The importance of focus for entrepreneurs

Many of us are guilty of this. Instead of focusing on the execution of our most important initiatives, we keep coming up with new ideas. In some ways this is critical in the new economy, where everything moves very quickly. You have to be alert and opportunistic.

That said, there’s a real danger in spreading yourself too thin. You have to learn to focus on what’s important. This article explains the concept in the terms of domain names for Internet entrepreneurs. If you have over 300 domain names, maybe you’re brainstorming too much and not executing enough?

Kathy Ireland discusses entrepreneurship

When you watch this interview with Kathy Ireland, you get a real sense of the determination and persistence that’s required for someone to be a successful entrepreneur. You have to expect failures but then be prepared to learn from them. It’s easier said than done of course, but you have to be prepared for this.

Watch the video, and you can see the character traits that make a successful entrepreneur.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Finding employees through social media

We often discuss how you can use social media to find a job. But this works both ways of course. Whether you’re an entrepreneur with a small company or a PR executive at a large enterprise, you must be aware of how and why social media can be an effective tool in finding employees. Mashable has a great article about 5 ways that social media is revolutionizing talent acquisition. Read the entire article and you’ll see how social media recruitment is a trend you should be following.

Maximize your LinkedIn account

LinkedIn is a critical resource for networking in today’s world. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or freelancer looking for more exposure or someone looking for a new job, it’s important to have a complete LinkedIn profile and to put your best face forward. This is a critical part of your personal branding, and it’s also a great way for prospective employers or prospective customers to find you.

This article has 10 common mistakes and very helpful tips for managing your LinkedIn account.

1. Not Displaying Your Personal Photo
It all really comes down to having social media credibility or not. There are too many fake profiles on LinkedIn, so you want to show that you are real. If you have taken the time to complete your LinkedIn profile, why wouldn’t you display your photo? It just raises too many potential questions. And company logos or photos of pets obviously have no value here

2. LinkedIn Profile Headline is Not Branded Enough
See that space underneath your name? That is your “Professional” or Profile Headline. It will appear in search results next to your name, as well as next to any questions you ask or answer. It is, in essence, your elevator speech in a few words. Are you just putting your title and company name here? Don’t! This is the place where you need to appeal to anyone who finds you in a search result to reach out and look at your profile. Your Profile Headline is the single most important piece of real estate on your LinkedIn Profile, and you need to brand it as such. This really ties into personal branding as a job applicant.

Read the entire article and update your LinkedIn page today. Also, check out more LinkedIn tips from this blog.

Your Business Cards

We’ve discussed the cheap revolution before. It’s the notion that you can do so many things today and use countless services for a fraction of what they used to cost. This helps drive entrepreneurship and it helps people sell products or services without a huge support organization. You can be a one-person wrecking crew, using email, the web and social media to network, chase leads and close sales.

That said, there are still some older traditions that you shouldn’t abandon. While you may not need a fancy office and a receptionist answering phones, you should have a web site or other online presence, and you should have things like business cards. The online and mobile worlds are important, but person-to-person networking is still critical.

But here the cheap revolution helps as well. You can access business card printing services online and avoid all the hassles of the past. It’s easier and cheaper and you get exactly what you want. So do all the new media stuff, but never abandon old methods of meeting people in person and exchanging business cards.

More workers use the beach as their office

shutterstock_55529332

This is a great trend. With easy high-speed Internet access and improved technology, more people can work anywhere they like, and many of them are choosing to work at the beach.

While you’re Dilberting away in your cubicle, there are people taking conference calls in board shorts and flip-flops. While you’re saving your two weeks of vacation to hit the sand, they’re getting paid to be there. There are people—even respectable people—who have somehow turned a folding chair into a place of work.

Aided by technology, pioneers are now converting the beach into a fully functional office. People who work from the beach in non-hotel, non-burger-stand, non-pot-dealer capacities are still rare enough that no agency tracks the phenomenon. Brooks Brothers does not yet make a three-piece bathing suit; Herman Miller doesn’t sell an Aeron chaise.

It’s not like these beach workers are slackers; they just don’t like being controlled. It’s the same reason why we TiVo shows or e-mail and text more than call. When you can work from wherever you want to be—especially if it’s the place where everyone wants to be—work isn’t so bad.

It helps to be self-employed.

Yes, it definitely helps to be self-employed. It’s frankly one of the best reasons to take control of your career and start your own business from home . . . or the beach.

That said, this option is open to everyone who is willing to take more control of their career. Sure, you may not be able to do it all the time, but you’d be surprised how often you can escape the office if you begin to train your boss.

This is one of the arguments popularized by Tim Ferris. Check out his site at 4-Hour Workweek for ways to do this. In a nutshell, they key is showing your boss over time that you can spend days away from the office and still be just as productive. Once you establish this, it won’t matter whether you do this from your home or from an exotic beach. He doesn’t have to know and he shouldn’t care if he does.

Learning to be an entrepreneur

Is the life of an entrepreneur for everyone? Probably not, as it can be rather demanding and it’s hard to imagine living that life unless you have a passion for business or for the service or product you choose.

The next question involves whether you can learn to be an entrepreneur. Some people may want to do it, but they really aren’t prepared to make a successful go of it.

The subject of entrepreneurship is becoming very popular at business schools as this notion is being tested.

Twenty years ago teaching people how to start their own businesses was a sideshow at B-schools, of scant interest to future consultants and Wall Streeters. Today entrepreneurship education is everywhere. More than two-thirds of U.S. colleges and universities — well over 2,000, up from 200 in the 1970s — are teaching it, and they offer it to all comers: social workers, farmers, and even musicians. The field is thriving, but have we figured out yet the best way to teach this stuff? If not, are we at least getting better at it? And can you even teach someone to be an entrepreneur?

This makes perfect sense, as many entrepreneurs have a passion for their product but have little experience running a business, while many business professionals can’t grasp some of the risk assessments that entrepreneurs make every day. It’s amazing how spending your own money focuses the mind!

What’s taught in these courses?

By developing in students the proper attitude toward risk, for instance. Entrepreneurship isn’t about the love of living on the edge; that’s pure myth. “You’re all about de-risking your idea,” says Fairbrothers. He means one, identifying, unblinkingly, what could go wrong; and two, taking whatever steps necessary to slash the odds that it will. You do that by relentless learning — about your market, your customers, your competitors, and if you’re truly new at this, about the nuts and bolts of business.

If you take a close look at this proposition, you would thing that every business student should be required to take a course in entrepreneurship. Understanding risk is critical to any endeavor, and this notion should be drilled into every person in your organization, whether you’re simply a manager or an entrepreneur.

Related Posts