Best Success Story:
The micro business incubator, Lift Off Retreat, that we’ve developed with Pam Slim of Escape from Cubicle Nation has been a notable success for us. Our joint venture enables us to collectively help people build the business they’ve been meaning to get around to or ‘retool’ the business they’re already in.
More important than the event itself is the community that’s formed. We’re blessed to have such an awesome gathering of people. They’re doing great work and, to date, two of them have been hired by Seth Godin for some of his projects. Two have founded tech startups, one of which is a partner with Apple. And there are plenty of them who are doing great work in a much quieter but still important way.
Biggest Startup Challenge:
Our biggest challenge has been marketing and positioning (branding). In small businesses, so much of the brand comes from the personal brand of the founder. I built the business while I was completing my PhD in Philosophy, rocking as an Army Logistics Officer, playing music, and trying to be a decent husband, friend, and family member.
That diversity of experience has shown up in our business – sometimes people have a hard time explaining what we do and how we do it.
#1 Tip for Entrepreneurs:
Failing is the best thing for you in the beginning stages of your business. You have to be willing to fail if you ever want to succeed. Also:
If you build something, market it. Don’t just throw it out there and hope it sticks on its own. It almost never does.
Don’t go alone. That’s the hard way.
Even if you don’t do your own books (accounting), it’s important to understand the financial dynamics of your business. Few things are more powerful and empowering than a profit and loss statement.
Lastly, play to your strengths and have others supplement your weaknesses. It’s more effective and a lot less “crazymaking.”
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