Posts Tagged 'start-up'

#WorkFromHomeDads Fail Faster

Some of the best advice I ever read…

Seriously, you’re gonna fail, that is unless you’re not really trying. Since it’s bound to happen get it over with as quickly as possible so you can get back to the good stuff.

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

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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. 

Is it better to do it right or right now? #dny

“A good plan violently executed now is better than perfect plan executed next week”- George Patton

So, great quotation right? A couple of things about it.

1. We are talking about start up business, not war.

Ahh, but there are many who liken business to war. People refer to the competition as the enemy. Companies turn conference rooms into war rooms. Even the organizational structure of most businesses are based on military ranks.

But is business like war? I would submit that as the new age continues to dawn on business it becomes less like it. And I can assure you that there are still plenty of  businesses holding fast to the old ways.

2. If I didn’t believe in the truth stated in this quote you wouldn’t be seeing this post now.

I would have waited until I got back to my laptop instead of doing it from my phone. One big difference is you would see the above quotation as a jpeg instead of simple text I typed. The other big difference is this would still be on my to do list as opposed to getting checked off while I wait for my tardy friend.

I have long held the belief that far too many people waste too much time trying to make things perfect. Here’s the deal, just because something is perfect to you doesn’t mean that anyone else will find it so. Get the idea, design, prose, product or whatever out so the public or your client can critique it. At that point you are able to take their feedback and make something better than you had.

In the end, good enough for now will always beat perfect next week. Why? Be honest, when was the last time you saw something that was perfect?

Do you spend too much time trying to improve things?

Do you prefer Seth godins “just ship” philosophy?

How do you leverage the feedback you get?

Are you working on a project that needs additional eyes, hands or brains?

Curiosity Kills Cats. Entrepreneurs are not cats. #dny

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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.

#DNY Say Less to Say More- A Lesson in Sound bites

Guessing he will grow up to be a politician.

Guessing he will grow up to be a politician.

“Poets, priests and politicians have words to thank for their positions”. What a great and powerful line from the Police. Here’s the deal, the words you use matter. Often times, the less you say, the better. Why? Because we all have a VERY short attention span.

I said it the other day, If I could edit half as well as I write, I would be a fantastic writer. One of my facebook friends proceeded to re-write that sentence into: If I could edit, I would be a fantastic writer. Funny as it was, it’s true.

So what exactly are sound bites? I know we hear about them all the time, especially during election season, but what does it mean?

Wikipedia states: In the context of journalism, a sound bite is characterized by a short phrase or sentence that captures the essence of what the speaker was trying to say.

It also references that often times sound bites are “lifted” from a much larger body of text (or music). That’s not the point of this piece. What’s important is the idea of “short phrases”.

When thinking about your business, think about the things you need to communicate:

  • Why is this a good place to work
  • Why would someone want to buy from you (Your Unique Sales Proposition)
  • Ways to describe your new product or service offering
  • How you’re toward your plan
  • How to get someone fired up to take on a new project and more

If you were to create sound bites for each of these ideas you would have crisper communication. People don’t take the time to read (or even listen to) long drawn out descriptions until they are compelled to do so. You need to hook them. That’s the job of the sound bite.

  • What does the sound bite look (or sound) like? I’m glad I asked:
  • A great sound bite HAS to hit the central thesis immediately
  • It should be 10 words or less
  • It does not contain a bunch of adjectives
  • It is focused on what is in it for the audience
  • Ideally, it is memorable
  • It’s effectively the gist of a much bigger idea

So here’s your homework: Take a look at what you’ve written in your marketing pieces and come up with a short sentence that describes the paragraph. Put that sentence on top of the paragraph. The readership will go up. You can also use that sentence when you are speaking to people. When they ask you for more, THEN you can refer to the entire paragraph. This will eliminate the “glossy eyed” look you receive from time to time.

How do you use sound bites currently?

What would you add to this post?

Are you more inclined to pay attention to a business who uses good sound bites?

We will be working on sound bites for the next few weeks with our client Ray Laethem Motor Village. I’m excited to see how they turn out.