Entrepreneurialism – The Right Formula

Kim Snider is the host of Financial Success Coaching on KRLD in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. In one of her wonderful blog entries (Kimmunications) she defines success in entrepreneurialism this way, “One is E + S + I = FS and the other is .2(S) + .8(M) = FS. For those of you who don’t like math, I can picture your eyes starting to glaze over now, but stick with me. I am not about to get all nerdy on you. “The first is a formulaic expression of something [I have said] before. Financial success comes from thinking like an entrepreneur (E), saving prodigiously (S), and investing wisely (I). Hence, E + S + I = FS. “The second refers to my belief that financial success is only 20% skill-set (S) and 80% mindset (M). That is true at the broad level and it applies to each of the three areas of financial success.” Kim defines the potential success of an entrepreneur in very tangible terms. In many ways the key to your success has a lot to do with your belief in yourself. It may be more interesting to think that a product will either sell itself or it won’t, but at the end of the day your success may hinge on whether you really believe in what you are selling, your ability to sell it, and the long-term potential for business success. It is a sense of personal investment that will allow you to take appropriate risks in business development. It is that mental toughness that will not allow you to play it safe. Did you notice that Kim said that E + S + I = FS? How you think about your business is important, but so is the investment you can make in the business. A third element is also needed and that is the research needed to invest that hard-earned capital wisely. Becoming an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. You have to find a balance where your thinking, available capital and investments combine to allow you to boldly step forward to locate a place where your dreams can connect with the needs of consumers. If you struggle with saving or you aren’t really sure if you should do it, you need to earnestly seek to save in a more disciplined way and refuse to take the next step until you can believe in that next step with every fiber of your being.

Entrepreneurialism And Mentorship

Today’s motivation for young entrepreneurs is being fueled through a variety of mentor-based programs that work to assist in the development of great ideas while pointing out potholes to avoid. Organizations like Entrepreneurs Only (EO) are working to foster growth in young entrepreneurs with a sizeable dream. The organization further encourages philanthropy as part of the goodwill associated with establishing the vision. Make no mistake, becoming an entrepreneur is as grueling as any class you’ve ever attended which is why it makes sense to link with an entrepreneurial group or message board that will allow you to ask questions and learn from the collective wisdom of those you are in contact with. “Mentor: Someone whose hindsight can become your foresight” – Author Unknown Experience can come in two flavors. The first is through personal failures and the wisdom gained from those very personal events. The second is by expressing a willingness to learn from the mistakes of others. When developing a business it is in your best interest to seek out someone who’s been on the road your traveling and see what you can learn from him or her. “I considered Nat King Cole to be a friend and, in many ways, a mentor. He always had words of profound advice.” – Diahann Carroll Some may have had the rare privilege of having a mentor who helped shape them into the human being they are today, but many are still looking for someone to interact with that can assist them in both personal and professional growth. Interestingly, many who could be mentors typically do not see themselves as such. These individuals can pinpoint mistakes they have made in their lives and come away with the decision that they are not qualified to be a mentor. Whether in business or life one of the most valuable assets you will ever have is a friend who will stand with you in all circumstances. To further refine the point, a Public/Private Ventures study shows that participants in the mentoring program known as Little Brothers and Little Sisters are: 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs; 27% less likely to begin using alcohol; 52% less likely to skip school; 37% less likely to skip class; More confident in their schoolwork performance; Able to get along better with their families. A mentor is in many ways an advocate as well as a voice of reason. They aren’t parents and they shouldn’t be drill sergeants. In business and in life, a mentor is a goldmine and should be sought enthusiastically and with great care.

Lessons Learned From an Entrepreneurial Upbringing

When I was growing up, my sisters and I had the advantage of being surrounded by entrepreneurial parents.

When I think about it, there were many positives to this type of exposure and it really helped to form not only our activities in life, but our personalities.

Although all my other sisters chose not to pursue the entrepreneurial path, I know they agree with me that the skills, attitudes and behaviours learned from this upbringing helped them to become successful in their careers and other pursuits.

People that haven’t grown up in an entrepreneurial household often assume this environment is more challenging for children and that family time was harder to find. This wasn’t true for us or for other entrepreneurial families that we knew.

Even during the times that my parents were away: the fun, the energy and the anticipation of everyday being something different and new made life so interesting!

We still had routine – we went to school, did our homework and all of that… but, I always felt that we had the “edge” because we had experiences and exposures that many children only encounter (or maybe encounter) when they become adults themselves.

Let me go further into this and briefly explain just a few of the lessons learned and how they helped me as a person and businesswoman.

Very Dedicated Business Ethics – I learned a solid work ethic from being around entrepreneurial parents as they cared about the products and services they were selling, the way they marketed their offerings and the effect they had on their community.

Treatment of People – I observed this very early on that in the way you treat other people should always be the way you want to be treated. My dad was more of a talker, promoter while mom behaved more dignified and quieter (probably why their marriage lasted!) but they knew how to respect their customers, suppliers and others in their industry, they never lost sight of that.

True Commitment – I seen how having a consistent commitment in order to be successful was required. It needs to be that way to ensure that even if on the challenging days that you can stay committed. It was never about what was convenient, but what was necessary.

Precious Time – although they spent a great deal of time in their business and despite the staff they had (over 35 of them), they still knew how to juggle all of it so there was time for the family. We valued our time together and it was spent in qualitative ways. There was always family time with my grandma and uncles and mom had our “baking days” and of course celebrations for all religious and other important occasions.

Handling Problems – although situations would occur that could potentially be unpleasant, having dignity and maturity towards these difficulties was important. My parents taught through example that other people have problems too, so it was unacceptable to feel sorry for yourself or to dwell on it. Their solution was to work through whatever it was, learn from it and move on. I really think about this one a lot!

Energy and Tenacity – wow did they have energy – it always seemed never-ending! They would go from one activity to another, sometimes without a breath in between! This high energy made everything exciting and interesting and still remained focussed.

Action Agility – schedules would change, circumstances would come up, but it made me so aware that you must be flexible in life and in business so that you can adjust to the situation at hand.

Variety in All Things – you know they say “variety is the spice of life” well it was so true for them! We had different people, opportunities all of the time. No two days were identical and it always made things enjoyable, even though it was sometimes quite hectic! We had such fun!

I guess the overriding lesson I learned from my entrepreneurial parents (that is still true now) is that you need to keep positive, work hard and accept the fact that some days will be a bit challenging, but you get through it if you just… keep going and smiling!

The 5 Entrepreneurial Funding Sources – Where to Get Capital for Your Business

There are multiple sources of entrepreneurial funding. A typical start-up will seek entrepreneurial funding sources during 5 separate stages of business development. Typically the Entrepreneur will develop an idea and fund this research and early stage market research with his own funds, he will then seek out the “FFF” investors who may fund his idea with, lets use $15K as an example.

An accelerated start-up may seek out an Angel Investor after 3 months, netting $200K and after another 6-12 months they may seek a further $2M from a Venture Capitalist.

Before we begin talking about funding, it’s important to note that building a business using the traditional model and leveraging “Entrepreneurial Funding Sources” is not the only way to succeed. Companies such as Mailchimp and others have succeeded using their profits to fund their growth, which is known more commonly as bootstrapping.

So in a nutshell, here’s how Entrepreneurial Funding Sources work. You start off with a pie, that’s your dream, your idea for the business. Its a small pie but its all yours. You decide you would like a larger pie but don’t have enough ingredients (cash in this case) to make it work so you enlist the help of others.

First you get a friend or family member to provide some additional cash to make the pie bigger, you give a share of your pie to the family member who has helped supply the cash.

Next you decide you want an even bigger share of the pie so you seek out additional Entrepreneurial Funding Sources in the form of Angel investors and Venture Capitalists who will provide the funding for a slice of the pie, your slice in terms of percentage get smaller but the overall pie is much larger so you effectively have more pie (Remember it’s cash we are talking).

Finally you want to take the pie public because that where everyone will have the opportunity to supply ingredients – yep cash – to ensure your pie is increased to the maximum size. Each of the pie investors will take a share, and your own share percentage wise may be small but worth a large chuck of… Pie.

So technically the 5 Stages of Funding Sources are:

Idea/Co-Founder Stage

This is where the idea is yours and/or your partners alone. You own everything in the company and there is nothing to share with anyone else. Family/Friends Stage This stage allows you to seek small amounts of funding from family and friends. The typical amount of funding here is $10-15K and for that the investor would expect in return a 5% stake in the business. This stage is often referred to as the FFF, friends, family and fools stage because it is high risk investing in a business at this early stage however the returns are often very high.

Angel Investment

There are two trends of investment that are starting to appear in this entrepreneurial funding sources. We are seeing the emergence of Incubators and business accelerators as a viable alternative to outright investment. The advantage of these funding sources is that they do not only provide the cash they also provide collaborative workspaces and business advisors to work alongside. The asking price is steep at 10%-15% for a $25K investment but often the chance to work with these advisors is worth the equity alone. The second choice is a straight out investment where an angel investor would contribute anywhere from $200K – $1M with the average in 2012 being $600K. (Source: Halo Report) with a typical equity share being 15-25% of the business. This is the type of investing done on television shows such as the Dragon’s Den which is a personal favourite of mine.

Venture Capital

This is where things start to get serious. Venture Capital can have multiple rounds and each round takes a share of the equity. VC’s typically invest more than $500K and it’s more likely to be in the multiple million dollar range to get them excited. They will value their slice of the pie as a formula of the companies net worth divided by the amount they are investing i.e. a $4M company valuation, where they put in $2M puts the company at $6M post investment so the VC expects a 33% share of equity.

IPO

An IPO is technically just another way to raise capital for the company. The company is listed publicly and anyone can purchase a stake in the organisation, including Mum and Dad investors who missed out on investing at the very start because they thought it was too risky.

So in summary, Entrepreneurial Funding Sources are straight forward and common sense. They are simply a way of increasing the amount of capital available for your business to grow. You will give up equity along the way to each of the Entrepreneurial Funding Sources however this sacrifice is to gain a larger and larger share as the pie gets bigger.

Simon Maselli, is a world-recognised business consultant for Metamorph specialising in business innovation. Simon has 20+ years of experience on international projects and business, developing profitable businesses and advising in the areas of Innovation, Entrepreneurial Leadership and Corporate Sustainability. He is known for his inspirational communication style and his repertoire of innovative, practical, and highly effective solutions to the challenges that technology-orientated companies face in today’s business landscape.

Entrepreneur Characteristics You Should Possess to Start a Business

It is not everyone who wants to be an entrepreneur. Many people are satisfied the way life goes on and are prepared to take things as they come. They don’t display any entrepreneur characteristics either. On the other hand there are others who are always enthusiastic, throbbing with ideas and continueosly on the look out for opportunities and ways and means of doing things different. In other words they display the typical entrepreneur characteristics that make them stand out from the rest.
Let us see what these characteristics are.

Self confidence plays a major role in whatever they do. They ooze with self confidence and inspire confidence among those who work with them. They are ready to take up any challenges and are confident that they will be successful. This is a characteristic absolutely necessary for an entrepreneur.

One of the major entrepreneur characteristics they display is the enthusiasm in whatever they do. They are very serious and passionate about whatever they undertake. An enthusiastic person can easily be identified from the rest for he glows and radiates enthusiasm. As Paul J. Meyer says “Enthusiasm glows, radiates, permeates and immediately captures everyone’s interest.”

The leadership characteristics they display are outstanding. They are always in the forefront and are prepared to assume responsibilities and lead from the front. They have the ability to identify problems and sort out issues. They have a vision and pursue that vision relentlessly while inspiring others to do the same.

An entrepreneur trait that stands out prominently is self discipline. Until and unless an entrepreneur is disciplined he can never be successful. They motivate themselves to do the things they need to do while many fall by the wayside.

They display a sense of urgency when jobs have to done. There is no question of their postponing or delaying any job entrusted to them. They never procrastinate and are quick in completing tasks allotted to them.

They will not hesitate to take calculated risks. They will dare do things others will never do. They know that unless you take risks you will not outsmart your competitor. This entrepreneur characteristic is typical of entrepreneurs who have made a success of their business.

In whatever environment they are in, thinking big is their nature. They are never short of new ideas and are constantly thinking of expansion and implementing new processes and technologies.

One of the important entrepreneur characteristics is the desire to learn and keep up to date with the latest developments in technology. They constantly update their knowledge and are very knowledgeable about their business.

They display excellent time management skills which is very essential for an entrepreneur. An important aspect of time management is planning ahead. They have a schedule of the tasks and activities that are important. They plan and execute their work so skillfully and in time that they are seldom or never stressed.

One of the most courageous entrepreneur characteristics that has brought success to many is never to quit under any circumstances, come what may. Failure is not an option for them. They will remain motivated till success is achieved.

People who display the above entrepreneur characteristics have the potential of becoming successful entrepreneurs. If you think you possess most of these characteristics why not go ahead and become an entrepreneur.

Are German Jews Germans or Jews?

This was an important question in the years prior to and following Germany’s defeat in the First World War. The peace treaty at Versailles, officially ending the war, required of Germany that she pay war reparations and dismantle her army and naval forces. An already dire economic situation worsened. The Wiemar Republic lost ground as pressure rose for reform that would bring relief to the German people.

Lurking in the background, patiently awaiting its opportunity, was the party of national socialism. Dark days lay ahead for Germany’s Jews, but for many the realization of the truth came too late.

German Jews had scaled the heights of German society, having served meritoriously in Germany’s military during the First World War. Despite plentiful evidence confirming Jewish patriotism and service to the fatherland, German nativists and Judeophobes nonetheless questioned whether German Jews were, in fact, loyal to the state. One could not be, they insisted, a Jew and a German patriot.

Germany’s defeat plunged the fatherland into a deeper economic morass than that of any other European country. Those responsible? The Jews, of course.

How could that be? Had they not fought for Germany? Had they not died for the fatherland?

What more could they have possibly done?

Nothing! You see, the Jew, so the argument went, is not a nationalist but a scheming, nefarious internationalist in secret league with his coreligionists in other countries, conspiring against capitalist governments and fomenting revolution.

American inventor and industrialist Henry Ford would have agreed with this assessment, a fuller explanation of which could be found in The International Jew, the American edition of The Protocols of The Elders of Zion, published in Dearborn, Michigan and underwritten by ….can you guess?

No matter how obscene the caricatures depicting Jews were, they appealed to the popular mind and provided the populist basis upon which Goebbels and Hitler would later stage the “big lie”.

“Enlightened” German Jewry modified the ancient religious creed of its forefathers to such an extent that Jews of eastern European descent would have been unable to recognize it as Judaism.

Nazi Brownshirt thugs, making no such distinctions, burned down the resplendent Reform temples just as German soldiers would later do to the ancient wooden shuls and shtiebelach following their invasion of Poland in September of 1939.

German Jewry’s indisputable success in the fields of German entrepreneurialism, banking, industrialism, academics and law did not save it from the clutches of national socialism. Disenfranchisement, dispossession, deportation and destruction of the Jews were set in motion after the 1932 German elections.The yacht of Jewish success now capsized, unable to navigate the rising waters of German resentment and persecution..

Centuries old Lutheran and Catholic Church teachings fired the furnaces of Jew hatred leading to Kristallnacht and beyond.

There are times in history when the resemblance between past and present is startling. We need to renew our pledge to never let it happen again. Truth is we’ve become too damn incredulous in the comfort of our success.

Despite all that Jewry had contributed to the advancement of the human condition, its merit saved not one, not even one of six million Jewish lives.

Fast Forward

That there today exists a Jewish community in Germany is a stunning reality. That it is prosperous, well-organized and politically connected, however, should come as no surprise.

The current assault upon Brit Milah may just turn out to be the opening salvo. Time will tell. Let us hope the leadership of Germany’s Jewish community is wise enough to take the appropriate steps that will insure the integrity of the Jewish past and the promise of a Jewish future.

Entrepreneurial Development.

ENTREPRENEURIAL DEVELOPMENT:
Entrepreneurship is all about taking risks, seeking and exploiting opportunities in the name of an innovative idea or an enterprise.
According to Thomas Edison: €I never perfected an invention that I did not think about in terms of the service it might give others€¦ I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent€. So, entrepreneurship is seen as a field to invent something new which the world demands. Entrepreneurship develops from entrepreneurs and they are risk takers who are willing to roll the dice with their money and reputation on the line in support of any new idea or an organization.
The countries who value and honour entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs are developed countries. But there are certain things to consider for successful entrepreneurial development and they should be given due importance by the Government or by the one who is main actor in providing the opportunities and resources to the entrepreneurs. Firstly, entrepreneurs should be valued, they should be given a chance so that they can show to the world what they can add and what they can do to fill the gap. Secondly, Government needs to develop commercial countries where there is a room to show something new and where there are all the necessary opportunities for appreciating innovation. Thirdly, rent-seeking should be prohibited because it hinders economic growth and social development. Rent-seeking may result in increased corruption and more political influence where bribery gets in power more. Fourthly, easy financing should be provided, lending of loans should be made easy and all the other financial instruments should be made available. More importantly, it should be considered that INNOVATION is the key for success. Entrepreneurs have passion and new ideas; they are willing to put all the risk in the name of innovation. Lastly, if entrepreneurs do not succeed, they must have back up and all the possible exit strategies regarding how to close down all the set up properly.
Therefore, entrepreneurial activities should be encouraged. The role of Government is very crucial in this regard and it should take all the steps for developing an entrepreneurial developed country. It should try to develop an entrepreneurial culture where innovation and creativity is rewarded and encouraged. Moreover, all types of entrepreneurship should be given respect and the demands of the society, customers, indeed demands of all the world need to be considered and then invention should proceed.