Entrepreneurs The First Three Months

Dictionary.com‘s first definition of entrepreneur is “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.” I like that definition because it doesn’t reference a genius idea, venture capital, scalable, yada, yada, but does mention “considerable initiative and risk”.

Last week (like any other week) I talked with several entrepreneurs. Here are a few stories from last week.
Joe is what I call a ‘forced entrepreneur’. The founder is leaving the business immediately (for very personal reasons) and looking for someone to take on a small amount of debt and pay a dividend over time. Joe is a key employee and the company probably will not survive if Joe doesn’t stay on. However, the founder is considering taking on the role of minority stockholder and handing the day to day over to someone that doesn’t know the business nor have the respect of Joe, or the other employees. Joe’s concern should be, “What happens when the founder’s connections and good will are gone? Will we still have a full pipeline and can we make it better?”
Jim is a self-described “serial entrepreneur”. On 4/2 Jim asked for my opinion on a product that he was reviewing. I didn’t know Jim, but I did know the product. So, I replied, “Thank you for your offer, but I’m quite biased and don’t believe that my review
would have any value to you.” Jim replied, “Thanks for being a standup guy!” Then, he asked me if I wanted to be listed as a resource on his site and if I could refer him to anyone whose opinion would matter. I appreciate tenacity, so I asked about two mutual connections that we had on LinkedIn that I know and respect and learned that one of them is on Jim’s board. OK, the beginning of something beautiful. I gave Jim a referral. I wrote this post, and sent a link to the post to Jim along with “How are you deciding who to spam?”. Fast forward to we had a conversation. It was interesting that Jim did not have time to read my blog post, but did ask me to write a guest post for his blog. When I did, his editor made it so unrecognizable that I said they could publish it but not use my name. Jim said that he would publish it unedited, but yesterday the edited version was posted over my name. Not listening or not caring?
I have another example about an uncommitted pretender, but I’m already long. So, let me wrap up.
Since I’ve retired, I’ve become totally intolerant of pretenders, liars, know-it-alls as well as mediocrity, small thinkers with no dreams and big thinkers with one-dimensional plans. (Not that I’ve ever been very tolerant.) What the heck good is a perfect business plan if it’s going to put you out of business? What good is it to have a social media presence if you don’t know how to use it? What good is it to have great lead development software if you’re not closing sales and developing evangelists? and what good is sales training or sale process if you don’t have the prospects that will never turn into evangelists? Ever thought about taking a month with someone that’s been there? Doing an evaluation? Developing a strategy? Want to see where you are? What you’ve got? Where you’re headed? What would 100 evangelists do for your business? Sick of questions? Want answers? Get on my calendar!

One thought on “Entrepreneurs The First Three Months

  1. There is a post circulating in my head about the phrase I hear on every episode of Shark Tank, “I’m sorry, but I can’t offer any value to your business. I’m out.” An uncommitted pretender would never dream of saying that.

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