Where to Start When Starting Your Own Business

I recently got asked a really great question: Where do I get connected with people who can help me open a business?IvanOldSchool

Though there is evidence that business is currently on the rise and the economy is moving in a positive direction, the recent downturn in the economy prompted many people who found themselves unemployed to tap into their entrepreneurial spirit and consider starting their own business.

This begs the question above–are there efficient ways to get in touch with people who can help you start your own business?

The answer is yes, and here are my three recommendations:

1) Go through your contacts and talk to people you personally know who have started a business. Set an appointment.  Let them know what you are doing and ask if they’d give you an hour of mentoring.  If possible, meet with them in person.  Show up with specific questions written out in advance.  Send them the questions prior to the meeting so they have a good understanding of what kind of information you’re looking for.  When you meet, focus on those questions, write down the answers, and stick to the time frame you promised.  If the conversation goes well, ask if you can meet with them in the future.  Follow this process with two or three people who have opened a business successfully.  I guarantee you will find this to be very valuable.

2) Find a business coach who has experience with start-up businesses. Hire them to coach you through the process.

3) Read, read, read!  There are a lot of books out there on opening a business. I have personally reviewed many of the books published by Entrepreneur Press on starting a business and they are excellent.  Go to EntrepreneurPress.com to see some of them.

I strongly encourage anyone genuinely interested in starting their own business to pursue the endeavor. I have owned my own business for thirty years (that’s a picture of me at top right, when I first started my company, BNI, and was running it from my house and garage with only one other employee in the mid ’80s) and it continues to be an amazing and fulfilling journey. I don’t think I would ever go back to working for someone else.

Coaching Skills

Are Your Coaching Skills Lacking?

In this video, I talk  to Dave Buck, the owner of Coachville, about the importance of coaching skills for entrepreneurs.

Any successful entrepreneur can tell you that success depends on the quality of the results produced by the people on your team; and the best way to get better results from the people on your team is to coach them.

Watch the video now to find out what Dave thinks is one of the key skills for entrepreneurs to have when coaching their team and, also, how you can participate in an entire program to become a really powerful and effective coach.

Do you have any coaching tactics or strategies that you’ve found to be particularly effective in coaching your team/employees?  If so, I’d really love to hear them.  Please share your thoughts in the comment forum below.  Thanks so much!

To find out more about Dave and Coachville, please visit: www.Coachville.com.

Entrepreneurial DNA

One of the reasons I am so endlessly passionate about business networking and finding new ways to inspire the growth of businesses around the world is because I absolutely love surrounding myself with people who exude the entrepreneurial spirit.

As children, we have the sense that “the world is our oyster,” so to speak, and that anything is possible.  Unfortunately, over time, many people lose this sense of wonder and adventure and the accompanying faith that anything is possible.  Entrepreneurs, however, never lose this open-minded outlook about opportunities and possibilities and we have a constant desire to make a unique mark on the world.  This is why I am continuously inspired by the entrepreneurs I meet in my travels across the globe and why I will continue to focus much of my effort on encouraging and supporting entrepreneurial enterprise in much of what I speak about and write about.

So, when I recently read a book called Entrepreneurial DNA written by Joe Abraham, Founder of the BOSI Performance Institute, and realized what a powerful tool it is for entrepreneurs, I couldn’t wait to share it.  I was so impressed by the content that I endorsed it as the ultimate roadmap to building a thriving business and life as an entrepreneur.  I would like to encourage entrepreneurs in every part of the world to read this book because I believe it offers tools to optimize your entrepreneurial business endeavors that you won’t find anywhere else.

Joe has outlined a breakthrough entrepreneurial profiling system called the BOSI system which empowers entrepreneurs to align their business to their unique strengths because, clearly, all entrepreneurs are not the same.  As the inside cover of Entrepreneurial DNA states:

Entrepreneurial DNA proves the simple but critical fact that not all entrepreneurs are cut from the same cloth.  After all, nobody would put Donald Trump, a multilevel marketer, and the owner of a local pizza parlor in the same category.  Everyone possesses unique entrepreneurial “DNA”–and discovering yours is the critical first step to success.

To help you build a successful business or optimize results within your current business, serial entrepreneur and business strategist Joe Abraham has developed the BOSI system–a simple, structured process for determining your own entrepreneurial tendencies, strengths, and growth areas.  With the BOSI system, you can create a strategic plan mapped to your entrepreneurial DNA that will improve all aspects of your business and leadership journey. (The) system provides four entrepreneurial categories that people fall into.  Which type of entrepreneur are you?

Builder:  Strategic, always looking for the upper hand
Talent: creating scalable business ventures

Opportunist:  Speculative, always in the right place at the right time
Talent: making money fast

Specialist: Focused, in it for the long term
Talent: providing exceptional client service

Innovator:  Inventive, with a desire to make an impact
Talent: creating game-changing products

If you are an entrepreneur, you owe it to yourself and your business to read this book–you’ll thank me later. 🙂

To learn more about Entrepreneurial DNA, CLICK HERE.

To order the book through Amazon, CLICK HERE.

To order the book through Barnes and Noble, CLICK HERE.

Safari Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs can be very creative in their enterprises. Camp Jabulani in the Kapama Game Reserve just outside Kruger National Park in South Africa is a great example of this. I had an opportunity to spend five days there last week and was truly amazed.

Jabulani has six luxury suites with massive wooden sliding doors and floor-to-ceiling screened-in windows that make up the walls of the suite (photo to the left). These walls are covered at night by canvas. During the day, you have the feeling you are in a luxury tent. At night you have total privacy but can hear the roar of lions and the calls of other wild animals just outside the safety of the enclosed compound.

Guests get their very own personal ranger in open safari vehicles as they head out in search of the Big 5 (elephant, lion, rhino, water buffalo and leopard) as well as many, many other species of wildlife. The photos below of a lion and an elephant were taken by me while in the vehicle.

Each guest’s itinerary is tailored to suit him or her. Never is a schedule dictated. The favorite phrases from the camp staff are: “Whatever you want” and “Whenever you want.”

Camp Jabulani offers the only night safari on elephant back in the world (photo to right)!  In addition, guests are treated to a visit to the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre founded by the owner of Camp Jabulani, Lente Roode. The centre is one of the leading private research and breeding facilities for endangered species in South Africa.  It has served in rescuing many threatened elephants in South Africa and Zimbabwe, as well as caring for African vultures, cheetahs, antelope, wild dogs and many other animals.  It also has an extensive and well-known breeding program for cheetahs.

To the left is a photo of my wife and me meeting one of the more subdued cheetahs at the centre.

What Roode has done in this enterprise is truly remarkable. She has taken a business–the Jabulani Camp, within a private reserve that she and her son own, Kapama Reserve–and established a nonprofit center for the treatment and care of injured and endangered animals. She has turned her passion into a thriving business as well as a remarkable charitable cause to save the animals of South Africa. Ventures like this are truly a great example of entrepreneurism. She and her staff have found a way to build an entrepreneurial enterprise while giving back to the country by helping to maintain a healthy bio-diversity and the cultural heritage of a nation.

For more information on Camp Jabulani, go to www.campjabulani.com/

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