If you're not building a Calm business today, you're making your entrepreneurial journey harder than it needs to be. Calm companies focus on profitability and sustainability. They succeed by growing slowly and deliberately, calmly adapting to changes in the market without the need for a soul-sucking "grind to total market domination." I'm not a fan … Continue reading Fundamentals of a Calm Business
If you try to build an audience on social media, you'll quickly learn that attention is an incredibly scarce resource. People are busy. They won't even look your way unless you can offer them something unique. And yet, we founders have a hard time focusing our own attention. Why do we keep reading through each … Continue reading On Saying No
Building and selling a business is a blessing and a curse. While it catapults founders into a very different financial situation, it also shifts what gives them purpose and passion and allows for lasting impact. Chasing these elusive virtues causes many entrepreneurs who thought they could retire to get back to work — or it … Continue reading The Risks and Illusions of the “Post-Exit Retirement”
Your founder story is much more valuable than being reduced to a slide in a pitch deck. Your story is a unique and unclonable asset that can turn from a mere list of accomplishments into an opportunity generator through the power of compounding and public expertise-building. When you share your story not only after the … Continue reading Founder Stories are Powerful Assets
Recently, I have gotten a lot of offers from freelancers and consultants to do some work for me for free. In an ideal world, we’d offer our services to a prospect, and they’d gladly pay for them. But the reality is quite different: many freelancers have a hard time finding clients, and some have come … Continue reading Should Freelancers Offer Free Trials?
https://youtu.be/91ZGnnR-O4U Expectation management. What is that? It sure sounds like mind control. I don’t think my expectations are anything that someone else can manage. Nobody can dive into my mind and magically alter what I believe will happen. The only thing you can do to impact what I expect is to make promises. There is … Continue reading Managing Expectations: Making Good (on) Promises.
In most entrepreneurs’ lives, there comes a point where they jokingly claim to be “unemployable.” It usually happens in the middle of a conversation about the benefits and drawbacks of having a boss. After setting out on their first self-directed business journey, many founders have a hard time imagining themselves back on the clock as … Continue reading Why Founders End Up Unemployable
When I need to relax, I paint little miniatures. It’s a hobby I have had since I was a teenager, and once a nerd, always a nerd. But as an adult nerd with disposable income and dedicated “hobby time,” I am part of a community, and I ran into a YouTube video of a fellow … Continue reading Seven Kinds of Entrepreneurial Debt
They say all roads lead to Rome. Well, reality proves them wrong. And who are "they" anyway? When we look at successful businesses, we see many different approaches that got them to where they are today. But we can also notice the absence of several strategies that don't seem to create reliable pathways to success. … Continue reading Entrepreneurial Anti-Patterns — What to Avoid When You’re Starting a Business
If you want to see tenacity at work, watch professional gamers racing to be the first to kill the latest dungeon boss in World of Warcraft. Every time Activision Blizzard releases new dungeon content, the world's best guilds join the "Race to World First." They grind through days, sometimes weeks, of trying to overcome the … Continue reading What Founders Can Learn from Professional WoW Gamers