Posts Tagged '#DNY'

When the work gets in the way of the other work…#DNY

Image

 

It’s pretty impressive how much has happened in the past 6 weeks (almost the exact time since I’ve written the last update here). The last post I shared was a request to hire two people to join our start-up. Well we got them…and a bonus one. And then another one on top of that. Interestingly, the hiring the four people was one of the easier things we’ve accomplished.

But let me back up a little father.

My goal was (and still is) to write a series called “Digital New You” that discussed the transformation of a business person into that of a technology start-up founder. I kind of imagined it like Neil Patrick Harris doing his Doogie Howser thing. And while I think it began pretty well, I certainly fell off the wagon. To be honest, the work that needed to get done took precedence. 

When you’re running your thing, if you don’t do the work…it doesn’t get done. Ever!

And while this blog seems like a good idea, the other things that needed done:

  • Hiring the four people
  • Creating a brand identity
  • Writing scripts and creating story boards for marketing videos
  • Developing a PR and marketing strategy
  • Lots and lots of ideation
  • A whole heck of a lot more

Just seemed so much more important. In full disclosure, watching Breaking Bad on Netflix has some level of importance too because I’m about 1/2 way through season 4 and I haven’t been watching for a month yet.

My intent is to finish the original outline for the Digital New You series, write about each of the above operations and continue to push this forward. 

It looks like I’m taking the post about persistence in this very series to heart. Sometimes you fall off the horse. The key is to get right back on…even if that’s six weeks later. 

Curiosity Kills Cats. Entrepreneurs are not cats. #dny

Image

We’ve all heard that curiosity is bad for cats. Let me be clear this post isn’t anti-cat, doesn’t intend to suggest blasting cats with lasers and really isn’t about cats at all. It’s about curiosity. More importantly, it’s about why curiosity is a hallmark trait in successful entrepreneurs.

Curious is defined as eager to learn or know something. It’s second definition is also apt: strange and unusual. Entrepreneurs are normally both. But it’s the eager to learn or know something that makes me write this post.

You see, successful entrepreneurs look at what is and think of ways to make it better OR they look at what’s missing and conceive ways to make it. Without an eagerness to learn or know, you can’t succeed in either endeavor.

Most people, non-entrepreneurs (let’s call them normals), look at what is and think about it in either a “that’s good” or a “that sucks” kind of way. When they look at what’s missing, they think “it’s too bad we don’t have one of those”. Entrepreneurs are different. They begin to ask questions of a curious nature:

  • Why is this like this?
  • What can be done to improve or How can I improve it?
  • Why doesn’t this exist?
  • What would need to happen to bring this to reality?

In short, they don’t accept what the world tells them without digging in a little and asking questions. After a thorough examination of these questions, they set forth to find answers to uncover whether or not there is a large enough need. If there is, they make something. If not, they tend to find something to occupy their curiosity all over again. And it doesn’t seem to take long to find that next thing.

This process can happen on multiple ideas simultaneously. The more curious an entrepreneur is, the more ideas they have. Sometimes, they have more then they can work on. It can be a lot of fun, but it can also be very distracting.

Do you consider yourself a particularly curious person?

Do you ever get bogged down in the “too many things to uncover” trap?

Are you asking “why is this this way’ or “why doesn’t this exist” right now?

Do you need help bringing your idea to fruition?

I’m here to help!

Stay curious friends.

What matters is what you believe you can achieve #DNY

If the people around you can’t be positive, you need to be positive that you don’t need those people around you. The only opinion that truly matters is yours.

#dny It takes a village to build a start up

This 2 minute video focuses on who some of those folks are and how they need to support you when you build your start-up.

Digital New You- There’s already too much to do later aka I put the pro in procrastinate

Image

I’ll be honest, I knew I was going to write this piece on procrastination and had to find a picture for it. When I found the photo it opened up to a blog instead of allowing me to right click so I went to the site. It was on a blog entitled “5 ways to kill procrastination”. Of course I read it. (For some reason I can’t embed the link so here it is: http://thepinstripedsuit.com/5-ways-to-kill-procrastination/) The irony of putting off my own blog to read theirs didn’t escape me.

But figuring out how to not procrastinate wasn’t the central theme of this post. It was more of a bonus. What I want you to know is that you’re going to procrastinate. A lot.

It doesn’t matter if you’re the programmer whose most time-consuming task of the day is actually opening Visual Studio, the writer who continually stares at a blank page waiting for the good idea or the sales person constantly shuffling their business cards instead of making the calls. We all do it! The key is what you learn from it.

HA HA

So I just spent the last 10 hours NOT writing this blog. Another fine example.

What’s interesting to me about procrastination is how useful it can be at times. It allows you to look at issues from other sides. Therefore it can help you solve a problem in a different way.

While I do believe the strategies on “killing” procrastination will be effective for most of you, I don’t think you should rule out ALL procrastination. In fact, I think figuring out ways to embrace it are important.

The one thing I do to lessen the procrastination is trying to actually be accountable for doing less. Especially doing the things I really like doing. Let’s face it, the more you’re into the task, the easier it can be to get started. And like they say; “Well begun is half done”.

What do you procrastinate most about?

How do you break the cycle?

What’s your best tip to avoid procrastination?

Do you have a business idea inside of you that you’d like to get out? Call me, we may be able to work together on moving it forward.

Let me guess, you’re going to put off commenting on this piece 😉

Digital New You- So you’re thinking about a name…good luck with that

Image

Any new business venture, product offering or heck, even a new blog series is like a new baby. And every new baby needs a name, right?

Few things will drive the founder(s) and their “trusted circle” more nuts than picking a name. It’s painful. You’ll never get it right. Because when you finally find one that everyone likes, you’ll go to godaddy.com (or whatever you domain registrar of choice is) only to learn that your new name is only available as a .net or .me or .somethingelsethatnobodywants. I will save my rant on domain squatting until my future post on finding the domain.

I had a staffing business years ago in Columbus, Ohio. One night at about 11:00 p.m. the perfect name came to me. I would call it “About Time- Career Solutions”. I loved it. I thought about how finding new employees had to happen quickly and job seekers certainly have a sense of urgency right? It seemed like such a perfect name. It was about a week later I was laying on the couch watching The Simpson’s on Fox when I realized where the name had come from. The Fox affiliate played their news at 10:00 p.m. instead of 11. Their tagline was “It’s about time. your time”. I totally lifted it from them. Still like it.

A name I LOVED long before settling on Networked Inc. in 2002 was Bizagra. I still laugh when I hear it. Bizagra. Maybe it’s not the name but the tagline that is so funny to: “The stuff to grow your biz”. Can’t believe we didn’t have the balls to stick that out.

So what’s in a name? Lots of people name their companies after themselves. Bean and associates never seemed right to me, but it certainly worked for that Johnson family (of Johnson and Johnson fame). You see it a heck of a lot in car dealers too like my friends at Ray Laethem Motor Village.

Some companies use words that are in the vernacular. It’s been said that Google was originally spelled GOOGOL (like the very large number). One of their very investors, Mark Andreessen spelled their name wrong on the check. Instead of  pointing out his error, the boys opened a new bank account and change the name accordingly.

Here’s what I know for a fact about naming things.

  • The name needs to be memorable.
  • It should be easy to spell (although i do love making up words and making fun of people who spell them wrong).
  • You’re going to want to have some way of setting up a .com (this is true if it’s a business).
  • It’s kinda cool if it has more than one meaning.
  • You’ll want to consider how to tie a logo into (branding is important).
  • It’s great when your name becomes a noun (think kleenex or band-aid) and even better when it becomes a verb (don’t believe me, google it)

Tell me a story about naming a business or product that you had.

What questions do you have about naming?

Have you a name picked out and nowhere to hang it?

Digital New You- Tales and lessons of a tech start-up firm

Image

That just seems like such good advice. The truth is, it’s ridiculously hard to keep calm while in a start-up. There are so many, soo sooo many things that will go differently than anticipated. That’s part of the majesty of the start-up. It’s also the reason that most fail. This blog series, #DNY for short, will look at many, many aspects of the start up.

Here’s the deal. I posted on Facebook on 8/5/13 that I wished to be held accountable to blogging daily. That’s important to me for a few reasons:

1. I have been saying I need to write more since 2008 (in my defense, I do write a LOT more than I did) and I really want to establish a routine.

2. I feel like I have some good wisdom to share with others (this would have been #1 but that seemed too douchey for me…claiming wisdom, not the helping LOL).

3. This will help find new prospects for my technology marketing business as I intend to actually grow an audience…finally. Amazing what I THINK consistency will bring. We shall see. I guess if there’s enough of #2, #3 may work out well.

4. As I will be telling stories about some clients, it will create back-links to Ray Laethem Motor Village, Facility Matrix Group, TV-Fitness and future clients and non-clients as well.  See how I did that? Like magic…SEO right before your very eyes.

So last night I put together a 45 topic outline just to get started. You can see most of them by clicking that link. I’m funny in how I do things. I wanted to make sure that you could see what you were in for, but I didn’t want to take the time to manually input each line item*. I guess that’s part of what you’re in for. One of the topics is “Is it better to be right or right NOW”? I think I know which way that piece will lean. 😉

I do intend to share what I’ve learned and things that will help any start up or people who are considering starting up a business here. I assume some of the readers will chime in and add their own experience.

I would love for this to be interactive and for you to share what challenges you have or what questions you have. I promise to be responsive and hope that we can engage in some meaningful discussions.

The big question will be what’s next? I guess I’ll let me fingers figure that out for me…unless you provide some direction. Or maybe I’ll just write about picking a name. That always seems like a good place for the skull f*cking (err I mean cognitive dissonance) to begin. LOL

* Rats, three paragraphs later I realized that I can’t create “links” to a photo. I guess there will be some manual input after all.

See you soon!