Clarifying Entrepreneurship

EntrepreneurshipWhy is their reluctance to say, I am an entrepreneur? I’ve been asked that question many times. Heck, I’ve asked that question of myself on more than one occasion. It seems, at times we’re prouder to call ourselves, Founder or CEO or to say, I’m a business owner. Why is that?

Are those titles more respectful than, entrepreneur? Yet, we hear of late, we’re in an entrepreneurial economy. So, is that a bad thing or a good thing, and especially if we have a hard time fully admitting to entrepreneurship? Or should we just be entrepreneurial in how we approach our work, whatever that truly means? 

Are we claiming to be in an entrepreneurial economy to justify the disappearance of the lifelong career at one company and this is just a way to say we need to create and prove ourselves over and over again, and forget the gold watch?

Back to the reference of being an entrepreneur… Is there a stigma of being a dreamer, always looking for something better, bigger, faster as opposed to what some believe is mundane, repetitive work with the security of a paycheck? Often, I hear it’s mostly due to yesterday’s immigrant mindset of being thankful to just have a job, yet it’s that same immigrant mindset that is the epitome of entrepreneurship. 

fear-5

Actually, I believe it’s because of fear – fear of failure, fear of what other people think, fear of the unknown, fear of the what if, fear of starting over, fear of change… But it’s when those fears are hit head-on and the adrenaline rush of success far outweighs those fears because you know, deep in your heart that you have a deeply ingrained talent that can and will make a difference.

Does that mean failures aren’t possible? Hell no, but it’s working through those failures, those blips, those aberrations that provide experience and resiliency to improve and innovate to make the next step, the next task, the next venture successful. That is entrepreneurship. And it’s when I don’t consider what I do as entrepreneurship, is when failure mostly occurs. Conversely, it’s when I focus on what I do as an entrepreneur, complete with that thinking outside the box and failure is not an option perspective, and when focused more on results as opposed to opinion of others, THAT is when success mostly occurs.

Yes, I’m an entrepreneur. My focus will stay as such as it is not only good for me, but also for my family and for those that rely on me to help them achieve their wishes, hopes and dreams! Why? Because I believe in possibilities, as without them, there are none.

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Multi-unit Ownership: Is it Right For You?

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There are many reasons to consider multi-unit ownership and especially in today’s business environment when many prime locations are becoming available by the day. Single and multi-unit franchisees seeking to capitalize on these opportunities may or may not be right to expand their business by adding locations unless they’re effectively prepared to do so to ensure success.

Typically, expansion is the result of an opportunity or challenge that presents itself – an empty building, a fellow franchisee going out of business and even a competitor expanding into the local market. Unfortunately, many fail transitioning from single unit operations to multi-unit as well as expansion from one market to another or even from one side of town to the opposite side of town.

The key to multi-unit success is being prepared, developing a plan and most importantly, answering very important questions with honest responses. Listed below are some of those questions:

Why does multi-unit ownership excite you? What does a day-in-the-life of a multi-unit operator entail? What do you hope to achieve thru multi-unit ownership? What is your long-term vision with multi-unit ownership? What skills are required for successful multi-unit ownership? Would you consider your current operation a success?

How important are systems to a multi-unit operation? Will you operate two businesses or one enterprise? How will your responsibilities change in a multi-unit operation? Do you enjoy managing people? Do you delegate well? How important is record-keeping to a multi-unit operation? How important is accountability to short and long-term success?

Is bigger really better (and easier)? Is it truly perception or reality? Does one plus one equal two, three, one, or zero? Beyond financial benefits, how does economy of scale present additional advantages?

How important is location to your long-term vision? Why is location of the second or next store or restaurant critically important to a multi-unit operation? Is there really economy of scale in marketing and public relations for a multi-unit operation? What will be necessary to capitalize on economy of scale possibilities?

Can your decision stand the test of time? How do you know when you’re ready to further explore multi-unit ownership? What steps must be taken to get from thought to reality? How must you prepare for multi-unit ownership?

What happens if the second or next location fails? What happens if the first or other location(s) is/are adversely affected by the new location(s)? What happens when you want to retire or move on? Does this complicate your exit strategy goals?

How will multi-unit ownership affect your personal life? Understanding risks involved, are you willing to proceed? Are you comfortable with being an entrepreneur as opposed to just a business owner? Are you considering multi-unit for the right reasons? Are you (truly) committed to move forward? Do you NEED to do this now? Do you REALLY NEED to do this now? AND… do you truly love what you’ve been doing up to this point?

Upon honestly answering these questions you’ll have a snapshot of things you may need to put into place and/or improve upon along with a better idea of whether or not multi-unit ownership is right for you.

Note: Franchisors should require franchisees requesting multi-unit ownership to answer these questions and utilize the responses as part of their approval process.

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From the Great Resignation to the Next Entrepreneurial Boom!

The Great Resignation is already drastically reshaping the corporate landscape, but its impact could have repercussions far beyond big businesses.

new survey indicates that the sizable number of people who are considering leaving their jobs aren’t just looking for new ones with better benefits or salaries. Some see it as a chance to start their own companies – and the result could be a massive influx of entrepreneurs and start-ups.

Since mid-2021, Americans had filed paperwork to start 3.2 million businesses, according to the Census Bureau. That’s a 41% increase over the same time frame in 2020 (which saw the most applications since the Bureau began tracking them) – and a 61% increase over the same period in 2019.

There have been more than 6 million filings since the pandemic began.

Read the Entrepreneurial Boom Could Be Looming HERE.

The Ten Most Common Types of Entrepreneurship

While the basic principles of entrepreneurship are the same—planning, starting and operating a business—the distinct nuances and skills needed vary depending on the type of business you plan to start. Becoming an entrepreneur requires the ability to define these differences and pinpoint the unique elements that are needed.

Traditionally, entrepreneurship is categorized into four main types: small businesses, scalable startups, large companies and social entrepreneurs. These models cover the fundamentals of starting a business and focus more on the company itself, rather than the qualities of the entrepreneur.

“However, just as the world continues to change, so do businesses. This means new opportunities for risk-taking and innovative game changers to pave the way in diverse entrepreneurial ways.”

With this in mind, even though there are quite a few similarities when it comes to the challenges that all business owners will face, there are certain types of entrepreneurship defined by the skills, characteristics, and personality traits of the entrepreneur. At the end of the day, it is the way you choose to run your business that makes them differ from one another.

Read more about the various types of entrepreneurship HERE.

How To Switch From An Employee To An Entrepreneur Mindset

Being an entrepreneur is an exciting and rewarding undertaking and, if you’re motivated by the thought of being your own boss, don’t be put off by the changes you’ll need to make to become a success. Not having one boss can mean you now have many, when you’re answering to your customers, your bank manager and the large number of people who are going to be looking to you for answers.

Being an entrepreneur isn’t the same as being an employee – no matter how high up the career ladder you’ve climbed. But the freedom you get as an entrepreneur means that you can develop your business, and run your life, in the way you think is best.

Read more about making the transition from employee to entrepreneur easier HERE.

Check HERE for books about entrepreneurship.

Acceler8Success Group

To learn more about comprehensive services and resources for current and aspiring entrepreneurs, please visit Acceler8Success Group website HERE.

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Entrepreneurship: Ideas and the Courage (Nerve) to See Them Through

“I always thought you needed to be innovative, original, to be an entrepreneur. Now I have a different perception. Entrepreneurs are the ones that make things happen. (That) takes focus, diligence, discipline, flexibility and perseverance. They can take an innovative idea and make it impactful. … successful entrepreneurs are also ones who take challenges in stride, adapt and adjust plans to accommodate whatever problems do come up.”

Steve Blank launched the Lean Startup movement. His work has changed how startups are built, how entrepreneurship is taught and how existing companies and the U.S. government innovate.

Read more…

Entrepreneurs Who Create Startup Businesses Have to Be Crazy

People who start companies are, without a doubt, just a little bit crazy. And people who start more than one company? Deranged lunatics — all of them! Why? Because it’s insanely hard! You’re signing up for a ridiculous amount of work. Your startup journey will be the wildest ride of your life.

Read more…

Poker or Chess?

Do you plan your business strategy like you’re playing chess or poker? But, before you answer, consider the following…

“Industry executives and analysts often mistakenly talk about strategy as if it were some kind of chess match. But in chess, you have just two opponents, each with identical resources, and with luck playing a minimal role. The real world is much more like a poker game, with multiple players trying to make the best of whatever hand fortune has dealt them. In industry, Bill Gates owns the table until someone proves otherwise.”

– Deep thoughts by David Moschella

Is Courage a Necessary Trait for Success?

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We never really hear enough about courage. The courage to take a risk, to stretch limits, to push forward, to go beyond, to keep moving… to make things happen regardless of the challenges in front of us.

Think about the early-day pioneers crossing the Midwest when they first caught a glimpse of the Rocky Mountains and stared at them getting bigger and bigger as they approached over a few days. What unbelievable courage they must’ve had to continue not only towards the mountains, but up into them and through them, often having to go north or south for awhile to keep making progress forward, and despite the elements of weather and resulting hardships. They believed in their dreams and as a result of their relentless courage, their goals were achieved.

The Cowardly Lion’s Thoughts on Courage

In his most famous song, the Lion muses on what it would be like if he had ​any courage (not realizing he already has plenty):

Cowardly Lion: [singing]
I’m afraid there’s no denyin’
I’m just a dandy-lion
A fate I don’t deserve
I’m sure I could show my prowess
Be a lion, not a mouse
If I only had the nerve.

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3 Steps Ahead of Business Ownership

Many people have a dream of owning a business. It’s an American Dream!

However, whether doing so as an independent business or as a franchise there are important initial steps to take to ensure their dream-turned-reality starts off on the right foot.

Improve Financial Health

Review FinancesReview and analyze personal finances. As a first step, it’s essential to understand income coming in and expenses going out each and every month of the year. Think ahead to bills that come due quarterly or annually.

Plan a firm budget. The goal is to ensure living expenses are met for a minimum of one year after starting a business. If a vacation is planned during this period, it must be included in the budget. Pay off all short-term debt to the extent it’s possible and practical to do so.

If savings or income from investments are not allocated for living expenses it’ll be necessary for personal income to continue through year one. Lenders will require a solid plan that is not dependent upon first year income from the new business. This may require a spouse or life partner continuing their employment while the business gets on firm footing.

Review credit reports for accuracy. Challenge all errors and keep records of the same. Organize all financial records including bank statements, investment account records and insurance policies – auto, health & life.

Consider working through the above with an independent financial coach who can provide valuable professional insight and perspective. From a confidential, non-judgmental position they can help resolve some issues requiring attention that may have initially appeared to have been barriers to business ownership.

Network as Much as Possible

Meet with members of the local business professional services community – bankers, attorneys, financial planners, accountants, realtors. Share plans to start a business within the community. Develop a network of these professionals and keep them apprised of progress.

Attend and actively participate in networking events well in advance of commencing business operations. Networking provides great benefits from a very early stage including introduction of the business to the community, support from fellow business owners and assurance of a busy grand opening.

From visiting with business professional to attending local chamber meetings to participating in community functions, personal involvement starts to establish a long-term commitment to the community. Owning and operating a business is about establishing and building relationships. Do so as early as possible.

Be Honest with Yourself

Although working through due diligence is essential it’s important not to over-analyze to the point of procrastination… or even, paralysis. Taking the necessary steps outlined above should set a foundation of being well-informed and yes, a foundation of comfort and confidence, as well.

But, only with an honest evaluation that the steps were actually taken and worked through should a final decision be made to move forward.

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Change… Because Failure is not an Option

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Like a ship at sea, a business should make directional changes in a long, sweeping manner. Conversely, although abrupt change in direction may create havoc, it may be deemed necessary by the captain and navigation team to avoid what may not be apparently visible on the surface to others on the ship, but is evident nonetheless through compilation of data and viewing radar. In any event, well thought-out plans, including contingency plans must be in place and acted upon to arrive safely at a specific destination within a certain time frame, and with available resources.

However, what happens when seas are rough, or when a storm is approaching, or when an engine shuts down? It’s then the captain’s responsibility to crew and passengers, and to the ship’s stakeholders to make any and all necessary changes to ensure all interests are protected. Thereafter, when the ship is safely docked, management must review the events that took place and explore options to ensure the same problems don’t reoccur. Management must identify ways to improve performance by developing strategy and executing on tactical plans to accomplish objectives at all required intervals – short, mid and long-term.

Change requires thought and planning. As does operating a successful business. As change occurs, many within the business are exposed to decisions that on the surface appear to be “drastic or severe” and are not understood and/or agreed upon. However, what is typically not realized are areas of weakness and vulnerability that must be addressed and with the utmost sense of urgency. In many cases there are common denominators across multiple areas of the business. Most will be directly attributable to reduction in sales. Some will adversely affect profitability.

Unfortunately, financial concerns are back and now even more so than during the economic downturn of 2008-2012. But, as was the case back then, deficiencies, previously overshadowed by high sales levels are standing out once again like sore thumbs. Accepting these facts while realizing limitations and shortcomings is vitally important, but knowing what and how to improve [and change] is required. Being proactive and acting now is paramount!

Change what needs to be changed. Prioritize changes that will make the most immediate impact. Grow into the changes that aren’t urgent. However, do it all within the time frame where challenges present themselves as survival may be dependent upon the same. Change, as unpopular as it might be, is necessary to recover AND to move forward. To this end, hard decisions must be made – with absolute conviction and without delay for the good of the business and ultimately, for all within the business. Yes, change is difficult. But so is failure, and failure is not an option!

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The Truth About Startups

The process

Many people think startups are up and to the right all the time. But more exhibit this startup curve than any other growth pattern. Of course, some never get past the “trough of sorrow”. But many do. Mostly by staying focused on the problem they are trying to solve and working diligently to get to the promised land.

Would love to hear some thoughts on this from today’s entrepreneurs!

50 Inspirational Quotes for Startups and Entrepreneurs

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”

Steve Jobs, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO, Apple

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Build Upon Change for Short and Long-term Success

Change is the New Normal. How are you currently handling it? How will you handle it moving forward? In the past, leaders predicted threats and planned responses with a risk-management strategy. Today, however, the nature of risk itself is different… It’s right upon us! 

The changes you’re implementing today to survive will continue to be necessary through recovery. Most likely, they will be key to your future success as customers and clients will become accustomed to the changes and look for them to continue even if it means the changes are to run alongside standard operations. For example, think about current focus on take-out & delivery in the restaurant industry. Customers will expect this to continue long after standard operations resume. Actually, it will help businesses to recover faster provided processes are perfected and improvements are made along the way, as opposed to current efforts being considered a temporary solution for the times. 

Despite being in survival mode, business must be thinking about the next steps, the next phase to recovery lest they fall short and lose the war despite winning battles along the way. In a world of constant change, non-adaptive behavior is a killer problem. 

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Clarifying Entrepreneurship

Why is there reluctance to say, I am an entrepreneur? I’ve been asked that question many times. Heck, I’ve asked that question of myself on more than one occasion. It seems, at times we’re more proud to call ourselves, Founder or CEO or to say, I’m a business owner. Why is that?

Are those titles more respectful than, entrepreneur? Yet, we hear of late, we’re in an entrepreneurial economy. So, is that a bad thing or a good thing, and especially if we have a hard time fully admitting to entrepreneurship? Or, should we just be entrepreneurial in how we approach our work, whatever that truly means? 

Are we claiming to be in an entrepreneurial economy to justify the disappearance of the lifelong career at one company and this is just a way to say we need to create and prove ourselves over and over again, and forget the gold watch?

Back to the reference of being an entrepreneur… Is there a stigma of being a dreamer, always looking for something better, bigger, faster as opposed to what some believe is mundane, repetitive work with the security of a paycheck? Often I hear it’s mostly due to yesterday’s immigrant mindset of being thankful to just have a job, yet it’s that same immigrant mindset that is the epitome of entrepreneurship. 

Actually, I believe it’s because of fear – fear of failure, fear of what other people think, fear of the unknown, fear of the what if, fear of starting over, fear of change… But it’s when those fears are hit head-on and the adrenaline rush of success far outweighs those fears because you know, deep in your heart that you have a deeply ingrained talent that can and will make a difference.

Does that mean failures aren’t possible? Hell no, but it’s working through those failures, those blips, those aberrations that provide experience and resiliency to improve and innovate to make the next step, the next task, the next venture successful. That is entrepreneurship. And, it’s when I don’t consider what I do as entrepreneurship, is when failure mostly occurs. Conversely, it’s when I focus on what I do as an entrepreneur, complete with that thinking outside the box and failure is not an option perspective, and when focused more on results as opposed to opinion of others, THAT is when success mostly occurs.

Yes, I’m an entrepreneur. My focus will stay as such as it is not only good for me, it’s good for my family and for those that rely on me to help them achieve their wishes, hopes and dreams! Why? Because I believe in possibilities, as without them, there are none.

*As shared by Acceler8Success Group founder, Paul Segreto

40 Signs You Have What It Takes To Be An Entrepreneur

There are two types of  people in the world.

Entrepreneurs and everyone else.

Entrepreneurs are folks who create things. Entrepreneurs are folks who live on their own terms. Entrepreneurs are a special group of people who have a passion for solving a certain problem and then create something that fixes it. You might have what it takes to be an entrepreneur but never really knew if it was a possibility.

You may have had thoughts about starting your own business but never quite made the leap from the 9 to 5 into entrepreneurship. You may have thought of various side hustle ideas but never brought them to life. You may have second guessed whether or not you had what it takes when in reality, you had all the right signs. Read about the 40 signs that you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur HERE. If you can connect with one, you might have what it takes. If you connect with forty, you definitely have what it takes.

“Entrepreneur is someone who has a vision for something and a want to create.”
– David Karp, founder & CEO Tumblr

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Overcoming Fear

Fear can only be realized as we’re able to admit being scared. It’s only with that admission and realization that we can work through fear and hopefully, overcome it. As fear is such a strong emotion that easily grips the soul, it takes time and patience to overcome such a grip. Little by little, fear can replaced by courage gained from confidence that fear is just a challenge to be conquered.

Although, conquering fear does not have to be done alone. Instead, collaborative efforts aligned with common goals truly exemplify the phrase, ‘strength in numbers’ and it’s that strength that will make it easier to defeat fear. Easier said than done? Possibly, but the alternative is being overwhelmed by fear and that, we recognize, is not living…

Talk to a friend or a colleague today about your fears. Doing so will go a long way toward realizing that there truly is nothing to fear, but fear itself.

How I Conquered My Fears and Became an Entrepreneur

Have you ever dreamt of becoming an entrepreneur?

If you answered yes, what’s stopping you?

If it’s because you’re scared, then you’ve got company. Fear is the most common reason people fail to start their own businesses. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, or fear of losing the steady income from their day job.

Of course, there’s a good reason for all of these fears. Around 50 percent of small businesses fail within five years, so it’s no wonder people hesitate to pursue their dreams of entrepreneurship.

Making the decision to become a full-time entrepreneur and go “all in” on my startup was one of the hardest but most rewarding experiences of my life. If you’ve got big ideas for a business but fear is holding you back, read about some steps you can take to move past those worries and start your entrepreneurial journey HERE.

Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out.” – Benjamin Franklin

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