So you think you are crazy being an entrepreneur ? (part 1)

24 08 2009

iStock_000001419386XSmallIn her excellent post “You’re aren’t crazy you’re just an entrepreneur” for Open Forum, Pam Slim quotes Martha Beck.

She talk about the four stages of an entrepreneur.

Let’s look at them and how coaching can help

Square One: Death and Rebirth

Characteristics: This first stage of change happens when you consciously choose to move from employee to entrepreneur. Nothing is familiar anymore, and you grasp to both feel normal and explain your new work identity to others.

Recommendation: Stay focused inward, on your own insights and creativity. Exercise, eat right and stay grounded. Don’t worry about figuring everything out at this stage, just pay attention to how you feel, and stay open to possibility.

The coaching: It’s easy to get in information overload at this stage. So much stuff to think about. The fist phase of coaching has to be centered on “why” you chose that business, that way of “‘earning a living”. Making sure a purpose is driving you, energizing you. filling up your “energy tank”

Second phase, It’s also a moment where it’s easy to loose a lot of energy doing everything and being everywhere. Working on monitoring that loss of energy and making sure short term goals keep you in “focused action” and celebrating small victories. “Staying open to possibilities” means to “shoot” with confidence because you are looking for feedback. The feedback will help you “aim” better.

Third phase: It’s the time to put in place the “rituals” that will ingrain to good habits necessary to succeed. Either getting rid of bad habits that prevent you from moving forward; bad habits that are constraints, bad habits related to unproductive beliefs. Or, developing good habits to adopt to make sure results will be showing!

The coaching conversations will make sure you stay on track, on purpose!

Stay tuned for the next steps…

Why I recommend Bill Bartmann’s program

22 10 2008

I could have used Bill’s sales letter templates.

They are real good.

But I wanted to write them down in my own words. I’ve read thousands of business plans, read countless books on start-ups and the first few years in business. I was a university teacher for 6 years,  teaching how to start businesses and how to write business plans. I’ve worked with the best. Still am…

But Mr. Bartmann’s videos are straight to the point. No fluff. No fancy words. Hard hitting advice for young entrepreneurs of all ages. Some of the stuff he’s saying and explaining will be useful for many years.

For approximately $100.00 you’ll have several hours worth of advice. They will be available anywhere that you can link up to the internet. I bought them myself and still look at them sometimes when I’m looking for a straightforward way to explain a business concept.

Give it a chance, you won’t regret it!

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Blogging and start-ups

19 11 2007

Last week was released “pourquoi bloguer” a book on why blog in a bisiness cotext.

!0 chapters, 10 reasons by 10 authors (and friends)

In the next few weeks I will try to give you the essence of that book and look at it as a start-up coach.

Chap 1: To influence.

You would be wrong to minimize the importance the impact of maintaining a blog can have on your business. When we are the new kid on the block, in the market, it’s often more difficult to be recognized, to convey an image of experience, in short be reassuring. Blogging is a great way to achieve that.

Even with a small number of readers, it is possible to have a critical successes. Comments received on your blog are all testimony to your competence on the part of individual that  very often are better known than you at the outset.

These testimonies are the infancy of your budding credibility. Remember that “credibility is a characteristic attributed by others.”

The possibility and the importance of commenting on public topics (other blogs and articles from newspapers and magazines) are unique opportunities to influence the established order to undermine the foundations of a business paradigm.

It is your ability to make connections between concepts (often raised by other bloggers), which quickly establish your credibility and ability to influence. Finding and identifying these concepts in the first place are also signs of your knowledge and your ability to be always on the cutting edge of your area of expertise. What a great way to show it publicly without bragging or give the impression you’re in the middel of a sales pitch.

In my speeches, I often put emphasis on the need for a specialty when we are a new business. In my view, being “Good in everything but specialist in nothing” is your business epitaph written beforehand.

Influencing what is written on your domain of expertise is proof of specialization. Even before being a commercial success you can (and should) seek to influence what is said in your field.

The blogosphere is a sea of conversation, so do not be afraid of debates.  Start them!

Although the saying says that He who sows the wind reaps the storm, you will have the opportunity to show your qualities as captain ;-)… and on the Web you can really choose the right words to argue a point without starting a fight.

Being a free electron is one thing, being in business is a different story, especially when our customer base is still rudimentary. In this regard, Mitch Joel ,  still offer a word of caution. Based on the theory of the Long Tail, paraphrasing what is often in cop TV shows… “anything you say can and will be used against you in court of… the blogosphere.” Remember that your customer can read your old posts…

That said, scaring off customers that you do not really want is a blessing…

Do not forget to tell me if you decide to take the step, and hope to read you soon, starting with your comments 😉

p.s. from the book: Pourquoi Bloguer

The top 5 things you must do when you blog:

  1. Trackbacks
  2. Comments on other blogs
  3. Reply to your readers
  4. Write regularly
  5. Be personal

The 5 steps to build authority as a blogger

  1. Analyse your market: Who are the experts
  2.  Be original: Your style
  3. Tell who is your source of information
  4. Talk about what’s in the news: don’t be yesterday story
  5. Create content: mix and match idea, find new ways of looking at  a problem