Is Your Business Ready to Graduate?

It’s graduation season.  Graduations do not guarantee success.  At some level graduation is a completed checklist, accomplishment and a new stage of life for the graduates.  Moving on to the next level, marking progress. Continue reading

National Small Business Week!

Don’t miss National Small Business Week!

National Small Business Week is April 30 through May 6 this year. It really gets rolling on Monday, May 1, with the NSBW Awards Luncheon in Washington, D.C., when SBA Administrator Linda McMahon announces SBA’s National Small Business Person of the Year. However, don’t feel left out if you can’t make lunch with Linda. On the following days, live events will be broadcast online. Here’s a listing of those events:

  • Monday, May 1, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET: NSBW Awards Luncheon. Streams on SBA website.
  • Tuesday, May 2, 11:30 a.m. to noon ET: Facebook Live with SBA Administrator Linda McMahon. Streams on Facebook.
  • Wednesday, May 3, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET: National Small Business Week Road Tour Kicks Off in Indianapolis, IN. Streams on Facebook and SBA website.
  • Thursday, May 4, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET: National Small Business Week Road Tour Stops in Arlington, TX. Streams on Facebook and SBA website.
  • Friday, May 5, 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. PT:  National Small Business Week Road Tour Ends in Fresno, CA. Streams on Facebook and SBA website.

Finally, you can join or monitor the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag  #SmallBusinessWeek.

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

5S for Offices

5S is a system to organize a workplace and execute tasks that provides the highest levels of convenience. Typically it involves identifying, storing, maintaining and arranging tools and materials to create a more organized and productive workplace.

5S is the nickname for a series of 5 Japanese words that all begin with S along with their English close translations: 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

Not Good with Numbers? Are You Good with That?

How many times have you heard someone say, “I’m just not a numbers person”? Have you ever been that person? It’s a common expression and an easy escape hatch to fall through when you’re staring at spreadsheets full of numbers and formulas. But it’s a phrase, and an attitude, that’s ultimately unproductive and stopping you from taking your business to the next level. Continue reading

Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet with an Annual Plan

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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

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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

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“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

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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.

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