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Archive for July, 2006

Trust Your Gut

Starting a business necessitates more than a good idea and strategy. Building the right team and making the right choices can be the make or break of a start-up. There is a skill necessary in decision making and choosing the right people which is beyond science and necessitates dependence on intuition.

I have few regrets in life. If I was to boil them all down into one category it would be that I regret not trusting my hunches more. At this point I would rather risk saying no after a funny feeling about an opportunity than saying yes. It is much less costly to miss an opportunity than to sign up to the wrong one. It may not be the most measurable methodology but it seems to lead in the right direction. After all in the eastern world all things immeasurable are considered more spiritual and beneficial.

Each of us have an inner voice that is given to help us navigate the world. Listen to what your gut says and use the wisdom to ask more questions and become more curious in decision making moments.

Posted on July 21st, 2006 by Mark

Go Topless

Maybe the title has been influenced by my recent beach holiday in Spain.

Losing your shirt is more than likely the case for many entrepreneurs. I had considered myself beyond that and in someway immune to great failure. It is only looking back today that I realize how full of piss and vinegar I was when launching the first time around.

Imagine that I could think that what our team would do could never fail.

Well to be honest there is one aspect of me that needed to believe that. If I wasn’t convinced of success I would never have been able to get the traction necessary to build a team and raise some money. What I know today is that even when I am fully convinced and passionate about a cause it does not equal business success.

I remember 7 years ago sitting on the porch with my wife in our BC home asking her advice (or maybe more permission) to risk everything we possessed in something that could fail.

As much as I used the word failure and considered the scenario I never actually believed it would happen.

I lost my shirt. I went topless for a season. I bared my all to the world.

Today I am a better man for it. With many more successes than failures under my belt I realize it is all worth it.

Better to stand on the edge of chaos than to hide in the corner of control.


Posted on July 16th, 2006 by Mark

Re:invent the world

Imagine a world where we all showed up in full color

Posted on July 11th, 2006 by Mark

It’s Not Just Who You Know

There is no doubt about it, that knowing the right people can help when growing or starting a business. What is not often considered is that knowing someone is not enough. Most people who have the influence to help or make things happen have the intelligence to only open up doors to people they trust and respect, specifically people they know that will not let them down.

It would be much wiser to spend your time developing character, skill, and respect than building a network because at the end of the day you will only be as good as you are.
Pamela Slim has a great article on this topic with some alternative ways of thinking and working instead of trying to target a VC right away.

Posted on July 10th, 2006 by Mark

Were you designed to be an entrepreneur?

I have a deep love and hate of personality type analysis. On one level it is fascinating and interesting but on the other it can be limiting. There is an interesting article on Poughkeepsie to help you assess if you are E-Type, or bent towards being an entrepreneur. It is worth the read for self-awareness purposes to know the struggles you may face.

Posted on July 9th, 2006 by Mark

Think of Yourself as a VC

Sramana Mitra has a great post on preparation and positioning a start-up when getting ready to meet a VC. She highlights the importance or limiting the idea to make it simple and understandable which is always a difficult thing to do when considering a new venture. She mentions a few helpful books that can help with this process and I would also like to add Blue Ocean Strategy by Kim Mauborgne as another.

Posted on July 8th, 2006 by Mark

Web 2.0

Guy Kawasaki has a great article on his blog today called The Art of the Layoff. There is no doubt that we are in a new dotcom era which is hopefully seasoned with more wisdom and business leadership understanding. Guy is the first I have heard so far use the term “bubble” again. I suppose that it is inevitable that we have over-inflated values on companies and ideas with a frenzy to hire the best and aquire warehouses to host the masses.

Having an influx of start-up capital coming back into the web is good for all of us in this space. It gives room for ideas to emerge and opportunities to upset the status quo. I am also thankful for people like Guy who will remind us that this is a season, a moment for us to take a chance again. I am left reminded that in the midst of our excitements we need to spell out the risk to those coming on board. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t


Posted on July 6th, 2006 by Mark

Trend Watching


This is a site that I am finding very helpful

Posted on July 6th, 2006 by mark

Re:Create Your World

A guidebook for leaders in an unpredictable world.

Posted on July 5th, 2006 by mark

Higher Performance with a Higher Purpose

Emotionally engaging staff through meaning and contribution

Posted on July 5th, 2006 by mark

Workplace Democracy

Building a shared future

Posted on July 3rd, 2006 by mark
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