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6 Guidelines On How And When To Use Non-Disclosures

As an advisor to entrepreneurs, I often have to deal with people who are convinced that they must get me to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before they begin talks about their new venture. They seem shocked to learn that most professional investors and advisors, myself included, routinely decline such requests, due to costly litigation […]

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10 Questions To Ask Before Selecting A Search Firm

I started out in business as a techy geek, so I understand why technologists starting a new venture spend so much effort getting the product just right. Yet I’ve learned over time that building the business is all about having the right team members. Thus I’m frustrated when I see founders pushing off recruiting, or […]

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7 Techniques For Avoiding Entrepreneurial Blind Spots

Every entrepreneur has blind spots which limit their effectiveness and success, but due to ego, over-confidence, or deferential subordinates, many live totally in the dark. Some are smart and humble enough to assume that they don’t know what they don’t know, but lack an effective process for shining a light on their blind spots. Both […]

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5 Steps To Effective Marketing With Converged Media

Entrepreneurs and startups often ask if they should select only social media for marketing, or stick with digital media, or just count on traditional media. The answer is yes to all, and the challenge is how to choose how much of each, and how to integrate them for maximum impact and the least cost. None […]

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Businesses With A Higher Purpose Also Increase Profit

Many entrepreneurs still don’t understand that building a business culture today of doing good, like helping people (society) and planet (sustainability), is also a key to maximizing profit. Employees and customers alike are looking for meaning, not simply employment and commodity prices. Every company needs this focus to attract the best minds and loyalty in […]

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An Ideal Startup Team Excels At Whole-Brain Thinking

Traditionally, the majority of entrepreneurs have been logical thinkers, problem solvers, with full attention to details. These are the stereotypical left-brain engineers. Yet I see a big shift from the knowledge age, with its left-brain foundation, to a critical focus today on visualization, creativity, relationships, and collaboration, which are more in the domain of right-brainers. […]

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The Entrepreneur’s Guide For Dealing With Adversity

As a business owner in this age of rapid technological change, with the surge of worldwide competitors, setbacks and adversity are virtually guaranteed. Based on my years of experience mentoring and advising entrepreneurs, you need to attack problems and challenges with a mindset of success, or it is unlikely that you or your business will […]

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7 Groups Of Difficult Customers Test Every Business

Have you ever noticed that some of your business owner friends get all the bad customers, and yours all seem fairly reasonable? Or is it the other way around? I’m always amazed that, in my role as a business advisor, bad customers somehow seem to gang up on certain businesses. I long ago learned that […]

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10 Steps To A More Responsible And Accountable Team

Getting things done effectively in a startup requires total individual and team accountability. You can’t afford excuses and multiple people doing the same job. In my view, “taking responsibility” is the core element behind accountability. Many people hear responsibility as an obligation, but I hear it as “the ability to respond.” Unfortunately many people don’t […]

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5 Keys To New Venture Financial Projections That Work

As an angel investor and business advisor on new ventures, I expect to see five-year financial projections from every entrepreneur. Yet I get more pushback on this request than almost any other issue. Founders point to the great number of financial unknowns in any new business, and are reluctant to “commit” to any numbers which […]

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