Entrepreneurial Vision

Every Entrepreneuer Lives off Their Vision

Archive for the tag “entrepreneur”

Urgency to Innovate

Innovators are needed more than ever. Businesses that don’t innovate will perish. It’s already happened so many times; company xyz find a successful equilibrium until start-up 123 creates a better, faster, and cheaper offering. Company xyz is then caught red handed with nothing to counter the agile start-up 123 and begins to lose market share. When xyz loses market share the budget gets cut which affects R&D who is now under extreme pressure to create a miracle product with just a fraction of the resources it needs. Unfortunately for xyz the need urgency to innovate and the ability to innovate are inversely related.  Company xyz is now in real trouble.

 Those that do invest in innovation are rewarded handsomely. Think about the most innovative companies: Apple, Google, Honda, Procter & Gamble, Amazon, Nike, Target, Coca-Cola, Samsung, Tesla, Virgin, etc. Every year they spend millions on different types of innovation and receive a generous return through incredibly loyal customers.

 Innovation is what creates new customers and keeps the old ones. The market is so crowded that it is now a requirement to standout because your competitors are doing all they can to overshadow you. If you’re not making something that’s better, faster, or cheaper there is someone else who is. Think of your modern businesses as a shark: Sharks must constantly swim to survive. They can never stop moving or they will quickly run out of oxygen and die. In the same way businesses must always keep moving forward or die.

Innovation is also needed at a personal level. No matter what industry or type of business you’re in if you are seen as an innovator you become invaluable. People pay a premium for innovative products and in the same way companies pay a premium for innovative people. We are now part of a global economy and I can almost guarantee that someone in India can do your job for a fraction of what you’re currently being paid. The one thing that can be outspurced is the capacity to innovate. Innovate peoples’ jobs don’t get out sourced because they’re the only one who can think like they do. 

Turn Any Obstacle Into an Opportunity

It looks like Callie and I may not be taking a trip to the Florida Keys due to a lack of income. This was something we have both been excited about for a long time. There is no question we are disappointed. I have a couple options here. First, I could complain that I can’t get what I want and curse God for my wretched existence or I can simply do something about it. Good thing I’m always full of ideas.

I am currently looking at closer alternatives for adventure. There is a beautiful park in Kentucky called Red River Gorge and its world famous for its hiking trails and rock climbing. Here would be an excellent opportunity to better my camping skills. With all the money we save we could also afford to splurge on food (hobo dinners are my favorite).

What if we’re still looking for that beach scene? After just a bit of research I came across Myrtle Beach State Park. This beauty lets you sleep on a mile of undeveloped beach for about $20 dollars a night. From the pictures on the site, it looks far away enough to enjoy costal nature but close enough for a night on the town. This alternative is great!

For a relaxing getaway there is a quaint place in central Indiana known as Brown County. This is Indiana’s best kept secret as it is lined with boutique shops, but at the same time adjacent to Indiana’s largest state park. If we wanted to get some adrenaline going, Brown County has the 3rd best mountain bike trails in the nation. When I browsed the website they had many itineraries for all different kinds of people. This place has the best of everything.

            There is an important lesson to be learned here. The happiest of people turn obstacles into opportunities. Also, most of these people happen to be very wealthy. When it feels like you’ve hit a road block stop and think for a moment. What poor assumptions have you made? What other actions can give you reasonable results? What are you actually trying to do? For me I thought for us to have an adventure we have to go to some exotic land. That assumption is wrong. There is a world of opportunity in my back yard! These other destinations offer 90% of the same things as the Florida Keys but at a fraction of the cost. In the end all we are really trying to do is have a good time together.

            A true entrepreneur lives in the “obstacles to opportunity” mindset. They know adversity is not a matter of if but when. This mind set gives them an advantage in the market place because they prepared themselves mentally so they can react quicker. Take these three steps to give yourself the “obstacles to opportunity” mindset.

  1. Know adversity is coming and accept it.
  2. Have a plan b and plan c based off the questions above.
  3. Invest your resources so they can be reallocated to other plans if needed. In other words don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

            What obstacles have you turned into opportunities? Be sure to follow my blog via email. When I’m done with my eBook I’ll send you a free copy if you sign up in the next 6 days. Be sure to share this with your friends.

Learn From Einstein and be More Effective in Your Life

Albert Einstein may have been aloof too much of reality but unconsciously he exhibited many traits that are linked to top business professionals. Not surprisingly he attributed many of these actions to the discovery of some of his finest scientific work. Learn from these habits and find ways to incorporate them into your everyday life.

Have faith in your vision-the better you develop your vision and the more you believe in it, the more others will invest your vision

Do you think Albert turned the world of science upside-down by following the crowd? Of course not! He was aloof, often day dreaming about the results of experiments years before anyone tested them in a laboratory. He was way ahead of his time and you may be too if people are laughing you off the stage. That is why you must have the courage to create your own reality and believe in it so much that others will be intrigued by what you have to say.

Stand your ground-if you are on to something big, people will shoot you down.

Perhaps you’ve had an idea for months or maybe years. As soon as your idea starts gain traction others will aggressively attack you. The biggest thinkers always face the most resistance. Einstein challenged the leading scientists of his time. He could have conformed at their demand but he believed in what he knew to be true so deeply that nothing else mattered. When he was criticized Einstein was slow to get angry. Instead he would usually just smile and let the results speak for themselves.

Pursue your passion-what kind of life are you living if you are not doing what you love?-

To Albert Einstein nothing else matted other than science. He ate equations for breakfast, had theories for lunch, and devoured a textbook for dinner. He didn’t start out as a scientist but rather as a patent inspector. People noticed that he finished his work at the patent office unusually fast. He would work like a madman so he could spend the latter part of his day working on unfinished science problems. He knew what he was meant to do and would incorporate it into everything. Even on his deathbed Einstein had a notepad with simple math formulas written down.

Master your mind –

What have you learned today? Albert knew the importance of education. He was always curious about how things worked and never found any question too unreasonable for him. He studied broadly so he could take information from one field to solve a problem in another. His friends were just as diverse discussing everything from philosophy to cigars. In fact, many of his friends possessed knowledge that was absolutely critical to complete some of his most important work.


Keep relevant records-

Keeping clear organized records in essential if you want others to do your work as good as you. There is a simple and effective way to make this happen. Simply take time to write down how to do the most important things. Try to keep it to two pages at the maximum. These references will be useful in teaching your workers to be self-sufficient. If they know how you want the most important things done in a way they understand, this will translate into solving problems as you would. If this is done correctly your employees will start working just as good, or better than you.

 Know thy strengths

Albert knew what he was good at and he always sought to apply his strengths. He never was a great experimenter. Breakthroughs were made when he theorized with thought experiments. His brilliant mind could great create theories that could only be proven with experiments that could only be imagined. This is how he was always able to stay ahead of his time. Sometimes he would sit for days only thinking of thought experiments because he knew this was how he would create results that would make him valuable.

Complement your strengths

Einstein was not only aware of his spectacular strengths but he knew where his shortcomings were. He never really liked taking care of day to day tasks. His wife loved to be in charge which allowed her to excel in organizing and getting things done. She did everything from doing the bills to giving Einstein pocket money when he went out with his friends. Even when he needed his theories conformed he would ask other scientists to perform the experiments that needed to be done. Partnering with those who covered his weaknesses allowed him to concentrate on what he was the best at.

Question everything-

If you want to get the right answers you must first ask the right questions. Be like Einstein and develop a childlike sense of curiosity then refine your questions so they produce the right answers. Einstein would look at problems that people overlooked or just assumed what the answer was. This was a critical skill that helped him challenge and overthrow old theories like the concept of the “Ether.” A good starting point is to asses yourself and find your biases so you can challenge them. Do you give equal consideration on subjects you feel strongly about? What assumptions have you made when assessing this passionate topic?

Creatively Utilize your resources-

The story of Einstein failing math is a myth. In fact he excelled so well in math he started learning advanced math on his own. He eventually ran out of material to learn so he borrowed the books of a medical student who lived with his parents. He could have easily paid for books but he recognized the opportunity to receive something of value without giving up cash. He utilized a win-win mindset.

Share Credit-

There is speculation that Albert Einstein was not the first person to create the theory of relativity. Another scientist had described very similar thoughts at almost the exact same time. Did Einstein quickly assert his knowledge as the first and final say? No, in fact he conceded that he may not have been the originator of the theory and that his colleague was quite capable of figuring it out. It was routine for Einstein to ask the opinions of others and he often humbled himself when it came to being right. Albert would constantly ask others to read over his papers. He even credited his first wife to helping him with his first published papers. This made Einstein very well received and others often wanted to work with him because of the good things they heard of him.

Apply these ten principles and watch your effectiveness with yourself and others grow….at the speed of light! Be sure to post your thoughts.

Why Your Company’s Vision Statement Sucks

Bland, generic, meaningless, white noise. These all describe that paragraph buried in your ancient fifty page business plan you lost. The way business strategies are created is quickly changing. Investors and other stakeholders (especially employees) are no longer interested in reading about static company strategies they don’t understand. Everyone is bombarded with information due to the web 2.0 era which is resulting in regular information overload. Your employees now need a vision they can interact with. The question is how do you make an interactive vision statement? Just condense it. Now I don’t mean cut it from a paragraph to a sentence or two. Give them something that supports your vision but they can really use. Any ideas yet? Let’s look back a few hundred years to find our solution.

Yoga and monks have been around for a very long time. Part of the reason is they know how to make their followers a part of the something larger than themselves. One way they do this is through something called a mantra. It is a chant that sums up everything they are achieving. Mantras range from a few words like “Just do it” to one syllable, “OOOhhhaaammmm.” The mantra is better than a vision statement because it is dynamic, easy to learn, easy to remember, and serves as a simple rock to guide all decisions. People also enjoy mantras because they create the opportunity to demonstrate you are a part of the culture.

Making a mantra for your company does not have to be difficult. If someone asked you, “tell me how your organization will change the world in five words or less” what would you say? When you decide on one use it casually and when others ask what it means explain to them it’s how you want to remember what this company is all about. End your meetings with the mantra, when making a sales call tell the mantra to the nearest co-worker. This is meant for your company to build an inclusive and excited culture so be excited about it. If an employee uses it and you catch it, give him positive reinforcement. This incremental innovation is an excellent way to make your company up-to-date while making a dynamic business environment.

5 Ways to Successfully Communicate Vision to Others

    Have you ever had a fantastic idea and proceeded to share it with your co-workers only to have it shot down with a lump of embarrassment? Chances are the problem was not in your idea but in how you communicated it. Many revelations never materialize simply because the creator failed to share the vision in a way that is understandable and inspiring. Here are 5 ways to increase you chances of being seen as a visionary with others.

  1. Visualize the vision you have with as much detail as possible. Not only will you have a better concept of what you would like to see but the small details are helpful when others you work with need to get real “feel” for what you are thinking.
  2. Find an analogy for your thought. This communication device allows complicated concepts and translates them into familiar terms that help make a connection. When Jesus was explaining the premise of heaven he knew many people would not understand so he used parables which are a type of analogy. If you wanted to start a prom dress rental store, you might say “our store is the Netflix of prom dresses.”
  3. Involve stakeholders in creating the vision. People are more invested in what they help make. Rather the shoving your all too brilliant idea down throats try talking with someone in a way that makes them feel like they contributed. Asking open ended questions after explain your vision is one way to do this. Examples are “how does that sound” or “what are your thoughts?”
  4. Have results for your vision you can share. Take the initiative and complete tasks that assist in showing the results of what you are thinking. This is especially helpful with ideas that are overly complicated. They may not know exactly what you have in mind but they can see the benefits that will come for themselves and the organization. Perhaps you have an idea for a ground breaking product, try getting potential customers to send you a letter of intent showing their interest in purchasing what you have visualized.
  5. Give more credit than you take. The only thing better than you enthusiastically sharing your idea is having others do it for you. When others have contributed to your concept generously give credit where credit is due. Not only will they be on board but they will be changing the culture to make the idea the norm and not the exception.

Flex Your Vision Muscles

 What have you done today to make your vision a reality? If you said nothing then one of two things are happening. The first possibility is that you do not have a vision. The second is you have not shared your vision in a way that other people believe it.

If you don’t have a vision, ask yourself why that is. Where will you be in five years? Ten? How can your compass point you in the right direction if you do not know where you are going? Let’s start with a simple excersize. Where will you be in an hour? How are you going to get there? What will it be like when you get there? Imagine the sensation of arriving to your location. It does not matter where it is. Is it cold? Imagine any smells that will be there. Don’t quit thinking about it until you have convinced yourself you have experience the sensation of your vision.

Your vision is now a reality in your paradigm. It is your destiny to be at that location and experience the sensation you had just as you imagined them. Now that you know what the end location will be like you have an idea of what need to be done to get there. What is the last step you will take before you arrive there? Imagine that just as you imagined you final destination. Then imagine the step before that and the step before. Keep creating your vision all the way to the point that you are now in your present state. You have now connected your future reality to your current reality.

You have deemed yourself the master of your own destiny. Now all you have to do is take action on the reality you have dreamed up for yourself. You know what is going to happen, just follow that plan. Will you be going to the gym? Having dinner with your family? Practice this daily. Make to envision and create your future. If you do not do this on a regular basis then you will become a product of the other forces around you. Don’t neglect your gift of free will. The ability to be self-aware and to make true what we think is what separates us from the animals. Now what was that vision? When you created it did it feel in sync with your internal compass? Do you think it contributed to fulfilling your purpose and mission in life? If not then you are wasting your time. You are putting off what you are really meant to do. Take your thought now to recreate this one hour vision until it feels congruent with your compass. For instance, perhaps you thought about play a game of basketball but your mission in life is to help the underprivileged. Combine these two create a third alternative. When you play basketball make sure they outcasts or athletic players are not the last ones picked. Do you what you love and combine it with what is important. This will take a good deal of creativity but the dividends are well worth the investment.

Hope for a Better Future

Hope for a Better Future

By: Andrew Sieg

            Chances are you already possess the most important ingredient of a person who is on their way to success. You have vision. A better future is in your reach and you know it. The feeling may not be there but that doesn’t matter. Deep down in your heart of hearts there is an absolute confidence in yourself that you can take yourself to exactly where you want to be. If you disagree, then the current paradigm you have is not congruent with your mission in life. Think about the direction your internal compass is taking you. Does it feel like the direction you should be headed? If not then you need think about your purpose in life. What gives you meaning? If nothing comes to mind then refrain the question like this; what makes you mad? My personal example is the anger I feel when perfectly capable people think they are unable to achieve certain goals they would like to accomplish. I think everyone on average has at least 60% more potential than they think themselves capable. In fact that is why I wrote this. I don’t know much about writing but I feel like when I type on this page I am traveling congruently with my internal compass. You also need to find purpose that not only you have passion for but you can also act on. What can you do that would make a difference if you took action right now? I personally consider myself a creator over an executor. I have ideas that add value and I map out how this idea will come to life and inspire other people to act on these ideas. This is no excuse however, to wait for someone else to take action on your behalf. The bottom line is if people don’t do things then they won’t get done. People will be more inspired to follow your vision if they see the results you have already. Speaking of vision, where are you going to ultimately be? How detailed can you see the future you have created for yourself? And just as importantly what are the steps you will take to get there? An excellent way to start creating vision for yourself is to think about a vacation you really want to go on. My vacation is a trip to the Caribbean. Imagine every detail that makes this vacation enjoyable. The clear blue water dancing under a sunny afternoon crashing on your ankles. The rum drinks the local bartender makes you that have a true tropical flavor. Sailing on an open ocean that screams freedom and adventure while the wind wisps through your hair. These are the thoughts that compel me to pursue my life’s mission because this is where I will end up. Your actual mission consequences might be different for you. Perhaps you look forward to the day no child will go to bed hungry. What you choose doesn’t really matter. What is important is that you have articulated a vision that compels you to take action that provides you with a better future. When this vision is articulated then it is time to take action. The first step is universal; write your goal on paper. This will give your thought a sense of tangibility and will be especially helpful if you know where you want to be but don’t know how you want to get there.

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