Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet with an Annual Plan – FINAL

Picking up where we left off from the two most recent articles …….

Marketing –

  • On a scale of 1 (least positive) to 10 (most positive), how would your company’s current marketing activities and your ability to generate the right number of quality leads?
  • Make a list of what you think is needed to make this a 10.
  • Do you have an effective lead generation process that provides a steady stream of high-quality leads?
  • Is your company taking advantage of a variety of different channels for generating leads?
  • Are you sure that your current marketing messages are having the desired impact on prospective customers
  • Do you have an effective social media strategy and presence?

Continue reading

Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet with an Annual Plan – PART 2

Many businesses have been in business 3, 8, 12, or more years, yet each year is a repeat of any other prior year.  Why?  Because everyone is so caught up in the day to day work of the business (working IN the business) that they don’t take the time to step back and take an assessment of where the business is  and intentionally do things differently to move forward toward the vision for their business (working ON the business).  Continue reading

Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet with an Annual Plan


Many businesses have been in business 3, 8, 12, or more years, yet each year is a repeat of any other prior year. Why? Because everyone is so caught up in the day to day work of the business (working IN the business) that they don’t take the time to step back and take an assessment of where the business is (working ON the business) and intentionally do things differently to move forward toward the vision for their business. Continue reading

21st Century Workforce


I had the pleasure of working with a group of high school students this past Saturday.  They were all enrolled in Roane State Community College classes offered in their high schools.  This is called Dual Enrollment.  I offered them a chance to work from 8am to 5pm on the Entrepreneurial Mindset that can set them apart and help them succeed in college and in life.  The entrepreneurial mindset is not just for those that want to start a business someday.  The entrepreneurial mindset is what employers are looking for.  Continue reading

Veterans Day – Did You Know?

Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day–a common misunderstanding, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Memorial Day (the fourth Monday in May) honors American service members who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle, while Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans–living or dead–but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime. Continue reading

The Fourth Industrial Revolution


The first industrial revolution spanned from about 1760 to around 1840, triggered by the construction of railroads and the invention of the steam engine and ushered in mechanical production. The second industrial revolution, starting in the late 19th century made mass production possible, fostered by the advent of electricity and the assembly line. The third industrial revolution began in 1960’s, with the digital revolution and the development of semiconductors, mainframe computing, personal computing and the internet. Continue reading

The Entrepreneurial Mindset


“Long before the word ‘entrepreneur’ became popular, the concept still existed.” – Clifton Taulbert

What is the mindset of successful entrepreneurs? What underlying beliefs and behaviors enable them to succeed? How do they recognize opportunities the rest of us overlook? What is it that leads them to accomplish so much with so little? Were they born with a unique ability or is an entrepreneurial mindset something we can all learn to apply? Continue reading

One Hour a Month

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I had the privilege of attending a meeting earlier this week to catch up with 3 of my own TN Promise mentees and 3 other mentees that we sitting at the same table. They are all enrolled in classes at Roane State Community College this semester. One is going into education, one accounting/business and one is studying music with classes at RSCC Harriman. Two are looking at something in the physical therapy and medical fields and one is undecided. One of my mentees that I did not get the chance to connect with at the meeting is enrolled in the welding program at TCAT. I started out with 5 mentees. One was accepted to the University of Tennessee and choosing to attend UT did not qualify for the TN Promise (community colleges and technical schools do). The other four made it from high school to college with the help of the TN Promise scholarship! Continue reading

21st Century Skills & the Entrepreneurial Mindset


Employers continue to look for employees with 21st Century skills. A list of the 21st Century skills identified by employers: Critical Thinking Skills, Effective Problem Solving Skills, Creativity Skills, Communication Skills, Collaboration Skills, Curiosity, Initiative, Persistence/Grit, Adaptability, Leadership Skills, Social and Cultural Awareness, Civic Engagement and Lifelong Learning.

If someone doesn’t have these skills, how can they acquire them?

I just returned from facilitator certification in the Ice House program by ELI. Each of the 21st Century workforce skills is covered in the Ice House program. The training focuses on understanding and mastering the 8 life lessons described below. These lessons happen to be the same 8 factors that research has shown make for successful entrepreneurs. Adopting an “Entrepreneurial Mindset” is the key. The goal of the training is to instill the entrepreneurial mindset and 21st Century skills and provide the opportunity to put them into practice.

The 8 Life Lessons:

  1. Choice – The ability to choose the way we respond to our circumstances is fundamental to an entrepreneurial mindset. Choices, rather than circumstances, will ultimately shape our lives. An entrepreneurial mindset empowers people to be mindful of their choices, choosing the life they want rather than accepting life as it is.
  2. Opportunity – Problems are often opportunities in disguise. Entrepreneurs are problem solvers, and the secret to their success lies in the ability to identify problems and find solutions. An entrepreneurial mindset challenges us to see problems as opportunities, helping us to learn to solve problems for others as a viable path towards individual empowerment.
  3. Action – Entrepreneurs are action oriented, and they tend to focus their time and energy on things they can change rather than things they cannot. An entrepreneurial mindset ignites action, encouraging us to solve problems through active experimentation and collaboration.
  4. Knowledge – Our effort can only take us as far as our understanding. Entrepreneurs are self-directed, lifelong learners who understand the power of knowledge combined with effort. An entrepreneurial mindset fosters a self-directed approach to learning that encourages us to seek knowledge, think critically, and develop problem-solving skills.
  5. Wealth – Most people see work as an exchange of time for money. Entrepreneurs see it differently. The more problems an entrepreneur can solve, the more wealth an entrepreneur can amass. An entrepreneurial mindset helps us to understand money to be a tool in service of creating value for others, and the creation of wealth enables us to take advantage of opportunities to solve more problems for more people.
  6. Brand – Actions speak louder than words. Entrepreneurs are problem-solvers, and reliability is the key to their success. An entrepreneurial mindset helps us to be intentional about our actions and the way we carry ourselves, influencing our brand and how other people view us.
  7. Community – Entrepreneurs understand the power of positive influence, and they learn to surround themselves with others who have been where they intend to go. An entrepreneurial mindset understands the importance of creating an intentional community of positive influence, critical guidance, and diverse support.
  8. Persistence – All successful entrepreneurs acknowledge the importance of hard work, determination, and perseverance. An entrepreneurial mindset helps us acknowledge that hard work is a normal and necessary part of achieving success, and it equips us to persist in the face of challenges, setbacks, and self-doubt.

There are variations of the training for different audiences. We will be offering the Student Success version with dual enrollment students and RSCC students as well as the Small Business Edition for those interested in starting a business or growing their existing business. Workforce Development training options will also be available for those that want to instill 21st Century skills in their workforce. For community members we will be offering a Book Discussion Group, covering the same 8 Life Lessons and discussion questions.

Interested in learning more about the Entrepreneurial Mindset/21st Century Skills? Call us at 931-456-4910 and we’ll add you to the list for the program that will meet your needs.



Leadership Competencies


What makes an effective leader? This question has been the focus of much research. A study of 195 leaders in 15 countries over 30 global organizations were asked to choose the 15 most important leadership competencies from a list of 74. The top ones were grouped into five major themes that suggest a set of priorities for leaders and leadership development programs. The top two are: Continue reading