Time & Follow Through on Your Goals


Manage time and follow through

Work Awesome | Pooja Lohana

Several years ago, I moved to Silicon Valley to pursue a healthcare-related postgraduate degree. The first six months or so of school was the most rigorous academic experience I’ve ever had. Forty plus hours in the classroom per week plus study time crammed into short quarters was much more than I could handle.

After things started lightening up a bit, I began expanding my horizons in the local area. I started meeting people who were young like me, but working at some of the local famous tech companies. It seemed like everyone was incredibly busy at work but were always making time to meet with other people to talk about startup companies.

I soon started attending some of these meetings because my background was related to the tech industry. It wasn’t long after that when I decided I too wanted to try a startup.

I didn’t know where to begin so I started making a list of the most important things a startup needed. I started asking questions around venture-capital, fundraising, software development, and all the other things which can go into a new company. All of these things were great, but without a rock solid idea I didn’t think I’d have a chance of succeeding.

I partnered with a local entrepreneur who had experience building and selling companies. He also had experience in the healthcare space so we decided to do a healthcare startup. On top of all my personal responsibilities at school I spent long hours trying to manage my time and develop our idea into a fundable business.

It’s been a few years since we set everything in motion but now after countless hours of hard work we’re finally seeing the company take off.

It’s definitely been an interesting journey through the wilderness to get to where we are. We’ve had to set milestones and goals and work diligently to achieve them. Business plans don’t write themselves. Strategic partners aren’t formed on their own. Software coding doesn’t happen out of thin air. These must all be accomplished by making a target and aiming for it. If I had to sum it up in two things, I’d say I only succeeded in starting up my business because I learned to manage time and follow through my goals.

Manage Your Time…  Leer más “Time & Follow Through on Your Goals”

10 Facts About Working at a Startup vs. a Big Company

1) Responsibility, accountability, impact: at a startup it’s unavoidable to have lots of responsibility and accountability. There’s no doubt, too, that being at a startup will put you in a position to make a huge impact. If you do amazing work the entire company and all of its customers will benefit from it. And you’ll be loved for it. You’ll get notes from the CEO and other leaders complimenting you on how awesome your work is. On the flip side, if you make a big mistake, the whole company pays for it. But keep in mind that most startup cultures prefer agility and speed to cautiousness. It’s likely that your mistake won’t actually get you in trouble, as long as you were trying to do the right thing.

2) Risk: working at a startup is riskier. The startup likely isn’t profitable, and probably only has at most 12-18 months worth of money in the bank (this is called the startup’s runway). If the company does very well, the CEO will raise more money and extend the runway. You’ll still have a job and each round you’ll get a salary closer and closer to market rate (more about this later). If the startup doesn’t do well, you’ll be out of a job when the startup runs out of money. But you’ll be forewarned if the CEO is transparent — most of them are in earlier stages. A startup is risky because you’re building something from nothing. You’re doing something ridiculously hard because you believe in it and want nothing more than to see it succeed. You’re not failing even when all the odds are against you. You’re the underdog in many ways.

And by the way, if you’re a good engineer you’ll have zero issue finding another job. Zero. Every company in software, big and small, needs more good people. This trend won’t change for a long, long time, either.


everythingisgonnabeonline.com/

I’ve spent the last few weeks trying to recruit friends of mine to come work with me at my super early startup.  In doing so I’ve had to educate a lot of my friends on what it’s like to be at a startup, and why you might want to join one.  This blog post is a summary of all that advice.  Oddly enough, I wrote a similar blog post my senior year of college while interning at Redfin.  And since college I joined Cloudera before they were funded and left when the company closed its Series C, or third round of funding.  The advice below mostly comes from my experiences at Redfin and Cloudera. Leer más “10 Facts About Working at a Startup vs. a Big Company”

5 Valuable Tips You Need to Know as an Entrepreneur

If you’re into the start-up scene like I am (especially in the tech world), then I applaud you, you’re really in a great spot – even if you’re just sitting on the sidelines. Why? The Internet space is really one of immense possibility, and I don’t say that just for the sake of being cheesy either. It really is. There are so many people making a living online creating small niche businesses, it’s quite mind boggling – and this is just the start.

With an explosion of new entrepreneurship, from all ages and walks of life, what are some of the fundamental lessons that you need to understand in order to do well? Let me fill you in with ’5 Valuable Tips You Need to Know as an Entrepreneur’, enjoy.


5valuabletipsentrepreneur

If you’re into the start-up scene like I am (especially in the tech world), then I applaud you, you’re really in a great spot – even if you’re just sitting on the sidelines. Why? The Internet space is really one of immense possibility, and I don’t say that just for the sake of being cheesy either. It really is. There are so many people making a living online creating small niche businesses, it’s quite mind boggling – and this is just the start.

With an explosion of new entrepreneurship, from all ages and walks of life, what are some of the fundamental lessons that you need to understand in order to do well? Let me fill you in with ’5 Valuable Tips You Need to Know as an Entrepreneur’, enjoy. Leer más “5 Valuable Tips You Need to Know as an Entrepreneur”

How to Smash Your To Do List When You’re Your Own Boss

An insidious curse haunts all business owners and it doesn’t matter what business model they use or how large or small their company might be. The curse is freedom.

You’d think freedom was a blessing, and it is. It’s the ultimate goal of the successful entrepreneur. They want to enjoy freedom from someone else’s schedule, from corporate bureaucracy and from some lame manager’s to do list. They have the freedom to do work that counts, to blow off on a Tuesday afternoon to spend time with family, or to play by day and work at night.

All entrepreneurs chase freedom. We have our personal reasons to want it, but we share the same goal.

But freedom comes at a price. The curse kicks in and the universe demands payback for the gift we’ve created for ourselves.

Freedom is a curse precisely because it’s freedom. Freedom runs away from structure and hides in the bushes while discipline marches by. Freedom rejects fixed schedules and doesn’t answer when your inner deadline bailiff calls.

Yet if you’re an entrepreneur, you need structure, schedules and organization. It takes discipline to build the kind of business that allows you to blow off afternoons or take month-long holidays without the house of cards tumbling down.

You won’t stay your own boss for long if you don’t harness discipline in your life and business.
How to harness discipline and ride it hard

Trust me, I’m the last person to suggest you adopt discipline as a permanent state of mind. Discipline and I have a tenacious relationship at best. I hold on because she’s valuable to me; she barely concedes to put up with me. (Yes, discipline is a she. I have no idea why. Freud might).

Discipline isn’t some unseen cosmic force. Months of meditation aren’t required. No one is disciplined all the time, but being able to switch it on at the times we need it is the skill the forges business empires. It’s just a state of mind we enter and leave at will, just like any other state: feeling happy, being sad, and so forth. Here are three techniques that focus on cultivating a state of discipline that I’ve road-tested often with clients, with fantastic results.


How to Smash Your To Do List When You’re Your Own Boss

An insidious curse haunts all business owners and it doesn’t matter what business model they use or how large or small their company might be. The curse is freedom.

You’d think freedom was a blessing, and it is. It’s the ultimate goal of the successful entrepreneur. They want to enjoy freedom from someone else’s schedule, from corporate bureaucracy and from some lame manager’s to do list. They have the freedom to do work that counts, to blow off on a Tuesday afternoon to spend time with family, or to play by day and work at night.

All entrepreneurs chase freedom. We have our personal reasons to want it, but we share the same goal.

But freedom comes at a price. The curse kicks in and the universe demands payback for the gift we’ve created for ourselves.

Freedom is a curse precisely because it’s freedom. Freedom runs away from structure and hides in the bushes while discipline marches by. Freedom rejects fixed schedules and doesn’t answer when your inner deadline bailiff calls.

Yet if you’re an entrepreneur, you need structure, schedules and organization. It takes discipline to build the kind of business that allows you to blow off afternoons or take month-long holidays without the house of cards tumbling down.

You won’t stay your own boss for long if you don’t harness discipline in your life and business.

How to harness discipline and ride it hard

Trust me, I’m the last person to suggest you adopt discipline as a permanent state of mind. Discipline and I have a tenacious relationship at best. I hold on because she’s valuable to me; she barely concedes to put up with me. (Yes, discipline is a she. I have no idea why. Freud might).

Discipline isn’t some unseen cosmic force. Months of meditation aren’t required. No one is disciplined all the time, but being able to switch it on at the times we need it is the skill the forges business empires. It’s just a state of mind we enter and leave at will, just like any other state: feeling happy, being sad, and so forth. Here are three techniques that focus on cultivating a state of discipline that I’ve road-tested often with clients, with fantastic results. Leer más “How to Smash Your To Do List When You’re Your Own Boss”

Talentag: the Social CV Site for “Friends” Only

There’s an FAQ on the new site, Talentag, that asks the right question: “What is Talentag and why do you need it?”

Precisely what I was wondering after reading the TechCrunch Europe post about this site. The answer to the first half is straightforward enough. Talentag is the online equivalent of the afterwork social hour; think of it as what LinkedIn would be if it was more like Facebook and less like, well, less like LinkedIn.

Of course that’s not how the site explains it. The answer there is more of a description of what it does. For instance: “Your co-workers and friends can tag you with words or a badge and they can also vouch (for) a particular role you worked together.”

In other words, it’s a way to create a social CV. Talentag connects to your profiles on other social media and will import your work history and friends lists. Then you can


by
John Zappe

There’s an FAQ on the new site, Talentag, that asks the right question: “What is Talentag and why do you need it?”

Precisely what I was wondering after reading the TechCrunch Europe post about this site. The answer to the first half is straightforward enough. Talentag is the online equivalent of the afterwork social hour; think of it as what LinkedIn would be if it was more like Facebook and less like, well, less like LinkedIn.

Of course that’s not how the site explains it. The answer there is more of a description of what it does. For instance: “Your co-workers and friends can tag you with words or a badge and they can also vouch (for) a particular role you worked together.”

In other words, it’s a way to create a social CV. Talentag connects to your profiles on other social media and will import your work history and friends lists. Then you can connect to them on Talentag and ask them for feedback, get tagged, and, for grins, award and receive badges. Leer más “Talentag: the Social CV Site for “Friends” Only”

Startup Strategy Roundtable: Validate Your Ideas – ReadWriteStart


tableI started doing my free Online Strategy Roundtables for entrepreneurs in the fall of 2008. Based on this work, I’ve been able to draw a few conclusions.

First, a good percentage of entrepreneurs don’t bother validating their ideas. Another percentage are immediately interested in raising money. Raising money without validating the business is pretty much impossible. If we can address some of these patterns we have a chance at significantly reducing infant entrepreneur mortality.

At this morning’s roundtable I worked with four new entrepreneurs, and this is what I learned.

Sramana Mitra is a technology entrepreneur and strategy consultant in Silicon Valley. She has founded three companies and writes a business blog, Sramana Mitra on Strategy. She has a masters degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her three books, Entrepreneur Journeys, Bootstrapping, Weapon Of Mass Reconstruction, and Positioning: How To Test, Validate, and Bring Your Idea To Market are all available from Amazon. Her new book Vision India 2020 was recently released. Mitra is also a columnist for Forbes and runs the 1M/1M initiative.

Mel Marten presented ClaroConnect, described as being like a match.com for financial advisors and clients.  There was a discussion about the best way to monetize the business, whether charging an annual fee is preferred to monetizing every lead. Then the conversation turned to affiliate marketing.

Albert Santalo with CareCloud was next.  This Internet-based service simplifies the many tasks of the modern medical office. While this business has been validated by a growing list of clients, the positioning of their service needs to be more sharply defined in order to scale the business.  Through much give and take, the importance of segmentation and focusing on the strongest segment of their market was emphasized.

Martin Linkov presented Favit, a product aiming to personally curate and simply present online content.  As a blogger and potential customer, I said I am looking for a service to curate and prioritize what other bloggers are saying about a topic I am blogging about to give my readers a fuller perspective.  But Martin is not looking to answer that need.  He demonstrates how difficult it can be to explain a complex service, while being pressed to succinctly define who the user is for this service, and what is the value proposition for the bloggers who are the stated channel.  The most valuable selling proposition for this service still needs to be defined and validated.

Mark Hernandez pitched his business, After COOL Fitness.  I liked this business idea, there is clearly a need to fill in as physical education and recreation programs are being cut from school budgets.  Currently they are paid by grants and parents.  When I learned of the lopsided ownership structure of the business, I felt Mark’s main priority should be to rework the capital structure of the business while continuing to organically grow the business regionally.

The roundtables are the cornerstone programming of a global initiative that I have started called One Million by One Million (1M/1M). Its mission is to help a million entrepreneurs globally to reach $1 million in revenue and beyond, build $1 trillion in sustainable global GDP, and create 10 million jobs.

In 1M/1M, I teach the EJ Methodology which is based on my Entrepreneur Journeys research, and emphasize bootstrapping, idea validation, and crisp positioning as some of the core principles of building strong fundamentals in early stage ventures.

You can find the recording of this roundtable session here. Recordings of previous roundtables are all available here. You can register for the next roundtable here.

Photo by Laurent Cottier.
http://www.readwriteweb.com/start/2010/03/startup-roundtable-validate-your-ideas.php

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