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Past COREageous Entrepreneur Blog Posts

Meditation for the Meditation-Averse

There are many people who don’t find meditation relaxing. As a matter of fact, for these folks, meditation can be anxiety-producing. Quiet space can become a vacuum for worrisome thoughts to seep in and flood one’s mind with a torrent of terror. Here’s a meditation...

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Altitude for a Better Attitude

On a recent flight to Chicago from Boston, I was annoyed, annoyed to the point of having to flip my sour outlook. I needed to apply the same advice I employ with my coachees. But to see how I got to that point, I have to share how miserable the experience was. It’s...

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The Chronic Interrupter and Over-talker

These folks talk incessantly, often off topic. They see that you want to make a comment or ask a question and talk over you about something else interesting to them. Some people get so deeply into their monologues that you, as the listener, may feel invisible....

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5 Tips to Avoid Side Hustle Hassles

If you’re dedicated and willing to make the sacrifices needed to turn your side hustle into a full time business, keep these COREageous tips in mind: 1. Is your side hustle something the market needs and wants? Or are you hoping to create a market for your product or...

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Founders: Hire Right

Most entrepreneurs lack training in hiring employees. Hiring the wrong employees can be a major stressor and a liability to a founder with limited resources and strict deadlines for getting their startup up and running. Here is a primer for hiring right: 1) It is...

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Manage Expectations, Not People

As you assemble or reassemble your team, avoid a common mistake – not clarifying the expectations of the job from the start. Founders tell me, “The job requirements are in the job description,” or “I told them what I expect of them every month.”  And sadly, just “sharing the vision” does not provide enough clarity for many new employees.

Take Dean for example, a very talented artist-technician and web designer who did beautiful work. Anthony, the founder of an athletic wear startup, discovered after several weeks that Dean consistently put off work on major projects and was late for meetings. The morale of other team members started to dip as a function of Dean’s influence. After six months of conflict, confusion and miscommunication Dean was let go.

Looking back, Anthony realized that his frequent reminders and expressions of disappointment were efforts to manage Dean versus managing the expectations he had for Dean. At that point, Anthony took a major leap as a leader and a manager. He created a document for new employees that clearly states the job expectations with metrics, deadlines and the consequences for not meeting those expectations. Anthony verbally outlines the expectations and requires the employee to sign the document declaring their understanding and acceptance of the expectations.

Fortunately, this action has made up for the lost time and money by hiring more reliable and team-oriented employees. This experience also taught Anthony a valuable lesson about management – make clear the expectations and the right people will manage themselves.

Even with the best intentions, some employees need help in managing themselves. CoreCoaching can help them get things done, done well and on time. Contact me at [email protected]  

 

Lasting Words

At some point in your life, you’ll need to set aside time to manage a health concern or a crisis. It may be for you, a family member or a close friend. Either way, it will interrupt the flow of your venture, so it’s good to be on the ready. My lapse in posting much this summer was due to my father’s failing condition over the last several weeks and his eventual passing at age 94.

Son of an immigrant and a WW2 vet, my father Paul was an insatiable entrepreneur who loved his country and inspired me to help others succeed. He taught me to plan ahead, prepare for obstacles in advance and build a team you can depend upon to lead the ship. So typical of his entrepreneur spirit, on a cloudy day he would see a spot of blue and call it a sunny day, or at least a bright day! Upon reports of a disgruntled or challenging employee, he’d remark, “Work it out. It takes all kinds of people to build a company!”

The bottom line: Have a plan for obstacles, look for the sun, find a way to keep good people and get along. Thank you, Dad, for the advice. I’ll pass it along.

Need help getting back in the saddle after a setback? Need help building trust within your team? Contact me at [email protected]

 

5 Ways to Tank an M&A

Aside from unfavorable market dynamics or insufficient due diligence, investors will back out of a deal if they:

1) sense a lack of trust or discontent between team members. Savvy investors will pick up on the vibes between team members by the way they communicate in person and online.

2)  sense dishonesty or intentionally unrealistic and misleading information

3)  note unusual money transfers

4)  cannot get reasonable explanations for valuations, projections and predictions

5) discover outstanding liabilities or activities that could become liabilities.

You may not yet be in a position to sell or merge your company, but setting the stage now for the opportunity can never start soon enough. Note that most of the points above have to do directly or indirectly with communication between team members and customers. Establish trust early on in your startup with honest and transparent communication, rather than trying to fake it at the final hour. Mindful communication between your team members is an on-going process and one that will pay off when the time to sell or merge your company comes along.

Does your company need a better foundation for communication? Contact me at [email protected]   

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Online Conversation Tips

The COREageous need to be good conversational partners in person and online. Since we are having more online conversations, make note of these suggestions to present your best self:
1) Look straight at the camera, not yourself, when speaking to your conversational partner. Once that camera is on, it’s too late to primp. Check your hair, teeth and makeup before getting online.
2) Be sure your background communicates “professional and successful.” Mark Cuban has his back to walls of solid mahogany. Other experts have their online conversations in their libraries in front of orderly shelves of books. Think of the perception you want to share with the world. Your background speaks volumes about you.
3) Eliminate any sources of noise or other visuals that could interrupt the conversation or serve as a source of distraction.
4) Occasionally, lean in to the camera a few inches to show interest, but not too close. The rule of thumb is to be an arm’s length from your screen most of the time.
5) Keep your hands away from the camera and use gestures sparingly. Your hands will look proportionately huge if they are in front of you and visible to the camera.

Spruce up your online appearances with customers or investors. A little practice with an experienced coach can enhance the way people perceive you. Contact me at [email protected] 

A COVID Question For You

Although COVID-19 has been tragic in many ways, it has created numerous opportunities as well. I was curious to see, aside from the vaccines and possible cures in the works, what positive effects were occurring on a personal level. Last night, I wrote to a dozen of my COREageous Coaching alums and asked them to complete this sentence:

If COVID-19 had never happened, I would not have_______________________.

I received over 25 thoughtful responses – thank you to those who contributed! But to keep this post short, I chose five to share:
Vickie: … had the time to realize that I was spinning the business out of focus, trying to be too much to everyone. I met with my team (remotely) and got consensus to return to the roots of our purpose. They were pleased, I was relieved.
Peter: …had the time to seriously connect with my best clients, only to find that one of them was ready to move on to a competitor! I listened to him and to his concerns; I let him yell at me, then it was over. I gave him my word that I’d fix the problems by the end of the week. He was back on my roster, we’re good. He appreciated the call. Awesome.
Maya: … had the opportunity to create a contingency plan in case something like COVID or worse struck again.
Hunter: … ended a particularly unhealthy and troublesome relationship that was hurting my business and me personally.
Phillip: …reunited with my 94 year old father after 5 years of silence. He was very angry when I announced that I was leaving a very cushy job to follow my passion; he didn’t get it. Still mad, but we talked. It’s better now.

In these next 2 or more weeks, the time is ripe to re-focus, repair and re-invent yourself and your small business. What can you do to make the best of this bizarre period of time?
CoreCoaching may be the answer. Contact me at [email protected]

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