Being a Passionatepreneur is Never Enough

entrepreneurshipBeing passionate about becoming an Entrepreneur is only the beginning. It’s going to take a great deal more than just being passionate about your small business to be successful. Being passionate is a good start – It will get you out of the starting blocks but it won’t get you to the finish line. The majority of small businesses fail. A study conducted by Eileen Fisher, Schulich School of Business concluded that thirty percent of all new small businesses fail within the first two years, and only half make it to year five. Some of those failures are out of their control. It wasn’t because they weren’t passionate. They failed because they lacked the management or financial skills they needed to succeed.

#Worth Remembering … I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it. – Thomas Jefferson. 

Being an Entrepreneur and starting your own small business is not for the faint of heart. You have to be comfortable flying without a net. You have to be comfortable with not knowing where your next pay cheque is going to come from. You have to be comfortable with not having all the answers all of the time. You have to decide what you are willing to give up to succeed. Tom Brady, Wayne Gretzky or Tiger Woods didn’t succeed by being lucky. Luck had nothing to do with it. Did they catch a break now and again? Absolutely. However, the truth of the matter is, they became the best at their sport because they were willing to put in the time and effort needed to succeed.   How much time and effort are you willing to put in?

#Worth Remembering … Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can live the rest of your life like most people can’tUnknown 

You aren’t going to be great at everything but I believe you must be good at most things. If you study successful entrepreneurs you’ll discover they have some common characteristics. If you had to put a list together what would be your top five? Here are my top five.  I’ve listed them here in no particular order.

  1. Time Management: Be able to manage your time well. Learn to prioritize what needs to be done, so that you do the most important things first. Sometimes that will mean doing things that you don’t like to do. Don’t waste your valuable time on things that won’t help you succeed.
  2. Open-Mindedness: You only know what you know – you don’t know what you don’t know – and it’s what you don’t know that could sink you. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice, and be smart enough to use it.
  3. Patience: However long you think it’s going to take you to accomplish a task, times that by two. Rarely does anything happen just the way you thought it would. Learn to take a deep breath and count to ten. All good things happen to those who wait.
  4. Communicate: You must be able to communicate in a way that others will understand. If you can’t communicate both verbally and by the written word, then you stand little chance of being understood.
  5. Goal Setting: Have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and then put a plan together to get there. However, you need to be flexible enough to change or adjust your plan if it’s not going to help you achieve your goal.

I taught Entrepreneurship for over a dozen years at Algonquin College’s School of Business. On the first day of class, I would give the students my “Dorothy doesn’t live here anymore” speech.  I’d tell them if I haven’t talked you out of being an Entrepreneur by the end of the semester than chances are you might succeed. If I have talked you out of being an Entrepreneur than I have saved you from yourself. Either way, it would be a win-win. I would have done my job and you would have learned a thing or two. Being a Passionpreneur is never enough.

Copyright (c) 2018. Brian Smith – PLD. Not to be reproduced without permission. Are you looking for a keynote speaker or seminar leader who can deliver an entertaining and informative presentation on a variety of soft-skills topics? To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit https://briansmithpld.com

 

Why Women Make Better Leaders

 

 

EmpathyWhy women make better leaders can be summed up in just one word – “Empathy”. (The ability to see it from another person’s point of view). Women seem to come by it naturally, while most men have to work at it. Dee Dee Myers – author of “Why Women Should Rule The World” believes that women are more successful at managing small businesses because women can make people accountable for their actions but, they are also there to support them. “Females have the trait, where maybe most males do not”. Mary Matalin, former counsellor to President George W. Bush and Vice President Cheney was quoted as saying – “Women around the world are rewriting history at a ferocious pace with or without mans permission”. It’s easy to argue that men haven’t been doing such a good job lately of managing things. That’s not a political statement – I’m just stating the facts. In the words of Bob Dylan – “The times they are a changing”.

It’s great to see that more and more women are taking up a seat at the boardroom table and leading Fortune 500 Companies. Women are outpacing men in starting their own small businesses. According to research conducted by The Centre for Women’s Business – 1 in 5 of all firms generating 1 million dollars or more in sales is owned by women. The Seventh Annual Business Report, commisioned by American Express, finds that the number of businesses owned by women has more than doubled in 20 years, as has their revenue. Women are starting an average of 849 new businesses per day, up 3% from 2016. There are 11.6 million women-owned businesses in the United States, employing nearly 9 million people and generating more than 1.7 trillion in revenue. Facts and figures published by Statistics Canada on Canadian Women Entrepreneurs tell a similar story. Of all the small and medium-sized enterprises in Canada – 47% are entirely or partly owned by women. The average net profit of female-owned businesses has increased from 52% of male-owned businesses to 89%. Based on these numbers I think it’s safe to say the glass ceiling has been shattered.

Putting gender aside, what does it really take to be a successful owner or manage a small business?

Successful small business owners and managers:

  • Understand themselves and how their attitude affects others.
  • Understand how their reaction to any given situation affects the outcome.
  • Have a positive attitude about themselves – which causes others to have confidence in them.
  • Understand that every situation is different, so they know they must behave and respond differently.
  • Realize that they need their people more than their people need them. They would look pretty silly trying to run things by themselves. There’s strength in numbers.
  • Know they don’t have to have all the answers, all of the time. If they surround themselves with capable people, someone on their team will.
  • Must lead by example. That sounds easy to do but it means never compromising your principles and honouring what you hold to be true – honesty, integrity and always doing what is right.

I could go on and on – but I think you get the point. Women deserve far more credit then they have been given. It’s time that ALL men realize a women’s place is far more than being barefoot and pregnant. If you’re looking to develop 21st Century leadership skills, start with empathy. Learn to count to 10 or 20 if need be, before you react. See things from the other person’s point of view. Trust me – you’ll be glad you did and so will the people who work with you.

Copyright (c) 2017. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Are you looking for a professional speaker or seminar leader who can entertain and inform on a variety of soft-skills topics? Give Brian a call. He will customize a program that is right for you, your people and your organization. To find out more visit https://briansmithpld.com

I’m Guilty As Charged

judge-with-gavel1I should have known better. I have been in the business of managing and leading others in one capacity or another, as a General Manager, College Professor and Management Consultant, for over forty years. In spite of all those years of experience, I committed the number one cardinal sin. I jumped to a conclusion before I had all the facts.  And worse yet, I posted my comment on LinkedIn. The person, who I  offended shall remain nameless, but T.M. knows who he is.  He may not realize it – but the fact that he called me out – reminded me of a valuable lesson that I had obviously forgotten. It’s time for me to step up and do the walk instead of just doing the talk.

Before I act, either verbally or in writing, I am going to step back, take a deep breath and follow these 3 simple rules.

Rule Number One: I am going to assume nothing. I am going to put my brain into gear before I engage my mouth. How often have you said something that you later regretted? How often have you said something that you wish you could take back?

Rule Number Two: I am going to do some research. I am going to take the time to collect all the facts before I act or speak. How often have you made a decision, only to find out it wasn’t the right one because if you knew then, what you know now, you wouldn’t have done it in the first place? How many times has it come around to bite you?

Rule Number Three: I am going to ask myself, how would I feel if someone posted something about me that wasn’t true? Someone who I’ve never met. Someone who didn’t take the time to find out more about me, and what my motives were?

Leaders will make mistakes. All leaders do, and when they do they should own it, apologize for it, learn from it and don’t repeat it. That’s what separates the not-so-good ones from the great ones.  What kind of leader do you want to be?  You get to make a choice, so choose wisely. Others are watching and deciding who they want to follow. If no one is following you, you aren’t leading.

Copyright (c) 2017. Brian Smith – PLD. Not to be reproduced without permission. Are you looking for a Professional Speaker or Seminar Leader who can deliver a session on a variety of soft-skills topics? Contact Brian today brian@briansmithpld.com – Visit https://briansmithpld.com to find out what Brian can do for you.