Open House & More!

The Cumberland Business Incubator Open House was yesterday.  Thank you to all who attended and had the chance to network with our tenants and clients who are always happy to share information about their businesses.  There are great things happening in our tenant and client businesses. All are growing. Some of the connections are organic and occurring right within the building.  Continue reading

Summer Camp Time at RSCC

It’s that time of year.  Students are counting the days before school ends and summer begins.  That means camp season is almost here on the Roane State Community College campus. Continue reading

4 Questions to Answer

Developing a marketing strategy for your business can be tough, especially if you don’t know where to start or what to focus on. Referring to the four questions below to help guide you. Continue reading

$9 Million Business Sells for $55 Million

Stephanie Breedlove started a payroll company in 1992 to solve the problem that families had in paying for their nannies.  She began small and self-funded the business growth which averaged 20% per year.

In 2012 annual sales were at $9 million when she received a call from a company that wanted to buy her business and offered almost $40 million – more than 4 times annual revenue.  Breedlove turned down the offer.  She wanted more and settled on a price of $55 million.

Breedlove’s story illustrates the importance of having a unique point of differentiation, called the Monopoly Control by John Warrilow, author of Built to Sell.  She had created a special niche in paying caregivers.  The company that bought the business could not easily replicate what Breedlove had developed, which is why they paid such a high premium for Breedlove’s company.

To find out how you’re doing on The Monopoly Control business value driver, complete the Value Builder questionnaire now.

What did your score look like?  Call for an appointment to go over your score and discuss ways to improve it.  931-456-4910

Do You Need Office Space? 5 Questions to Ask First

If you are considering leasing office space for your business, curb your enthusiasm and excitement long enough to ask yourself these five questions: 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

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

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.