalf of Epic Careering.  I learned how to use Hootsuite, search engine optimize, and spin articles among many other social media practices.  Karen also let my creativity flourish in creating my own projects. One such project being that I created youtube playlists for motivation, doubt, success, leadership, and beginnings by compiling music videos, TED talks, and other inspirational content on youtube. My hope is that anyone who uses Epic Careering’s free resources on the web can view them and be inspired to action somehow in their lives.

As I take the first few steps into my last year at Ursinus College, I am grateful for my internship at Epic Careering.  It taught me a lot about my own career goals.  It made me realize that everything starts at a basic level and grows according to how you nurture it.  That includes entities in the professional and personal realms.  As I turn into the real world, I will try to nurture the entrepreneurial seed that Epic Careering put in my head as well as the professional relationships I made this summer.  Here’s to the future!

 

The One Thing You MUST Give Up To Have A Successful Full or Part-Time Business

Man with adhesive notes in his office

 

According to a 2012 survey, 51 % of Americans would rather be self-employed and 44%  think it would be possible for them to go into business for themselves within the next five years — a figure that has increased 8 percentage points since 2009.

Despite the large number of people who want to be in charge of their career, only 6% are currently self-employed.

Why the huge discrepancy?

If so many people want the freedom and independence of being an entrepreneur, what is stopping them?

The results of the survey are fascinating.

4% can’t come up with a business idea.
15% didn’t have enough capital.
10% say they lack the necessary skills.
2% say administrative barriers hold them back.

When I read those numbers I was surprised. They don’t seem to ring true. There are millions of ideas, people who are interested in investing, and anyone can learn a new skill.

So what is the real reason so few people are entrepreneurs?
Fear.
YOU MUST GIVE THIS UP IF YOU WANT SUCCESS

The thought about something that hasn’t happened.
Old fashioned, garden variety fear.

What stops most people from being an entrepreneur, is the fear of going bankrupt or the fear of an irregular income.

When people feel that their current situation, no matter how awful it is, guarantees a steady income, it’s hard to give up that perception of security for uncertainty. (Think of all of your friends who are stuck working with rude, negative, and even nasty people. They may talk about leaving to start their own business, but where are they now? Yep. They’re still there.)

The fear of reducing income is so big that it even stops people from trying to start their business on a part-time basis even while they are employed.

Of all the classes that are taught in business school, it’s clear that a comprehensive course in getting over the fear of starting your full or part-time career is needed.

Wharton, are you listening?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

What get’s in your way of starting your full or part-time business? Share your comments below. Someone might have a great solution for you. 🙂

Wendy Merron is a Certified Hypnotherapist, Founder of The Center for Success in Wayne, PA and author of Powerful Thinking on Purpose.