How to sharpen your entrepreneurial skills

April 14, 2011 · 33 comments

in Entrepreneurship

from a LI question by Lalit Bhojwani

My answer. Join or create a forum where you can match wits with other entrepreneurs.

My business is leading ongoing advisory groups of business owners. Just took eight of them on a three day retreat to a remote spot with no internet or cell connection. We took turns brainstorming on our vision, our opportunities, our challenges, our “elephants in the room.” Friendly and supportive but hard-hitting. People came away with business-changing ideas and plans.

This is a great way to sharpen entrepreneurial skills among people who are already entrepreneurial.

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Treadmills for Sale July 7, 2011 at 4:01 pm

pRFgbK I came across to your post and found it very useful for me. Thanks and good luck!)

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Christine Hueber July 28, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Love how you’re using Lalit’s LI question here, Mike! Connie Hampton suggested I contact you.

What can I do for you?

Best,
Christine Hueber

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kran-rf.ru July 29, 2011 at 11:28 am

lengthy and in depth article but full of useful information

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Nancy Becher August 1, 2011 at 1:11 pm

I agree with everything you say and I know this to be very true. However, my question is — how do you convince others that they need to have these relationships and types of meetings. I ran groups like this in Washington, DC and they were very successful. Now that I’m back in the good ole midwest, no one wants to take the time off from working IN their businesses, and they have little money to spend ON their businesses, so it’s a hard sell. Really could use some insights. Thanks.

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mvh August 1, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Nancy
Very easy for you and me to see that others need us! The trick is finding those few who will value the input of a group of peers. I’m pretty sure they exist in the Midwest. (My roots are in Kansas City MO.)

My specialty is working with those who want to grow their business. I target companies with 5 to 50 employees. (Solopreneurs are much tougher.) “The bigger I grow, the harder it is to grow yet farther.” “I work so many hours, I have to wear a nametag so my kids will recognize me.” “Lots more revenue, but I’m not putting any more money in my pocket.” These people feel the strains of growth, and are open to help if you can show them a way. And it involves changing the way they run their business, so many hard-headed entrepreneurs aren’t open to this. But when you talk with the right one, their reaction is something like, “Where have you been all my life?!?” But they’ve got to be willing to invest some time and money in growing their business.

How to find them? Traditionally, to recruit for my business owner groups, my top 3 sources have been introductions from members, people buying my book, and speaking gigs to small business organizations. I’m trying to reach people via the internet (like I’m doing with you now) but this still has a ways to go.

I’d be glad to discuss this more with you.

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mvh August 28, 2011 at 6:16 pm

I welcome guest bloggers. Your submission needs to be:
— A topic of interest to small business owners wanting to grow
— Short, concise, well-written
— Useful information or ideas or your experience
— No self-promotion
It’s my call, and I may insist on editing a bit. If I use your article, you’ll of course get attribution and a link to your site.

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mvh August 31, 2011 at 11:27 pm

I have both a Wordpress and Blogger blog. On WP I use a Thesis theme or template. So far, WP is more sophisticated and has many more options. I’ve had help setting up both blogs.

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mvh August 31, 2011 at 11:24 pm

Thanks! I write them all, unless I invite a guest blogger. But it’s all original stuff.

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Josef Derouchie September 14, 2011 at 5:21 am

Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same outcome.

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mvh September 14, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Thanks for the heads up, Josef. Can you tell me which browsers gave you trouble? I’ll tell my web guy.

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mvh September 14, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Josue
Please do share. You’d be welcome to do that.
mvh

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romance novel reviews September 26, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Fantastic blog you have here but I was curious if you knew of any user discussion forums that cover the same topics discussed in this article? I’d really like to be a part of community where I can get feedback from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Bless you!

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mvh September 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Pettinato
For small business discussion sites, there are many options, e.g., LinkedIn and Twitter. Start a LinkedIn account if you don’t have one (it’s free). Then go to “Groups” and search for topics under “Small Business” or “Startups.” Many to choose from.
Likewise, go to your Twitter page and click on Who to Follow. Do a search on “small business” and you’ll find many forums, such as #smallbizchat, which has regular weekly tweet chats.

If you have a particular question, ask me. I’ll help you if I can.

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