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Author Archives: Robert Jordan

Your Favorite Entrepreneur Cartoon?

Here’s mine, thanks to the brilliant cartoonist Jeff Wiley.

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How to get Ready Now to Win in 2011: Podcast with Coach Jim Rohrbach

Jim Rohrbach

Take a listen to this podcast with Jim Rohrbach, coach to successful company owners (www.SuccessSkills.com), as he talks about the key thing you need to do right now to be ready with your plan in place for 2011. This all has to do with the biggest lesson coming out of Napoleon Hill’s classic Think & Grow Rich, putting your chief aim and mission in place right now.

Jim also talks about the importance of finding a mastermind partner or developing a mastermind group to help keep you on track, and to share your wisdom and energy with others.

Jim also posted a great article here Why You Need to Read Think and Grow Rich and there’s a free tool for writing your mission statement on the website.

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At Least They Are Passionate About Budgets

Don’t you kind of wish American politicians would get this passionate about the budget and massive deficits? Give it to members of South Korea’s Grand National Party and opposing Democratic Party for caring deeply (ok, a little too deeply) about their budget. That’s the thing about entrepreneurs: we have to live within a budget.

Seoul, South Korea

Photo Associated Press. In Seoul, South Korea, clashing over a budget bill in front of the National Assembly

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“My Father is Li Gang!”

This has become a rallying cry in China against censorship; it’s also a bitter joke about avoiding responsibility. It comes in the aftermath of a tragedy as reported in NYT. A drunk driver was speeding along and struck some bicyclists head on, killing a woman named Chen Xiaofeng. The driver attempted to get away, saying “my father is Li Gang!” The accused son’s father, Li Gang, is deputy police chief. Chinese censors quickly suppressed news of her death, but it’s the age of the Internet and news leaked out. So now most Chinese know, but the government continues to censor commentary. It is an ugly reminder of economic opportunity without political freedom…

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Founders Share Advice at Entrepreneur Bash

Seven founders featured in How They Did It gave great advice at the Great Lakes Entrepreneur Bash on November 16th in Chicago. Take a look at these videos from the panel that included:

Bill DeVille, Health Personnel Options, Ohio
Jim Dolan, The Dolan Company, Minnesota
Tim Krauskopf, Spyglass, Illinois
Vince Pettinelli, PeopleServe, Ohio
Chris Moffitt, Rubicon Technology, Illinois
Michael Polsky, SkyGen, Illinois
Mark Tebbe, Lante Corporation, Illinois

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Win 2 Signed Copies of How They Did It

Here’s your chance to win 2 holiday gifts: signed copies of How They Did It – one for you and one for an entrepreneur friend.

On December 17 we will be announcing 10 winners who will each receive 2 copies of How They Did It. To enter, all you have to do is tell us:

–          Why should we send you a copy?

–          How will your friend be inspired?

We look forward to reading your thoughts and comments* and sharing inspiration with you this holiday season!

* Submissions must be received by 6pm cst on December 15. Post here or email erin@howtheydiditbook.com. Winners will be announced at 12pm cst on December 17.

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Off With His Head

There’s a great anecdote in Matt Ridley’s wonderful book, The Rational Optimist. Matt tells the story, passed down through the centuries by written accounts at the time, of when the Roman emperor Tiberius was approached by an entrepreneur who had discovered a method for manufacturing unbreakable glass. Tiberius asked the enterprising fellow if anyone else knew of his secret, and was assured the secret was safe and no one else knew. Tiberius then had the man beheaded. Why? To protect the price of gold, which Tiberius figured would go through the floor if people put too much value on a material (glass) that he, Tiberius, did not control.

The story is shocking for obvious reasons but also telling – an inventor even in the midst of a prosperous empire had nowhere else to go other than the emperor for funding. Here’s to angels, VCs, personal credit cards, friends & family – whatever fuel you can put in your tank to get going with your venture!

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Entrepreneur, Know Thyself!: Podcast

An interview with Georges van Hoegaerden of The Venture Company

Listen to this podcast from outstanding venture capital and entrepreneurship thinker, Georges van Hoegaerden, who discusses the 35 venture funds who make money – out of 790 funds in the US. Georges says that even though they make money, they are not necessarily good venture funds!

Entrepreneurs are not spared from Georges’ eagle eye. His biggest piece of advice for entrepreneurs is to know exactly who you are and what you want out of an investor so that you can go to the right kind of investor in the first place. So many company founders have a one-dimensional outlook: I need money, and they have money. End of story. But that’s not a thorough enough understanding of your own mindset and the actual needs of the investor, to know whether there’s a chance of a good marriage, or a relationship that will hit the rocks fast. Many founders are so desperate for money that the attitude is, “any port in a storm,” without realizing that the wrong money could lead to the wrong relationship which could lead to the entrepreneur being fired or going bust far faster than if a slower and more thoughtful approach had been taken, resulting in eventually finding the perfect partner. Listen up!

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Affirmations Count! And Now There’s Proof

I am a big believer that you first declare your intention and then you live into it. I am of course not the first person to say this, and for some folks it’s a given and for others its an eye-rolling experience (include my children in that category).

I can picture – even though I wasn’t alive at the time – seeing Babe Ruth step up to the plate, loosen up and point his bat at the stands, at the exact spot where he would hit the ball out of the park for a home run. That’s an affirmation too.

And now there’s proof about affirmations. Sasha Issenberg, writing in the The New York Times Magazine, reported on voter appeal direct mail results that show the old message “More Americans should exercise their right to vote” didn’t work. The results of that rousing statement? Lower voter turnout.

The new message? “Turnout is going to be high today.” This statement resulted in higher voter turnout. And there’s proof from direct mail before and after campaigns to back it up.

This may sound abstract, but it’s not. Our own internal dialogue, or the dialogue we have with customers, employees, friends and family – when put in the form of the desired outcome –  helps to produce exactly that desired outcome.  Pretty cool.

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Are Leaders Today Really Leaders?

I thought this was funny, so I’m asking your opinion. As blogged by ExecuNet on LinkedIn, Lauryn Franzoni, ExecuNet vice-president and executive director of membership, recently attended the World Business Forum in New York City where she had the pleasure of interviewing Nando Parrado about his experiences as a plane crash survivor and entrepreneur. I thought that Nando’s story was inspirational and worth sharing with you.

After you view the video, read this comment from ExecuNet member Matt Jackson:

Jackson posted this:

A touching and pointless story. Corporate executives should look at Parrado and the Chilean survivors as the EXACT OPPOSITE of everything they represent. A bunch of pampered and pretentous B-school pr**ks sitting in offices trying to glom onto any example of courage and leadership because they have neither. What “commitment” does the audience have? Commitment to make money at any cost? Commitment to work 15 hour days and suffer all manner of abuses and beurocratic indiference in the constant fear that their livlihood will be taken away on some vice presidents whim?

What’s the message here? Through someone else’s staggering neglect and incompetance your life could become a total disaster? That to survive you will need to eat your fellows? That you have no choice but to put up with a bunch of crap or die?

Every corporate executive fancies himself to be a modern reincarnation of Ernest Shackleton, Neil Armstrong or Douglas MacArthur or… whoever. The fact that they typically have NONE of the qualities of great people who accomplish great things is the reason most of them are sitting in an office somewhere.

So: what do you think about leadership today? Gutsy, or gutless?

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