May 042011
 
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The value of an idea lies in the using of it.
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Thomas Alva Edison

Ideas in and of themselves do not get us anywhere. You can have a million ideas and still never accomplish anything. You must develop the habit of taking your ideas and putting them into action. Develop the habit of noting all your ideas, so you don’t forget them. Realize that, if like most entrepreneurs, you have “an idea a minute,” you will not be able to put them all into action. Realize too, that you must learn to filter your ideas, then take the best ones and execute on them.
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Mar 282011
 
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When you are asked if you can do a job, tell ‘em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.
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Theodore Roosevelt

Here, Teddy Roosevelt, one of the greatest “can do” personalities of history, provides much needed instruction to entrepreneurs. A recurring theme I have seen in my businesses and in those of successful friends of mine, is that often times the best opportunities arrive in the form of projects and subject matter that you don’t yet have a ton of experience with. You must learn to be a quick study, so that you can take on projects that may be a bit of a stretch for you and your business. Simultaneously, you must learn to embody and display a high level of confidence that, regardless of what the challenge is, you will surmount it and reach your objectives.
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Mar 142011
 
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Are you green and growing or ripe and rotting?
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Ray Kroc

Ray Kroc, famous for taking over McDonald’s in the mid-fifties and putting it on the path to become the giant, global restaurant operator we know today, asks an important question here. What is your response? Do you continue to grow and learn or are you stagnated and “rotting?” For some, the answer may be a bit uncomfortable. The successful people I know are always growing and learning. While they make take some time to enjoy the fruits of their success, the vast majority of time, they are focused on taking very deliberate steps toward their goals. They are hardly ever, if ever, just sitting back and “rotting”. It’s simply not in their character..

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Mar 022011
 
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Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
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Leonardo da Vinci

This quote from one of the greatest innovators and minds of history is simple and sophisticated. We’ve all heard the saying “keep it simple stupid”, or the nicer version “keep it super simple”. In my experience in entrepreneurship, the outcome is usually better when you keep everything as simple as possible. There’s typically little or no upside in complicating matters. Always strive to keep everything you do as simple as possible. You’ll thus keep your life easier to deal with and you’ll get to be sophisticated at the same time.
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Sep 302010
 
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Technology is important, but it is not sufficient for a business to succeed.  Some businesses hardly use technology at all – in the long run, such an approach probably will land them behind their competitors.  Some companies try to do everything with technology, at times to their own detriment.  Likewise, some companies seem to have hardly any great ideas at all – they don’t do anything remarkable, rather they focus on their chosen niche and they execute very well.  Other companies are idea factories, which have more good ideas than they know what to do with – this sounds like a great situation, but in reality, if you’re not careful, you can become distracted by all the opportunities that seem to be everywhere.  In the end, the point is, don’t be overly impressed by flashy technology or ideas – in your own company or in others.  It’s all about results; don’t lose sight of this.  Make use of technology and great ideas wherever they are going to help you achieve your goals, but remember it’s all about the execution – sizzle can only get you so far..

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Sep 232010
 
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Ideas are a dime a dozen.  Good and great ideas are a bit harder to come by, but they are out there.  What there seems to be a real dearth of is the ability to execute.  In the end, regardless of how good your ideas are, if you cannot execute on them, they are not worth much.  Again, if you are great at generating ideas, but not great at executing on them, you must get help.  That help can come in the form of a partner, a key employee, an advisor or a strategic alliance.  Perform a realistic assessment of your execution strengths and weaknesses.  Where you find weaknesses, determine whether the areas you’ve identified are critical to your business and whether you want to try to improve your skills, or whether it‘s better to bring in help.  Also keep in mind that, regardless of whether you’d like to, you simply will not have enough time to do it all.  Don’t try to do it all by yourself – it’s a recipe for failure – put together a stellar team of internal and external resources that you can work with to execute effectively and efficiently.

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