Hang on to Your Employees

If entrepreneurs have mixed feelings about selling, that’s nothing compared to what the employees go through during a change of ownership.  If you are selling, the new buyer expects the knowledge and expertise of your employees to come in the purchase.  If you are the buyer, you based the purchase price on a going concern.  Losing trained employees costs money. Continue reading

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 – 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

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

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



You get what you focus on. In business, it means focusing on profit.

A business without profit will die.   Being passionate about your work may keep you in the game longer, but without profit you are still losing money. You have to keep business expenses in control. There isn’t a shortcut that allows you to succeed if don’t have a clear path to profitability for your company.    Every business may go through short cycles when expenses exceed income, but allowing it to happen repeatedly without making adjustments is the definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over without making changes, expecting a different result. Continue reading