Saturday, November 9, 2013

Resolute Adventures, Ascending the Summit - How Mountaineering Prepares For Entrepreneurial Success

Many people try to start businesses. And there are those who try to climb mountains. There appears to be connections for the people who are passionate about both [see Ten Steps to the Top]. The ones who are good at both say that learning the skills to do one can help with the other.
Ascending the summit of entrepreneurial success doesn't necessarily happen in the classroom. Though huddling for studies at the Entrepreneurial Studies Program at UNC Kenan-Flagler provides a good base camp.
After a notable career, Randy Myer, Professor of the Practice of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, decided to return to the business school of his alma mater nine years ago to share his entrepreneurial experiences. His students give him high marks for his thoughtful teaching of Entrepreneurial Marketing and Business Plan Analysis. What they might not realize is his coaching in the classroom of key lessons learned have roots built on a very solid and rugged foundation through his passion for mountain climbing.
"Months of training in order to climb Mount McKinley and Aconcagua with a carefully selected team reinforced my desire for independence and to have control of my own destiny, " stated Randy Myer. "So I left partnership at Booz Allen Hamilton to start my own company."
Having reached the figurative summit of making partner at a leading consulting firm, he, like many driven business leaders, was already looking for the next summit to climb. "Going into high altitudes reinforced my desire to be an entrepreneur. Climbing required drive, motivation, individual energy, and quick decision making."
While at Harvard Business School, Myer caught the bug for climbing from his class mate from Banff Alberta, who eagerly taught him the ropes during visits to neighboring New Hampshire. Then, while at Booz Allen, Myer would catch a long weekend here and there to try new challenges such as ice climbing. While he found consulting to be very intellectually challenging, he viewed mountain ascension as a very strict physical challenge that required months of training with a single minded goal to get to the top often an entire year later.
Similarly, entrepreneurs are goal oriented and must have high energy to summit the journey. Unlike being a consultant or working at a large corporation, "in starting one's own company, it's more about the quality of ideas, operational effectiveness, building a team - networking. You don't have to be book smart to start your own business - or to be a successful mountaineer - you need to be goal oriented."
Myer ascended Mount McKinley, Aconcagua, Rainer, and Kilimanjaro, each requiring a full year of preparation, all while working at Booz Allen. He would book the tallest hotel while on business travel so that he could awake before sunrise to run the stairwells with whatever work materials and books from his hotel room, bible and magazines, could fit into his back pack to simulate his ninety pound mountain pack.
After leaving Booz and inspired from mountain climbing, Myer dug into his entrepreneurial adventure with vigor and founded Best Friends Pet Care, which he grew into a national chain of high-quality pet services facilities. Raising initial $3 million seed capital to launch his idea, he completed three additional rounds of successful financings and built it into a $30 million chain with over 55 U.S. locations. He sold his interest in the company in the mid-1990s to outside investors.
People who are passionate about climbing will be passionate about training and putting in as much effort as they can. This passion is very similar to entrepreneurs starting a business, poring in almost every non sleeping hour into their start up, while visioning future success. An entrepreneur feels pressure from investors, customers, employees, and family. Accountability in climbing is to your team, financial sponsors.
"Major climbs have three phases that are not unlike starting a new business. The first phase, planning, is quite similar in both," states Myer. "The second phase, the actual journey is much the same although the climb gets harder as you get higher which is probably the reverse for starting a business."
Finally, there is the third phase, reaching the summit, which has some of the same characteristics of a successful exit. For most climbers, the excitement is in the journey as it is for entrepreneurs. "But the outside world often measures you by the third level - did you reach the summit or have a successful exit," explains Myer, "We love the journey much more. But people that ask about climbing or my startup seem to focus mostly on the end result. "
Both the downhill ascension in mountain climbing and the integration post exit associated with a venture that has been acquired can be anti-climatic and surprisingly challenging. True mountaineers and entrepreneurs trudge through this post phase as quickly as possible in order to start the cycle over, earning the "serial" descriptor.
Are entrepreneurs risk takers or just highly driven folks? Those who do not climb probably think risk first and drive second. For Myer, "the risk does not really enter my mind - like bungee jumping there is thrill to it, but if you think risk first, you would probably never jump. I always assume the risk is one I understand or can manage."
When the group leader told the team that conditions would force them not to attain the summit, Myer reflected, "Did I want to turn back on McKinley? Absolutely not. But I did not argue with our leader. That is the hardest part for me - managing the drive to excel - to get to the top."
A recent inspiring guest speaker to Myer's students was Brenda Berg, founder of Scandinavian Child, exclusive North American distributor of unique children's products headquartered in Raleigh, and an avid 'rock jock' whose license plate reads "CLIMBING".
One student asked how Berg managed the fear of starting a business. She explained, "I am a rock climber. I like to scare myself. Fear is a way of life when you start and run your own business. If you can't handle fear, starting a business is not for you."
Reaching new levels in business is very much like climbing. Berg explained, "There are times when you have to put all of your focus on one giant leap - trusting yourself, your gear, and your partner to make sure that it happens, or that they catch you on the way down. Moreover, if it doesn't work, you have to get back on the rock and try it again, or the fear will take over and paralyze you."
She finished answering the fear question by explaining that as an entrepreneur, she "lives with fear every day. Fear is a good driver when channeled positively, especially as a leader."
Like Myer, Berg started climbing during school and planned her life around her studies and work with her passion for this adventure. "There was nothing practical about it - it was all all-encompassing - like having a second career." Similarly, starting and running a business is easily like working two jobs, in time, energy, and focus.
"For years I did nothing other than school, work, and climb all over the country, plus Mexico and New Zealand." Like Myer, she would often travel five days a week for work as a management consultant, then detour to rigorous climbing locations. She then climbed for the weekend before heading off on her next business trip.
Looking back, Berg states, "I can see that I succeeded in climbing for many of the same reasons that I am able to start and run a business - I enjoy the challenge!" Climbing gave her lessons in leadership. "In times of crisis, I learned that I can be calm and in charge. This gives me added confidence in my work."
"Climbing is a great way to learn your strengths and weaknesses. It is all about facing your fears head on," Berg concluded by giving climbing credit for having a positive impact on her starting and running a business. "If you really have a passion for climbing, it means that you are up for a challenge. Taking that challenge and applying it to starting a business is a great next step."
For some climbers, the quest is a family affair, with the goal of tackling the seven summits - the highest peaks of the seven continents. For John Spivey, founder of Gardens of the Carolinas, a full service design/build landscape firm, has ascended Mount Kilimanjaro, Elbrus and Aconcagua with his grown son and they are planning now for Denali in Spring, 2010. "Climbing the seven summits with my son has become a unifying aspect for us." While his son trains on the mountains in Boulder, CO Spivey regularly runs or treks, complete with weighted pack, at Umstead.
An entrepreneur at heart, Spivey registered for incorporation of his business the first work day after his graduation from NCSU, where he played on the soccer team, as Myer did also at UNC. He remains very active in the day to day activities of his design/build landscaping business which has benefited from his passion for mountaineering. "In climbing, I must plan for the unexpected. My approach to gear, food and route are crucial. This sort of planning has stimulated a more complete approach to my business planning."
Another local climber who has begun his quest to conquer the seven summits, is Zachary Maurides, who works as a product quality analyst at eprocurement leader SciQuest, and also continues to run the two thriving businesses he founded while at Duke. While on full scholarship to play football, Maurides was awarded the Markets and Management Entrepreneurship Award and was on both the Academic All ACC and ACC Honor Roll.
While a student at Duke, Maurides reached the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. In August of this year, he will attempt to summit Elbrus. Like Spivey, he and his father would like to ascend all seven summits and make it a family tradition. He is currently getting in at least one strenuous workout a day such as climbing the stairs of Duke stadium with a fully weighted pack as well as one light workout of a long walk of over 3 miles.
"Starting your own business involves a lot of risk," says Maurides, "and I think this appetite for risk is what allows me to think I can conquer these seven mountains." Stepping back, he reflects, "I also think that climbing a mountain, like any other difficult task, helps to give a person perspective on their life. It makes the day to day struggle of starting and growing a business seem small."
Maurides served last year as teaching assistant for a public speaking class in which many Duke student athletes were enrolled. "Zach is simply an amazing guy with a go and compete mindset," stated Kip Frey of Intersouth Partners and the professor of this course. "I often tell executives who work for me - you must own the problem - how are you going to solve? Zach gets this philosophy - he is no nonsense, no excuses."
"My advice would be to decide you are going to do it and make a promise to yourself, and other people if necessary. I find that from there my pride will push me to finish the task. The last thing I want is to tell all those people how I backed out," explains Maurides to those who are considering preparing for mountaineering. He adds, "It's the same thing with starting a business, decide you are going to do it, then find a way."
Spivey goes on to advise aspiring mountaineers, "Do your research, talk to people that have been on the mountain, train hard, and hold true to the motto 'the summit is an option, base camp is mandatory'."
Berg stated she was a planner and tended to take on that role with her climbing friends in organizing their weekend excursions. New entrepreneurs are often advised by those who have walked in their shoes, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." Being a successful entrepreneur takes planning and all the key ingredients laid out in the "Ten Steps to Reach the Top".
Spivey concludes by stating the positive impact climbing has had on running his business, "One learns perseverance and commitment to a well laid plan can be rewarding. However, sometimes things uncontrollably end differently and you must find solace, knowing you gave your best effort."
[Side Bar]
Ten Steps to reach the Top: Can leadership on the mountain translate into business success? How, when and why do mountaineers go on to be successful entrepreneurs? Is it important to have reached the literal summit or is it the preparation and the journey that give rise to proven leaders?
1. Visioning. Includes the recognition that a powerful vision is compelling. It energizes the visionary and enables them to excite others to participate. The group dream.
2. Choosing the right team mates. Ones that fill the team from a critical skill set and personality standpoint. A quality group that supports the common vision, provides needed feedback, and implicitly trusts one another.
3. Committing to the goals and strategies. Need to fully commit and understand what it's going to take. Decide if team wants to attempt a "first route" - to traverse where no one else has yet set foot. Akin to a breakthrough invention.
4. Understanding what constitutes truly reaching the summit. Agreement amongst key stakeholders - the team - each step along the way - when to turn back? What is the difference between a 'successful exit' and 'failure'? Successful serial entrepreneurs and mountaineers know to focus on enjoying journey.
5. Developing the action plans and understanding the rules of the road. Relates to knowing 'how things have been done'. Don't reinvent where it's not necessary. Must have explicit plan - route, camps, back up camps, how you will communicate, financing. Leverage best practices. Be able to be specific and tactical to reap resulting success.
6. Being correctly resourced. You need to have enough provisioning to weather the most treacherous and unexpected of wintry conditions. Have the right staff at base camp to keep foundation solid.
7. Getting sponsors/advocates. Relates to investors, supporters, and more.
8. Avoiding dangerous ideas, people or routes; but knowing when to take. Don't do unethical things. Avoid toxic people. Be flexible and respond to the right opportunities. Know when to innovate/take risk and when to follow.
9. Understanding the power of the press. Getting positive coverage will help you get support for your next summit, helps you develop a reputation, can help you bring attention to another cause you care about, can open up other doors of opportunity.
10. Knowing when the time is right to make the ascension. Season, weather, politically, personal life. Are all the stars aligned to maximize likelihood for success?

Friday, November 1, 2013

Entrepreneurialism: Seven Unnecessary Traits

When you are working to establish your own business you may believe certain things to be true about entrepreneurialism. While some traits may have merit there are other traits that may not be as necessary as you might have imagined.
Leadership Skills vs. Personal Drive
Interestingly, leadership skills are less important than personal drive. In most entrepreneurial efforts the seeds of an idea are cultivated by ONE not MANY. In the end if you believe in the idea you do not need the ability to lead others to pursue your dream.
Money vs. Dream
Entrepreneurial efforts are often about achieving a goal and less about making 'money' the primary goal. Certainly if you do your job well the money is likely to follow, but your efforts should be based on your dream first.
Power Broker vs. Average Joe
An entrepreneur does not need to pursue power in their business pursuits because they already possess the power they need to step out and follow their dream. In effect, an entrepreneur answers to themselves so, seeking personal power makes little sense in entrepreneurial efforts.
Extrovert vs. Introvert
You may find it interesting to learn that many introverted or shy individuals actually do well in many entrepreneurial endeavors. If you are outgoing it can be helpful to your overall goals, but the Internet has made it possible for introverted dreamers to find a place to let those dreams thrive.
Gamblers vs. Methodical Planning
Becoming an entrepreneur is often thought of as a gamble, however many entrepreneurs are better served by making careful plans and exercising proven strategies to minimize the chance of failure. Entrepreneurialism is not so much about throwing caution to the wind as it is about taking a dream and finding ways to make that dream a reality.
Organization vs. Creative Thought
You may find it interesting to note that some of the best business owners are not especially organized - it takes away from their ability to create new ways to make their business better. This is why you usually find these individuals with a quality assistant as the business grows. The end result is a mind that can envision where the business needs to go and steps over the pile of paperwork to get there.
As you take a look at the list you find that leadership skills, money, power brokering, being an extrovert, being a gambler and having strong organizational skills may not be as necessary to the role of entrepreneur as you may have thought.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Can Entrepreneurialism Be the Saving Grace?

Everyone wants security and at one time, a person's job gave him or her that security -- but not anymore. When government jobs begin to lay people off or force days off without pay, some may view this as the writing on the wall. At one time having a government job meant security and that you could retire on that job. With the economy, the way it is today, entrepreneurialism may be the saving grace. There are people who aren't waiting to get that notice; instead, many are leaving the workforce to carve a piece of the entrepreneurial pie for themselves.
Owning your own business is risky and in fact, many people fail when starting an entrepreneur home based business. Nevertheless, what entrepreneurs have in common is that they don't view a failed business as a failure. They see it as an opportunity to get it right the next time. A failed business teaches them not to place all of their eggs in one basket. These people although few far and between, won't stop until they are successful and that is what puts them above the masses that quit after the first try. To jump in the pool of entrepreneurialism, you must develop a no quit attitude. Partnering with other entrepreneurs is also a good strategy for success.
At one time, it was unheard of to start a business with less than $100. Now, with the help of the Internet, you can do just that by starting a home based business. In fact, many small cleaning companies have been started for less and become empires in the cleaning industry. Content mills are another example of using the internet to provide a product that is in demand. These companies hire writers to provide web content to other internet entrepreneurs who need it to help build traffic to their website. At no better time could a person become a business owner with their hobby. The resources are available thanks to the internet and the small business administration. In addition, selling a product or someone else's product has pushed individuals into successful business ventures. It is a loop of entrepreneurialship that has been proven to work.
Trying to be the biggest company is no longer the focus of entrepreneurialism. Just being able to call your own shots and making ends meet without punching a time clock, is what it is all about for many people who take that leap of faith. The only characteristic that sets rich people apart from poor people is their stick-to-itiveness and possibly their refusal to work for someone else. Job security isn't what it once was and entrepreneurialism is a chance at creating your own job security. Your success greatly depends on how hard you are willing to work. You won't ever fire yourself and you will have yours and your family's best interest in mind at every decision-making meeting. If you view entrepreneurialism as your way of never being able to be fired than, you may have that entrepreneurial bug in you too.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Staying in the Entrepreneurial Mindset Online

Entrepreneurs who start out with a brick-and-mortar business are generally seen in the community as a new business owner who is striving to get ahead in the business world. The entrepreneurial mindset that is required to start that type of business may be easier for some to sustain because of the support given by friends, families and neighbors.
However, an online entrepreneurial mindset may be more difficult to sustain because it will not be immediately evident to other people what the business does or even that you have a business at all. To keep the right mindset when your business is online often requires a higher level of discipline than when the business is more physical.
Small Business Self-Discipline
Getting up every morning and going to a physical building to work for your own small business requires little discipline because the business simply won't run if the business owner isn't there. Going to work often feels like going to any other job. But, when working at home on a computer, the feeling is generally much different.
Staying disciplined enough to go to the computer each day amidst all of the distractions of home takes a much different type of discipline. The entrepreneurial mindset then has to push you to keep going each day, even if it seems like there is a lot of to do around the house or you just don't feel like getting started that day.
Being an Entrepreneur
One of the things that many online entrepreneurs find is that it is often difficult to explain to other people what they do and that it is a real business even if it is not housed in a physical retail space. Some people may consider it your hobby or even ask when you will be getting a real job.
This can make it harder to keep that entrepreneurial mindset for many new business owners. To keep from letting skepticism erode your self-confidence, simply treat your business like any physical business. Refer to it as a business, work in it each work day like any other business and continue to think of it that way in order to stay motivated.
The Results of a New Business
Perhaps the best way to keep the entrepreneurial mindset is to see the results of that business. When the business is making a profit and your lifestyle is better than it ever was before, you and those who may have doubted the business will see how serious it really is.
Even if a business is virtual, it is an entrepreneurial exercise that can create an entirely new lifestyle for you and your family. With hard work and an entrepreneurial mindset, it has every chance of being as successful as any other type of business.

Friday, September 20, 2013

What Does Entrepreneurial Leadership Really Mean For Your Children?

What does today's financial environment present for your child? In an advertising frenzy of iPods, iPhones, branded objects and label hopping examples of seemingly never ending desires financially expressed by your children, how does a parent convey the good measure of entrepreneurial leadership needed to set a course for financial freedom and overall success for your greatest asset, your child?
The primary goal and the key to successful entrepreneurial leadership for your children lies in the ability to purchase a lifestyle to sustain the highest level of well-being and transfer this knowledge to your children.
One of many groups concerned with children's financial literacy, The South Carolina Economic Council, which focuses on teaching children about finances, reports that "teaching children about money and finances has moved to the front of the educational agenda."
A considerate and careful approach is relative to desires for real life achievements. Parents who seriously consider the financial success of their children are reasonably prone to present their own money management acumen as a clear example. Parents develop their own standards of "parental marketing" geared towards their own children.
Primarily winning formulas that have worked for good'ole dad or mom will be valued by children who have been directed along those same paths set by practical examples. Clearly, parents must devote the same attention to financial education as applied to other areas in the life of healthy, emotionally sound and attune young minds.
While a motivated and well educated entrepreneurial parent should grasp the time tested concepts of balance sheet affluence vs. income affluence and actual wealth, these concepts will not translate to your child's individual success without the practice of entrepreneurial leadership extended by the parent. As with other areas of successful life skill sets, parents have no less obligation to teach money management, budgeting, and investing than they do to neglect to teach a child to walk.
The whole consideration of today's economics should not be entirely focused on mere cost. For example, times were different for grandad, but the valuation of the purchasing power of a dollar has changed in the course of any lifetime. Enduring entrepreneurial leadership in any lifetime encompasses winning formulas of economic care and the willingness to take financial risks only worth the reward.
So, as a parent of an intensely important child, the question today is, what will tomorrow's financial environment present for your child?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

5 Entrepreneurial Leadership Aspects of Innovative Executives

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other." - Abraham Lincoln, US-President, 1861-1865
In order to become a fully functioning, successful individual in whichever endeavor you choose to undertake, you must first cultivate the right attitude and behavioral traits. No where else is this fact more true as than when we consider the dominant characteristics needed for entrepreneurial leadership.
There are effective executives and directors in many fields but most leadership development programs neither focus on increasing entrepreneurship nor do they employ innovative training methods. However, you can acquire, develop and robustly practice the requisite entrepreneurial leadership skills.
According to the late great management expert, Peter F. Drucker, "The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity. Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. (It's the entrepreneurial) act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth."
Entrepreneur extraordinaire, Sir Richard Branson, explains why he changed his mind and became one because he originally "wanted to be an editor or a journalist, (and) I wasn't really interested in being an entrepreneur, but I soon found I had to become (one) in order to keep my magazine going. "
So in a very real sense, Sir Richard, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and others like them already had attributes of the leadership mind-set and they were behaving in similar ways as leaders do too. If you hope to successfully initiate any commercial, governmental or public service undertaking, you will have to learn, exhibit and embrace the characteristics of entrepreneurial leadership.
What types of character traits do entrepreneurs have? Are those behaviors really important? In a word, these characteristics are important because if you don't possess them, you will have lower chances in terms of business success. The characteristics are as follows
1. Risk Assessor - this very important aspect of entrepreneurship is probably the most misunderstood one of all. Many organizational executives are willing to take any risk which presents itself as a breakthrough or never-before-tried opportunity. But without taking the time and effort to thoroughly evaluate or explore the potential pitfalls of their new idea, they are not very likely to succeed in their venture. In the course of doing business, you will always encounter a number of challenges, problems and situations demanding your prompt attention, decision and resolution.
However, after careful evaluation there are many risks which are worth taking, especially if their variables can be examined and then worked out and if the majority of these uncertainties are determined to be good for the business. At those times, you must be willing to be a risk taker, otherwise you won't be acting in an effective entrepreneurial leadership capacity.
2. Wise, Smart and Accepting of New Ideas - Most people believe being smart is all there is to being a successful executive - but wisdom, a willingness to learn new things and an acceptance of new realities and viewpoints are also necessary traits for winning in your entrepreneurial enterprise.
Of course, your cleverness, keen insights, and witty interactions with others will carry you far throughout your business dealings. Regardless of your position, today's complex and pressure-packed situations compel you to demonstrate mental toughness, alertness of changing circumstances and intelligence about emerging trends. Those attributes will help you earn the respect and trust of your clients and all your associates or partners.
3. Executive Leadership Development - It still surprises me to hear someone say that leadership is just a talent some people are born with. Yes it is true that the raw ingredients and characteristics of leadership excellence can be hard to detect or find among any random or unorganized mass of individuals.
There are not many people who naturally have the kind of nerve it takes to lead. However, today's innovative training programs easily empower large groups of ordinary people to learn, understand and adopt the proven fundamentals of entrepreneurial leadership principles, practices and discipline.
Your executive leadership skills will serve your venture when your personal qualities and behaviors help you guide, influence, manage and direct people. These abilities will enable you to handle your business affairs with greater ease and positive emotions.
4. An Inner Passion for Your Enterprise - One essential characteristic of successful entrepreneurs is the amount and scope of their enthusiastic, passionate zeal they have for their business. We have seen high levels of this emotional trait in many public service, governmental and commercial leaders who were also founding members of their organizations.
No executive leadership development or innovative training programs can "teach" you how to have an intense yearning and desire for your venture. You alone must have, maintain and increase your enthusiasm for and uncompromising interest in your business pursuits. When your drive, determination and passion reaches a fever pitch, you will be well on your way towards successfully operating and growing your business.
5. Honesty, Integrity, Trustworthy - Every organization is built and depends upon positive relationships. Some management experts say entrepreneurial leadership means dedicating and investing eighty percent (80%) of one's time into developing, organizing and strengthening relations with associates, customers and other stakeholders.
As cinema director, Neil LaBute, observes, "In a relationship you have to open yourself up." Every manager knows this is true because without being forthright, dealing sincerely with and providing access to your clients, the business will not go very far. Your honesty, integrity and trustworthy nature will enable you to earn the loyalty, custom and good will of your community, buyers and sponsors and your colleagues.
Obviously, there are other characteristic and behavioral traits needed to ensure success in your entrepreneurial leadership activities. The five attributes listed above will help you handle most of your organizational responsibilities, duties and obligations.
These traits also form the basis for successful careers in any industry or profession. If, however, you can equip yourself with the means to improve your performance, some additional time spent in innovative training courses will put you over the top.
If you plan on using an executive leadership development program to sharpen your competence in these characteristics, all you'll need to do is study market trends carefully, think of a few strategic options for your venture, provide the capital and you'll be ready to take entrepreneurial leadership action.
"The real issue is not talent as an independent element, but talent in relationship to will, desire, and persistence. Talent without these things vanishes and even modest talent with those characteristics grows." - Milton Glaser
Copyright © 2008, Mustard Seed Investments, Inc. All rights reserved.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Benefits of Joining an Entrepreneurial Organization

Perks. We all love them. From getting a free soda from the store our older brother worked at when we were younger, to the discounts we receive from our suppliers for being a valued customer. It's what fuels our networking and what makes us reach out to organizations that bring value to forming a community. And in today's tough economy, we need all the benefits and perks we can obtain, if only to give us that extra edge over our competition.
So, that's what we can expect when joining an entrepreneurial organization. Perks. And some of the biggest perks come with the access granted to the biggest business opportunities around the world. This is due to the fact that many entrepreneurs form partnerships with organizations and companies in exchange for monetary support and other contributions of a similar nature. Sometimes these partners are large corporations, sometimes small businesses. Sometimes organizations form strategic alliances instead of partnerships. Either way, the benefits of such arrangements become clear and present when you become a member of a reputable entrepreneurial organization.
These partners will often offer discounts to members of entrepreneur networks as a way of saying "thank you" to its members. These help save both time and money, while lowering operational costs and increasing overall profit. And in this down-turn economy, that is no small advantage.
Keep this in mind when looking for an entrepreneurial organization. Make sure that the list of partners they are associated with are all reputable businesses and organizations with long, upstanding connections and reputations in the business world. You'll want to see that the entrepreneurial organization takes pride in its name and who it associates itself with. Remember, any organization you attach your own name with, you are also attaching the names of all those that they attach their name to. This can be a very good thing if you choose wisely, a possible detrimental situation if you don't.
But don't only look for those big name corporations that can help you globally. Look for entrepreneurs who are locally involved in an entrepreneurial organization's chapter. Small businesses are at the foundation of the free market and support from local entrepreneurs shows you that an organization has a strong community presence. Building a strong community of solidarity is tantamount towards keeping the local businesses striving and in sync with the hyper-local economy.
Finally, look for an entrepreneurial organization that has been offering exclusive partnerships for upwards of 15 years. This will ensure that their connections are rock solid and you will be offered a network that is both steady and influential. By having established themselves, the entrepreneurial organization will be able to provide you with growth and expansion opportunities into new sections of the world, increasing your revenue and range of productivity.
Well-established entrepreneur networks also carry more significant benefits and discounts, increasing both their value to you and in turn, your value to them. Don't forget, becoming a member of an entrepreneurial organization works both ways. It is not only you that is benefiting from the organization, but the entrepreneurial organization that is benefitting from you as well. By accepting to associate themselves with your good name, they are adding to the network of entrepreneurs world-wide.
And that's the way perks get started.